Cinematic Camera is a unique type of camera that was first introduced in the GTA III era and onwards. It allows the player to view a vehicle you're currently driving from 2nd person perspective and frequently changes as you drive further. GTA Vice City reuses the camera from GTA III but starting in GTA San Andreas, the cinematic camera was revamped, introducing different angles to choose from, (helicopter, pedestrian, etc.) and further enhanced in GTA IV in which you can activate slow-motion. In GTA Chinatown Wars, it uses classic cinematic camera from GTA III due to top-down perspective.
Before switching to Cinematic Camera, it is highly adviced that your vehicle must be in good condition or without wanted level. When you notice that your vehicle is about to explode (smoke comes out from engine), switch to default camera or just bail, otherwise you'll suddenly blow up. Also, when you're surrounded by police, just drive away or get out of the vehicle or else, you'll get busted easily.
In GTA 3 and GTA Vice City this type of view will make few cars spawn, making it possible to drive at very high speed on the streets, as there are barely any vehicles blocking your way.