Television Cameras and Camera Accessories Key Terms

Business.com / Business Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

TV cameras have come a long way since their inception with multiple fixed lenses mounted on a revolving turret. Today, we tend to take ...

TV cameras have come a long way since their inception with multiple fixed lenses mounted on a revolving turret. Today, we tend to take our power-zoom lenses for granted; not many people remember that when zoom lenses first came around, you had to crank them all by hand.

A broad variety of TV camera features and accessories exist to help you make the most of your film shooting. Before you run out and purchase expensive equipment, familiarize yourself with this basic vocabulary.

Booms

A boom is an essential video camera accessory used for positioning a microphone or camera for difficult shots where there's no room for a cameraman or you don't want the subject to be concerned about holding a mic.

Iris

Much like the iris in a human eye, the iris in a television camera lens determines how much light enters through the lens.

Focal length

The focal length of a camera lens is essentially the distance from the optical center of the lens to the "chip" in the camera that senses the entering light. The concept can be further simplified by just thinking of it as how long a lens is.

Angle of view

The angle of view is how wide an area or how many subjects a camera lens can capture at once; it might be easier to think of it as "width" or "breadth" of view instead.

Dolly

In the world of television cameras, a dolly is a movable cart, often on tracks, that allows you to smoothly move the television camera while still shooting.

Filters

Filters do exactly what their name implies; they filter available light as it enters the lens of your television camera. 2X or 4X filters are especially useful in extremely bright light essentially adding another f-stop adjustment or two to your lens iris. Specialized filters, such as polarized filters, help enhance, reduce or modify aspects of light, like glare or colors.

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