The best cameras used for filming

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The best cameras used for filming
35mm film is the standard film format used in movie theatres worldwide. (Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Professional filmmaking requires the use of quality cameras for acquiring film footage. While the best film cameras of the past are only the 35mm film cameras that use a film negative to shoot a scene, modern filmmaking options already feature other types of cameras from those that shoot on film

Depending on the technical and artistic needs of a project and the budget available for it, the best cameras used in filmmaking now include those that use film and those that provide high-definition (HD) or even 2K and 4K resolution for digitally acquired master footage.

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Arriflex 535B Film Camera

For many years since its release in the 1990s, the Arriflex 535 camera product line features a widely used professional camera in 35mm film format in the United States and various parts of the world.

Regularly utilised in shooting films, music videos, TV commercials and special effects and motion control work before the release of digital cinema camera options, the Arriflex 535B is popular because of its intuitive design, hard-wearing body and high reliability as a 35mm sync-sound movie camera. Unlike many other film camera options, its quiet operation allows shooting live sound on the set possible.

Panavision 65mm Camera

Panavision 65mm camera uses mostly the same accessories used in 35mm film cameras. What sets it apart from capturing footage in the standard 35mm film format is how it maximises the film negative area to acquire the highest possible widescreen image capture for the film.

Unlike the regular aspect ratio (widescreen format) from 35mm film which is 16:9, using this Panavision camera with 65mm film negative allows a longer aspect ratio of 2:35, often referred to as CinemaScope. This is widely used in epic and high-budget movies that desire footage with maximised film frames.

Red One Digital Cinema Camera

The Red One revolutionised digital cinema with its introduction in the mid-2000s. This high end digital cinema camera developed by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company is acknowledged as one of the most significant film inventions in the 21st Century. It is a pioneer in offering more than five times the resolution of a typical HD camera.

This resolution made it the successor to 35mm film acquisition in terms of the ability to provide top video resolution, while still keeping film production cost significantly low compared to 35mm and 65mm film camera counterparts.

Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera

The Canon EOS 7D, the follow up digital camera to the EOS 5D, is a digital SLR camera that revolutionised the use of SLR cameras to capture not only high-quality photos, but HD videos as well.

Known as a top tool of choice for filmmaking professionals and semi-professionals shooting low-budget and independent movies, this camera captures quality footage for both still photography and filmmaking works. It has a relatively affordable price tag that allows serious hobbyists and independent filmmakers to buy cameras of their own. As in other professional cameras, the 7D offers a wide array of manual functions and film accessories for better creative imaging opportunities, but on a more economical production budget.

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