Film Production Equipment


Film Production Camera

There are many camera options available.

Film stock camera’s of 35 and 16 Millimeter are still preferred over digital by many film makers.

Remember though that this is visual art so getting the emotions of your actors can be done with any camera so keep honing your skills at getting good performances from your actors.

Lighting is always important for the best quality footage from all cameras.

Instead of buying an expensive camera for a production, you may consider renting one. There are many companies that also offer crew with their equipment of course at an additional cost.

In my opinion, if there is debate over whether to use Film stock or digital for your project and you want to push this as a major motion film, unless you are using a Red, a Viper or a Sony F23, go with 35mm Film stock and use a good quality lens.

The main reason for this is that unless you are a director already established and with a reputation, using digital video may be considered "Not as Professional". This is a stigma that video unfortunately still has, especially with people trying to break into the industry and who tend to only use video.

You've worked hard and done your best to make a film. If the 35MM project costs more to shoot then sell it for more when it's finished.

There are deals to get 35 film stock if you are a student. Get a student ID by enrolling in a community college.

Shoot in 35mm but do the cutting/editing in digital. You can get the 35 mm transferred to digital via a process called Telecine.

If you still want to use digital video go with a good(The best you can afford) high definition camera.

Right now my preference under 10,000 would be the Panasonic HVX 200A.

The Sony PMW EX1 is also getting very good reviews although the HVX200A is a bit more popular.

For you who are adamant about using digital video I will mention a couple of things about some high end digital video cameras.

The camera that George Lucus used on Star Wars was a Sony HDW 900 modified by Panavision with a new lens and control. Sony came out later with the HDC 950 which was an improvement to the 900.

Currently, Sonys highest standard for shooting feature films with digital is the F23.

Another two exciting digital cameras are the Red and the Viper. The Red is advertised to be the cheapest of the three and boasts to have the highest quality. Forums say though that the F23 beats out the Red hands down. In prices, however the Red is about a fifth of the cost at around 30,000 US to 150,000 US for the F23.

For the under 10,000 US camcorders you may consider a 35mm lens to give you a good depth of field if the camera will allow you to fit one.

You can get a 35mm depth of field adapters from Mini 35, Redrock Micro and Movietube.

Because cameras go out of date so quickly, do to ever evolving technology, you may consider renting for a project.

From entry level up to high end cameras keep in mind that due to many people having access to large screens, high Definition (HD) is becoming the norm.

Standard Definition can appear a bit grainy on these larger screens.

If you are going to try to sell your project to a TV company, some are only accepting High Definition.

Here is a Website that has some info on consumer camcorders

Camcorder safe online shopping store

Here are some examples of Pro Camera's and a number of brand names

Explanation of Film Versus Film Stock. and Digital Basics

• Lights

Good lighting makes a tremendous difference in quality footage so try to choose someone who has some experience.

Many directors opt to shoot in daylight due to the natural light that is available. When shooting at night, ensure that adequate and properly positioned lighting is achieved.

Checkout for some lighting options

TV and Film Lighting Tips and Tricks

Film Production Boom Mike

• Microphone

An external dynamic shotgun mike is a very common choice. You may consider wireless options as sometimes it’s awkward to hold the mike close to the action while keeping it behind the camera. Quality sound makes a big difference and better sound quality during the filming makes the editing much simpler.

Film Production Mixer

• Mixers and DAT records

Some sound engineers opt to put the mike through a mixer before it gets to the camera. This allows control over the recording before it gets recorded by cameras that may have limited sound recording capability or volume.

Some prefer to use DAT recorders which can be very good quality and inject the sound back into the project at a later phase of the production.

Monitors and computers are are a major aspect of film or TV production.


Having a monitor available to view the work in real time helps visualize the footage to allow required changes to occur in almost real time. This will help identify footage that may not "look right" on larger screens.


My Favorite computer is a Mac Pro. Being an Intel based system it runs Windows as well so I get the best of both worlds. Whatever you use make sure you have a tech expert available.

• Transportation

The cost of transportation associated with films is generally quite high for major feature films as it could require planes, trains, etc.

Vehicles can be rented for reasonable rates.

Film Production Camera Man on Crane

• Assorted Equipment

There are many devices that can make your feature more box office like. Professionals use dollies, spiders, rails and other types of rigging's for special effects on their shots.

Click here for some Equipment used on a set.

Film Production Home From Film Production Equipment