New Thomson Super SloMo Shines At UEFA EuroCup

By Ken Kerschbaumer UEFA EuroCup championships are slowing down the action with the help of a new super slow-motion camera system from Thomson Grass Valley, the LDK 8300, that captures video at 150 HD fields per second, is frame-rate selectable, and has new anti-flicker technology. Studio Berlin Adlershof’s OB truck, U6, is equipped with seven LDK 8300 cameras and a further 26 LDK 6000 and LDK 8000 cameras for its coverage of the UEFA EURO 2008.
“We needed to leap-frog the existing three-times camera systems,” says Jeff Rosica, SVP, Thomson’s Broadcast & Professional Solutions within the systems division. “It has a new imager on the front end for a tangible difference in picture quality but it also is fully switchable between one-, two- and three-times recording.”
Rosica says that by being fully selectable the user does not have to compromise regular speed playback. Previous systems would record at three-times speed and play out at regular speed by sub-sampling frames.
“The problem is the camera is still operating in three-times mode so there is a loss of sensitivity and flicker,” he says. “But this camera operates in one-times mode at the flip of a switch.”
The camera also solves another problem that has plagued slow-motion camera systems: shooting clear images under artificial lighting conditions. Thomson’s Anylight high-quality anti-flicker system eliminates any perceived changes in light levels due to any differences in the mains power frequency and the synchronization with artificial lights.
“The different lighting and signage technology in stadiums can impact color imagery or cause artifacts that are more noticeable in HD,” says Rosica. “With Anylight the camera operator can dial in and have the camera compensate for timing differences between the frames and electrical light sources.”
The system is so new that UEFA and Thomson have actually been tweaking it and reworking programming code during the EuroCup. “Planning for UEFA EURO 2008 started many months ago,” says Werner Reese, CTO of Studio Berlin Adlershof. “The LDK 8300 cameras were delivered on time and we had every confidence in using them.”
The system will be more widely available in the first quarter of 2009. Pricing is still to be determined.

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