Selecting the Right TV Cameras for Your Studio
TV cameras describe a grouping of professional cameras that are optimized for a television production and publishing schedule, which often requires tight turnaround times and high volumes. When looking for the right TV cameras for your studio, it's important to look for cameras that can meet all your technical and use requirements, while considering any constraints you may have in your post-production schedule.
What Makes TV Cameras Unique?
To understand the unique qualities of TV cameras, it's important to understand television production. Unlike films, which are shot on a single camera using multiple takes, television is often filmed from multiple cameras at once. This requires live or live-to-tape broadcast capabilities. Television producers will select television cameras that reduce or eliminate the need for post-production time altogether.
Types of TV Studio Cameras
When outfitting your studio, you should select TV cameras that can be used in a multi-camera environment and record a high volume of footage. Broadcast cameras are optimized for the live studio broadcast. Rather than record footage in their housing, broadcast cameras send their feeds via cables to a central control station where a director can switch between the different cameras in real-time. Because of their substantial size, broadcast cameras must be used on tripods or booms to ensure stability and smooth operation. They offer the camera operator the ability to color-correct, pan, zoom, and focus fluidly.
Other Types of Professional Cameras
While broadcast cameras are built for most live studio needs, not all TV studios are created equally. If space is an issue and you don’t plan to move your cameras during filming, consider using compact industrial and multi-purpose cameras.
If you want to take your studio cameras into the field, consider using professional camcorders in your studio. Unlike broadcast or industrial cameras, these cameras are compact and lightweight, designed to be used on a tripod or as a handheld camera. Many have built-in memory in addition to HD-SDI outputs, giving you maximum flexibility when selecting your locations.
If your post-production timeline is somewhat flexible, or if you're planning to record a television series that has the look and feel of a film, consider using one or more digital cine cameras in your video setup. While some models lack HD-SDI outputs, these HD cameras will deliver film-quality footage for your project.
When selecting the right TV cameras for your studio, it's important to consider the needs of your project, your production timeline, your schedule, and your space. Check out the diverse inventory at B&H Photo and Video; it's sure to have the right equipment to meet all your studio needs, no matter your budget.