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
Best hand-held rig
This digital cine camera can record up to DCI 4K 60p resolution video to dual slots, using widely available and 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.
Read more: Canon EOS C70 review
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 boasts professional controls and ergonomics.
Read more: Sony FX6 review
Best Hybrid package
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. Launched as Panasonic's video flagship, this is a formidable full frame filmmaking machine.
Read more: Panasonic S1H review
Most affordable full-frame
If you want a full-frame cinema camera that you don't need a Hollywood budget for, this is the perfect option. Pro shoots require pro inputs, controls and 'riggablity' – the FX9 offers power and flexibility in abundance.
Read more: Sony FX9 review
If you're an L-Mount shooter and you're looking for the ultimate compact solution for full-frame filmmaking, then this 6K box-style camera is perfect for any lightweight rig that fits anywhere.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix BS1H review
Best for still and video
If you want a professional video camera that is also just as good as stills, the Canon EOS R5 C is the best of both worlds. This is a true hybrid; in photo mode it operates exactly like an R5, but flick it into cine mode and the familiar EOS menus are replaced by the filmmaker-friendly Cinema EOS interface.
Read more: Canon EOS R5 C review
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.