Strictly speaking, a videographer is a person who works in the field of videography and/or video production, recording moving images and sound on video tape, digital, or any future data storage medium, disk, other electro-mechanical device. News broadcasting relies heavily on live television where videographers engage in electronic news gathering (ENG) of local news stories.
On a set, in a television studio, the videographer is usually a camera operator of a professional video camera, sound, and lighting. As part of a typical electronic field production (EFP) television crew, videographers usually work with a television producer. However, for smaller productions (e.g. corporate and event videography), a videographer often works alone with a single-camera setup or in the case of a multiple-camera setup, as part of a larger television crew with lighting technician, grips and sound operators.
Typically, videographers are distinguished from cinematographers in that they use digital hard-drive, flash cards or tape drive video cameras vs. 70mm IMAX, 35mm, 16mm or Super 8mm mechanical film cameras. Videographers manage smaller, event scale productions (commercials, documentaries, legal depositions, live events, short films, training videos, weddings), differing from individualized large production team members. The advent of high definition digital video cameras, however, has blurred this distinction.
Further, it is becoming more and more common for people to talk about "filming" with a camcorder even though no "film" is involved. Similarly, the term "taping" is often used (for lack of a better term) though no tape (or film) is involved, where live video is recorded directly to video tape, a direct to disk recording using a hard disk recorder, or a tapeless camcorder using flash media.
Videographers maintain and operate a variety of video camera equipment, sound recording devices, edit footage, and stay up to date with technological advances. With modern video camcorders, professional studio quality videos can be produced at low cost rivaling large studios. Many major studios have stopped using film as a medium due to linear-editing devices no longer being made and the availability for amateurs to produce acceptable videos using DSLRs (Digital single-lens reflex camera). Videographers use non-linear editing software on home computers.
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