Understanding the Heart of Your Camera System: The Camera Body (Camera Lesson 06)

Summary: Ryan covers important parts of the camera body and what to look for when considering a filmmaking camera for your next purchase or film shoot.

Length: 8:35 minutes

Video Lesson

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In this video I’m going to cover the single most crucial part of your camera system: the camera body. In fact I consider it the heart of your camera system. After watching this video you’ll be able to make smarter choices about choosing a camera system that is appropriate for your particular project.


The most important part of the camera body is its sensor. It is this one part that shapes the quality of everything else. The maximum resolution of your sensor determines the maximum amount of detail that your camera can record. The ideal situation is that you get a camera that over-samples the image. It should do that through either recording at a resolution that is greater than what you are delivering at, or by having a higher resolution sensor and then down-sampling that sensor to the resolution you are delivering at.

The size of the sensor is also another important consideration when it comes to choosing a camera body. The sensor size determines how much of a lenses image circle it sees. The image circle is the size of the circle that gets projects by a lens. Different lens formats project different size image circles, which are designed around the size of the cameras sensor. And the size of the sensor also determines it’s crop factor.

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
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