Camera Movement in Live Video Production | Tech, No Babel

Camera Movement in Live Video Production

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On today’s Tech, No Babel: Camera Movement in Live Video Production

Most people get this wrong, but you don’t have to. Today, let’s talk about camera movement in live video production.

With a camera on a tripod, you can really only do three movements. You can pan, tilt, or zoom.

Pan means turning the tripod head left to right or vice versa. Everyone gets this one wrong. It’s not possible to pan up or pan closer.

To go up and down (kind of like nodding your head), you need to tilt.

Finally, zooming changes the apparent distance between the subject and the camera, but when you look at it, it also changes the relationship between the subject and the background, so a digital zoom will always produce a different effect than an optical zoom.

Now, place the tripod on wheels and you have two new ways you can move.

Dolly means to move the camera (tripod and all, not just lens) forward and backwards.

Truck means to move the camera (tripod and all) left and right.

Finally, if you raise the whole camera up (not merely tilting), but actually change the elevation of the camera, it’s called a ped up (if you’re moving a pedestal up) or jib/crane down (if you’re using a jib or crane). These each create slightly different effects since the relative position forwards and back will change in reference to the subject with a jib and won’t with a pedestal.

Watch the video for more on these movements.

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Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div.

Paul Alan Clifford, M.Div. has been a tech volunteer with Lexington City Church (formerly Quest Community Church) in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of, llc. He became part of the technology in ministry team when his church’s attendance was around 200 in one Sunday service and has witnessed it’s growth to a peak of 5,200 average weekly attendance in one Saturday service, four Sunday services in one online and two physical campuses. He literally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines. He has thousands of members of his ProPresenter Users' Group on Facebook and thousands of subscribers to his YouTube channel.