Panning is along the yaw/vertical axis, right? Tilting is along the pitch/lateral axis, right? Dutch/rolling is along roll/longitudinal axis, right? But, in the context of movement, Panning is lateral movement, and what about other two? And am I correct about the above? Please give me a good explanation about camera movements, including movements vs/and axes....(what is pan, tilt, dutch, lateral movement etc.)


2 Answers 2


Some basic terms for cinematic/video camera movement are:

  • Tilt
  • Pan
  • Zoom
  • Rack focus
  • Pedestal
  • Dolly
  • Truck

Most are related to axes, but not strictly so (and in the case of zoom and rack focus, not at all really). So it's not like yaw/pitch/roll directly relate to camera movements.

Tilt is rotating the camera in pitch from a fixed point.

Pan is rotating the camera in yaw from a fixed point.

Zoom is changing the focal length of the lens.

Rack focus is to change the point of focus (near/far).

Pedestal is to lift/raise the camera without moving it side-to-side or front-to-back (z-axis only)

Dolly is to move the camera to the front/back without moving it from side-to-side or up-and-down (y-axis only).

Truck is to move the camera side-to-side without moving it from front-to-back or up-and-down (x-axis only).

To "dutch" the camera doesn't necessarily include movement. To simply rotate the camera in roll and fix it at an angle not square to the horizon is to dutch it. But the camera can be fixed for the shot, so this is more frame composition than camera movement. I suppose you could count roll as a camera movement, but it's tough to rig up so rarely used (unless, say you're Joss Whedon shooting The Avengers).

I could be wrong, though. I'm not a video shooter. I just google good.


Panning is rotation around a vertical axis which causes the field-of-view to move horizontally. This is where the traditional term of panorama comes from.

Titling is rotation around a horizontal axis going through the camera perpendicular to the lens which moves the field of view up and down. There is a coined word vertorama which essentially means a vertical panorama.

Rolling is rotation around a horizontal axis going through the length of the lens. This would cause a view to change the angle of the horizon. This is slightly confusing since rolling the camera causes the horizon to tilt.

Ideally these axis would pass through the nodal point of the lens but anywhere close, at least within the camera and lens, is usually considered.

Lateral movement moves the camera along a horizontal axis which causes the field-of-view to move sideways which is why it is easily confused with panning. They are no equivalent though and require different algorithms to stitch and can be impossible to do perfectly do to a change in perspective.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You sure you didn't do a mistake? How a rotation around horizontal axis going through the length of the lens moves the field of view up and down. And of course it's the mistake for the third para. Ah, and the lateral movement is not panning, is it? It's a movement along a horizontal axis on a slider, am I correct? \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Jan 26, 2016 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user152435 Yes, sorry, fixed. During my initial edits I accidentally reversed the directions of the axis. Good catch! \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jan 26, 2016 at 19:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, lateral movement is not panning. It is much harder to stitch images with lateral movements because there is no one viewpoint which can change occlusion between objects at different distances. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Jan 26, 2016 at 19:50

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