Netflix approved cameras: What does it mean and what are they?

Netflix x UNESCO African Folktales Reimaged short film competition
(Image credit: Netflix & UNESCO)

Are you looking for the best Netflix-approved camera? You've come to the right place as we set out to find out what it really means when you hear the phrase "Netflix approved cameras". 

Netflix is arguably the leading streaming service right now, with up to 247 million subscribers as reported in Q4 2023. There are lots of challengers, but no one compares to the size of Netflix – or comes close in terms of outputting the streaming giant's original content. And if you want to produce or film something for the streaming goliath, you'd better make sure to use the right camera – otherwise, the big red mogul won't accept your film or documentary. 

A "Netflix-approved" camera achieves the minimum specs required to meet the expected quality of a Netflix Original, according to the company's own standards. This is a very extensive list, that goes into massive detail, which can be viewed in full at the Netflix Partner help center

Some of the models on the list are seriously expensive – like, more than your house expensive! – and would usually be hired by filmmakers, but there are a surprising number of relatively affordable models that you might have in your kit bag already. 

We even produced our own best Netflix-approved cameras guide, to help you make your next filmmaking purchase. But if you're a serious filmmaker and you need to know the details right away, then I've included our 'Top 6' below:

Best Netflix approved cameras: our top picks

How does Netflix choose their approved cameras?

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 "Netflix approved”. 

Kris Prygrocki, Netflix’s camera systems specialist, reveals in a 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 and reach the screens of 247 million users!

So as we've learned, not just any cameras 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 top 6 we've mended in this feature. 

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.