2The Video Camera and Support Equipment 3The Video Camera and Support Equipment
3ObjectivesExplain 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.
4ObjectivesIdentify 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.
5Types of CamerasStudio cameraCamcorderConvertible camera
6Studio Camera Remains in studio Unsuitable for field work because of: SizeWeightPaired withCamera control unit (CCU) orRemote control unit (RCU)
7Tripod with DollyDolly has three wheels with tripod legs that fit into it
8Studio Pedestal Vertical column with base and three wheels on bottom HeavyPneumatics or hydraulics assist movementHas wheel to steer it as it movesVinten Broadcast Ltd.
9CCU/RCU Two names for the same device Controls technical specifications of video signal from camera to match images from all camerasColorTintContrastBrightnessIris
10Camcorder Contains camera and recorder in one unit Lightweight and portableSits on tripod or rests on operator’s shoulderRecords on variety of digital tape and other mediaUsually can be directly connected to editor to download footage
12Convertible CameraCamcorder that can be accessorized to become studio cameraLarger viewfinderRear controls for lens operationCCU/RCU may be addedLess expensive than studio camera and more versatile
13Parts of a CameraMany parts are interchangeable, allowing user to customize camera to exact needsCamera headViewfinderCamera lens
14Camera Head Actual camera Contains all the electronics needed to capture imageLight enters camera and hits targetTarget is front of charge coupled device (CCD)CCD converts light to electrical signalProfessional quality camera has three CCDsConsumer quality camera has one CCD
15Gain Control Feature found on higher-end cameras Allows strength of video signal to be increased or decreasedUsed when image is too dark or too brightHas negative effectsEntire image becomes increasingly grainyBrighter areas begin to glow unnaturallyShould not be activated without supervisor approval
16ViewfinderSmall video screen that lets camera operator see image that camera is obtaining1” screen with eye cup for operator with camera on shoulderSmall screen (3.4”/4.5”) that unfolds from side of camera used when camera is on tripodLarger screen (5”–7”) separate unit attaches above studio camera head
17Diopter AdjustmentAdjusts magnification on 1” viewfinder for operators who wear glasses
18Zebra Stripes Alert for camera operator Stripes only appear on viewfinder when camera is not recordingDiagonal black and white lines in areas of viewfinder that are beyond set limits of video brightnessAny area with zebra stripes will glowAction is recommended to eliminate stripes
19Camera LensAssembly of glass discs on front of camera through which light passes into cameraFocus–occurs when adjoining areas of contrast are as sharp as possibleAuto-focus–optional electrical circuit that tries to automatically keep image focusedProfessionals do not use auto-focusAuto-focus removes possibility of creative focus techniques
20Zoom Lens Allows smooth transition from close-up to wide-angle shot Accomplished by moving zoom ring on lens assemblyTransition from wide-angle to close-up—called zoom in, or tightenTransition from close-up to wide-angle—called zoom out, or widen
21Optical Center of the Lens Also known as focal pointPlace where the image inverts inside of lensWherever actual zoom lens is located
22Focal LengthDistance in millimeters between focal point and back of lens
23Variable Focal Length Lens Another name for zoom lensSince 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 variesTherefore, zoom lens is variable focal length lens
29RelationshipF-stop controls size of iris, which controls size of aperture
30Auto-Iris CircuitElectrical circuit that automatically controls size of irisGood feature that professionals may use
31ShutterCircuit that regulates how long CCD is exposed to light before sending signal to recorderNormal shutter speed is 1/60, i.e. CCD sends its signal 60 times per secondPro cameras can increase shutter speed to 1/8000+Higher shutter speed = clearer images when played back in slow motionExcellent feature for shooting sports
32Camcorder Camera Mounts Hand-held shootingImage stabilization devicesTripod shooting
33Hand-Held Should be avoided if possible Produces good images for mere secondsOtherwise, produces shaky cameraworkNever use zoom-in settings when hand holding
37Tripod Three legs Length of each leg can be independently extended Sometimes has vertical column in center which can be raised and loweredPedestal columnHandle 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
38Tripod Head Attaches to top of tripod Camera attaches to tripod head Head allows pans and tilts to occurHead has one or two pan handles attached so operator can stand behind camera and move it with handle
40Fluid Head Two pieces of metal, separated by grease, screwed together ProfessionalMore expensiveHigh quality because grease allows varying degrees of pressure to cause varying levels of resistance (drag) when panning and tilting
41Friction Head Two pieces of metal mashed together by tightening screw UnprofessionalInexpensiveLow quality because drag is either fully on or fully offOffers poor resistance when panning and tilting
43Lens Cleaning Do's Use lens cleaning paper to wipe lens Use canned compressed air to blow dust off
44Lens Cleaning Don’ts Don’t blow on lens with mouth Don’t touch lens with bare fingersDon’t use saliva to moisten lens before wiping
45After Use of Studio Camera Lock pedestal and tripod head of cameraClose iris and place lens cap on cameraMove camera to safe location in studioCoil camera cable as instructed
46After Use of Camcorder Remove tape, if present, from camcorder Close lens and attach lens capPower down cameraDetach camera from tripodFold up tripodSecure camera in caseCoil and secure cables where instructed
47Career Page United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook HandbookTelevision, Video, and Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors information page
48Review QuestionWhy 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.
49Review QuestionWhat 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.
50Review QuestionWhy is a hand-held not the camera of choice? Produces shaky camerawork and low-quality images.
51Review QuestionName and describe the different tripod heads. Friction head–Unprofessional, inexpensive, low quality, offers poor resistance when panning and tilting. Fluid head–Professional, expensive, high quality, allows varying degrees of resistance when panning and tilting.
52Review QuestionWhat is another name for optical center of lens? What is another name for variable focal length lens? Optical center of lens is also known as focal point. Variable focal length lens is also known as zoom lens.
53Review QuestionName the parts of a video camera and their functions. Camera head–Actual camera, target is front of charge coupled device (CCD). Viewfinder–Video screen that lets operator see image camera is displaying. Camera lens–Glass discs on front of camera through which light passes into camera.
54Review QuestionWhat is the relationship between the f-stop, iris, and aperture? F-stop indicates the size of iris, which determines size of aperture.
55Review QuestionWhy are f-stop, iris, and aperture important? Aperture is most important of the three. F-stop and iris merely determine size of aperture. Aperture is gateway for light to enter camera. It determines amount of light that camera receives. Too much light and image is over-exposed; too little light and image is too dark.
56Review QuestionWhy is auto-focus generally a bad thing to activate? It automatically tries to keep center of picture in focus. This prevents camera operator from performing creative composition of shots. It will cause important objects to be out of focus merely because they are not in center of shot.
57Review QuestionWhich is better—a fluid head or a friction head? Why? Fluid head is better because it will provide drag when panning or tilting, which makes for more stable picture.
58Review QuestionExplain how to clean dirty lens. Use either compressed air from a can to blow away dirt or lens cleaning paper to wipe away dirt.
59Review QuestionExplain why you should not blow on lens with your mouth or use saliva to moisten lens prior to wiping it clean. Either method can cause saliva to touch surface of lens. Saliva is very acidic and will destroy coating on surface of lens. Lens is unusable after that happens.
60Glossaryaperture: The opening, adjusted by the iris, through which light passes into the lens.auto-focus: A common feature on consumer cameras that keeps only the center of the picture in focus.
61Glossaryauto-iris circuit: A feature on many consumer and professional cameras that automatically examines the light levels coming into the camera and adjusts the iris according to generic standards of a “good” picture.
62Glossary camcorder: A portable camera/reader combination camera control unit (CCU): A piece of equipment that controls various attributes of the video signal sent from the camera to the video tape recorder, and is usually placed in the control room or the master control room. Also commonly called a remote control unit (RCU).
63Glossarycamera head: The portion of the video camera that contains all the electronics needed to convert the reflection of light from the subject into an electronic signal.charge coupled device (CCD): A dime-sized component of the camera head into which light enters and is converted into an electronic, or video, signal. The video signal exits on the opposite side of the CCD and enters the rest of the camera.
64Glossaryconvertible camera: A camera with a variety of accessory packages available to make it operational in a studio, as a portable field camera, or both.diopter adjustment: A knob or lever that adjusts the magnifier on the viewfinder to compensate for differences in vision.
65Glossarydolly: A three-wheeled cart onto which the feet of a tripod are mounted. A dolly allows smooth camera movements to be performed.drag: Resistance to movement created by tripod head mount.fast lens: A camera lens that can produce a large aperture and let a great deal of light into the camera.
66Glossaryfluid head: A mounting assembly on some tripods that stabilizes the camera using the pressure between two pieces of metal and a thick fluid that provides additional resistance to movement.focal length: The distance (measured in millimeters) from the optical center, or focal point, of the lens assembly to the back of the lens assembly.
67Glossaryfocus: The act of rotating the focus ring on a camera lens until the lines of contrast in the image are as sharp as possible.friction head: A mounting assembly on some tripods that stabilizes the camera using the pressure created when two pieces of metal are squeezed together by a screw.
68Glossaryf-stop: A camera setting that determines the amount of light passing through the lens by controlling the size of the iris.gain: The strength of the video signal.hot: The state of a video camera when the image captured by the camera is being recorded.
69Glossaryiris: A component of a lens that is comprised of blades that physically expand and contract, adjusting the aperture size.jib: A type of camera mount that allows the camera to be raised high over the set and swung in any direction.lens: An assembly of several glass discs placed in a tube attached to the front of a camera.
70Glossaryoptical center: The physical location within the lens assembly where an image is inverted. Also called the focal point.pan handle: A device attached to the back of the camera when on the tripod head that allows the camera operator to move the tripod head while standing behind the tripod.
71Glossarypedestal column: A column in the center of a tripod used to raise or lower the camera.pedestal control: A crank on the side of the pedestal column that twists a gear to raise and lower the pedestal column.shutter: A circuit on a video camera that regulates how long the CCD is exposed to light coming through the lens.
72Glossaryslow lens: A lens that is capable of small aperture settings and lets little light into the camera.studio camera: A television camera placed on a tripod or studio pedestal for exclusive use within the studio.studio pedestal: A large, single column on wheels that supports the camera and is pneumatically or hydraulically controlled.
73Glossarysubjective camera: A hand-held camera technique, in which the camera itself becomes the eye of one cast member. The viewers see the world through the eyes of that character.target: Photosensitive surface of a charge coupled device (CCD).tripod: A three-legged stand that supports a camera.
74Glossarytripod head: The assembly at the top of the pedestal column to which the camera attaches.variable focal length lens: A lens in which the optical center can vary its position within the lens assembly, varying the focal length measurement as well. Also called a zoom lens.
75Glossaryviewfinder: A small video monitor attached to the camera that allows the camera operator to view the images in the shot.zebra stripes: A special function of some viewfinders that displays black and white diagonal stripes on any object in a shot that is too brightly lit.
76Glossaryzoom in (ZI): The act of rotating a ring on the zoom lens so that the center of the picture appears to be moving toward the camera. Also called tighten.zoom lens: The particular piece of glass within the lens assembly that moves forward and back, magnifying or shrinking the image accordingly. This individual lens is the focal point, or optical center, of the zoom lens assembly. Also called a variable focal length lens.
77Glossaryzoom lenses: A camera lens assembly that is capable of magnifying an image merely by twisting one of the rings on the outside of the lens housing.zoom out (ZO): The act of rotating a ring on the zoom lens so that the center of the picture appears to be moving away from the camera. Also called widen.