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Thread: Camera Operator advice on Camera's

  1. #1

    Default Camera Operator advice on Camera's

    hey i wasn't quite sure where to post this... basically a good few years ago now i had camera experience using a Canon XL1 which at the time was a good camera.. ive now spent 6 years gaining experience within photography, but now looking to slowly go back into camcorder based work.. I dont aim to boost straight into top film and tv work.. but build experience slowly by working voluntary mainly on small projects. What i'm wanting to know is what camera could i get working on a budget of around 500 GBP really... is Canon Xl1s to old now?.. will people all be looking for operators mainly with HD based cameras?..

    any help is appreciated


  2. #2


    I would have thought HD cameras would be essential these days. Even if the client doesn't need it. All the competition will have them. With a budget of 500 you won't really get anything that has all the manual knobs and dials you would probably want. Panasonic tend to be the best make for manual settings of consumer grade cameras but you might be better off looking for a good used Pro-sumer model.

    If you are use to Canons you might be best sticking with them. With that budget you would need to trawl E-bay etc. for good used models.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    If you want to work as a television camera operator you have to start at the bottom. You can pay a fortune at so-called operator schools but it's a waste of money. None of the major broadcasters will bother with a "qualification" from such places. In the same way, certificates from evening classes and such are also not worth the paper they're printed on.

    So, either find your local TV station and get a placement as an "intern" or do work experience. Then get on the list as a cable-basher. At some point you'll get noticed and an operator will start asking for you as his assistant. Then you can start learning how to do it properly.

    Some people go through the production company route. Find a local production company and start working for them as "local labour", rolling cables, humping gear etc. Then work your way up.

    ...or you can buy a 7D, get cards printed with "Director of Photography" on them and wonder why people in the television industry laugh at you.

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