Ch. 8: The Camera

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Although the differences and similarities between analog and digital are not drastic but they can make all of the difference in the work a person is trying to achieve. Understanding your device and reading the instruction manual thoroughly is important because there might be features you are unfamiliar with or ways to make operations easier.

Today, being a camera operator means operating multiple cameras from a control room. Understanding how to multitask and look at several screens is an essential roll of making sure the production being filmed runs smoothly. A camera operator must also be familiar and comfortable with framing. Framing is the arrangement of actions and objects that take place within the camera frame. A camera operator must also be familiar with positioning. Positioning involves the camera-to-subject distance and angle. Positioning is different from movement in that movement relies on mounting devices. All of these aspects contribute to camera placement.

Not only is understanding camera functions and camera placement highly important, but paying close attention to color is also key. Color can be easily modified by surrounding colors. A color like lime green appears darker when paired with white, but it appears lighter when paired with a darker color like black or navy.

There are many different tools to help control the camera. Tripods, mounts, dollies, and more, are all tools that assist with camera movement or ensure stability of the device. There are also many different lenses that can be applied to create effects. Modern lenses use many concave and convex lenses to diminish the affects of aberrations. Aberrations occur when there is interference with the light transmission of the lens.

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When using digital camera, it is important to understand the different types. A basic DV camcorder is a small handheld semiprofessional camera that is priced between a few hundred to $1,000. They are designed for quick and low cost filming that is less focused on the quality of the picture. A HDV camcorder is compressed for high definition and relies on greater flexibility in operation. They also have higher signal output quality and the operator has a lot of freedom with how they want the camera to operate. This camera is used for low budget projects. A digital cinema camera (DC camera) is a versatile and can be used for many different purposes. Whether needed in a studio or out in the field, a DC camera produces a high quality signal to ensure that projects converted to motion film appear correctly on a large screen.

There are also many types of film camera. They are named depending on the type of film they use and can be separated based on sound recording capabilities. An 8mm camera can record sound and are commonly used for recording home movies. Other types of film cameras include  16mm, 35m, 65mm and more.

Taking care of your camera is very important as they often have many delicate parts, especially when dealing with film cameras. They require much more care and are highly sensitive to high temperatures and humid conditions. They can be very difficult and expensive to have fixed if exposed to these things.

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