Erik introduces the main part of the camera, the body. He demos a hybrid camera, looks at the LCD screen, the menu button, the audio inputs, the sensor, the lens mount, etc. He gives you a great idea of how a camera body works. He touches on the basics of the camera bodies of the ENG, camcorder, and cinema camera as well.
- In this chapter, I've broken down each part of the camera into a separate movie. So let's talk about the main part of the camera, the body. The camera itself is the most important part of the whole package. Camera body's can vary in shape and weight. Smaller cameras, like this hybrid, shoot stills and video, and are the least expensive of the bunch. Camcorders like this one offer a range of integrated features already built into the camera and are ready to go out of the box. Cinema style cameras have large sensors, and are designed for professional quality productions.
It's really up to you to choose which body is right for your needs. So let's take a tour of a typical camera body, starting with this hybrid camera. I'll cover other types of cameras in more detail later. But for now, let's get to know some of the more important parts of the camera body. On the front of the camera body, you have the lens mount, and just like it sounds, this is where the lens is attached. Just behind the lens mount is the camera sensor. Now the sensor is what gathers light to create the image.
On the side of the camera body, we have several buttons. One is to access the menu to make setting changes, and several dedicated and programmable buttons to change a specific setting. On top, you have a shutter button, or record button. On the side of the camera is where you can plug in a microphone and output video. Many cameras also have a USB input for other accessories. Also, depending on the camera, the media card is located behind a door on the side.
On the back, you have a LCD screen for previewing the image. On the bottom is where the battery goes This threaded port is for mounting to a tripod. So this is the basics of a camera body. While not all cameras will have this exact configuration, these are the core concepts that apply to most cameras. A lot of the same features are also on a cinema camera, ENG cameras, and camcorders, but in different configurations that fit their larger size. So keep in mind, everything that has to be added to the camera body, like media cards, lenses, audio equipment, steady cam rigs, batteries, et cetera, not only add weight, but they have to be compatible.
Not all cameras use the same media cards, and buying a Nikon lens for a Cannon body might not work. Additionally, they all have different price points. I mean drastically different. It's smart to check the prices of media and any other extras on any cameras you are interested in buying to see what kind of money you'll need to be investing in your camera. The cost can add thousands to a working system. I'll cover this in more detail in another chapter. Now that we've talked about the camera body, let's dig in a little deeper to understand the core of the digital camera, the sensor.
Evaluating your production workflow and the camera options out there can save you time, money, and maybe even your sanity. Camera enthusiast Erik Naso is here to help. He'll teach you how to ask the right questions and pick the right camera—balancing "the camera I should buy" with "the camera I want to buy," so you end up happy with your purchase over the long run. Learn how to figure out your budget and needs; understand the different file formats, sensors, and lenses available; and choose the right accessories for any shooting situation.
- Understanding the camera components: sensor, lens, etc.
- Evaluating audio inputs
- Taking your type of production into account
- Deciding on a budget
- Choosing accessories such as tripods and gimbals
- Camera codecs and media cost