Camera Corps Q-Ball Enjoys Successful Sports Summer

Camera Corps, a Vitec Group Company, enjoyed what it calls “a highly successful summer of sport” both in its role as a broadcast production service provider and as manufacturer of robotic camera systems. From the Extreme Sports X-Games in Germany, Spain and Brazil, to high-level car racing and the stunning win by Englishman Andy Murray at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, Q-Ball robotic camera systems were on the scene, unobtrusively delivering all the shots no other camera could get as part of televising the competitive action to the viewing audience.

During April, May and June, Camera Corps provided Q-Ball systems along with a wide range of support equipment for the X-Games series shot in Europe and South America by NEP Visions for ESPN. “The entire Camera Corps team and Q-Ball offering was great,” comments David O’Carroll, Technical Projects Manager, NEP Visions. “From our earliest conversations the personnel and the Q-Ball provided the experience, flexibility and shots necessary to help us achieve the best possible coverage for ESPN.”

Camera Corps was also active at a total of three X Games extreme-sports events in Brazil, Germany and Spain. Camera Corps technicians attended each X-Games event working with O’Carroll and his colleagues to capture dynamic close-up images of the action as well as long-range wide-angle views. The Q-Ball heads were operated as com-cams, providing images of the announcers as they described the action. Because of the compact size and excellent HD-quality images, Q-Ball delivered all the detail necessary for an HD broadcast while allowing the announcers’ personalities to naturally come through, as a large, broadcast camera with operator can be distracting. All cameras were controlled using Camera Corps PTZF joysticks, which provide the tactile feedback essential for covering fast-moving live content. Other Camera Corps equipment used at each event included Camera Corps VHR pan/tilt heads, point-of-view cameras and long-range optical fiber links.

“Everything worked well at all three X-Game venues, including outdoor cameras operating under protective rain-covers and the Q-Ball systems,” adds Camera Corps’ Senior Technician David Sisson “The resultant footage showed some of the most exciting events ever captured during outside broadcast productions and really was nothing short of extreme. This is what Q-Ball offers – the shots no other cameras can achieve – that production and viewers want every time.”

Commenting on the motor racing and tennis event parts of the successful summer of sports for Camera Corps, Shaun Glanville, Business Development Director, Camera Corps, said, “One of the high points of our year to date was seeing a number of Camera Corps Q-Balls achieving global publicity when the winners of a major motor racing event celebrated their UK-leg triumph this past June. The Q-Balls were so close to the action that they were showered with champagne on the winners’ podium. Images of this event and of two Q-Balls looking no bigger than a microphone were broadcast live around the world and published throughout the international press. Earlier in June, Q-Ball captured close-up high definition images of Andy Murray at the climax of his success in the 2013 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. This was a moment England had been waiting for since Fred Perry’s win in 1936.”

“We have provided Q-Ball cameras and support services to Wimbledon for over 10 years,” adds Neil Ashworth, Equipment Manager, Camera Corps. “These have been used in a variety of roles, giving television directors the opportunity to capture close-up images of the games in progress and of the commentators, as well as cutaways to long-range ‘beauty’ shots from cameras mounted high overhead. Our recently-introduced single-mode optical and simply SMPTE dual-mode electro-optical camera links were used at Wimbledon wherever we needed to deliver live high-definition video over long distances.”

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