5 Must Have Features for a Professional Movie Camera

Whether you’re working with a film or digital professional movie camera, there are some features and settings that you just can’t do without. These functions not only help you optimize your shots, they also make your life as a filmmaker more convenient. Here are the must have features you should look for in a professional movie camera.

1. White Balance

This is important for working with different types of light. If you are unable to manipulate this, chances are you will come out with unwanted hues in your movie. For instance, fluorescent lighting registers often as a bluish hue and lampposts tend to show as greenish. Without the proper white balance, you will not be able to adjust the camera to capture light the way we see it.

2. Iris Opening

Professional filmmakers will have a tough time without this setting. This allows you to control how much light your film or tape will register. You can use this to dim an overexposed shot or to brighten a sequence with low light.

3. FPS Settings

Some professional users also put this setting high on their priority list. This enables them to adjust how many frames per second are captured. Video is played at 30 FPS, and video is 24 FPS. If you have a digital camera and you want to achieve a film look, you might want to adjust your frame rate to 24 FPS.

4. Monitor Out / S-Video Port

Cameras often have this feature, but you have to make sure that you don’t do without it. It’s important to be able to monitor your shots well. Most viewfinders are in black and white, and most built-in LCD screens are hard to monitor in direct sunlight. This port enables you to plug in an external monitor so you and several other people can view and monitor the shots.

5. Headset Jack and Audio Input

Though cameras have built-in microphones, this will not do for shots where you need to capture audio. You will need a port that will allow you to plug in an external microphone. It’s best also if there’s an available headset jack which will enable you to monitor the audio captured.