I have always wondered why cameras for filming TV are so big. Even the camera's that my high school video production class uses are huge. I tend to see some people starting to move towards cameras like the 70D or the GH4 for video because they are much more conveniently sized, but still have great video capabilities.

I can understand why a dslr would be bigger than a point and shoot camera, or a phone camera because of the mirrors, sensors, and other various components, but what does cinema camera need that makes it so much larger? And what differences do these things even make?

  • Tv and cinema are really completely different things, you might want to focus on one of them. – ths Jan 23 '17 at 20:20

There are a few factors that contribute to this but Ill break it down for TV cameras since that is what the question seems to be about,

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The Lens: In many cases the camera is not really that big as much as it may just have a huge lens on it. Next time you are at a sporting event, take a look at how far the cameras are from the actual field but can still grab a great shot.

View Finder: Studio cameras also tend to have large view finders (that are really more just small TV's) as apposed to the small eye piece finders or 3 inch screens found on your DSLR. Note the big unit on the upper rear of the camera in the image.

Extra Features: In a live TV studio that implements a multi-camera setup bused through a mixer of some sort will need some extra features to pull off a broadcast. When editing video you have the luxury of correcting things like color in post production. In a live setup you dont have this luxury so to avoid dropped frames which switching and to ensure the colors are constant across multiple cameras the cameras have things like Genock and remote color correction etc.

Teleprompters: some large units also have integrated teleprompters and queue lights which make them seem large but in reality what you are looking at is something else.

Old Gear: In some cases studios invest in high quality equipment and expect to get a lot of years out of it. In turn some gear is simply big and bulky as it dates to an era where that was the smallest stuff available.

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  • Supproting the ansrew consider this DSLR setup: thepicturecoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/RODMAR_E_10.jpg It is, obviously, lens and DSLR body. Videocam, you usually see, is both lens and body together. Cover this camera setup by fancy box and voila, you have humongous camera. – Crowley Jan 23 '17 at 21:07
  • Picture stolen from here: thepicturecoach.com/?p=234 – Crowley Jan 23 '17 at 21:08
  • Don't forget the "pro" factor. Psychologically, big cameras are perceived as being a sign of professional tech by the general public. That's why many companies have high-end video cameras that differ only by a couple of minor features from lower-end video cameras, but are twice as big, with lots of additional empty space inside. (No, I'm not kidding. I can provide examples if you'd like.) – dgatwood Feb 5 '17 at 7:10

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