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A stat camera is a large-format vertical or horizontal stationary camera used to shoot film from camera-ready artwork. This is a large bellows-type camera which consists of the copy-board, bellows and lens, and filmboard. The vertical type can take up relatively little space, while the horizontal fills two rooms; bellows, lens, and copyboard on one side of the wall; filmboard and darkroom on the other. The type of film used is black and white "orthochromatic"; i.e., it is more sensitive to some colors than others. Guidelines, or "keylines" are created in light blue which read as white; while anything red or close to a red hue appears as black. The stat camera would be used to shoot color separations (using hue filters for each of the four process colors) and to produce halftone film for printing using a special reticulated gel mask.
While the process of capturing text and images for print is considered[by whom?] obsolete by the appearance of high-end scanners and desktop publishing, the process is still considered more efficient, since the camera itself can zoom in 300% or more and still produce a clear and clean image. There is no high-end scanner or digital camera on the market that can accomplish this goal without creating pixelization problems, or the expensive hardware to go with it. Therefore the majority of printing is text computer generated, and only then considered obsolete.
This process is invaluable to direct preservation of artwork, since the digital camera mimics lighting settings, and there is no scanner big enough to compass such works.
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