Specialist Cameras: New Technologies And Future Developments

Specialist Cameras

With the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown having a dramatic impact on live sports coverage, Remote Production now seems to make much more sense for broadcasters and facilities providers. 

The R&D team at Gravity Media is focused on developing POV cameras for many new applications which can be adapted for Remote Production workflows. Current key projects include Tennis Cam and REF CAM systems incorporating the versatile cyan view camera control technology. 

The Tennis Cam project is a unique opportunity to provide our clients with a bespoke designed dual POV camera solution mounted on the net and providing stunning live-action shots. The cameras are connected to a signal transport interface using a single cable providing power, data and video – and a  quick release connection allowing for easy install. The camera’s signals are then transported via fibre back to the MCR where they can be remotely controlled. Future features will include integrated camera stabilisation and remote tilt functionality. 

ReFCam is a new in-house development being carried out in collaboration with our RF team based in Paris. The system consists of a DREAMM CHIP ATOM AIR CAMERA  integrated on a light weight vest with a Cyan View remote unit for camera control and a DTC Nano Transmitter. A future addition to the REFCAM will also be camera stabilisation and remote tilt functionality. 

With new smaller high quality cameras, lenses and sensors being developed in a market that is constantly evolving, the introduction of portable light weight gyrostabilised camera platforms has taken the broadcast industry by storm. Using the latest light weight portable gyrostabilised gimbals, the Gravity Media R&D team is developing a fully integrated UHD remote camera system which can be used for standalone pole cam applications or track mounted for stabilised tracking shots. The system can be wired or wireless, with full camera control including remote control of Zoom focus and iris. 

As Remote Production gains momentum,  the use of POV style cameras integrated together on a multicamera platform has become a very attractive option for broadcasters worldwide. A key product development area for Gravity Media is the integration of multiple cameras onto a single platform with full control of both cameras and remote heads using the Cyan View Control system as the backbone to the network, operated remotely via IP over fibre connection or 4G/5G wireless networks. This project is aimed at providing a remote camera production set-up using a combination of POV cameras and miniature remote heads all connected via a single cable infrastructure. 

Having the ability to not only control cameras but also other broadcast hardware – such as routers, colour correctors and GPIO panels – from the centralised system means it’s possible to adapt to a wider variety of client needs. On top of this, thanks to the low network traffic required by the system, not only is Remote Production possible over IP, but so is Remote Support. The easy to install system can then be remote configured and maintained by an engineer, reducing the number of people physically required on set to meet a show’s requirements.  

Two examples of set-up implemented by Gravity Media would be the Australian Open Tennis and Australian Ninja Warrior. When the requirements of the show changed whilst the engineering team was off-site (at one point in the UK), it was possible to make the necessary modifications over the IP link via a VPN, modifying the set-up as required and testing stability from 10,000 miles away and at a moment’s notice.  

The universal nature of the system also means there is virtually no limitation on what can be added to a network – from the miniature Dreamchip Atom Air camera, all the way up to the MRMC AFC100 head with a DKH-200 camera attached in an outdoor weatherproof housing with wipers, washers and heaters. Camera networks of over 100 unique devices can successfully be used on shows around the globe – demonstrating the system’s ability to scale from small budget productions all the way up to major international sporting events.  

Gravity Media offers a wide range of specialist camera solutions bespoke designed for the needs of our clients for standalone or multi camera setups as part of a complete flyaway package. Our specialist Camera Rental Equipment includes:

  • Hitachi DK-H100 and DK-H200
  • Panasonic AW-HE130 and 4k AWUE-70
  • Q-Ball2
  • Dream Chip HD Atom Air Cameras  

Gravity Media also offers tracking systems and compact robotic heads for a wide range of production requirements which include:

  • MRMC AFC100 robotic head with integrated I/O connectivity which enables network scalability and optional CCU control .
  • Pole Cam System
  • Fibre Systems
  • Cyan View Control Systems
  • Remote head control via Joystick Remote Panels /RCP
  • Tracking Systems with IP control 

Other live events supported by Gravity Media’s specialist cameras include:

  • BBC Top Gear
  • I’m a celebrity get me out of here
  • Australia Open Tennis Coverage
  • FACEIT Esports World Championship Series
  • Ninja Warriors

For more information please see here or email us on enquiries@gravitymedia.com