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Other denominations

Television camera operator, Film camera operator


Camera operators participate in the creation of audiovisual pieces from behind the camera. They are responsible for the setup and operation of the recording equipment and their primary objective is to ensure and capture the image properly. These professionals may be in charge of operating different types of cameras (digital cinema cameras, video cameras, television cameras and action cameras) according to the nature of the project in which they work. In addition to having the technical knowledge regarding the handling of recording equipment, it is important that these professionals have command of the narrative and audiovisual language in order to guarantee plot coherence and aesthetic harmony in the filming.

Depending on the type of production and audiovisual piece to record, they will be responsible for the framing, the choice of the shots and the camera movements (either with the camera in hand, tripod, drones or stabilizers), or these functions will be segmented, such as in the case of large productions.

Broadly speaking, camera operators make recordings both outdoors and indoors and they basically work on three types of audiovisual projects:

  • Television: as part of the team of professionals who work on set, recording television or news programmes, or as operators of ENG equipment (Electronic News Gathering), doing the news coverage outdoors, along with a journalist.
  • Cinema and advertising: in this case, there is a technical script that indicates to the operator the sequence and characteristics of the scenes and shots to be recorded. In small productions, they are in charge of making the configuration, framing, light control, and camera movement decisions, but in larger productions, they perform these tasks based on the directions of the director and the cinematographer.
  • Freelance and/or production companies: camera operators may also work filming different commissions for social, documentary, or corporate reporting (for the business world) linked to a production company or communication agency or as a freelance. In these projects, they assume the functions of director and cinematographer.


  • Select, assemble, and configure the necessary equipment for filming. It may include, in addition to cameras, special lenses or filters, lights, tripods, monitors and cables, among others.
  • Check all recording equipment to ensure it is in good condition and works properly before filming.
  • Evaluate the characteristics of the space and light where the recording will take place to determine the camera position and the different shots.
  • Read the technical script or project directions and follow them to record the scenes.
  • Adapt focus, exposure, white balance, and shutter and adjust the final frame.
  • Make the recording and during filming control any change that may occur within the shot (light, position of the interviewed people) or technician (battery life) and responds with agility and discretion making the necessary adjustments.
  • Once the recording is finished, keep the equipment, and create backup copies of the footage and/or transmit them to the producer's server.
If they work in large productions:
  • Rehearse the scenes and coordinate with the cinematography and/or the project direction to polish or redefine the characteristics of the shots.
  • Make contributions and recommendations of a practical or creative nature in relation to the capture of events.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other professionals, such as journalists, electrical or lighting technicians.
  • In charge of managing the repair and maintenance of the equipment.
  • Update their knowledge, keep up to date with technologies that may mean new ways of filming, such as 3D production, and features of new equipment in terms of image quality (HD, 4K, 8K) and other features.

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Centre per al desenvolupament professional Porta22

Barcelona Treball (Porta22)
Llacuna, 156-162, 08018 Barcelona

Monday to Friday from 9 to 18 h

Generalitat de Catalunya
Unió Europea FEDER
Unió Europea FSE