Camera Corps Chooses IBC2014 for First European Showing of Q3 and MeerCat

Camera Corps Q3 and MeerCat

Camera Corps will demonstrate the latest additions to its range of robotic camera systems at IBC2014 in Amsterdam, September 12-16. Taking centre stage will be the Q3 pan/tilt/zoom/focus head and MeerCat miniature camera, both introduced at NAB in April and now fully deliverable. Q3 and MeerCat can be integrated easily with all Camera Corps' current control systems. Up to 96 cameras of various types can be joystick-controlled by up to four operators and four vision engineers.


Q3 robotic pan/tilt/zoom/focus head
Camera Corps' Q3 robotic pan/tilt/zoom/focus camera allows highly efficient broadcast television coverage from practically anywhere. Fully IP45 rated, it is designed for use in coverage of events such as outdoor and indoor sports, reality shows and live stage performances. Q3 retains the unobtrusive compact spherical housing of its Q-Ball predecessor, allowing easy placement within view of other cameras while retaining full control of vertical and horizontal shooting angles, focal length and focus.

Just 104 millimetres high, 125 mm in diameter and weighing 2.5 kg, Q3 incorporates a high quality 1920 x 1080-native camera with a 2.1 million pixel 1/3 inch RGB Bayer progressive CMOS imager plus high-precision motorised pan/tilt/zoom/focus. An enhanced motor drive matches the precise acceleration and deceleration of much larger robotic heads when tracking moving performers on-air. The camera's integral 20x optical zoom lens can be adjusted from maximum wide (59.4 degrees) to full telescopic (3 degrees) in just 3 seconds. Maximum focus time is 10 seconds.


Q3 can deliver live video in all commonly used HD formats, interlaced and progressive, at up to 60 hertz frame rate. Output signal format can be selected from the operator's control panel. The motorised head can perform an unlimited number of 360 degree lateral rotations. Video is transferred at 3 gigabits per second over high-quality slip rings to ensure complete freedom from cable-snagging. Pan and tilt speed are adjustable from an ultra-slow 360 degrees in 90 minutes to 90 degrees per second. Motion control sequences of up to 25 seconds duration can be stored to internal non-volatile memory.

Additional features of Q3 include genlock input with remote timing adjustment,  smooth on-air operation of iris and master black, manual and automatical white balance adjustment, integral colour bar test signal generator and negative/positive/monochrome effects.

Minimum illumination requirement for the Q3 is 0.5 lux (colour mode) or 0.02 lux (monochrome). Camera alignment features include gamma correction, white balance, 16-step edge enhancement and a 2 second to 1/10,000 second shutter. Q3 can be locked to external C sync or tri-level HD sync. An optional optical-interface provides data control, genlock and 3 gigabits per second video over a pair of single-mode fibers.


Camera Corps MeerCat miniature remote broadcast camera
Developed in response to demand from sports, reality-television and stage-show producers, MeerCat was first used on air at the April 2014 Thames Boat Race. One camera was mounted inside a thin metal pole at the rear of each boat, providing a forward view. Another was positioned at floor level, looking towards the cox.

The MeerCat head is housed in a metal case with a very small footprint, 30 x 30 mm, and is only 93 mm in height. It can be attached to a quarter-inch mount for easy integration into narrow-profile locations. Lens protrusion is just 25 mm. High-quality NF-mount lenses are available.

MeerCat can also be used as a wearable camera with a full high-definition live wireless link. Full control facilities including manual iris setting with adjustable electronic exposure can be performed remotely using the existing range of Camera Corps joysticks and remote panels.


MeerCat incorporates a high-quality third-inch MOS sensor with 1944 x 1092 effective pixels. This can be switched to deliver 1080p, 1080i or 720p video at 50, 59.94 or 60 hertz frame rate. Video is output as HD-SDI which can be converted to an optical feed using a Camera Corps optical fibre interface. Minimum illumination is 1.2 lux at f/1.4. Chroma, master black, saturation, gain, shutter, detail, white balance, gamma, speed and exposure, video format and noise reduction can all be adjusted from the remote control panel.

MeerCat comes complete with a standard Camera Corps power supply and interface which can be positioned up to 30 metres from the camera head. Control signals can be delivered over a standard audio line, allowing the interface to be located a practically unlimited distance from the operator. Up to six MeerCats can be controlled from a single Camera Corps remote panel.

Camera Corps Maintains Focus on Innovation at IBC2014 with Version 3 Cricket Stump Cam

Camera Corps has chosen IBC2014 as the global launch platform for the latest version of the legendary Cricket Stump Cam which has long set the standard for capturing dynamic close-ups of major national matches and international tours.


"Version 2 Cricket Stump Cam has been in successful use for about five seasons, delivering high-definition images from a camera integrated inside the middle stump at each end of the pitch," explains Camera Corps Projects Manager Paul McNeil. "Version 3 is the most compact to date, completely housed inside a regulation-gauge cricket stump. This gives users the freedom to place cameras in the mid or outer stumps. Each camera can be configured with a choice of 50 degree, 100 or 128 degree lenses to allow tight, wide or superwide shots.

Camera Corps Version 3 Cricket Stump Cam in action at Lord's Cricket Ground and on air


"The Version 3 Cricket Stump Cam system consists of four cameras; two for each wicket. A classic arrangement is to position one camera with a tight-angle lens facing forward to capture images of the bowler and the oncoming ball. The second camera, fitted with a superwide lens, is then ideally placed to televise the wicket keeper. All four feeds are multiplexed onto single-mode fibre.


"Version 3 Cricket Stump Cam was trialled very successfully throughout the summer 2014 cricket season by a major UK-based satellite broadcaster. It is designed to withstand direct strikes from cricket balls. Top bowlers can accelerate a ball to speeds of more than 90 miles per hour. A fast bowl coming in from one of the run-outs can reach 100 miles per hour."Our cameras received direct strikes from fast bowlers about 20 times during the summer. The only corrective action needed was, on rare occasions, to reset a couple of connectors."

Version 3 Cricket Stump Camera is available on a dry-hire or wet-hire basis. It comes complete with a Camera Corps Universal RCP panel which allows full remote control of blacks, shutter speed, colour and gain. The system's world-first exhibition appearance will be on the Vitec Videocom stand, 11.E55, at IBC2014. Camera Corps representatives attending the show will include Laurie Frost, Jim Daniels, Barry Parker, Neil Ashworth.

About Camera Corps
A Vitec Group company, Camera Corps specialises in providing remote camera solutions for reality television shows as well as very large-scale sports, entertainment and stage events. Camera Corps has achieved a pre-eminent reputation for its ability to acquire exciting and unusual television content from exceptionally challenging environments.

The Camera Corps equipment fleet encompasses HotShots, MiniShots and an array of remote specialist cameras and lenses, remote underwater systems, cranes, platforms and dollies. Equipment of Camera Corps' own design includes the iconic Q-Ball as well as many other bespoke camera systems.

Following the March 2014 acquisition of the Special Cameras division of SIS LIVE (formerly BBC Special Cameras Division), the Camera Corps inventory now includes world-leading systems such as Halibut HD, Plunge Cam, HD Pod, Cricket Stump Cam and Turn Cam plus a wide range of miniature devices such a wearable cameras with the latest high-performance RF video links.