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C&I Studios Blog What is the Best Style of Camera for Your Documentary Production?

Documentaries are becoming more and more popular, as they are able to provide an in-depth look at a particular subject. They’re easily available on streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. They are even social media sites like YouTube and TikTok.

If you’re thinking of making your own documentary, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is what style of camera to use. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of cameras that are suitable for documentary production.

Why Produce a Documentary?

Documentaries are TV series or movies that provide an in-depth exploration of a particular subject. They are able to capture real-life stories and events as they unfold, which can be both educational and entertaining. Documentary filmmaking can be a very rewarding experience, both personally and professionally.

There has been a rise in the popularity of documentaries as of late. With access to streaming sources of all kinds, documentaries are readily available everywhere on any kind of subject. From true crime, to how things are made, and historical documentaries; there’s a documentary out there for everyone to enjoy.

Documentaries can have many different forms. You’re not stuck to just one single movie-length documentary format. Instead, you can create documentaries that span over several episodes of varying lengths like episodic content on social media, or you can produce hybrid documentaries.

If you have something to say, documentary filmmaking can be a great outlet for you to share your story and any kind of interesting information with the world. If you find it fascinating, others will too!

For more information about how to make a successful documentary, read How to Make a Documentary that Leaves a Lasting Impression.

What Cameras Should I Consider Using?

There are many different types of cameras that can be used for documentary productions. The type of camera you choose will depend on a number of factors including, the budget you have available, the style of documentary you’re making, and the type of equipment you already have.

Some of the most popular types of cameras used in documentary production are:


The most common type of camera used in documentary production is the DSLR camera. DSLR cameras are popular because they offer a high level of flexibility and control. With a DSLR camera, you can easily change lenses to get different types of shots, and you can also set the shutter speed and aperture to get the perfect exposure for your scene.

The downside to this style of camera is that they can be quite heavy and bulky, which can make them difficult to carry around for long periods of time. They also generally have a shorter battery life than other types of cameras.


Another type of camera that is often used for documentary production is the camcorder. Camcorders are small, lightweight, and easy to use, which makes them ideal for documentary filmmakers who need to be able to move quickly and capture spontaneous moments. One downside of camcorders is that they typically don’t offer the same level of quality, control, and flexibility as DSLR cameras.

The downside to using a camcorder to create a documentary is that the image quality is not as high as it would be if you used a DSLR camera.

Action Camera

If your documentary involves a lot of movement and action, then you may want to consider using an action camera. Action cameras are designed to be used in situations where there is a lot of movement, such as when filming extreme sports or chasing after a subject.

Action cameras are small and lightweight, and they often come with mounts that allow you to attach them to your body or a piece of equipment. This can be helpful if you need to film while keeping your hands free. The downside to action cameras is that they generally have a lower image quality than DSLR cameras or camcorders.

Phone Camera

In recent years, the quality of phone cameras has increased dramatically. Many modern phones now have cameras that are capable of taking high-quality photos and videos. If you’re on a tight budget, using your phone camera to film your documentary can be a great option.

The advantage of using a phone camera is that it’s small and easy to carry with you. You also don’t need to worry about carrying around extra batteries or lenses. The downside is that phone cameras generally have a shorter battery life than other types of cameras, and they also don’t offer the same level of control and flexibility as DSLR cameras or camcorders.


If you’re looking for a camera that offers the best of both worlds, consider using a mirrorless camera. Mirrorless cameras are similar to DSLRs in that they offer a high level of control and flexibility, but they are smaller and lighter than DSLRs. Making them easier to carry around for the filmmaker on the go.

The downside to using a mirrorless camera for your documentary production is that it can be more expensive than other types of cameras.

Large Format

Large format cameras are another option for documentary filmmakers. Large format cameras offer a very high level of detail and resolution, making them ideal for capturing close-up shots or shots that will be blown up to be displayed on a large screen. However, large-format cameras can be expensive and difficult to use, so they may not be the best option for all documentary filmmakers. You can easily hire a camera crew to work these cameras, they will really put a professional touch on your documentary. The higher quality your documentary is, the more likely it is to be a success.

No matter what type of camera you use, it’s important to experiment and find the style that works best for you and your documentary. The most important thing is to tell your story in a way that is compelling and engaging for your audience.

Where Can I Find a Camera to Use?

Getting your hands on a camera for your documentary production can be very easy! You just have to know how you want to procure it.

First, you can consider purchasing a camera. This is a great option if you’re looking to create many films in the near future and have the budget for any maintenance the camera will need in its lifetime. Purchasing can also be a great option if you have a very specific camera in mind for your documentary.

You could also look into renting a camera. This is a great option if you only need the camera for a short period of time or if you’re on a tight budget. Renting also gives you the peace of mind of not needing to maintain the equipment. You can simply return it once you’re finished with your project.

Renting also has the added bonus of trying a piece of equipment before you purchase it. If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you want to use for your documentary productions, renting is a great way to narrow it down and get expert advice from the company you’re renting from.

Where Can I Rent a Camera for My Next Production?

Lucky for you, you’ve already found a great place to rent filming equipment from! C&I Studios offers competitive rentals of cameras for film production; including documentary production as well as feature film production, social media content creation, and photography.

We have many camera rentals in stock that will suit many different production needs and budgets.

You should also note that we have a full range of production equipment available to rent. Whether you require lighting or audio equipment to film your documentary, or you’re looking for a computer to edit your film during post-production; C&I Studios has the gear you need available to rent.

Read: What Kind of Gear Do You Need to Produce a Film

C&I Studios also rents out studio spaces and production crews. If you need a studio to film interviews for your documentary, C&I Studios is the place to do it! Rentals are available any time of day, by the hour, so that you can film on your schedule.

No matter what camera you choose to use, documentary filmmaking can be a great way to share your story with the world. Just remember to have fun and experiment with different styles to find what works best for you!

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