Camera Corps Q3 and MeerCat to make APAC debut at BroadcastAsia 2014
"Q-Ball, Q3 and MeerCat give programme producers and broadcasters the freedom to set up live video cameras quickly and reliably from practically anywhere," Shaun comments. "The Q-Ball and Q3 heads can be steered in any direction to create a new viewing angle or to track the action.
"MeerCat is designed for fixed-position shooting and can be concealed inside sports field markers, for example, or even on a studio set. Four MeerCats were used to capture and transmit onboard high-definition pictures of the April 2014 Thames Boat Race. One was mounted inside a thin metal pole at the rear of each boat behind the cox, showing the rowing team and beyond them the foreward view. Another was positioned at floor level, looking towards the cox.
"We have supported many Thames Boat Race outside-broadcasts over the years but this was the first time we were able to field a suitable miniature HD camera. MeerCat proved a real winner and the feedback from viewers and production alike was superb. It took you into the heart of the action. In fact it was the Meercat which captured the pivotal moment of this year’s race when the Cambridge number two was temporarily unseated following a clash of oars near the start of the race."
Developed in response to demand from sports, reality-television and stage-show producers, the Camera Corps MeerCat is housed in a metal case with a very small footprint, 30 x 30 mm, and is only 93 mm in height. Lens protrusion is just 25 mm. High-quality NF-mount lenses are available.
The MeerCat head can be attached to a quarter-inch mount for easy integration into narrow-profile locations. It 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.
The Camera Corps Q3 retains the compact spherical housing which made Q-Ball unobtrusive and therefore easy to place within view of other cameras. All commonly used HD formats are accommodated, interlaced and progressive, at up to 60 hertz frame rate. The format can be selected from the operator's control panel. An enhanced pan/tilt/zoom drive gives producers the freedom to match the precise acceleration and deceleration of much larger robotic heads when tracking moving performers on-air. Initial interest and sales have surpassed all expectations.
The Q3 can perform an unlimited number of 360 degree lateral rotations, 3 gigabits per second video being transferred 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.
Minimum illumination requirement for the Q3 is 0.5 lux (color 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. A genlock input with user-adjustable sync timing offset is provided. The camera 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.
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 CameraCorps' own design includes the iconic Q-Ball and Q3 as well as bespoke builds such as Pop-Up Ice-Cam. Baseball Base Cam, Archery Cam, Underwater Remote Cam, Slalom Pole Cam, Helmet Cam and Body Cam.
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, and HD Stump Cam and Turn Cam plus a wide range of miniature devices such a wearable cameras with the latest high-performance RF video links.