If you've ever experienced the festival circuit with one of your own projects, you know how much effort goes into being accepted but also promoting your film and getting it into the hands of the right people in hopes to secure distribution.

When it comes to the technology to tell those stories, there is no right or wrong answer. Cameras are just one tool that's part of a larger cinematic workflow. When you effectively immerse your audience in the story, they're not going to be thinking about the technical aspects behind the scenes. 

But when it comes to filmmaking trends, we're always eager to find out if there's something new happening readers should know about.

Here are the top five cameras of SXSW 2021. Read on for more detail.


With SXSW 2021, we sent out a survey and received 96 responses from filmmakers sharing what type of camera they used for their project. We found the ARRI Alexa Mini continues to be the top choice among low-budget filmmakers. The 4K Sony FS7 is another popular camera choice along with the Canon C300 Mark II and RED models. Here are the numbers: 

  • ARRI Alexa Mini: 28 projects 
  • Sony FS7: 7 projects 
  • Canon C300 Mark II: 5 projects
  • ARRI Amira: 4 projects 
  • Canon C200: 3 projects
  • RED Helium: 3 projects 
  • Sony FS5: 3 projects
  • Apple iPhone: 2 projects
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K: 2 projects 
  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K: 2 projects
  • Canon 5D Mark II: 2 projects
  • RED Dragon: 2 projects
  • RED Gemini: 2 projects
  • Panasonic GH5: 2 projects

Other cameras used on a single project or as a B-cam or drone:

  • ARRI Alexa Mini LF
  • ARRICAM 3-perf
  • ARRIFLEX 416
  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
  • Bolex H16
  • Digi Bolex 
  • DJI Inspire 
  • DJI Mavic Pro
  • Canon C500 MK II
  • Canon C100
  • Canon 80D
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon 5D MK III
  • Google Pixel 4
  • RED Scarlet 
  • Nikon Z6
  • Panasonic VariCam LT
  • Panasonic S1H
  • Panasonic AU-EV1
  • Panavision Millennium XL2
  • Panasvision Panaflex Platinum 35mm
  • Sony a7 II
  • Sony a7R II
  • Sony alpha 6300
  • Sony F5
  • Sony VENICE
  • Sony CX405 
  • Super 16mm

As you can see, there a number of different cameras filmmakers look to tell stories. Don't let choosing one slow you down!

For more, read our ongoing coverage of the 2021 SXSW Festival.