Camera Operation and Control

Canon T3i DLSR - Front
Canon T3i DLSR – Front
Canon T3i DLSR - Top
Canon T3i DLSR – Top
Canon T3i DLSR - Side
Canon T3i DLSR – Side
Canon T3i DLSR - Back
Canon T3i DLSR – Back



  • Demonstrate understanding of Canon DSLR camera functions

Standards, Terms, and Concepts

  • Identify imaging resolution
  • Identify key controls on the camera
  • Explain resolution
  • Describe frame rate or frames per second
  • Set color balancing/ white balancing
    • more detail here
  • Explain shutter speed
  • Explain f-stop
  • Explain ISO
  • Explain light meter
  • Explain exposure relationship between shutter speed, f-stop, and ISO
  • Identify different camera settings and some advantages and disadvantages
  • Identify a few special purpose cameras
  • Use camera mounts and tripod
  • Use movement with the camera


  • Blog post with embedded video from YouTube



Camera Operations Production Sheets Image

  1. Examine the roles of a production team for this project
  2. Create blog post titled, Camera Operation and Control
    • Create headings for:
      • Summary
      • Terms, Concepts, Notes
      • Timeline
      • Project Skills Evidence
      • What I Learned
  3. Copy and paste the terms and their definitions listed below under the Terms and Concepts heading
  4. Copy and paste some of the video tutorial resources under the What I Learned heading
  5. Watch Cinematography Learn from a Master – Richard Michalak (39:43)
  6. Watch and take notes on DSLR Basic Settings Tutorial – Photography/Videography  101  – DiCasaFilm (52:23)
  7. Watch and take notes on How to achieve a Film Look – DSLR film making – Jake Coppinger (11:07)
  8. Watch and take notes on Light Meter Tutorial – Photography/Videography 101 – DiCasaFilm (36:27)
  9. Learn about resolution and imaging chip
  10. Learn about color balance and white balance
  11. Learn about frame rate, shutter speed and lens f-stop
  12. Learn about automatic and manual settings
  13. Learn about camera parts
  14. Learn about video microphones and camera audio
  15. Learn about lighting basics
  16. Learn about stability, tripods, and tripod mounts
  17. Get Canon T3i Camera Settings Form (PDF)
  18. Practice with the camera
    • T3i Depth of Field Form Zoom Lens: 18mm at f3.5 and f16
    • T3i Depth of Field 1.8 50mm Normal or Standard Lens: 50mm at f3.5 and f16
    • T3i Depth of Field 5.6 300mm and Tripod 1 Telephoto Lens: 75-300mm at f 5.6 and Tripod
    • T3i Focal Length 5.6 75-150-300mm Telephoto Lens: 75-150-300mm at f 5.6 and Tripod
  19. Brain write and brainstorm ideas for creating the documentary
  20. Create a timeline with your team
    • Copy and paste all the days and details below and fix formatting in your blog, as needed:
    • Day 1 – Pre-production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
    • Day 2 – Pre-production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
    • Day 3 – Production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
    • Day 4 – Production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
    • Day 5 – Post-production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
    • Day 6 – Post-production
      • Screenwriter:
      • Editor:
      • Director:
      • Cinematographer:
      • Sound Designer:
  21. Write a script for your documentary film about basic camera operations include all terms and concepts to be included in your short film
  22. Storyboard on folded paper very quickly to get the flow order of the film, first then…
  23. Block each shot in a detailed Storyboard for more detail for why’s and how’s filmaking evidence:Storyboard template
  24. Create the shot list for the project
  25. Create an equipment list
  26. Practice each shot, update script, as needed
  27. Gather equipment; camera, lens, shotgun mic, lights, bounce, diffuser, etc.
  28. Create a shot log
  29. Shoot each scene
  30. Catalog shots
  31. Edit shots in Adobe Premiere Pro CC editor


  • Ambient Light – the natural light in a scene
  • Aperture Priority – a camera setting that allows the user to control the aperture, leaving the shutter speed to be automatically determined
  • Bokeh – the appearance or “feel” of out-of-focus areas
  • Bulb “B” Setting – a camera setting where the shutter will remain open as long as the release button is depressed
  • Butterfly Lighting – lighting where the main light is placed high, in front of the face, aimed at the center of the nose
  • Complimentary Color – pair of primary/secondary colors opposed to each other on the color wheel
  • Depth of Field – range of distance in a scene which appears focused
  • DSLR – acronym for “digital single lens reflex,” a type of camera
  • EXIF – acronym for “exchangeable image file format,” which is data attached to each image that tells the type of camera, date/time, image format, and camera settings when the picture was taken
  • F-Stop – number representing the aperture of the camera
  • FPS – acronym for “frames per second,” the number of pictures a camera is able to take in one second
  • Golden Hour – time an hour or less before the sun goes down, when the light is more complimentary to skin tones
  • Graininess – when clumps of individual grains are large and irregularly spaced out in the negative or digital image, making the picture appear “grainy”
  • Gray Card – card used to help color correct/balance a camera before taking an image
  • High Key – image mainly made up of evenly lit light tones
  • Hyperfocal Point/Distance – the nearest point to the camera considered acceptably sharp when the lens is focused on infinity
  • ISO – film or digital chip speed/sensitivity designated by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • JPEG (JPG) – acronym for “joint photographic experts group,” an image file format standard where the size of the file is reduced by compressing it
  • Kelvin – a temperature scale, here used to measure color temperature of the visible light spectrum
  • Lens Hood – accessory that attaches as a collar to the front of a lens to prevent stray light from striking the surface of the lens, causing flare
  • Lossless – describes file formats which do not result in a loss of data – example: raw file format
  • Lossy – form of image compression when saving image that discards data from it – example: .jpg
  • Low Key – image that is mostly dark, higher contrasted light between the dark and the light
  • Macro Lens – type of lens that can focus extremely closely
  • Megabyte (MB, Mb, Mbyte) – a million bytes
  • Megapixel – a million pixels, used to describe the number of pixels that a digital device’s image sensor has
  • Model Release – contract where a model consents to the use of his/her images by the photographer/a third party
  • Monochrome – image of a single color in differing shades
  • (Electronic) Noise – grainy look in a digital image, usually occurring in shadowy/low-light areas
  • Normal Lens – lens with a focal length approximately equal to the diagonal of the film format or of a digital camera’s image sensor
  • Painting with Light – when a photographer incrementally lights an otherwise darkened scene using a handheld flashlight or other small light source while the shutter remains open during a time exposure
  • Panning – technique involving taking a picture while moving the camera at a relatively slow shutter speed
  • PSD – image type in Adobe PhotoShop for a “work-in-progress,” must be converted to another file type before use
  • Raw Image – digital image format that contains the most info possible from a camera sensor (uncompressed)
  • Reciprocal Rule – rule that states your shutter speed should not be slower than the reciprocal of your effective focal length to avoid blur
  • Reflector – any device used to reflect light on a subject
  • Rembrandt Lighting – portrait lighting technique which casts a triangle shaped shadow on the less illuminated side of the face
  • Resampling – when an image editing program is used to change the image size
  • RGB – acronym for “red, green, blue,” the primary colors of light
  • Rule of Thirds – composition rule that divides the screen into thirds horizontally and vertically to determine placement of important objects in a shot
  • Through-the-Lens (TTL) – refers to both exposure metering of the light passing through the lens/viewing a scene through the same lens that allows light to reach the sensor or the film
  • UV Filter – a clear, neutral filter that absorbs ultraviolet radiation, with no effect on visible colors
  • Vignetting – a fall-off in brightness at the edges of an image, slide, or print
  • White Balance – when the camera adjusts the colors in an image to make the image look more natural based on the objects/areas that are pure white
  • Zoom Lens – a lens in which focal length is variable



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