Buyer Guide to 16mm Cameras

Posted By Tom Feltham on 06 May 2014

Posted in Used Equipment Buyers Guides

An established tool for film production, the 16mm camera is still a popular piece of equipment in the television and film industry, and is set to be so for some time. Used regularly for filming dramas and commercials in both America and the UK, there are several models of 16mm camera to choose from.

When buying a 16mm film camera, it is important to consider what it will be used for. At an entry level for independent filmmakers or smaller projects, the standard 16mm camera is still a prevalent option. The standard 16mm is also often the cheapest option. 

Broadcast and Film

For larger scale professional broadcast and film, which may require specialised image capability, a super 16mm may be more appropriate. This is potentially the most expensive 16mm camera to choose due to its specific lens requirements and high production costs; however, it boasts more flexibility and advanced settings than most other 16mm models. As an option placed in between the standard and super 16mm cameras, the ultra 16mm camera is known to avoid some lens costs associated with the super, yet provide a wider lens capability to the standard, making it a good mid-range option.

Motion Film

A 16mm motion film camera can be expensive but there are variations to choose from and the option of modifying an older model. As is typical when buying a pro camera, you do get what you pay for. Allow space in your budget for additional pieces of kit and look for the specifications that you require for your work. For the majority of people, the Super 16 may not be the best option unless there is support with offsetting the processing costs. The standard 16mm camera does not boast as many attachment options as the more advanced models, yet is still very similar to its predecessors, and is an excellent choice for those learning to make their own films.