Ask the experts: Do I need a fancy camera to shoot a short documentary?

There’s no need to go out and buy a $10,000 camera to make a short documentary, here’s why tech won’t make or break your short documentary

Phone with stabilizer, tripod, gimbal. Taking pictures and live video in New York city. Vlog, video blogging, street photography concept. Copyspace

You don’t need a fancy camera to shoot a short documentary, according to TVO’s Executive Producer for Documentaries Jane Jankovic. There are documentaries like Oscar award winning Searching for Sugar Man, which was partially shot on an iPhone that have cinema-like quality.

Jane’s advice:

  • Technology will not make or break your documentary, so it’s better to focus on how you’re using your technology to tell your story;
  • new technology is more sophisticated, ergonomic, and user-friendly compared to older broadcast cameras;
  • and broadcast has many technical specifications, but festivals are usually more flexible in accepting submissions.

You can also view past entrants at

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