In Broadcast - July 2013 - 24


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 21 - JULY 2013

N E W S

InFOCUS

Panasonic’s Professional Equipment
Braves Extreme Cold In Antarctica
‘The Coldest Journey’ is a challenge that is seeing man and machine pitted against the most hostile
conditions on Earth with temperatures expected to dip below minus 70°C at times. This is one journey
for which only the best of breed are capable…

S

24

ir Ranulph Fiennes’ groundb r e a k i n g ex p e d i t i o n to
traverse Antarctica in winter is
well underway and at the time of
writing this, the ‘ice team’ is just
148km into a 3852km journey
having already spent more than
two months on the ice shelf in winds
of 20-30 knots and temperatures
so far having dropped to minus 30
degrees Celsius.
Panasonic was chosen as the
technology partner for the expedition
because it is uniquely able to provide
professional broadcast camera
equipment and Toughbook rugged
PCs plus Lumix-G digital imaging
equipment up to the task.
But how do you train explorers and
scientists to become unflappable
cameramen and what hardships
must the world’s best imaging
equipment go through before
being allowed to document such
an important mission?
Before the expedition’s departure
earlier this year, Hugh Bowring, from
‘The Coldest Journey’ operations
team, confirmed that the Panasonic
broadcast camera hardware had
been subjected to the toughest trials
and judged ideal for the job.
Charged with filming the bulk of
the expedition is the extraordinary
Panasonic AG-HPX250 - P2 HD
camera. This professional handheld
camera recorder has become a
firm favourite with natural history

Panasonic & The Coldest Journey Team

filmmakers, and combines a 22x
zoom lens with a high sensitivity,
low-noise U.L.T. (Ultra Luminance
Technology) 3MOS image sensor,
guaranteeing crisp, rich images.
Bowring himself tested the
AG-HPX250 in cold chamber
conditions and was blown away
by its performance. “The footage
it produced was faultless,” he said.
He spent a freezing 45 minutes

Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-31 on location

shooting at minus 58°C in a cold
chamber which was effectively like
a freezer, but the pro-camcorder
never flinched – everything
worked really well.
For the expedition Panasonic
devised a dedicated insulated
camera jacket which covers
everything except the viewfinder and
the lens. “There’s a small hole in the
bottom where you can put a gloved
hand, allowing the main controls to
be used,” explained Bowring. “It
also has a few pockets which allows
us to use heated pouches, the kind
you snap and they stay warm for
about ten hours.”
To judge how the AG-HPX250
would perform in the wild, the
Coldest Journey team conducted
field tests in Sweden, shooting
material in temperatures of minus
40°C. The only thing to suffer were
the cameraman’s fingers – he ended
up with terrible frostbite.
Naturally, during the traverse
members of the expedition crew
are venturing beyond the confines
of the life-support cabooses with at
least one pair of gloves on. But this
in itself creates problems. “When I
was shooting in the cold chamber,
I basically wore two pairs of gloves
on one hand, creating a really thick
mitt which was nice and toasty,” he
recalls. “On the other hand I wore a
thin glove, to allow some dexterity.”

For practical reasons, the AGHPX250’s 3.45-inch LCD monitor
won’t be used because of the
protective jacket. Instead everything
is framed in the viewfinder.
To make life easier for the begloved
explorers, and to ensure perfect
results every time, the team has
worked closely with Panasonic to
develop a trio of presets optimised
for the most common conditions.
“It’s our default go-to programme,”
explained Bowring. “An Indoors
mode has been designed for filming
inside the caboose living area
under artificial light, an Outdoors
preset takes advantage of the light
available during the expedition,
while an Outside Dark mode caters
for the period in between.”
The entire train of Caterpillars are
pumping out a lot of light during the
journey, noted Bowring, so it’s not
as if the AG-HPX250 is working in
absolute darkness.
Of course having hardware robust
enough to survive the duress of the
world’s toughest journey is one thing,
making the most of it is another.
Enter the BBC, which trained the
team in the art of good photography
and filmmaking.
“We have provided the BBC with
footage from both the ice and the
ship en route which has gone into
CONTINUED ON PAGE 25


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - July 2013

In Broadcast - July 2013
Contents
InNews: Fiji TV Playout Facility Opts for Harris Broadcast Gear
InNews: Avalon Studios Goes for Xytech
InFocus: Panasonic Pro-Camera Equipment in Antartica
InSound: European Soccer Covered With Lawo Technology
InGear: Egripment Launch Universal Dolly
InTech: Abonair Part II – Wireless Video Links
InMedia: Vector 3: The Playout People
In Broadcast - July 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - July 2013 - In Broadcast - July 2013
In Broadcast - July 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - July 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InNews: Fiji TV Playout Facility Opts for Harris Broadcast Gear
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InNews: Avalon Studios Goes for Xytech
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 13
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 14
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 15
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 16
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 17
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 18
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 19
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 20
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 21
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 22
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 23
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InFocus: Panasonic Pro-Camera Equipment in Antartica
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 25
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 26
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 28
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 30
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 31
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In Broadcast - July 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InSound: European Soccer Covered With Lawo Technology
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InGear: Egripment Launch Universal Dolly
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InTech: Abonair Part II – Wireless Video Links
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 56
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - July 2013 - InMedia: Vector 3: The Playout People
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - July 2013 - 63
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In Broadcast - July 2013 - 73
In Broadcast - July 2013 - Cover3
In Broadcast - July 2013 - Cover4
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - July 2013 - S6
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