An animation camera, a type of rostrum camera, is a movie camera specially adapted for frame-by-frame shooting of animation. It consists of a camera body with lens and film magazines, and is most often placed on a stand that allows the camera to be raised and lowered above a table often having both top and underneath lighting. The artwork to be photographed is placed on this table.
For stop motion photography, the camera can also be mounted on a tripod or other support, pointing in any desired direction.
Examples of professional animation cameras (16 and 35 mm)
A partial list of manufacturers of animation cameras includes:
- Acme Tool and Manufacturing (USA)
- Crass (Germany)
- Neilson-Hordell (UK)
- Oxberry (USA)
- Double M Industries (USA)
- A.I.A. Productions (USA)
- Mechanical Concepts (USA)
The Bell & Howell 2709 (Design 27, first made in 1909) is the prototype of the Acme, and the Acme is the prototype of the Oxberry. Each employs a fixed pin and "shuttle" movement mechanism for film registration and film advancement, respectively. Other names associated with Acme were Producer's Service Corporation and Photo-Sonics.
- Animation camera movement mechanisms, from the personal website of a Finnish animator