Are you looking for the best Netfilx-approved camera? We've come to the right place. Netflix is arguably the first and most superior streaming service out there. There are lots of challengers, but still, no one compares to the size of Netflix – or comes close in terms of outputting original content.
As such, the camera technology decisions Netflix makes matter if you want to get your new film, television series or documentary you’re shooting shown on the pay-to-view channel. If you want your movie or documentary shown on Netflix, you can't shoot with any old camera - it needs to be one on the Netflix-approved list of cameras.
Being “Netflix approved” means that cameras have the minimum specs required to ensure they offer the expected quality of a Netflix Original. This is a very extensive list of certified, that goes it to great detail, which can be viewed in full at the Netflix Partner help center (opens in new tab). Some of the models in the list are seriously expensive - and would usually be hired by filmmakers - but there are a surprising number of relatively affordable models in there too.
While it shouldn’t be your only guide when purchasing the best cinema camera (opens in new tab), seeing that a certain model is Netflix approved might be something to seriously consider, especially since many cinema cameras are a big investment, and if you want to make feature productions, you're better starting with a camera that can develop your craft and that Netflix will say yes to.
Best Netflix approved cameras in 2022(opens in new tab)
This digital cine camera can record up to DCI 4K 60p resolution video to dual slots using widely available and more affordable SD cards. High frame rates can be recorded in 4K up to 120 fps and up to 180 fps in a 2K cropped Super16 mode.
Codec options include Canon's XF-AVC, XF-AVC Intra, and XF-AVC Long GOP, providing up to 10-bit, 4:2:2 DCI 4K images with reduced storage requirements. To boost your post-production workflow, the versatile EOS C70 supports both proxy recording rates and simultaneous recording in different formats, including 4K/HD and XF-AVC/MP4 options. The EOS C70 can also capture still images to SD cart slot B when on standby in select video modes.
With all all its feature the Canon EOS C70 is a fine cinema camera in its own right and can be used for any shoot as an A camera however, it can also fit into your C300 Mk III (opens in new tab) workflow as a B camera allowing for smother workflows then a project hits the editing or color grading suite.(opens in new tab)
The Sony FX6 answers a real need for filmmakers that Sony's mirrorless Alpha cameras do not. For shooting video, there is nothing that comes close to using a real cinema camera that has professional controls and ergonomics, multi-channel XLR audio, built-in ND filters, no overheating issues and a very long battery life. These cameras are purpose made for the job, but have lacked the full-frame sensor and advanced AF features that mirrorless camera users are used to, Until now.
The FX6 doesn’t use the same sensor as the FX9, which is actually 6K but downsampled to 4K. Instead, it inherits the same BSI-CMOS sensor from the Sony A7S III mirrorless camera and also the majority of its video spec and on-sensor phase detection autofocus.
So like the A7S III, the FX6 records in 4K at 60fps full frame with no crop, which is stored internally to SD or the same new CFexpress Type A cards as first used in the A7S III. While the mirrorless camera records only in 4K at 16:9, the FX6 can go to DCI 4K at 17:9 XAVC-I 10-bit 4:2:2 at up to 60p, recording at 600Mbps. But at this super-wide setting, the view actually becomes shallower (in height) to give the DCI-4K aspect ratio.(opens in new tab)
The Sony FX9 (opens in new tab) t is a serious full-frame video camera that, despite its price, offers great value for serious videographers. Sony, of course, knows a lot about what serious filmmakers need – as proven by the popularity of its FS7 (opens in new tab) camera that has been a smash hit since its launch. It’s been the mainstay of many independent production companies all over the world, thanks to its Super35mm sensor, fast frame rates and great image quality. But time and technology has moved on, and the most discerning cinematographers now want a full-frame sensor ideal for high ISO performance and shallow depth of field, along with a useable AF system that uses phase detection and is hugely customizable. Live streaming is also far more important than ever, and for those who want to grade the footage to within an inch of its life, internal RAW recording is the way to go.
Sony’s answer is to make a super-advanced version of the FS7 with its stepless built-in ND filters, long battery life, professional connections such as SDI and XLR audio inputs and great ergonomics. Then use a backside-illuminated, full-frame sensor and the super-advanced hybrid autofocus system from the Alpha mirrorless cameras.
For even better control of noise, Sony added Dual Base ISO 800/4000 and S-Cinetone color science from the upmarket Venice cinema camera which costs around three times as much. This is an amazing camera that offers a lot of professional features, if you are not looking for a full frame sensor and don't mind its 6K sensor oversampling to a final 4K image, the FX9 is really a great choice.(opens in new tab)
With the Lumix S1H, Panasonic has used its considerable video experience to bring many of its high-end VariCam features to the Lumix S range. The controls, the interface and certainly the hardware have been built for video and cinematography, and the fact it’s also a very serviceable 24MP stills camera is a bonus. It’s a very interesting ‘bridge’ between conventional system cameras and higher end cine gear, especially for existing Panasonic videographers, it has the power for professional video productions.
The headline spec is its ability to capture 6K video (yes, 6K), either in a 3:2 ratio at 24p and 10-bit 4:2:0 quality, or 5.9K in a conventional 1:9 ratio at 30p/25p/24p. At this level, though, processing power is the limiting factory, so with 6K or 5.9K capture you’re restricted to the cropped Super 35mm format.
The bit-depth is important. 8-bit capture is OK for video footage that’s not going to be heavily edited or ‘graded’ later, but if you’re going to apply heavy adjustments and especially if you’re going to use V-Log modes, you really need the extra bit-depth of 10-bit capture to avoid banding, clipping and other artefacts. The S1H does offer full frame (uncropped) capture for 4K, with 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording and speeds up to 60p. You can use 60fps capture and playback for fast action, or 30fps playback for a 2x slow motion effect.(opens in new tab)
What sets the Sony FX3 apart from other video-centric Sony cameras such as the Sony A7S III (opens in new tab)is the speckled grey color of the casing. We have a sneaky suspicion that the FX3 is what the A7S III should've been all along and despite being part of the FX family it very much looks like the Alpha series cameras. However, the FX3 is without a doubt a certified movie camera complete with Sony Cinetone0S color science, a detachable handle with XLR audio input, integrated mounting points and a movie-specific control layout that is a complete change to what we know on existing Alpha models. It's so new that we still haven't been able to test it yet due to high demand but we suspect that once we've had the chance to put it through its paces it's likely to appear much higher on this list.(opens in new tab)
Built around a large-format 4K version of the original ALEXA sensor, the Arri Alexa Mini LF offers a native 4K recording in three sensor modes, with ARRIRAW or ProRes recording in LF Open Gate, LF 16:9, or LF 2.39:1 modes. The Alexa LF combines large-format resolution with an optimal pixel size for excellent image quality producing vivid, nuanced images with natural skin tones and smooth bokeh.
Designed with Arri's LPL lens mount that has been optimized for large-format capture and is compatible with all PL-mount lenses with the use of a PL-to-LPL adapter to give you the best of either shorter and lightweight lenses or standard, heavier PL mount lenses. The Alexa Mini LF is a hybrid of the Alexa Mini and the Alexa LF, as it retains the same large format sensor, but the form factor of the Mini. The new exterior has a left-side media bay with two rows of connectors on the back and a slot to insert 1TB Codex media. It also features six user buttons, three more than the Mini, to configure to your preferences, it also features extra 12 and 24V power outputs and a black burst/tri-level input, with the audio connector now having a 6-pin, so it doesn't conflict with the 5-pin timecode port. If you know anything about cinema cameras, you know Arri is a gold standard in Hollywood for decades however, this reputation comes at a very eye-watering price, which is unobtainable to most of us (and even top studios hire them, rather than buying them outright).(opens in new tab)
Upping the electronics and recording capabilities of its Mini Pro predecessor, the Blackmagic Design's URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 brings expanded control set and even more functionality. The G2 introduces an updated Super35 4.6K sensor featuring 15 stops of dynamic range at 3200 ISO, high frame rate recording up to a whopping 300 fps, and additional recording functionality.
The exterior of the camera also gains a monochrome LCD panel which displays essential shooting data at a glance, it works but would be nice to see a color screen. Another welcome feature for users is the built-in ND filter wheel offering four-position wheel switches between two, four, and six stops of neutral density, plus a clear filter for no exposure reduction - a god send for anyone out on location in variable light conditions.
Behind the display, two SD slots sit beside CFast 2.0 card (opens in new tab) slots enabling more affordable media to be used for less intensive recording formats. The G2 also introduces a USB-C expansion port, so you can record directly to external drives as seen on the Pocket Cinema Camera line-up. The default electronic EF lens mount is also user-interchangeable and adjustable to ensure proper flange focal distance with either PL, Nikon F or B4 mounts - making this camera a great universal tool for many shooting scenarios.
This amazing cube design measuring 4 x 4 x 4in and weighing just 2.1 Ib brings RED's legendary RAW codec and image quality to an affordable price point within the realm of cinema camera. Key to achieving this compact goal RED used the Canon RF lens mount and the Komodo's 19.9MP Super35 CMOS sensor, which boasts Global Shutter technology. This sensor can create images with 16+ stops dynamic range and eliminates rolling shutter artifacts. Users can also be certain they are getting RED quality thanks to the ability to record up to 6K at 40 fps, 5K at 48 fps, 4K at 60 fps, and 2K at 120 fps in REDCODE RAW for incredible flexibility in post-production.
A first for RED is the ability to use Phase-Detect Autofocus (PDAF) with compatible lenses. This includes adapted Canon EF-mount lenses used with a separately available EF-to-RF adapter with electronic communication. Phase-detect systems are known for their speed by measuring and comparing distance and provides a reliable, accurate system for video production. Additionally, the touchscreen can be used for quickly changing focus and selecting subjects.
With its 16-bit REDCODE RAW recoding capability, compact form-factor, and 6K 40 fps or 2K 120fps recording formats, the Komodo is now a key player within the real of professional cinema cameras.(opens in new tab)
Since the release of the C300 Mark II it was the go-to camera for many cinematographers but the release of the Mark III completely overshadows it. The Canon C300 Mark III (opens in new tab) is the first camera to benefit from Canon's Dual Gain Output technology (in other words, dual native ISO) which results in a remarkably clean, low light picture quality, HDR acquisition and an enormous 16 stops of dynamic range. It's capable of recording up to 120fps in 4K Super35 or 180fps in 2K Super16. Internal recording options include 4K Cinema RAW Light at 10-bit or 12-bit, 2K Raw at 10-bit or 12-bit and XF-AVC (MXF) at 4:2:2 10-but ALL-I or LongGOP. It benefits from a modular design that extends to the lens mount and can be changed between EF, PL or EF Cinema Lock without needing to take it to be serviced. While it is a great camera, a lot of these features can be found in cheaper alternatives.(opens in new tab)
For serious video shooters, the Panasonic Lumix BSH1 boxcam can make a lot of sense as it can be rigged up for a multitude of different uses. It has a 24.2-megapixel full-frame sensor with Dual Native ISO technology, 14+ stops of dynamic range and an OLPH (Optical Low Pass Filter) which helps to suppress moire and false colors and make it excellent in low light. It's capable of recording 6K 24p or 4K 60p 10 bit when using an image area equivalent to Super 35mm. If you're using the entire 35mm sensor area, it can shoot 4K 30p 10-bit 4.2.2 in H.264.
With live streaming growing increasingly popular, the BS1H is capable of transmitting high-quality footage to social streaming platforms over a wired LAN collection. It can stream 4K 60p video in H.265 which means the bit rate is halved and the image quality is kept the same. The lack of a screen may be off-putting but its modular system means you can easily attach an external recorder such as the Atmos Ninja V which will also make it capable of outputting 12-bit raw video.(opens in new tab)
The Panasonic EVA1 weighs just 1.2kg without a lens, so is a great run and gun option, and even fits on a gimbal, especially if you’re shooting with a pancake lens. The 3.5-inch screen goes a step beyond articulating – you can detach it and reposition it depending on what you’re shooting, though outdoor viewability isn’t great. As for its 5.7K CMOS sensor, it oversamples to create excellent 4K results, and just like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (opens in new tab), the EVA1 also has a dual native ISO, giving it two sweet spots, one at an ISO of 800, the other at 2500. This results in less grain and more dynamic range. With a compatible on-camera recorder (opens in new tab)such as the Atomos Shogun, the camera can output 5.7K RAW or 240fps at 2K resolution, so while the slow-motion capabilities might not be class-leading when working with the out-of-the-box kit, couple it with a few accessories and you can get stellar results that are ready for the big and small screen alike.
How does Netflix choose their approved cameras?
So as we've learned, not just any camera can be used to record shows intended for Netflix, and the ones that are must first have been approved and selected by the company, such as the ones featured in this guide that made the list.
Ever wondered what qualities make someone worthy enough to wield Thor's hammer? Netflix has thankfully released a new video that sheds some light on what makes a camera worthy enough to be deemed as "Netflix approved”.
Kris Prygrocki, Netflix’s camera systems specialist, reveals in the video posted to the company's YouTube channel (watch below) just how the cameras are evaluated and what criteria they must meet in order to be considered good enough to make the final cut.
Factors such as image quality, using the highest resolution and data rate, having a wide color gamut and log curve, adequate color reproduction, embedded meta-data, dynamic range and bit depth all make a difference. Netflix also allows certain non-approved cameras to be used where necessary such as drones, GoPro's, slow-motion and action cams in select situations for creative purposes.
The requirements for a product being Netflix-approved are said to be reliant on years of experience as well as feedback from professionals.
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