Camera Operator




OFO No: 352102




Other names for Camera Operator:

  • Focus Puller (Film)
  • Video Tape Operator
  • Videographer

What is a Camera Operator?

A Camera Operator is a professional operator of a film or video camera.

On film sets, the Camera Operator is also known at the cinematographer. Camera Operator film movies, videos, television shows, and commercials. They also shoot documentaries, industrial, educational, and feature productions too.

The job of a Camera Operator or cinematographer is to physically operate the camera and its movement whilst monitoring the composition and the camera angles throughout the scene or shot.

The Camera Operator usually works with the director, the director of photography (DOP), actors and crew members to make creative and technical decisions.

What does a Camera Operator do?

  • gathers and researches information about the project
  • selects and installs screens and filters in camera to produce desired effects
  • adjusts camera settings, lights, and lenses
  • controls and operates machines and processes 
  • handles, movse and positions objects to manipulate the picture in the frame
  • adapts equipment and technology to suit the job? Example: designs a dollie track layout for the set etc.
  • keeps up to date with the technical side of photography, cameras, lenses, and lighting

Are you … ?

  • passionate about photography?
  • creative and imaginative?
  • good at visualising the end product?
  • a person with a steady hand/arm?
  • able to work in all different conditions and environments?
  • patient and accurate?
  • able to put people at ease in front of the camera?
  • decisive?
  • willing to work long and unusual hours?

How do I become a Camera Operator?

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

  • Diploma: National Senior Certificate meeting diploma entry requirments 
  • Degree: National Senior Certificate meeting degree entry requirments

Gaining hands-on experience by working with motion picture cameras is also helpful. Some people learn the basics about equipment by working for camera rental firms or in camera shops.


Learnership: Training Certificate: Film, Television and Video Production Operations NQF Level 4


Learnership: National Certificate: Film, Television and Video Production Operations NQF Level 4


Training Certificate: Film & TV


Certificate: Film & TV Production


Diploma in Film & TV Production



  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 

OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Photographer … or … Photojournalist

Is becoming a Camera Operator the right career choice for me?