Media Training Hub

Television & Film Camera Training Courses

By The Media Training Hub Team Posted at 13/08/2020 Training

If you're going to operate a television or film camera professionally or you want to be employed in the camera department on larger productions then a good level of knowledge and some solid training is essential. With today's modern digital cameras it's just about possible to pick one up, set it to auto and get started. Most DSLRs and Smartphones have amazingly good resolution and range and sometimes, the results can be perfectly good enough for what you need. But there's an awful lot more to learn if you want to work as a professional camera operator.

Training as a professional television or film camera operator

For Self Shooters, Self Shooting PDs or researchers, you may be looking for general camera training to give you the skills to operate cameras more effectively. Topics to learn will include:

  • How to control camera exposure. Using manual or auto exposure modes
  • How to use zebra patterns
  • How to focus your lens. Using manual or auto Focus modes
  • Understanding depth of field
  • Understanding colour balance and how to control your camera's colour balance
  • How to use gain
  • Understanding frame size, codecs, resolution and how this affects your image
  • How to frame a shot
  • Wide shots, Mid shots and Closeups
  • Telling a story with your camera. How to film a narrative sequence.
  • How and why you need to shoot cutaways
  • How and why you need to shoot non sync wide shots
  • How and why you need to shoot reverse angles
  • How to film interviews
  • Simple lighting techniques

Training with a specific type of television or film camera

Depending on where you are in your career path, you might want to specialise in certain types of camera. For high end productions such as drama, commercials or blue chip documentaries you'll need to be familiar with high resolution camera systems that film in at least 4K and up to 8K. Getting to know your way around a particular camera really means that you should get "hands on" experience and tuition from an expert in that camera system. Whilst all film & television cameras have a lot in common, they each have their own ways of doing things. Settings and the way you expose the camera in particular is an area for potential disaster if you don't know what you're doing. If you have a specific project in mind and you know what camera you'll be using, then you should really seek some training on that particular camera system. So for example, you might look for:

  • Camera Training Courses for Sony FS7, Sony F55, Sony Venice
  • Camera Training Courses for RED Helium, RED Dragon, RED Epic
  • Camera Training Courses for Arri Alexa, Arri Amira, Arri Alexa Mini
  • Camera Training Courses for Panasonic LT
  • Camera Training Courses for Canon C300, C500

But whatever type of camera training course you're looking for, we recommend that you are taught by a professional industry practitioner. That way you can be sure of getting "real world" information and experience and not just theory.

See: What to look for in a training course

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