Types of Cameras Used in Filmmaking

Types of Cameras Used in Filmmaking

Cameras were initially created for filming movies and short clips. Since the invention of the first camera, camera makers continue to innovate and create technological advancements in the past decades, and each camera developed is used for different categories. Cameras were enhanced with features that improve the video quality.

Hollywood movies and other huge productions use high-end cameras for better filming as the quality of the camera often defines the quality of the film. The use of a substandard camera could result in a poorly shot movie despite an excellent plot. We have listed below the types of cameras for filmmaking and the best times to use each.

Cameras Used for Moviemaking

Two types of cameras are used for filming—the film and the digital cameras. Others may have difficulty understanding the differences of the two.

Knowing the difference is vital as it can help you choose the right camera to use in a particular genre of film.

Film cameras store images in a photographic film (a photographic film is a strip of plastic film with microscopic silver halide crystals). To play a movie on a photographic film, the strip will need to pass through a mechanism where each frame in the strip is projected through a projector.

On the other hand, digital cameras store images and videos to a memory stick. The memory stick is easy to mount and unmount and can be inserted into computers and laptops that support memory card readers, making file transfer easy and convenient.

The two also differ in cost. Digital cameras have become the trend in the film industry because of the features that offer convenience.

The cost typically varies by brand, model, and features. They mostly come at high price. Film cameras, because of their vintage look and their rare availability, also cost an arm and a leg. Good news, though, several companies still continue to make and sell film cameras at a budget-friendly price.

Film cameras are usually used for movies that aim to show traditional themes. Modern movies and moviemaking techniques typically employ digital cameras.

Film Camera and Digital Camera for the Price

Whether you want a film camera or a digital camera, you will always think about the affordability. We have listed below some of the affordable cameras you can buy.

Canon QL17 GIII Film Camera

The Canon QL17 GIII is a film camera with 40mm f/1.7 lens that can produce a crisp negative (when developed, creates a vivid image), especially when used with high-quality photographic film. You can buy this vintage film camera at a small price.

Canon T5i Digital Camera

Canon T5i is one of the best affordable digital cameras in the market. To prove this statement is unbiased, you can check the features yourself, and I’m sure you would agree.

The camera can work perfectly both for filming and for picture taking. It boasts 18MP resolution, and it offers a variety of picture mode to match up your subject through an easy-to-read finger-friendly dial.

Compared to other digital cameras, the Canon T5i is more budget-friendly with uncompromised quality, which is why many photographers love the Canon T5i.

Cameras that shoot better obviously cost a lot and is a luxury. If you want a camera that can help you make a great movie, we suggest you buy the best camera money can buy.

But if you are looking for cost-efficient cameras that can do the job without sacrificing quality, the cameras mentioned above could be the right choice for you.

3-D Cameras

In the old days, we had black-and-white motion pictures, then color came and made movies livelier and clearer. While we thought there would be nothing more that can enhance our entertainment experience, the 3-D movies were made in the film industry and surprised everyone.

The three-dimensional film improves the motion picture, creating an illusion of depth resulting in a more realistic, more dynamic movie experience.

The Fujifilm FinePix is a low-cost 3-D camera that can satisfy your cravings for 3-D images. This 3-D camera has a telephoto aperture from f/4.2 up to f/9.0 and a wide aperture from f/3.7 all the way to f/8.0.

The camera is also equipped with two 3x optical zoom lens to help you keep track of your subject even at a far distance.

Using Your Phone Camera for Filming

Students and other amateurs who cannot yet afford to buy a digital camera or a film camera can use their phone camera in the meantime. Cameras in newer smartphones are designed with competitive features that can create fantastic films or short movies.

For instance, the rear camera of the latest iPhone 7 Plus has a 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras for a crisper and wider shot of the image, f/2.8 telephoto aperture, and f/1.8 wide-angle aperture. It also has a 2x optical zoom capability and 10x digital zoom.

Aside from that, it has added features such as Panorama, Slow Motion, HDR, True Tone Flash, Focus, and Optical Image Stabilizer. Not to mention, some filters to match your film or image.

If you just want a basic camera for your street photography or personal use, you ought to consider a Polaroid instead of digital cameras. A Polaroid is a compact device that will let you capture photos and have them in hard copy in an instant.

However, a Polaroid is limited to taking pictures only and not for recording videos or film.


If you are a professional filmmaker, you might consider buying high-end cameras that can help you achieve an artistically beautiful film. However, beginners and newbies can settle for low-cost cameras that they can use for training or practice and soon can switch to a better, average-priced camera.

Film camera or digital camera—choose the camera that matches the kind of movie you are making. A film camera is ideal for old types of movies or scenes, while digital cameras are perfect for movies with a modern touch.

Remember, though, aside from a good camera, a good script can make a huge difference to your movie. You may have in your hands a good camera but a weak story can ruin everything and vice versa.