Test functions of cameras before shoots

Business Sectors (Suites): Camera
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 29 Mar 2020


​This standard is about testing the functions of cameras before shoots. This can apply to digital or film cameras.  This could apply to any type of production including feature films, TV dramas, commercials, documentaries, sports coverage, outside broadcast and live or stage events.  This could apply on a multi or single camera shoot. 

This includes confirming accessories are secure, checking cameras and accessories are operational, performing tests and field tests on functionality, checking camera support, checking power supply and resolving problems.

This standard is relevant to those working as 1st Assistants, Focus pullers or single Camera operators.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​confirm all required accessories are fitted and secure
  2. carry out recognised tests to ensure that cameras run and all accessories are fully operational
  3. analyse the results of tests against production requirements
  4. take remedial action when test results do not meet requirements
  5. check that all required camera functions operate in line with production requirements
  6. shoot frame leaders in the aspect ratio required for productions
  7. confirm the condition, ease of operation and adequacy of any tripods, heads and lens supports
  8. check that there are sufficient, reliable power sources for planned shots
  9. make sure that any required weather proofing materials are of sufficient quality and fit selected equipment
  10. communicate with other people and departments when required for your work
  11. report any problems to relevant people and suggest suitable solutions
  12. follow relevant procedures when cameras are ready for shooting
  13. work in line with health and safety requirements

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​key characteristics of current cameras, lenses and attachments and major obsolescent models
  2. how macro lenses perform
  3. camera handling techniques and the implications of damage to cameras
  4. the effect of camera formats and focal lengths on angle of view and how to analyse depth of field and focus splits
  5. flange focal depths and their implications
  6. how to assess zoom collimation and back focus
  7. how circles of confusion affect image sharpness
  8. commonly occurring flickering light sources and when and how light source frequencies can cause flare in the lens and affect shutter angle windows
  9. aspects of cameras and accessories that should be tested including calibrations for cinetape, lens control systems, waveform monitors and image transmitters
  10. how to use look up tables (LUTs) and operate menu settings
  11. current camera electronic and mechanical testing techniques including photographic tests and how to determine testing and field testing procedures and techniques for cameras and lenses
  12. common problems encountered with test results and how to resolve them
  13. the purpose of frame leaders and how to shoot them in different aspect ratios
  14. what is involved in checking power sources including the suitability and condition of cables and connectors and battery charge levels
  15. how to tactfully suggest solutions to any problems or restrictions
  16. the role of others involved and when to liaise with them including directors of photography, camera operators, directors and 2nd camera assistants
  17. any special requirements to ensure the safety and security of equipment when left unattended
  18. relevant manufacturers' instructions for the equipment in use
  19. the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



camera; testing; fucntions; field tests; pre-production preparations; productions; camera models; equipment;