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Bail3,766 posts since 30 Mar 2001 Moderator
Meridian (South) South Today
There's lot and lots and lots of cameras out there. Most of them are the same in the basics of operation. Learn good composition, exposure, focus and you'll have no issues using them all.

The camera choice a programme/production uses varies on a number of things. The cost of the camera rental, the practicality of its use and the technical abilities of the camera. From small mirror-less cameras such as the Sony A7sii to Sony Venice, Arri Alexa and everything in-between.

Get into photography now and learn how things like the exposure triangle and the basics of framing a shot, and go from there. See if there are any local crews around you can shadow, or a facility/rental house you can get work experience at. Depending on where you're based and your age I can suggest some companies to contact.

More on the job in general here:
https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/camera-operator/
https://www.ucas.com/ucas/after-gcses/find-career-ideas/explore-jobs/job-profile/tv-or-film-camera-operator
https://www.youthemployment.org.uk/careers-hub-job-role/camera-operator/

Bail.
1
Spencer gave kudos
Technologist116 posts since 10 Oct 2018
London London
If you are in the M3 corridor area
RTS Thames Valley have a meeting
Getting Started in Tv tech roles on 3 March
https://rts.org.uk/event/getting-started-television-tech-roles

You might also find “the Guild..”
useful ..their magazine is called ..past copies at
https://www.gtc.org.uk/publications/zerb.aspx

Can I just emphasise the importance Of framing shots right
And a good understanding of the theory of optics and what that looks like ..
Eg why a large sensor have shallow depth of field,
And also feel for lighting and how that makes a good shot.

There is a list of general and technical / engineering Websites
at bottom if this page
https://www.smpte.org/sections/united-kingdom/nasta-conference-presentations

Finally look at how shots are framed
and how the Director cuts/ edits between them.
And how many cameras are used ...

And it need not be a normal camera https://youtu.be/DbzvUbEGVSo
Last edited by Technologist on 31 January 2020 5:16pm - 3 times in total
noggin14,790 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Hello. I have quite an interest in becoming a camera operator when I am older. Do you know if there is a way to find out what camera models were used on a programme?


If you are talking about multi camera OB and studio shows - then in the UK the only cameras really in use are Sony and Grass Valley (who now own the ex-Philips/BTS camera brand, via Thomson). All the main models are 3CCD or 3CMOS 2/3" sensors - which gives you a potentially wider depth-of-field (more practical than a shallow depth-of-field large sensor when you have to do a lot of quick re-framing on sport and entertainment coverage).

Sony currently have the bulk of the market - with everything from their HSC300 (as used at BBC News), via the workhorse HDC1500/2500/3100s, up to the UHD HDC 3500/4300/5500s (and their variants, which are now the mainstream current cameras)

Grass Valley have a smaller share of the market (they were arguably a bit more dominant, alongside Ikegami, in the SD 16:9 era). One major OB supplier has a large number of GVG LDX86Ns for their UHD trucks, and Sky have a lot of HD LDKs in their studio centre. In mainland Europe GVG have a much larger presence.

In terms of lenses - it's really a straight choice between Canon and Fujinon. Canon are usually preferred in my experience (due to their better optical performance, particularly with lens flare situations)

Ikegami, Panasonic and Hitachi are kind of nowhere in the UK HD and UHD camera market these days (in other territories like the US and mainland Europe they are much more popular. ZDF in Mainz in Germany has Ikegamis, one of the main Swedish OB providers has Panasonic UHD cameras etc.)

When it comes to location shooting there are lots more options - with cameras with a single, large sensor much more widely used, though 3 chip 2/3" shoulder mounts are still also daily workhorses for news, crew-shot mid-range factual etc. (If it's shot interlaced or 50p progressive, it's likely to be a 2/3" 3-chip camera - as those shooting with a large sensor also usually shoot 25p progressive for a 'film look')

Cameras I see in daily use in factual location shooting : Sony PMW300/PMW500, Canon C300, Sony FS7, Sony F5, Sony F55, Arri Amira. You also see A7S DSLRs used as B-cameras, along with all sorts of things like Osmos, GoPros etc. (The B-cameras usually don't hit an EBU R118 tier officially - which is technically, sort of, a requirement for all main UK broadcasters' DPP delivery specs - though how well this is enforced varies...)

In terms of live studio and OB production, in England the industry is pretty much 100% freelance (outside of BBC News, ITN and ITV Daytime), and the high-end industry is dominated by camera operators who work for a number of diary services/crewing agencies. The route into those teams is via the camera assistant role, unless you are already experienced at that level.
Last edited by noggin on 1 February 2020 8:32am - 2 times in total
1
Spencer gave kudos
harshy6,448 posts since 24 Mar 2001 Recently warned
So we look for camera assistant jobs and we then become professional cameramen with professional cameras? I’ll do anything to watch the feeds even if it’s 10 secs someone please sign me up I live in the North Sad
Neil Jones6,216 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
So we look for camera assistant jobs and we then become professional cameramen with professional cameras? I’ll do anything to watch the feeds even if it’s 10 secs someone please sign me up I live in the North Sad


How do you propose to watch the feeds when you're standing behind a camera in charge of what others will see?

I think what you probably mean is you'd like to work in the gallery. But I dare say one has to earn the right to sit in a gallery and effectively be in charge of a show, not a job they're going to give to any old Tom, Dick or Harry.
harshy6,448 posts since 24 Mar 2001 Recently warned
Yeah like UKNews he gets to see the occasional feed and does the job of course I’ll start at the bottom I want to do the job properly...
Bail3,766 posts since 30 Mar 2001 Moderator
Meridian (South) South Today
I love threads like this. I was but a wee lad when I first joined TVForum, now I can say I am a camera operator as a day job, and have bumped into a few members here whilst at work too!

If you have a passion for it then pursue it, now more than ever there is no "standard" route to getting into it, you don't "need" anything other than some raw talent and a passion to pursue it. When people ask how/why I got into telly and I say I taught myself how to timelapse because of the old News 24 countdown, as I write this I'm being paid to shoot timelapes for a 4K show in Alaska, when I get back I'll be filming food again with a TV chef, and who knows what after that.

My original point stands, teach yourself good composition, framing, learn the standard TV shot sizes and why they're used then find someone nearby and get yourself in with them, it'll be making tea and carrying tripods around but be proactive and you'll find a path starts to appear for you.

If you’re vaguely technical that’ll help too, being able to problem solve is always a bonus If something breaks or does something unexpected you can’t just stand around, creative thinking always helps.

In this thread there are camera operators, live studio directors, engineers and more, TV Forum can be a good resource for asking questions and getting ideas for what you want.
Bail.
5
mat76, Josh and 3 others
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gave kudos
harshy6,448 posts since 24 Mar 2001 Recently warned
Well when I was on my course we had an itn cameraman he said to compose with a fair bit of height in the shot that was back in the day when I thought I would be doing something tv related...

But yeah anything involving setting up feeds, receiving feeds sourcing into a tv production overlaying graphics I am interested but I don’t know the happy path Sad
noggin14,790 posts since 26 Jun 2001
👇👇👇👇👇👇

If you have a passion for it then pursue it, now more than ever there is no "standard" route to getting into it, you don't "need" anything other than some raw talent and a passion to pursue it. When people ask how/why I got into telly and I say I taught myself how to timelapse because of the old News 24 countdown, as I write this I'm being paid to shoot timelapes for a 4K show in Alaska, when I get back I'll be filming food again with a TV chef, and who knows what after that.

My original point stands, teach yourself good composition, framing, learn the standard TV shot sizes and why they're used then find someone nearby and get yourself in with them, it'll be making tea and carrying tripods around but be proactive and you'll find a path starts to appear for you.
1
Bail gave kudos
Fluffy Bunny Feet427 posts since 11 Mar 2003 Recently warned
Well when I was on my course we had an itn cameraman he said to compose with a fair bit of height in the shot that was back in the day when I thought I would be doing something tv related...

But yeah anything involving setting up feeds, receiving feeds sourcing into a tv production overlaying graphics I am interested but I don’t know the happy path Sad


It's tough waiting for a position to come along but sign up to the broadcasters' jobs alerts and keep plugging away. It's worth it in the end.