If you’re new to cinematography then everything you want to learn is on this page.
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Step 1: Cinematography Basics
Step 2: Cameras, Lenses and Accessories
- How to choose cameras
- How to find the right lenses
- Parts of a camera system
- Guide to lens accessories
- How to protect your gear from the weather
Step 3: Understand Concepts and Terminology
This is the place where you’ll find the answer to the question: What is __________? Simplified for beginners!
- Files, codecs and compression
- Video specifications and concepts
- The basics of color
- Distribution and delivery specifications
Cinematography Concepts Simplified for Beginners
- What is Frame Rate?
- Is Scope 2.4, 2.39 or 2.35 to 1?
- What is Bokeh?
- What is a Light Meter and do you need one for Video?
- What is the 35mm Equivalent and Why is it Confusing?
- Why are there Four Crop Factors, and Do we need all of them?
- What is a Waveform Monitor and How to read a Waveform Monitor (Part One)
- What is a Waveform Monitor and How to read a Waveform Monitor (Part Two)
- What is Exposure in Photography and Cinematography?
- What is White Balance?
- What is Aperture and F-Stop?
- What is Shallow Depth of Field and Deep Depth of Field?
- The 180-degree Rule and How to use it Well
- 10 Reasons why we need External Monitors
- Why you should NEVER use a Histogram for Video
- Cinematography Tutorial for Beginners
- What is Composition and Framing in Cinematography?
- Cinematographer vs Director. Who Decides What?
- How to Film with Cheap Equipment: 10 Tips
- How to avoid Grain in Low Light Shooting
- What is the best ISO for video?
- The 5 Most Powerful Elements of Cinematography
- The Importance of Lenses in Cinematography
- T-Stops vs F-Stops. Why is one used for photography while the other for cinema?
- What is Focal Length in Cinematography?
- Can you learn cinematography on your own?
- What are Pixels, Megapixels and Resolution?
- What is the Difference between Exposure Latitude and Dynamic Range?
- How does Camera Sensor Size Impact Photography and Cinematography?
- What is Aspect Ratio and Which Aspect Ratio is Right for You?
- What is Exposure Triangle and how does it relate to Aperture, Shutter and ISO?
- What is ISO in photography and cinematography?
- What is Shutter Speed, Shutter Angle and How to get the Film Look
- 3 Razor-sharp Cinematographers
- 5 Excellent Books on Cinematography and Lighting
- The Cinematography Apps I Use on my iPhone
Production Audio Basics
- 5 Budget Boom Microphones That Won’t Let You Down
- What is the difference between Line Level and Mic Level?
- 5 Budget Studio Microphone Options for Post Production
- 5 Dependable Audio Mixers for Field Recording
- 5 Low-budget Digital Audio Recorders for Video Production
- Zoom H6 or Tascam DR-60D: Which is the better Sound Recorder?
- 5 Budget Wired Lavalier Microphone Options for Video Production
- 5 Important Wireless Microphone Systems for Video Production
How to Choose Cameras
- The 15 Most Beautifully Designed Video Cameras – 15 to 8
- The 15 Most Beautifully Designed Video Cameras – 7 to 1
- The Best Video Camera for Web Videos (Part One)
- The Best Video Camera for Web Videos (Part Two)
- What is the Best DSLR for Video?
- The Best Video Camera for Web Videos (Part Three)
- The Best Video Camera for Web Videos (Part Four)
- How to Choose Your First Video Camera (Part One)
- How to Choose Your First Video Camera (Part Two)
- The Best Video Camera in the World
- Choosing a Broadcast Camera (Part One): Camera Tiers
- Choosing a Broadcast Camera (Part Two): Is Your Camera Broadcast-worthy?
- Thoughts on the Arri ALEXA 65 65mm 6K Camera
- How to Afford Any Camera and When to Buy One
- What Camera Should I Buy?
- Arri Alexa vs Red: When to Pick Which Camera?
How to find the right lenses
- What Lens to Get? Part One: Subjects and Spaces
- What Lens to Get? Part Two: FOV and Focal Lengths
- What is a Parfocal Lens and is it Useful?
- A Comparison of Prime Cine Lens Kits costing less than $10,000 per Lens
- How I understand the Focal Length of a Lens (Part One): Perspective
- How I understand the Focal Length of a Lens (Part Two): Focal Lengths
- The 15 Things to Look Out For in a Camera Lens (Part One): The Lens Aberration
- The 15 Things to Look Out For in a Camera Lens (Part Two): More Lens Aberrations
- What is the Flange Focal Distance and How to Find More Lenses for Your Camera
- How to Choose a Camera Lens or Lenses for Long and Complex Projects
- What is a Cine Lens and Why must it be different from a Photo Lens?
- What is a Focal Reducer (Speedbooster, LensRegain) and Do You Really Need One?
- A Comparison of Cine Prime Lenses for Full Frame Cameras
Parts of a Camera System
- An Overview and Comparison of 16 External Video Recorders
- The Complete Guide to In-Camera Filters
- The Complete Guide to Camera Batteries (Part One)
- The Complete Guide to Camera Batteries (Part Two)
- The Complete Guide to Choosing and Using Video Production Monitors (Part One)
- The Complete Guide to Choosing and Using Video Production Monitors (Part Two)
- 11 Fluid Head Options for Every Budget – from $80 to $5000+
- The 6 Best Lightweight Carbon Fiber Camera Tripods for Fluid Heads
- Understanding a Studio and Location Dolly, and what they Offer that Sliders and DIY Dollies Don’t
- What’s the best way to record and monitor 4K?
Guide to Lens Accessories
- The Complete Matte Box Guide
- The Complete Guide to Lens Filters (Part One)
- The Complete Guide to Lens Filters (Part Two)
- The Complete Guide to Follow Focus Systems
- A Quick Comparison of Six Important 4×5.65″ Matte Boxes for Single Shooters
How to Protect Your Gear from the Weather
- Weather Protection for your Gear (Part I)
- Weather Protection for your Gear (Part II)
- Weather Protection for your Gear (Part III)
- Weather Protection for your Gear (Part IV)
Files, Codecs and Compression
- Bits vs Bytes, and the story behind Disk Drive Sizes
- Bit Rate vs Data Rate
- What is a Video Container or Wrapper?
- Intra-frame vs Inter-frame Compression
- The Difference between Encoding, Transcoding and Rendering
- The Difference between Lossy and Lossless Compression
- What is Video Compression?
- What is Interleaving?
- What is Multiplexing?
- Program Stream vs Transport Stream: The Simple Difference
- Understanding MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, AVCHD and H.265
- What’s Stopping us from having a Universal Codec that will Benefit Humanity?
- The Workflows and Advantages of Working with Image Sequences in Video Post Production
- RAW vs LOG vs Compression Codecs vs Uncompressed HDMI and SDI: A Primer
Basics of Color
- What is Color, Color Bit Depth and a Color Model?
- What is Color Space and the Tristimulus Values XYZ?
- What is Color Gamut and a Wide Gamut Monitor?
- What is the difference between CIE LAB, CIE RGB, CIE xyY and CIE XYZ?
- What is Display Gamma and Gamma Correction?
- Understanding Luminance and Chrominance
- What’s the difference between YUV, YIQ, YPbPr and YCbCr?
- Chroma Subsampling Numbers Explained
- Don’t be Confused between RGB 444 and Y’CbCr 444
- Say Hello to Rec. 2020, the Color Space of the Future
- What is ACES (Academy Color Encoding System)?
- What is a Digital Image Channel and the Alpha Channel?
- What is Color Correction or Color Grading?
- What is a LUT (Look-Up Table)?
Video Specifications and Concepts
- What is Aspect Ratio and Pixel Aspect Ratio?
- Understanding Terminology – Scanning and Interlacing
- What are Progressive Frames, Interlaced Frames and the Field Rate?
- What are Progressive Segmented Frames (PSF)?
- A Quick look at Composite Video and IRE
- What is 6G-SDI?
- What is Full Swing, Studio Swing; and How to Work with Video Levels in Adobe Premiere Pro? (Part One)
- What is Full Swing, Studio Swing; and How to Work with Video Levels in Adobe Premiere Pro? (Part Two)
- What is Full Swing, Studio Swing; and How to Work with Video Levels in Adobe Premiere Pro? (Part Three)
- Ten Video Specifications that need to Die Now
- What is HDR and is HDR worth it?
Distribution, Delivery and Streaming
- What is 4K Television?
- What is 8K TV?
- What is Adaptive Streaming?
- What is MPEG-DASH?
- What is Blu-ray?