3 The Video Camera and Support Equipment
Objectives • Explain the differences between the various video cameras available. • Identify each part of a video camera and note the corresponding function. • Differentiate between the focal length and the focal point related to a zoom lens. • Explain the interrelationship between f-stops, the iris, and aperture in controlling light.
Objectives • Identify the challenges and benefits involved in using hand-held camera shooting. • Recognize the types of tripod heads available and cite the unique characteristics of each. • Implement the proper procedures for cleaning and storing video equipment.
Types of Cameras • Studio camera • Camcorder • Convertible camera
Studio Camera • Remains in studio • Unsuitable for field work because of: • Size • Weight • Paired with • Camera control unit (CCU)or • Remote control unit (RCU)
Tripod with Dolly • Dolly has three wheels with tripod legs that fit into it
Studio Pedestal • Vertical column with base and three wheels on bottom • Heavy • Pneumatics or hydraulics assist movement • Has wheel to steer it as it moves Vinten Broadcast Ltd.
CCU/RCU • Two names for the same device • Controls technical specifications of video signal from camera to match images from all cameras • Color • Tint • Contrast • Brightness • Iris
Camcorder • Contains camera and recorder in one unit • Lightweight and portable • Sits on tripod or rests on operator’s shoulder • Records on variety of digital tape and other media • Usually can be directly connected to editor to download footage
Convertible Camera • Camcorder that can be accessorized to become studio camera • Larger viewfinder • Rear controls for lens operation • CCU/RCU may be added • Less expensive than studio camera and more versatile
Parts of a Camera • Many parts are interchangeable, allowing user to customize camera to exact needs • Camera head • Viewfinder • Camera lens
Camera Head • Actual camera • Contains all the electronics needed to capture image • Light enters camera and hits target • Target is front of charge coupled device (CCD) • CCD converts light to electrical signal • Professional quality camera has three CCDs • Consumer quality camera has one CCD
Gain Control • Feature found on higher-end cameras • Allows strength of video signal to be increased or decreased • Used when image is too dark or too bright • Has negative effects • Entire image becomes increasingly grainy • Brighter areas begin to glow unnaturally • Should not be activated without supervisor approval
Viewfinder • Small video screen that lets camera operator see image that camera is obtaining • 1” screen with eye cup for operator with camera on shoulder • Small screen (3.4”/4.5”) that unfolds from side of camera used when camera is on tripod • Larger screen (5”–7”) separate unit attaches above studio camera head
Diopter Adjustment • Adjusts magnification on 1” viewfinder for operators who wear glasses
Zebra Stripes • Alert for camera operator • Stripes only appear on viewfinder when camera is not recording • Diagonal black and white lines in areas of viewfinder that are beyond set limits of video brightness • Any area with zebra stripes will glow • Action is recommended to eliminate stripes
Camera Lens • Assembly of glass discs on front of camera through which light passes into camera • Focus–occurs when adjoining areas of contrast are as sharp as possible • Auto-focus–optional electrical circuit that tries to automatically keep image focused • Professionals do not use auto-focus • Auto-focus removes possibility of creative focus techniques
Zoom Lens • Allows smooth transition from close-up to wide-angle shot • Accomplished by moving zoom ring on lens assembly • Transition from wide-angle to close-up—called zoom in,or tighten • Transition from close-up to wide-angle—called zoom out,or widen
Optical Centerof the Lens • Also known as focal point • Place where the image inverts inside of lens • Wherever actual zoom lens is located
Focal Length • Distance in millimeters between focal point and back of lens
Variable Focal Length Lens • Another name for zoom lens • Since actual zoom lens moves back and forth within zoom assembly, and since zoom lens is always focal point, distance between zoom lens and back of lens varies • Therefore, zoom lens is variable focal length lens
F-stop • Settings on lens which indicate size of iris
Iris • Metal blades form circle • High blades create thick circle and small hole • Low blades create thin circle and large hole • Controls amount of light that reaches back of lens/target of camera
Aperture • Actual hole or opening in lens • Large hole lets in much light (fast lens) • Small hole lets in little light (slow lens)
Relationship • F-stop controls size of iris, which controls size of aperture
Auto-Iris Circuit • Electrical circuit that automatically controls size of iris • Good feature that professionals may use
Shutter • Circuit that regulates how long CCD is exposed to light before sending signal to recorder • Normal shutter speed is 1/60, i.e. CCD sends its signal 60 times per second • Pro cameras can increase shutter speed to 1/8000+ • Higher shutter speed = clearer images when played back in slow motion • Excellent feature for shooting sports
Camcorder Camera Mounts • Hand-held shooting • Image stabilization devices • Tripod shooting
Hand-Held • Should be avoided if possible • Produces good images for mere seconds • Otherwise, produces shaky camerawork • Never use zoom-in settings when hand holding
Image Stabilization Device Glidecam Industries, Inc.
Tripod • Three legs • Length of each leg can be independently extended • Sometimes has vertical column in center which can be raised and lowered • Pedestal column • Handle that raises and lowers pedestal is pedestal control,which should not be used when camera is recording,or hot,to avoid audience seeing shaking screen
Tripod Head • Attaches to top of tripod • Camera attaches to tripod head • Head allows pans and tilts to occur • Head has one or two pan handlesattached so operator can stand behind camera and move it with handle
Fluid Head • Two pieces of metal, separated by grease, screwed together • Professional • More expensive • High quality because grease allows varying degrees of pressure to cause varying levels of resistance (drag) when panning and tilting
Friction Head • Two pieces of metal mashed together by tightening screw • Unprofessional • Inexpensive • Low quality because drag is either fully on or fully off • Offers poor resistance when panning and tilting
Jib EZFX Inc.
Lens Cleaning Do's • Use lens cleaning paper to wipe lens • Use canned compressed air to blow dust off
Lens Cleaning Don’ts • Don’t blow on lens with mouth • Don’t touch lens with bare fingers • Don’t use saliva to moisten lens before wiping
After Use of Studio Camera • Lock pedestal and tripod head of camera • Close iris and place lens cap on camera • Move camera to safe location in studio • Coil camera cable as instructed
After Use of Camcorder • Remove tape, if present, from camcorder • Close lens and attach lens cap • Power down camera • Detach camera from tripod • Fold up tripod • Secure camera in case • Coil and secure cables where instructed
Career Page • United States Department of Labor • Occupational Outlook Handbook • Television, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors information page • http://www.bls.gov
Review Question Why is a convertible camera a good investment? It can serve as both field camera as well as studio camera. In a pinch, it could be a “spare” in either environment.
Review Question What is the function of a CCD? Light goes through lens, hits target on front of the CCD. Then CCD converts that light into electrical signal and sends it on to be recorded after electronics of camera head completes image processing and refinement.
Review Question Why is a hand-held not the camera of choice? Produces shaky camerawork and low-quality images.