Inertia Unlimited Makes Camera Guts of Diggercam Available
By Ken Kerschbaumer
Inertia Unlimited is making the miniature camera system at the heart of the Fox Sports Diggercam available to the broader TV production community in the form of a $3,500 camera waterproof cube that weighs seven ounces and measures 2.1-inches high by 2.45-inches wide and 1.5-inches deep without lens.
“I see this as being useful for helmet cameras, on board racecars, or, potentially, in a TV booth where space is limited,” says Jeff Silverman, Inertia Unlimited owner.
The camera system is based on a single 1/3-inch CMOS sensor and delivers 1080i/720p signals via HD-SDI or SD-SDI 4:3 or 16:9 images, the latter useful for European broadcasters. It also has interchangeable 3mm, 5.5mm, 11mm, and 17mm prime lenses.
Silverman says the system is essentially a disassembled Sony HD10 Handycam that is reconfigured, re-oriented, and modified with a proprietary lens mouth and board that outputs HD-SDI signals. That is one difference between the system and the Diggercam that outputs a component analog signal.
“The real kicker is it doesn’t require a boat anchor unit or a camera control unit (CCU),” says Silverman, adding that the unit has a panel that can be located in a production truck for shading and camera control. “It’s a little box with a DMC sticking out on a pigtail.”
Can HD cameras continue to get even smaller? Silverman says yes. “The question is quality and whether or not the image will be acceptable,” he explains. “The smaller the lens the harder it is to make HD. So it is theoretically possible to build a much smaller camera but this unit is as small as we think you can go and still produce an HD image of reasonable quality.”