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The cameras used on Netflix's Original Films and Series

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Cool article..

The Cameras Behind Netflix’s Original Films and Series

BY MICHAEL MAHER

NOVEMBER 17, 2017

Curious about the cameras behind Netflix Originals? Here are the cameras Netflix has officially approved — and the series using them.

Top image via Netflix. 

As a company that produces and streams content on a massive variety of devices, Netflix requires their original content to be at least 4K for optimal presentation.

 

These recommendations come directly from Netflix, and they are primarily for their own content. So you can still shoot on other gear and hope for distribution, but to meet their standards or work on one of their sets, you’ll need to use the following cameras or specs.

Netflix’s Basic Camera Requirements

There are two main classifications for Netflix cameras: primary and secondary. Primary is your main camera, which must have a true 4K sensor. Secondary cameras capture any type of B-roll or additional footage, like crash cams, aerials, POV, and underwater cameras.

master-of-none-camera-rig.jpg

Image: Master of None via Netflix / Panasonic.

Primary Netflix Cameras

True 4K sensor (equal to or greater than 4096)

Minimum 16-bit Linear or 10-bit Log processing

RAW

Log (Including, but not limited to…)

S-Log3

V-Log

CanonLog3

REDLogFilm

BMDLog

LogC

Must send original camera files without looks, LUTs, or color correction

Maintain metadata

Tape name

Timecode

Frame rate

ISO

WB

In addition, Netflix requires approval for aspect ratios greater than 2.00:1 — filmmakers must also shoot framing charts before principal photography begins. That way, the framing charts can get processed through the pipeline of editorial, post, and VFX.

Full article: https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/cameras-behind-netflix-originals/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_content=The-Cameras-Behind-Netflix's-Original-Films-and-Series&utm_campaign=11-2017-facebook-posts

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Remember how cr*ppy video cameras use to be a mere 10 years ago for the indie crowd.  Those days, the cameras used miniDV tapes.  Hahahah.. You either had a huge budget using film or you basically were regulated to using miniDV based cameras.  Now there is a spectrum of choices with respect to equipment.  Also, if you look most of these people are not really using dslr/prosumer cameras like the A7s, gh5, etc...  Perhaps these productions might use the prosumer camera as a crash camera or something, but the marketplace has moved on. 

 

Times have definitely change.  10 years ago, you had a lot more professional productions using prosumer DSLR - gh2, 5d, etc.  Not anymore.  That gap has been filled by specialized camera like the c300, red dragon, varicam, etc...   If you are still obsessing about the quality of prosumer cameras, you have failed as a DP or a film maker.  That problem has been solved.  Just my opinion....

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15 hours ago, eleison said:

If you are still obsessing about the quality of prosumer cameras, you have failed as a DP or a film maker.  That problem has been solved.  Just my opinion....


Or you're just in your early years of your career. 
Or you're not a specialist / owner op in the camera department (maybe shooting is just a side thing, and you're usually a director/producer/whatever, then having a mirrorless camera to shoot with is a lot of sense).

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On 11/20/2017 at 4:16 AM, IronFilm said:


Or you're just in your early years of your career. 
Or you're not a specialist / owner op in the camera department (maybe shooting is just a side thing, and you're usually a director/producer/whatever, then having a mirrorless camera to shoot with is a lot of sense).

Well.. if a person is at that level, can't it be debated that the person isn't a "real" dp/director yet?...  Remember if you are doing something as a side gig, what you are doing is more of a hobby;  you are not a dp/director.

In any case, just my opinion.....  People who are really serious about film making; I think they have moved on from prosumer cameras...  Obviously, prosumer cameras are a good starting point for people who don't really know if they want to go into film making -- but then, I don't think these people are really dp/directors.... yet :-)

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 @eleison, I take it you don't consider yourself a 'real' dp/director, but why is it that someone using a mirrorless camera can't be considered a serious filmmaker? If someone were to shoot the next Citizen Kane or Raging Bull on a GH5 or a6500, would they be any less deserving of the title of filmmaker?  Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 film Festen (Celebration) , among the most powerful films in my experience, was shot on Hi-8 videotape; Wong Kar Wai's decidedly lo-fi Chungking Express was shot on film as far as I know, but could just as easily have been shot with any of today's prosumer cameras (with much better quality); Nicholas Winding Refn's brilliant crime trilogy Pusher, ditto; and there is no denying that the precocious Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan's I Killed My Mother and Lukas Moodysson's compelling drama Lilya 4-ever (shot on 16mm film), could just as well have been shot on one of today's mirrorless cameras. 

I would try to be a little less condescending toward filmmakers who choose to shoot with whatever they can afford.

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1. only a director and the dp should be able to approve a camera..(not Netflix)

2. a filmmaker can use whatever camera he or she wants..

3. although I tried to resist.. kodak film has an amazing quality..that I prefer

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2 hours ago, jonpais said:

 @eleison, I take it you don't consider yourself a 'real' dp/director, but why is it that someone using a mirrorless camera can't be considered a serious filmmaker? If someone were to shoot the next Citizen Kane or Raging Bull on a GH5 or a6500, would they be any less deserving of the title of filmmaker?  Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 film Festen (Celebration) , among the most powerful films in my experience, was shot on Hi-8 videotape; Wong Kar Wai's decidedly lo-fi Chungking Express was shot on film as far as I know, but could just as easily have been shot with any of today's prosumer cameras (with much better quality); Nicholas Winding Refn's brilliant crime trilogy Pusher, ditto; and there is no denying that the precocious Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan's I Killed My Mother and Lukas Moodysson's compelling drama Lilya 4-ever (shot on 16mm film), could just as well have been shot on one of today's mirrorless cameras. 

I would try to be a little less condescending toward filmmakers who choose to shoot with whatever they can afford.

 

I do not consider myself a "real" dp/director.  yes, it makes me sad to say that, but objectively I am not.  While there will be edge cases of "real" dp/directors using "inferior" equipment.  They are just that - edge cases.  if you look at a lot of film festivals now, you will see fewer prosumer cameras being used... and this trend is continuing.  Year after year. Less and Less prosumer cameras.  Unlike the glory days of the 5d/gh2 where your chooses were limited - you either used film, minidvs or the then, new prosumer dslrs; now we have  cameras that are better than prosumer cameras, but yet a lot cheaper than film.  Hell, do people remember trying to create shallow DOF???  back in the day, the quality was so bad, the 5d/gh2 had a place in professional film making.  Now, not as much.

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11 hours ago, eleison said:

Well.. if a person is at that level, can't it be debated that the person isn't a "real" dp/director yet?...  Remember if you are doing something as a side gig, what you are doing is more of a hobby;  you are not a dp/director.


There is a wide range of opinion as to what "DP" or "director" means, to some if you've shot a film then you can call yourself that, to others no less than winning an Oscar is sufficient justification! ha

I do generally agree with you though, when a FS5/EVA1/etc are so affordable and so good, even very low budget shoots can do that instead of a DSLR. 

Heck, I'm doing an ultra low budget student project (everyone aside from myself, plus maybe an actor or two, are undergraduate students) this coming week, yet we're using an EVA1!! If they can, any one can! ha

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@IronFilm @eleison I call BS. Categorizing people by what kind of camera they shoot with is the worst sort of narrow-mindedness. Ruben Latre was honored at the Director’s Guild of America in Shoot’s New Director’s Showcase for "The Conductor", a film created to promote the National Museum of Hip Hop and shot with the Canon 5D. Apparently, the Director's Guild of America doesn't discriminate based on cameras. Neither should we.

 

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I agree with Jonpais.

If you are not a DP/Director, nor are you an aspiring DP/Director.... who are you to judge others of not being DP/Director, and/or aspiring DP/Director?

Don't put me and you in the same boat, just because you and I have the same camera doesn't mean that I have the same thoughts and/or dreams like you.

Now, nobody here was born in a Hollywood studio, at least I'm not... and even though, I can afford some of the cameras on that list.... I prefer to film with whatever I have....

I would assume most established DP/Directors started off somewhere as well.... and didn't have Panavision or whatever at their disposal from the get-go of their respective careers...

Now, if you are an established DP/Director making some serious money, and you are filming with an iPhone.... then that's a different story.... but still, who am I to judge?

Speaking of iphone, everyone always forgets about Tangerine - https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7925023/sundance-film-festival-2015-tangerine-iphone-5s

Now that.... if anything, should be an inspiring story for those of us who are still aspiring to be a DP/Director....

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1 hour ago, mkabi said:

 

Speaking of iphone, everyone always forgets about Tangerine - https://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7925023/sundance-film-festival-2015-tangerine-iphone-5s

Now that.... if anything, should be an inspiring story for those of us who are still aspiring to be a DP/Director....

Tangerine? The one shot with $30K ish worth of audio gear? Yes I wish every director shot with that as the minimum 

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13 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Tangerine? The one shot with $30K ish worth of audio gear? Yes I wish every director shot with that as the minimum 

I'm well aware of Tangerine's $100K budget and that they've made $700K in the box office.

And, I'm sure you know about the $60K budget of the Blair Witch Project, and how much did they make? Which camera(s) did they use?

Content is King, no matter the camera.

As for the budget.... how much did some of us put towards a college/university degree? or down payment on a house? 

Its all an investment that we hope make a return on.... its all a friggin gamble in the end anyway.... unless you are buying the camera so you that you can run tests on them.

If you have an idea, and you truly believe in it.... get a bank loan, home equity line of credit and get going....

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I think a simple definition of terms is in order here. 

If by DP we are referring to the larger studio films. Yes, most likely they won't be shot on DSLR's or prosumer cams. Those DP's rarely own their own cameras any way. 

Compare that with someone like me who not only owns my camera but prefers to shoot AND direct my own small budget productions. Even though I am technically doing what a DP would do, I am fine not falling into that official ASC DP category. Instead I would call myself a filmmaker. 

The funny thing is, personally I would hesitate to call any of the individuals involved in the big studio productions a filmmaker. I mean the roles have become so specialized that who could really say they made that film?

This article that Andrew wrote not long ago really put things into perspective for me. Like most, I had become infatuated with the idea of an expensive camera with ALL the bells and whistles. Not realizing that those very things were holding me back creatively. Once I let go of that paradigm, so much else fell into place. 

Shane Hurlbut ASC doesn't give a crap what he shoots on. He tests the cameras at his disposal and chooses the one that best fits the project, even if that means a DSLR

Being a DP is important for some. To me it's irrelevant. So is the size of your camera. To quote @Andrew Reid "Aspirations should be creative." Not technical.

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On 11/21/2017 at 8:40 AM, jonpais said:

 @eleison, I take it you don't consider yourself a 'real' dp/director, but why is it that someone using a mirrorless camera can't be considered a serious filmmaker? If someone were to shoot the next Citizen Kane or Raging Bull on a GH5 or a6500, would they be any less deserving of the title of filmmaker?  Thomas Vinterberg’s 1998 film Festen (Celebration) , among the most powerful films in my experience, was shot on Hi-8 videotape; Wong Kar Wai's decidedly lo-fi Chungking Express was shot on film as far as I know, but could just as easily have been shot with any of today's prosumer cameras (with much better quality); Nicholas Winding Refn's brilliant crime trilogy Pusher, ditto; and there is no denying that the precocious Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan's I Killed My Mother and Lukas Moodysson's compelling drama Lilya 4-ever (shot on 16mm film), could just as well have been shot on one of today's mirrorless cameras. 

I would try to be a little less condescending toward filmmakers who choose to shoot with whatever they can afford.

I don't think I've ever disagreed with a post I've read on this forum more than I disagree with this one. The features you mention are about as closely associated with the specific look of their respective formats (as well as the style they adopt from production circumstances surrounding the use of those formats) as any in recent history. Sure, 16mm has no more resolution or dynamic range than most mirrorless cameras today, but it has an inimitable physicality to its look (film grain, halation, gate weave, etc.) and even a physicality to the approach one is forced to take. And that offers a distinct (and in my opinion frequently gorgeous) look and disciplined style I've yet to see anyone get close to approximating for the duration of a feature shot digitally. No one at that level is shooting 16mm because it's the best format technically or because it's cheaper than 35mm; they're shooting with it because they prefer the process and the look. Sure, you can compare 16mm and today's video cameras on a technical basis and they're surprisingly comparable. But that's like saying dinner at the French Laundry and a bottle of Soylent are comparable on the basis of nutrition and ending the comparison at that. (They might or might not be, but you get what I mean.)

I've seen Chungking Express projected from a good 35mm print at a high end screening facility and the texture and color of it are beyond anything I've seen shot on any digital camera, technically superior cameras such as the Alexa 65 (which can look just as good, only in a different way) included. Not in a way I can easily quantify, but in a way that resonates emotionally. I remember the look of that movie more closely than the story. If you think that film would look as good shot on a GH4, you need to question your own eyes, not Chris Doyle's, and definitely toss aside the resolution chart. There might be less grain on the GH4. It might be sharper. But the dreamlike quality of certain sequences derives specifically from the texture of film. Features shot on 16mm embrace the grain even more.

I mean, Van Gogh's paintings don't measure well on a resolution chart. Should he have used a GH4 instead of a paintbrush? 

Yes, Festen was shot on cheap video. And its success proves a great point that a good story and good performances are more important than "look" for that kind of movie–I agree with you there. But the specific look of the cheap video (no lighting, miniDV) was still made with philosophical (Dogme 95, of course) and aesthetic (it looks like a home video and shares the aesthetic intimacy of one, crucial to the subject matter) intent. It had a large budget. They could choose their camera on the basis of cost. They chose miniDV for another reason. Even if the GH4 were around then, it would still have been shot on home video. It's the filmmakers emulating that look, and not emulating the bad amateur online filmmaker look typically associated with mirrorless cameras and dSLRS (it's not all bad, but I'm just talking about the audience's association with a look), that makes that story work. Another story might look great shot on a 70D. Maybe a story about a vlogger could be amazing on that format. But that would be an entirely different movie!

I would try to be less disrespectful of the choices made by DPs and directors who can afford to make choices on bases other than cost or assume their only criteria are technical!

I'm not trying to say I know what these filmmakers think, and maybe they would have shot on a wireless camera today if they had the opportunity... I doubt it, but I don't know. I'm just saying that you don't know, either.

Furthermore, I think your response is a little ironic with respect to the original topic. Netflix is the company that most specifically chooses cameras based on technical specs; even Amazon and YouTube Red will allow the Alexa's upscaled 4k for original content, while Netflix won't because it's upscaled. And because of that, you have a lot of shows shot on the F55 or C300 Mk II that would look better in every respect (except resolution and again, imo) if they were shot on another camera (or even at 2.35:1 maybe, which they also won't allow). But resolution measures better on those cameras and it's in keeping with Netflix's brand and promise of technical quality, so that's what Netflix uses. I get it–part of their brand is 4k HDR original content. Maybe there are even legal reasons for the choice to stick with "true 4k" cameras, too. And it's fine. Those cameras are close to the Alexa anyway and the crews are super talented and most of the content on there is serialized tv type stuff that doesn't need the look of Chungking Express anyway. But if anyone is drinking Soylent over the good stuff on the basis of numbers, it's Netflix. 

I do agree with the larger point, made many times on this forum, that amateurs like you and like myself, and those who don't have or don't want to spend the money to rent their format of choice, would do best to embrace what's available to them. Just because Chris Doyle probably wouldn't choose a GH4 if he were to shoot Chungking Express today (then again, who knows, he might) doesn't mean he couldn't shoot an awesome entirely different feature on digital. And I agree that a good story, such as Festen's, would work on almost any format, but I reject the notion that miniDV was used thoughtlessly or arbitrarily...

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@HockeyFan12 I think there’s a huge misunderstanding here, no doubt the fault is all my own. Number one, I never meant to suggest that video is superior to film. Let me be perfectly clear - I don’t believe Raging Bull could ever be improved upon! Number two, I realize that these great filmmakers chose the cameras and processing techniques they did, not because they were impoverished, but for aesthetic or philisophical reasons. When I said that some of the films  shot on 16mm might have looked ‘better’ if shot on say a GH5, I did not mean to imply that ‘if only they had had a modern digital camera, their films would be watchable today.’ My point was merely that filmmakers should not be judged based on the camera they shoot with, something even the Cannes film festival can agree on. If I were to rewrite my post, I would definitely change my last statement about not being condescending toward today’s less fortunate filmmmakers! Come to think of it, I don’t know why I included Wong Kar-Wai’s masterpiece in my list - I think I just got carried away rattling off the names of some of the filmmakers I admire the most! His film obviously does not belong there, glad you pointed it out. My bad! I don’t believe I’ve ever had the opportunity to watch a pristine restored print of Chungking Express at the cinema, but would love to be able to one day.

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2 hours ago, HockeyFan12 said:

I've seen Chungking Express projected from a good 35mm print at a high end screening facility and the texture and color of it are beyond anything I've seen shot on any digital camera

I have to say that anybody who is both a hockey fan AND a fan of Wong Kar-Wai is ok in my book.

Are you located in the Bay Area by chance???

I remember watching Days of Being Wild at the World Theater on Broadway in The City back in 1990 or '91 when it was first released. That was probably the closest to film nirvana I have experienced.

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