25 Basic Camera Terms All Beginner Filmmakers Should Know
If you want to use a camera, you're gonna want to know this terminology.
Filmmaking might be a creative art form, but it's also incredibly technical, which can be pretty intimidated for those who are taking their first dive into the process. If you're new to filmmaking, especially if you're inexperienced at working with cameras, a good place to start is boning up on all the essential camera terminology. In this video, the team over at Apalapse goes over 25 key terms that will help you hit the ground running when it comes time to shoot. Check it out below:
Granted, this is super basic stuff, so if you're an experienced filmmaker you can probably skip this article. However, this is going to be an essential lesson for beginners who don't know much, if anything, about important concepts like the "Three Pillars of Photography" (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO), depth of field and bokeh, and dynamic range.
The video was made with photographers in mind, but the vast majority of these terms also apply to filmmakers. For example, you can probably ignore the bit about editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as JPEG image mode, unless 1.) you want to shoot timelapses, or 2.) you just want to be an overachieving rockstar.
Here are the terms and concepts covered in the video, as well as some links to our own coverage in case you want to take a deeper dive:
- Focal Ratio
- Focal Length
- Depth of Field
- Shutter Speed (here and here)
- Long Exposure
- Exposure Triangle
- Noise (here and here)
- Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)
- Expose to the Right (ETTR)
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) (here and here)
- RAW Image Mode
- JPEG Image Mode
- Post Production
- Auto Shooting Mode
- Auto ISO
- Shutter Priority Mode
- Aperture Priority Mode
- Manual Mode
Now that you know some basic camera terminology, go out an implement what you've learned!