Low-budget filmmaking has undergone numerous "revolutions" over the years. Filmmaking has been democratized through cheaper cameras and methods that have made consumer video more accessible than ever before, from the introduction of cheap compressed tape to the DSLR that transformed everything in the 2000s.
Filmmaker Sareesh Sudhakaran's alias, wolfcrow, has developed a list of the top ten cameras that revolutionized filmmaking forever. Starting in the 1990s and continuing into the 2020s, wolfcrow's list examines all of the significant advancements in consumer filmmaking, as well as how they influenced not only the amateur but also the professional filmmaking sector.
1. Sony DigiBeta
This camera, sometimes known as the Sony Digital Betacam, was released in 1993. It recorded video in a compressed manner to a tape with a capacity of around 40 minutes. While the configuration necessitated the purchase of Digital Betacam decks in order to unload the 10-bit 4:2:2 footage, it was substantially less expensive than previous Betacam versions.
The true revolution took place in television and low-budget films, as it became considerably more affordable to shoot enormous amounts of footage. Wolfcrow mentions in the video that he recalls film crews in India operating using Digibeta long into the 2000s!
2. Sony PD150 camera
After the DV (digital video) standard was introduced, low-budget filmmaking became more affordable and accessible than ever before, which explains why home movies exploded after 1996. The Sony PD150, which included XLR connections and a 1/3-inch CCD sensor while being tiny enough to take anywhere, was one of the standout DV cameras and ranked second on the list.
In the early to mid-2000s, filmmakers like David Lynch and Michael Winterbottom checked out the Sony PD150, and for many, it was a type of interstitial stepping stone from film to digital. Many people, like Lynch, never looked back.
3. Panasonic DVX100B
Following the demise of DV in favor of miniDV, Panasonic introduced the DVX100B, which gave digital filmmakers something they'd been craving: a real 24p frame rate. Filmmakers adore 24 frames per second since it is considered the authentic 'cinematic' frame rate (as it is the same frame rate supplied by motion picture film).
Just before the introduction of high definition, the Panasonic DVX100B was the first camcorder to provide a 24p frame rate. While the camera was popular among amateur filmmakers for its ability to produce a cinematic look, it also made its way into the professional sector, with the first few seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia shot with it.
4. Canon EOS 5D Mark II
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II altered the filmmaking world by allowing photographers to create photos with a shallow depth of field at a lower cost than comparable DSLRs. It was the first EOS camera with video recording capabilities, as well as the first full-frame DSLR to shoot in 1080p.
Filmmakers rushed to the 5D Mark II after craving for a narrow depth of focus for years. Shots from this camera, as well as its successor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, may be seen in a slew of big-budget films and TV shows from the 2010s, ranging from House MD to Marvel's The Avengers.
5. JVC HD110U/111E
As previously stated, the HD revolution was on the horizon, and the JVC HD110U/111E was one of the most popular cameras of the time. While there were a lot of cameras in this category, the JVC HD110U/111E had a huge edge in that it had interchangeable lenses, which gave filmmakers a lot more options.
We have seen great low-budget films over the years. Much of their "greatness" has depended on a number of factors such as the script, the actor, the Director of Photography, the Director, or even the kind of camera used in making the film.
Now, you have seen our list of the top five cameras that revolutionized low-budget filmmaking. So, what do you think?
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Sep 27, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa