Netflix sheds light on its ‘approved cameras’ for filmmakers

Netflix invests huge sums of money in original content in its ongoing quest to retain subscribers and attract new ones.

But did you know that commissioned production companies are expected to only use cameras approved by the streaming giant?

In a recent video (below), Netflix sheds some light on how it works with camera makers and production companies to ensure high standards when it comes to selecting devices for the “approved cameras” list.

In the video, Netflix camera systems specialist Kris Prygrocki kicks off with a common misconception that the company’s only requirement for its approved list is 4K recording capabilities. Of course, high-resolution images are certainly important, but Prygrocki says it’s “not everything”, citing a long list of other criteria, such as the quality of a camera’s dynamic range, color rendering, noise performance, sensor readout speed. , compression and soon.

The video features a look at some of the high-precision test equipment Netflix uses to test a camera’s image performance, although the company also liaises with the camera makers to ensure the testers operate the equipment in a way that achieves the best results. Results.

Prygrocki also points out that Netflix isn’t putting together these specs “in a vacuum behind closed doors,” explaining that the camera requirements are the result of feedback from the filmmakers, who let it know which features are important to them.

Netflix’s List of Approved Cameras currently includes 48 devices made by ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, Red, Panavision, Sony, and Blackmagic.

Netflix’s high standards mean that for some devices, such as drone cameras and action cameras, it’s hard to get on the list. That’s fine, because the company won’t get in the way if a special camera kit is needed for a particular shot.

“Imagine trying to capture a hummingbird’s wing beat at 1,000 frames per second, or maybe you had to attach a camera to a car crashing into a wall,” says Prygrocki. “These are pictures you just can’t take without the use of a specialized system, and we get that.”

So while you won’t find devices like small action cameras on the whitelist, Netflix says it’s fine for production companies to use such equipment, as long as they select the very best option available.

“Remember,” says Prygrocki, “everything we push is an effort to help our filmmakers make their best work possible — what we call filmmaker joy.”

Check out the Digital Trends guide to: the best Netflix-made movies available today on the streaming service. And yes, they will all be mostly shot with cameras on the company’s approved list.

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