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Camera Corps' Robotic Camera Scores At IBC

A leading provider of robotic camera technology for studio and location television production, Camera Corps, has reported a very positive response to its ultra-compact Q-Ball system at IBC 2009.
Camera Corps' Managing Director Laurie Frost said: "As well as winning an accolade from the IBC 'What Caught My Eye' team, Q-Ball was quite literally launched during the show as a key element in the television reconstruction of Charles Darwin's Beagle voyage being produced by Netherlands-based VPRO broadcast network. They set sail in September with five Q-Ball cameras which are being used throughout the nine-month voyage.
"The Q-Balls were chosen for their 1080i-native capability, combined with their compactness, infra-red night-shooting capability and very high-spec robotics. The entire production is being made in HD."
Technical Director Jim Daniels added: "IBC itself proved a very successful event. We talked to production specialists from many areas of the world, including Europe, the CIS and the USA. They all recognised the Q-Ball's creative potential both for point-for-view applications and as a camera that can be placed unobtrusively in a studio set or remote location. Q-Ball and its multicamera control system are particularly well suited to reality shows, allowing a relatively small production crew to control video feeds including full remote pan, tilt, focus and zoom, from many different camera positions."
A full dual-mode HD/SD robotic colour camera with high-precision pan and tilt, the Q-Ball incorporates 10:1 zoom optics and infra-red night-vision capability, all housed in a robust 115 mm diameter sphere machined from solid aluminium. Pan and tilt can be operated at any speed from four seconds to 20 minutes per revolution through an unlimited number of turns. Integral high-precision low-noise motors allow the camera to be repositioned smoothly during live shooting rather than merely between shots.
Weighing just 1.3 kg including mounting shaft, the Q-Ball is designed to allow rapid exterior or interior rigging and de-rigging. It can be operated at any angle with focus controlled manually or automatically. The integral camera incorporates a 1/3 inch 2 megapixel 16:9 CMOS sensor delivering 1080i/720p HD or 625/525 SD, both at 50 or 59.94 Hz and in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. Signal-to-noise ratio is >50 dB.
The Q-Ball is fully compatible with Camera Corps' range of pan/tilt and CCU controllers. Its interface delivers up to four channels of audio embedded into the SDI feed. It operates from a 9 to 18 V DC power supply. It is available pre-painted to match any required colour scheme, including jungle camouflage.
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