The film industry, particularly the Indie film industry will continue to push towards the future side by side that of mainstream productions. But for that to happen, independent filmmakers are going to continue to look up to camera manufacturers to make cameras that will enable them to make feature films that can rival those made on high-end cameras on a budget.
We take a look at two more of such cameras that helped to sustain the production of Indie films till now.
3. PANASONIC DVX100
We've become so accustomed to having nearly everything filmed digitally these days that we seem to have forgotten that filming digitally wasn't once considered taboo in the film business. Until the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were very few digital video cameras on the market that could create an image that looked even slightly like one shot on film, and the few that were available were extremely costly and certainly not accessible to the independent filmmaker.
As a result, cameras like the Bolex H16 and Arriflex SR II-E have remained the sole alternatives for indie projects even after they were launched for decades. That is until Panasonic launched the DVX 100.
The Panasonic DVX was the first genuinely inexpensive camera that truly offered a practical alternative to shooting on film, since its 24p mode, which at the time was among the finest available, allowing filmmakers to progressively shoot the film standard of 24 fps, something just a few cameras offered.
However, it wasn’t just the fact that this camera could shoot in 24p that made it so great; it was a combination of so many other factors. For example, the Leica zoom lens that came with the cameras was superb, while the overall versatility of the camera was unequaled; the film-like image quality that it produced was truly amazing.
In various ways, this camera signified the beginning of the end of 16mm film as far as lower-budget productions were concerned, as many projects such as music videos, documentaries, and low budget Indies, that were commonly shot on 16mm film started to consider the DVX as a feasible option.
4. ARRIFLEX SR II-E
The Bolex H16 had evolved and matured over the years, and the camera was still in use years after its initial release, if not decades later, but it was still based on a design that had been created decades before, and as a result, it wasn't as well suited to independent filmmaking as it had been in previous years.
There were new techniques, systems, and technological developments that forced filmmakers who wanted to shoot on 16mm film to look for alternatives to the H16, which was without a question the best choice at the time and for many years to come.
In 1982, the SR II-E was brought to the market, offering genuinely groundbreaking functionality at an accessible price.
Of course, Arri had already been producing a wide range of film cameras for many years, but the SR II-E quickly became one of their most popular models, thanks to its incredibly extensive feature set and outstanding form factor.
Much like its predecessor, the SR I, this camera not only performed remarkably, but it was also capable of high frame rates, and built with an asymmetrical structure that was flexible to the ever-changing demands of filmmakers.
At the end of the day, the magnificent features, build quality, and reasonable price made the SR II-E camera choice solution for many filmmakers. Innumerable feature films, television shows, music videos, and documentaries have been shot on this camera.
It is without a doubt that we are going to see a remarkable leap in the world of digital cinema as a consequence of the present technological terrain. This will perhaps lead to the innovation of cameras that will not just be a fad for a while but are likely to be able to transform the landscape of independent film.
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Jul 26, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa