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Whenever possible, the camcorder or ENG/EFP camera should be on a tripod. ... Found on most camcorders. Work well most times unless the wrong subject is chosen by ...

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Operating a camera l.jpg

Operating a Camera

Television Production

COM 112 Volunteer State College


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Overview

Basic Camera Movements

Camera Mounts and How to Use Them

Operational Features


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Pan - Turning camera horizontally left to right or right to left


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Tilt - Pointing the Camera up or down


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Cant - Tilting the Camera Sideways, left or right (the horizon is slanted)


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Pedestal - Raising or lowering the camera on the tripod or studio pedestal center column


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Dolly - Moving the camera and pedestal/tripod toward or away from the subject in a fairly straight line.


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Truck or Track - Using a mobile camera mount to move the camera laterally keeping camera pointing at a right angle to the move


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Arc - Slightly curved truck movement


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Crane or Boom - Up or Down movement on a camera crane or jib arm.


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Tongue - Moving whole camera left to right or right to left with boom of a camera crane or jib arm


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Basic Camera Movements

  • Zoom - Changing focal length of lens by zoom control while camera remains stationary.


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Camera Mounts and Use

  • Handheld and Shoulder Mounted Camera

    • Small Camcorder

      • Steadied with both hands and elbows pressed against your body


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Camera Mounts and Use

  • Handheld and Shoulder Mounted Camera

    • Small Camcorder

      • Lean against a solid surface when possible


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Camera Mounts and Use

  • Handheld and Shoulder Mounted Camera

    • Small Camcorder

      • Pan by moving at knees and uncoiling body


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Camera Mounts and Use

  • Handheld and Shoulder Mounted Camera

    • Small Camcorder

      • Walking backwards is a steadier picture than waling forward


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Camera Mounts and Use

  • Shoulder Mounted ENG/EFP Camera

    • Carried on Shoulder

    • Typically right hand slips through strap attached to lens with finger control on zoom lens

    • Left Hand typically steadies camera and operates focus ring


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Key Concept 1

  • Keep the handheld or shoulder mounted camera as steady as possible and zoomed out when moving.


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Tri pod Supported Camera

  • When ever possible mount the camera. A tri pod or some other camera mount is always more steady than hand held

  • Even a sand bag on a car hood is more consistently steady.


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Tri pod Supported Camera

  • Tri-pod has 3 adjustable pods (legs) often secured by a spreader.

  • Tri-pod legs don’t have to be the same length. (stadium bleachers)

  • Good tri-pods have an air bubble for leveling.


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Tri pod Supported Camera

  • Mounting head is important part of tripod

  • Sometimes call pan-and-tilt head

  • Camera operator uses pan/tilt handle to accomplish moves

  • You move the handle opposite the direction needed

    • Push down to tilt up and push up to tilt down

    • Push right to pan left and push left to pan right


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Mounting Head

  • Operator should un-lock pan and tilt when operating camera

  • Lock pan and tilt when finished


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Mounting Head

  • Operator should adjust pan and tilt drag

  • Drag is resistance to your pan and tilt movement to allow smooth moves


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Tri-Pod Advantages

  • Steady camera when zoomed in or out

  • Smoother pans and tilts

  • Limits excessive camera movement

  • Less fatiguing for operator


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Key Concept 2

  • Whenever possible, the camcorder or ENG/EFP camera should be on a tripod.


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Tri-Pod Dolly

  • Allows movement of camera on the tripod

  • Trucks and arcs

  • Typically a 3 wheel unit to which tri-pod legs attach


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The Field Dolly

  • Four wheels similar to a wagon with plywood platform

  • Handles at each end

  • One end steers the pneumatic tires


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The Studio Pedestal

  • Most complex and expensive camera mounting

  • Has both parallel and tricycle steering

  • Pneumatic telescoping column to raise and lower camera


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Parallel and Tricycle Steering

  • Parallel steering - all three casters steer in the same direction

    • Used for normal camera moves

  • Tricycle steering - only one wheel is steerable

    • Used to rotate the pedestal to move it closer to scenery or a wall


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CAM Friction Head

  • Typically found on studio pedestal to handle weight of studio camera and teleprompter

  • Still has pan and tilt drags and locks

  • Two panning handles too allow camera movements combined with zooms


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CAM Friction Head

  • Usually has Wedge mount plate to accommodate quick removal or attachment to camera head.

  • A slide and lock assembly


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Key Concept 3

  • Always lock the mounting head when leaving the camera un-attended


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Special Camera Mounts

  • Robotic Pedestal - computer controlled

  • Steady Cam- Gyroscopically or Spring Balanced

  • Collapsible Jib Arm - for high shots and extended reach


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Special Camera Mounts

  • Short Jib Arm - Counterbalanced and clamps to other structure

  • Bean or Sand Bag - provides steady cushion in stationary spot and can be tied down


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Operational Features

  • White Balancing - adjustment of red, green and blue chroma channels to that white looks like white in the light you have


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White Balancing

  • Usually automatic on camcorders

  • Operator induced on ENG/EFP cameras

    • Accomplished by focusing on white surface and pressing the white balance trigger or button. Viewfinder notes completion.


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White Balancing

  • In Studio White Balancing usually accomplished by video operator or engineer.


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Key Concept 4

  • Unless the camera has fully automatic white balance system, you need to white balance every time you enter a new lighting environment.


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Focusing

  • Accomplishing a sharp and clear picture

  • Most ENG/EFP cameras have manual focus

  • Some camcorders have Auto to Manual Focus switching


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Presetting or Calibrating a Zoom Lens

  • Adjusting lens to maintain focus throughout a wide to close zoom

  • In handheld ENG/EFP operation front ring on lens is focus ring


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Key Concept 5

  • To preset (calibrate) a zoom lens

    • 1. Zoom in as closely as possible on target object and bring it into focus

    • 2. All subsequent zooms will remain in focus as long as camera and target object don’t move

    • 3. Every time camera or subject moves you need to re-calibrate


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Auto Focus

  • Found on most camcorders

  • Work well most times unless the wrong subject is chosen by camera to measure distance for focus

  • For artistic moves you’ll need to switch to manual


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Depth of Field

  • Area within z-arc in focus

  • Shallow depth of field makes focus critical

  • Narrow angle (zoomed in) and low light level lessen the depth of field

  • Wide angle (zoomed out) and high light level increase depth of field


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Key Concept 6

  • Depth of field is dependent on focal length of lens, the aperture, and the distance from camera to object.


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Zooming

  • Rocker switches found on Camcorders & ENG/EFP units.

  • Some have speed controls

  • Others control zoom speed by pressure of rocker switch

  • Similar rocker switch on studio camera panning handle


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Key Concept 7

  • Keep your zooming to a minimum.


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Check list for CamCorders & ENG/EFP Cameras

  • Don’t expose the camera to the elements

  • Leave the camera with care

  • Use the lens cap

  • User fully charged batteries


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Check list for CamCorders & ENG/EFP Cameras

  • Verify the video tape format

  • Examine all Connections

  • Test the Camera

  • Set the Switches


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Checklist for CamCorders & ENG/EFP Cameras

  • Set the Switches

  • Perform a White Balance

  • Always capture audio

  • Heed the warning signs


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Checklist for Studio Camera

  • Get in touch and in control

  • Tame the cables

  • Test zoom and focus

  • Practice your moves


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Checklist for Studio Camera

  • Move gracefully

  • Don’t jump the red light

  • Avoid nervous camera movements

  • Let the director direct


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Checklist for Studio Camera

  • Be observant and attentive

  • Anticipate

  • Put all tools away properly


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Camera Movements Review

  • Pan - Tilt - Cant - Pedestal - Dolly - Truck or Track - Arc - Crane or Boom - Tongue

  • Zoom


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Camera Mounts Review

  • Tripods - Studio Pedestals - Special Mounts ie jib arm or crane


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Camera Mounting Head Review

  • Connects to tri pod or studio pedestal

  • Allows for smooth pan and tilt

  • Has pan/tilt lock and drag


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White Balancing Review

  • Adjust chroma channels to various light conditions

  • Should be done whenever light changes


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Presetting the Zoom Lens Review

  • Also called calibrating

  • Zoom all the way in and focus

  • Will remain focused throughout zoom if camera and subject don’t move

  • Must be re-set if either moves.


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Key Concepts

  • Keep hand held or shoulder mounted camera as steady as possible and zoomed out when moving


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Key Concepts

  • Whenever possible, put camcorder or ENG/EFP camera on a tripod


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Key Concepts

  • Always lock the mounting head when leaving the camera un-attended


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Key Concepts

  • Unless the camera has fully automatic white balance system, you need to white balance every time you enter a new lighting environment


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Key Concepts

  • To preset (calibrate) a zoom lens, zoom in as closely as possible on target object and bring into focus. All subsequent zooms will remain in focus. Every time the camera or subject moves, you need to re-calibrate


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Key Concepts

  • Depth of field is dependent on the focal length of the lens, the aperture and the distance from camera to object.


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Key Concepts

  • Keep your zooming to a minimum


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Next Session

  • Light, Color, Lighting