You'll Need These Cameras If You Want to Shoot for Netflix

You'll Need These Cameras If You Want to Shoot for Netflix

If you’re one day hoping to market your magnum opus of a movie to Netflix, better gear up.

You’ll need at least a minimum of a 4K sensor to meet the company’s standards, according to The Beat. That means that the 6D Mark II you just bought on Black Friday won’t cut it, but a 4K, log-wielding machine like the 5D Mark IV just might. That said if you check out their list of approved cameras for their original series, you’ll see that DSLRs aren’t on the official list.

If you want to be like this guy and get your film picked up, It looks like they require true DCI 4K (that’s 4096 pixels across instead of what’s considered UHD, or 3840 pixels across), and so that sets the bar high at several cameras from several manufacturers that most definitely are not DSLRs. The Arri Alexa or Sony FS7 will do just fine, though Canon, Panasonic, and RED are all options as well. The key is a camera that has some sort of Log, shoots raw, and can maintain all of the original metadata, amongst other things. Sometimes smaller cameras like an a7S are used for secondary cameras.

Of the list of originals featured on the post, RED seems to be the most popular weapon of choice (see what I did there?), though a Panasonic, Sony, and Canon make an appearance on some shows as well.

To see what Netflix’s shooters are using for your favorite show, head on over to The Beat and see what they’re using.

What do you think of the camera list? Anything that’s missing that should be on there? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

[via The Beat]

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Stephen Kampff's picture

Funny how little Arri come up on that list.. Considering they're the number one pick for cinema, and the quality of content isn't vastly different.

Neville Ross's picture

This reminds me of an article lamenting the overall adaptation of digital cameras like these for filmmaking and how people felt it was pushing filmmakers out, in particular this article:

Neville Ross's picture

No doy on that one, yet Nolan's STILL shooting movies with film (case in point, his recent magnum opus Dunkirk) as did Quentin Tarantino with The Hateful Eight.

Edward Porter's picture

Was curious what they were using for Master of None. The Panasonic VariCam 35 seems to have terrible low light performance - so much iso noise in that series. Perhaps it's a lot harder to properly light on-location in NYC though...

Alex Armitage's picture

Should be know that most of the Arri Alexa lineup doesn't shoot anywhere near 4K/UHD. (The 65 doesn't count)

The SXT Studio's highest res is like 3.4k that gets upscaled.

Jayson Carey's picture

because 4k isn't as important as image quality and dynamic range to filmmakers, and is the reason that the alexa is still the #1 camera used in cinema by far.

Ken Flanagan's picture

I use a Sony fs700 and record to an odyssey 7Q for full 4K, and shoot I. S-log most of the time. Works pretty well for me.

This is a slightly misleading headline (and one beaten to death on other sites a few months ago). The Netflix guidelines are for Netflix produced original content (i.e., I sold my idea to Netflix) and not for existing properties (I sold my movie to Netflix).

Good point. I know a lot of big productions are still shot in 1080

Lance Bachelder's picture

True - very few non-Netflix produced shows are available to watch in 4K via Netflix or Amazon. We mastered our last feature in 4K (shot on Red) in hopes that it would help getting to Netflix etc. Whiles it's got fairly wide domestic and international distribution the deliverables are still 1080p Pro Res - no one even asks about 4K. In fact most broadcasters are sadly still asking for 720p 60 ProRes LT!

With the new AppleTV, iTunes seems to be leading the 4K charge more than anyone else right now and not chasing extra for the upgrade is awesome as many of my purchases are now available in 4K. Hoping they start asking for 4K masters if available to Indies and not just studio movies.

As far as DSLR's and DCI 4K - don't forget Fujifilm - the XT2 and XT20 shoot excellent 4K, not that I'd use them in hopes of a Netflix deal.