In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 32


32

Innovative Camera Supports Beyond The Tripod
By Kieron Seth
Neil Davis, the famous war cameraman with Visnews, covered conflicts across Asia in the 1970s and 1980s. His cine-camera was at his side through the Vietnam war, capturing some of the most iconic and fleeting moments in recent history. As the world of broadcast journalism moved into electronic newsgathering in the 1980s, small, discreet film cameras were replaced by unwieldy, heavy two-piece camera systems. Davis found that he instantly lost his agility. He was now tethered to his sound man who carried his battery and recorder, while he himself shouldered a 9 kg camera. His death during a minor coup d’état was said to be down to cumbersome kit. The man who prided himself on his ability to think and move fast had become an easy target. Today’s crews have the acquisition technology and camera supports to go anywhere and shoot anything – smoothly, quickly, almost effortlessly. Television producers can ask extraordinary things of the production team – to film from a raft on the Colorado, to shoot impromptu over the heads of a rioting crowd, to follow the cut of the surgeon’s blade at a distance of mere inches. Nowadays there seems to be no limit to what angle, level or path a camera needs to take. 25 years ago any of these shots would have entailed a significant investment in equipment and specialist expertise. Only
Polecam rig in use during a shoot in the Arctic

film crews would have had the budget and time to attempt what is today a matter of routine for video producers.

Modern Camcorders
As we moved into the 1990s, two-piece ENG cameras thankfully became a thing of the past.

ABC-Products’ DSLR Light-Jib

As the recorder was integrated into the camera body the truly portable, shouldermounted camcorder swept across the broadcast world. Liberated crews could now literally shoot on the run without the constant concern for trailing wires. Although a great step forward, the early models, such as

Sony’s BVW range were hefty boxes, weighing in at as much as 10.5 kg. This burden was tough to shoulder for any significant length of time and any camera operator attempting balletic manoeuvres was surely risking injury. The Vinten Vision range of pan & tilt heads was launched in 1986 as a response, a means of taking the weight of the new generation of cameras. However, while offering excellent movement and stability, the camera itself was firmly glued to the spot. The breakthrough came with DV, the technology that changed the performance / size ratio for good. With today’s latest models we are finally back to the portability of the celluloid equivalents that accompanied big video cameras news crews until as recently as the 1970s. Canon’s new broadcast-approved XF305 weighs in at under 3 kg; Sony’s PMW-500 at less than 4 Kg; even a fully equipped Sony HDCAM HDW-F900R comes in at under 5.5 kg. Beloved of independent film makers and commercials producers, Canon’s 5D Mark II DSLR, the surprise package of the last three years, is under that magical one kilo figure.

pictures and to give the producer the ultimate flexibility in image capture. Before looking at supports in detail, it’s worth noting the irony that as camcorders have shrunk in size and weight, manufacturers have started to develop products to actively increase their size for steadier shooting. Handheld cameras cannot host the multitude of accessories and electrical components today’s producers insist on. To compensate, a new breed of product is emerging. Protech’s ST-7 is a great example – it literally extends the length of a Sony EX1/3 and a Sony Z5/Z7, turning them into shoulder-mounted models, balanced and stable. With the Protech attached, the cameras can host standard V-mount batteries while the mount gives easy access to additional BNC and XLR connectors and a power socket.

Up High
However, there are occasions where the lightest cameras have a distinct advantage. Polecam can hoist imagers high into the air, not just because of the rigidity of their jibs and the quality of their materials, but also because the Toshiba HD camera heads weigh as little as 145 grammes. Polecam challenges its users with the statement that with their minicranes, you can now put a 20 foot jib anywhere you can put a camera person. Their system is based on carbon fibre making the crane extremely lightweight without
CONTINUED ON PAGE 34

Lift and Support
In the wake of these high-performance and lightweight units, a wave of new support products emerged. They are geared to enhance the versatility of the cameras, to produce smooth, fluid


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - July/August 2011

In Broadcast - July/August 2011
Contents
Whats New in Our Global Village
iPad The Game Changer
Outside Broadcasters Feel the Pinch
Innovative Camera Supports - Beyond the Tripod
IP-Based Remote Television Studio Control
Trilogy's Gemini - Pioneering the Use of IP in Broadcast Intercom
The Ears Have It: The Drive for Better Sounding Mobile Content
IBC Sneak Peak
Monitoring Systems For Today's Digital, Multiplatform Era
New Developments in Broadcast Test and Measurement
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Intro
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - In Broadcast - July/August 2011
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Cover2
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Contents
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Whats New in Our Global Village
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 5
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 6
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 7
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 8
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 9
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 10
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 11
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 12
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 13
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 14
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 15
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 16
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 17
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - iPad The Game Changer
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 19
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 20
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 21
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Outside Broadcasters Feel the Pinch
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 23
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 24
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 25
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 26
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 27
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 28
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 29
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 30
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 31
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Innovative Camera Supports - Beyond the Tripod
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 33
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 34
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 35
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 36
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 37
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - IP-Based Remote Television Studio Control
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 39
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Trilogy's Gemini - Pioneering the Use of IP in Broadcast Intercom
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 41
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 42
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 43
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - The Ears Have It: The Drive for Better Sounding Mobile Content
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 45
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - IBC Sneak Peak
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 47
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 48
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 49
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 50
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 51
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 52
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 53
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 54
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 55
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Monitoring Systems For Today's Digital, Multiplatform Era
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 57
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 58
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 59
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - New Developments in Broadcast Test and Measurement
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 61
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 62
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 63
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 64
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 65
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 66
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 67
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 68
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 69
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 70
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 71
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 72
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 73
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - 74
In Broadcast - July/August 2011 - Cover4
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