Ikegami Teams with NAC, Fletcher on Hi-Motion Cameras at Super Bowl

Among the many sights TV viewers across the country will see during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI will be replays of ultra-slow-motion action captured by NAC Image Technologies’ new Hi-Motion II ultra-motion camera system.

These ‘hi-motion’ cameras are unique in using a three-CMOS-sensor camera head with built-in memory to deliver greater than ten-times-speed (“10x”) for dramatic ultra-slow-motion playback of HD sports action.

The new Hi-Motion II camera, developed in cooperation with Ikegami, is a dual-format 1080i/720p system that can provide simultaneous output of live normal-speed video and ultra-slow-motion replay video, and can be used as both a “traditional” HD portable/field camera and an ultra-motion HD camera that can work side-by-side with other Ikegami HD cameras on production trucks to deliver the exceptional imagery today’s HDTV sports viewers demand.

The Hi-Motion II camera is sold and supported by Ikegami.

“The Hi-Motion II camera systems are performing flawlessly right out of the box, which doesn’t always happen with new products, so we are quite happy right now,” says Dan Grainge, Vice President Fletcher Camera & Lenses.

Four of the 12 Hi-Motion II ultra-motion cameras Fletcher recently purchased will get their inaugural use at Super Bowl XLVI.

Grainge lists several reasons why his company has invested $3.5 million in the new technology, the first of which is the “superior image” produced by the cameras during side-by-side tests with other high-speed cameras.

“You can get great images out of both single-chip and three-chip cameras,” says Grainge. “But I can tell you that the three CMOS sensors in the Hi-Motion II cameras provided a clarity improvement and a detail enhancement that is better than their competitors’ cameras.”

The second reason was the complete integration and support that Ikegami has provided in order to make the Hi-Motion II camera system work with mobile production vehicles.

“On the video side in the truck, the CCU and OCP are professional Ikegami equipment, which are very well understood by truck engineers,” says Grainge. “When they see the Ikegami name they already know how to use it. Also very important is that the Hi-Motion II camera is designed to work with the Ikegami fiber interface, allowing the Hi-Motion II to work at long distance (more than 6,000 ft.) using SMPTE fiber as well as single-mode fiber with local power from, for example, a Telecast Fiber HDX box.”

Grainge also lauds Ikegami’s attention to detail when it comes to functionality and interface.

“Where the knobs and the intercom are placed and how they interface [is ideal for camera operators],” he says. “The Ikegami 9-inch color LCD viewfinder has been said by camera operators to be the best build-up viewfinder they have ever seen. It’s definitely the one you want to use when you have an 86×1 long HD lens on your Hi-Motion II camera and you have to focus in a low-light situation.”

Finally, Grainge also attributes Fletcher’s purchase of the cameras to the precision in which the Hi-Motion II camera matches and cuts-in with other HD cameras.

“Because this three-CMOS camera can originate in 1080p, its picture quality and color reproduction make it easier and quicker to paint than a single-chip camera,” he says. “With the Hi-Motion II there’s no longer a difference between the look of the high-speed cameras and the look of the truck cameras.”

“There’s a real comfort factor for our customers when they see the Ikegami name on the side of the Hi-Motion II camera, because they definitely respect the finishing work and the quality that Ikegami provides,” Grainge concludes. “We look forward to seeing the Hi-Motion II ultra-motion camera system being used for Super Bowl XLVI. We also look forward to how it will benefit such major sports coverage as basketball, hockey, baseball, football, and soccer. I know it’s going to be a big hit.”

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