Choosing a Camera
Selecting a camera involves considerations of cost weighed against expectations. Along with determining the most appropriate camera to use in a production, choices must be made regarding film stock, lenses, and filters. Then there's the matter of transferring the finished footage into the appropriate format. For the wide screen, the only choice is to transfer film to 35mm prints for running on standard theater projection equipment. Going directly to videocassette or DVD sidesteps this expensive transfer process, but it also limits the opportunity to screen the film theatrically.
In the early 1930s,
Significant graininess results when Super 8 film is transferred to videotape, and becomes impossible to ignore when blown up to 35mm prints for theatrical release. Although Super 8 cameras are abundant and can be acquired for next to nothing, the drawbacks in cinematic quality usually outweigh the low cost. For film productions that are intended for distribution, the Super 8 format is probably not the ideal investment.
When people today discuss shooting with 16mm film, they're either referring to
Most filmmakers believe that their budget is the determining factor in choosing a film format. A production budget of approximately $200,000 is a benchmark figure that is considered to be sufficient when deciding whether or not to use 35mm film.
Super 16 film is 40 percent wider than the standard 16 size, and correlates very well to the rectangular-size ratio of 35mm prints. Many feature films are shot on 16mm film, and with good cinematography, the audience is rarely the wiser. The real value of the standard 16mm format is that cameras are relatively common, inexpensive, and easy to acquire. Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez shot
Since the time of Thomas Edison's filmmaking empire in the early 1900s, 35mm has been the standard size film for feature films. The reasons for this are a combination of chance, availability, and economics. Edison's early motion picture camera utilized rolls of