Camera Operator Vs. Cameraman

Camera Operator Vs. Cameraman

What role would you choose to pursue in cinematography? A Camera Operator or a Cameraman? “What? Are these both different roles to pursue in the Cinematography section?”

It is one of the most unknown facts among the aspirants when it comes to choosing the role in the cinematography section of work. It is not just one confusion we are talking about, but earlier, we talked about another example of an unknown fact through our blog: Filmmaker vs. Film Director. Did you see the difference we talked about in that blog and how contrasting both of the terms were? In this blog, we’re going to talk about the difference between the roles of a Camera Operator and a Cameraman. Let’s dive in by knowing the roles and insights of both terms.

What does a Camera Operator do?

As we know the difference between an AD and Film Director, and “Camera Rolling” and “Action!” An AD (assistant director) works on the film/music video/daily soap set to set up the frame and the actors’ positions. The camera operator does the same thing; he helps in rehearsing the frame and position that will be captured by the camera. We can say that it is one of the crucial roles in the filmmaking process. Generally, a camera operator handles the camera equipment and also deals with gaffers to set up the lights on the film set. What, you’ve never heard of a gaffer? We will discuss the role of a gaffer in another blog.

Who is a Cameraman?

A Cameraman is a person with a camera in his hand. Was it too subtle? Alright, a cameraman is the one who is also known as a “cinematographer.” A cameraman is directly involved with the film director in planning shots, lighting the set according to the scenes, and pressing the button to record. So, a camera operator sets up everything and rehearses the shots before the cameraman presses the record button. That’s what a cameraman does on the set or during a film or music video shoot.


We talked about the differences between the roles of a Camera Operator and a Cameraman. Cameraman and Camera Operator both are not really different but work as per priority, and it is true that a cameraman was once a camera operator. A Cameraman or a Cinematographer works and discusses directly with the film director, whereas the camera operator rehearses the shots and sets the lights with the assistant to the director. Do you see the difference between both roles and how systematically they work to set the flow of the filmmaking process?

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