Meduza MK1 Camera Launches at IBC 2011
The announcement was made by Chris Cary, CEO of the new UK tech 3D start-up, 3D Visual Enterprises, parent company of the 3D technology developer, Meduza Systems. The Meduza MK1 has been designed to use the recently announced, matched Delta 4K S3D Meduza Optics, also launching at IBC. Pre-order customers can expect delivery of the MK1 in November.
The Meduza MK1 is based on the revolutionary prototype first shown at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in April. “From the outset, The Meduza has been designed as an evolving professional S3D imaging tool,” says Cary. “The Meduza MK1 represents the first giant step forward in performance and flexibility in shooting S3D. With its rugged ‘utility look,’ the Meduza MK 1 has been referred to by many as the new ‘Mean Machine.’”
Now more refined and polished, the Meduza MK1still retains its utility body work and the unique NATO rail attachment system. Other improvements implemented in the latest version are a much more robust and accurate mechanical system that is designed to allow for changeable inter-axial adjustments from between 38mm to 110mm without the use of a mirror rig and with an accuracy of a 1/2 micron. “Such accuracy is normally only available to military and laboratory type equipment,” explained Meduza Systems COO Jon Kitzen, “but we were able to miniaturize it for the Meduza and throw in completely adjustable convergence to boot. Our goal has been to provide minimal distortion mechanically, electronically, and optically in producing the system.” Other changes are a completely custom and adjustable mattebox that allows for a single filter to cover both lenses. The mattebox is also designed to minimize the optics/mechanics to outside dust and environmental conditions, thereby making the entire camera more durable and reliable. “With a typical mirror rig there is a lot of equipment – gears, cables, cameras, lenses – all hanging out there waiting to be bumped, rained on, or get dirty. We minimized all that with the camera and enclosed it so it’s protected,” added Kitzen, “a significant change since NAB.”
IBC will represent the first opportunity for 3D film and television professionals to order the Meduza. “We will have a limited production capacity for systems,” says Cary. “The Meduza is like a tailored suit, hand-made, designed and assembled for each client’s needs. We intend to be working with our customers over a long period as we release new modules for the body system. It needs to be right each time.”
The matched Delta 4K S3D Meduza optics, designed to be used with the Meduza MK1, will also launch at IBC. The first built for purpose, matched pair, 3D lenses, designed by Kenji Suematsu, the Delta series lenses are built to deliver super high precision, not only in the glass, but also in the motorized focus and iris controls specifically developed to meet the challenges of precision needed both for 3D and for 4K cinematography. These lenses are not only uniquely optically matched and sold in pairs, but each lens has been constructed to fit into a compact 38mm wide mechanical barrel to allow for very close inter-axial positioning that is critical to S3D.
Since picking up a Mario Award from the industry’s leading magazine, TVTechnology, in recognition of ‘Innovation & Technical Excellence’ upon launching at NAB, the Meduza Camera remains the first single beyond 4K digital stereoscopic 3D (S3D) camera ever developed and has achieved an auspicious debut. Meduza Systems was subsequently invited by America’s Space Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to shoot the final July 18 Space Shuttle Launch at Cape Canaveral, FL. A ‘digital imaging system’ that sets a new benchmark standard for stereoscopic 3D image capturing, the Meduza MK1, with modular components, can be set up in minutes, not hours. Interchangeable lenses, precise remote controlled variable inter-axial (the distance between the lenses) and precise remote controlled convergence (features non-existent in other compact cameras but essential to quality S3D film making), the Meduza MK1 is a single camera, with a single set of electronics and a single set of controls that powers two imaging sensors at the same time. Weighing less than 15 pounds, the camera has only what is needed on board, when it is needed and always in the smallest and simplest configuration.
Available Head configurations for the Meduza MK1 are the Anaconda - Compact Variable IA Head in three sensor configurations (see addendum for specs). Integrated inputs and outputs include HDMI, 4xHDSDI, RS232 and cam link.
Meduza Systems will also soon announce the debut of their 4 terabyte super high speed data storage device prototype, currently completing development.
From Aerospace and medicine to military and robotics, the Meduza’s impact has enormous potential with its game changing modular design. Easier, faster and cheaper to produce 3D content, the camera enables filmmakers to shoot HD at 160 fps in one configuration, in 2K at over 100 fps in another configuration and 4K at 60 fps in another. 2012 sensor set ups will take the camera beyond 4K in both 16 x 9 and 4 x 3 formats bringing Giant Screen and super hi resolution within reach of every 3D film maker. Much higher frame rates are promised once the data back system is completed.