arri-alexaWhen thinking about your upcoming project, do you ever catch yourself dreaming about the latest greatest buzz camera? I know I do. It's easy to get caught up in the tech and forget that finding the right tool for a given project is just as important as thinking about the right project for the tool you have at hand. As the good folks at Indiewire found out at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, filmmakers are using a great variety of cameras to make their projects happen.

From everyday devices (Apple iPhones) to old stalwarts (Panasonic AG-HVX200), and high-end (Arri Alexa) to DSLRs (Canon 5Ds), filmmakers are making quality movies with a dizzying array of cameras -- over 33 were used in making this year's Tribeca offerings.

Most popular? Arri Alexa, Canon 5Ds (I guess some filmmakers didn't specify the Mk when responding to the survey), RED EPIC and Sony F3 -- roughly in that order, with the RED EPIC and Sony F3 tied.

Not only did cameras vary across projects, but sometimes even within a given project. For example, Mr. Jones made use of 8 (!) cameras -- 2 iPhones, an Arri Alexa, 2 Canon 5D Mk IIs, a Canon 5D MkIII, a Canon T2i, and a RED EPIC. Check out the clip below (I'm guessing this portion wasn't shot on the iPhone):

Which brings us to the overarching message -- we have an incredible variety of tools with which to tell visual stories today, and filmmakers are taking advantage of that to make all kinds of projects. This selection works both ways -- we can select the right tool for the project we already have in mind (based on aesthetics, shoot logistics, etc.), or build a project around the tools we have access to. We don't all have access to an Arri Alexa. Luckily, most projects don't require an Arri Alexa!

In fact, many projects simply wouldn't work with an Arri Alexa (i.e try sneaking one of those babies onto the subway to shoot that quickie date scene with your leads). How many of us have an iPhone? Or a buddy with an HVX-200 collecting dust? Can you think of a project you can make with those tools? And if so, are you making them happen?

For the full list of cameras used at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, check out the article. If you're curious as to which cameras filmmakers used at this year's SXSW festival, go here, and for this year's Sundance Film Festival, read this.

What cameras are you using?  What kind of project can you make with the camera you have on hand? Have you tried making something with an iPhone? Share your experiences below!


[via John August]