Chalk Hill Media's Virtual Museum

RCA TK-20 Film Chain Camera

Camera and Camera Control Unit

Shown with RCA Projector.

Using a Multiplexer, more than one source could feed the same camera.

Engineers at controls "shading" the camera.  Basically they "ride gain" just like with audio, to keep the picture from being too bright or too dark.

The Camera Control Unit or "CCU."  Each camera would have one of these.  There was a video monitor and an oscilloscope in each unit, which allowed the operator to set the white level (gain) and black level (pedestal) as well as other parameters.  This essentially set brightness and contrast for the camera.  The Scope allowed the operator to view the video level against a calibrates scale on the screen, as well as allowed him to diagnose other problems such as improper sync levels or noise in the signal.   The large round connector near the bottom of the unit was where the camera cable was connected.

A typical control set up.

Block diagram of a typical studio