Netflix pours huge sums of money into 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 shed some light on how it works with camera manufacturers and production companies to ensure high standards when it comes to selecting devices for its “approved cameras” list.
In the video, Netflix camera systems specialist Kris Prygrocki starts by pointing out a common misconception, which is that the company’s only requirement for its approved listing is 4K capture capability. Of course, high-resolution images are certainly important, but Prygrocki says “it’s not all,” citing a long list of other criteria, such as the quality of a camera’s dynamic range, color reproduction, noise performance, etc. sensor reading speed, compression, etc.
The video includes a look at some of the high-precision test equipment Netflix uses to test a camera’s picture performance, though the company also stays in touch with camera manufacturers to ensure their testers operate the equipment. in a way that achieves the best results.
Prygrocki also notes that Netflix isn’t “assembling these specs in a vacuum behind closed doors,” explaining that its camera requirements are the result of feedback from filmmakers, who let it know what features are important to them.
Netflix Approved Camera List it currently comprises 48 devices made by ARRI, Canon, Panasonic, Red, Panavision, Sony and Blackmagic.
Netflix’s high standards mean it’s hard for some devices like drone cameras and action cams to make the list. That’s fine, though, as the company won’t get in the way if a specialized camera kit is needed for a particular shot.
“Imagine you’re trying to capture a hummingbird’s wing flapping at 1,000 frames per second, or maybe you need to mount a camera on a car crashing into a wall,” says Prygrocki. “These are shots that simply can’t be achieved without the use of a specialized system, and we did.”
So while you won’t find devices like small action cameras on the approved list, Netflix says it’s fine for production companies to use such equipment as long as they select the best option available.
“Remember,” says Prygrocki, “everything we push is an effort to help our filmmakers do their best work possible, which we call filmmaker joy.”
take a look at the Digital Trends guide to the best movies made by Netflix available on the streaming service today. And yes, all of them will have been shot mostly with cameras on the company’s approved list.