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Polecam Takes The 3D 'High Ground' At IBC

Polecam Founder and Managing Director Steffan Hewitt has said that IBC 2009 was "a significant step forward for 3D television broadcasting".
Steffan said: "The show itself was well attended and our stand was busy, often crowded, from start to finish. Interest in the Polecam 3D Head was immense - our demonstrations being widely credited as the most natural stereoscopic pictures at the show.
"Effective 3D works particularly well with miniature high-performance cameras as these are small enough to match normal human eye-spacing, without the complexity and spatial errors that can result from using bulky cameras and a lot of correcting optics.
"We have been promoting ultra-compact HD cameras for years as part of the Polecam production system. A Polecam jib itself is a far more effective way of mounting and moving a 3D camera pair than trying to retain eye-friendly images with tracked zoom lenses."
Steffan continued: "The majority of people spend their entire waking lives seeing the world in 3D. If we choose to view in close-up, we move nearer the object rather than zoom our eyes. That is the key to successful 3D image capture and it ties in totally with the Polecam ethos. If viewers end up with a headache, it is because the producer is breaking the basic rules of human vision or trying to fix poorly-aligned shots with too much postproduction."
Polecam's 3D demonstration at IBC 2009 was based on two Toshiba IK-HD1 3-CCD cameras mounted side-by-side on the Polecam 3D Head. The camera CCUs at the back of the Polecam rig fed left and right streams of HD-SDI into a StereoBrain processor developed by NuMedia Technology and Inition. The StereoBrain combined the two streams into a single 3D-compatible signal fed via HDMI to a 46-inch JVC GD-463D10 3D LCD monitor with 1920 x 1080 native resolution.
Mel Noonan, Polecam Sales and Marketing Manager, said: "Polecam 7th Heaven made its IBC debut. Our recently-enhanced carbon-fibre formulation has led to a new extreme rigidity of the rigged poles in the standard and 7th Heaven configurations. An 8-metre forward reach compared with the standard Polecam's six metres enhances further the creative flexibility and production values offered by Polecam.
"An 8-metre crane that can be easily transported by one person and set up virtually anywhere in ten minutes changes the traditional way of using a crane. You can just have it with you and decide your mode of working on the spot. Twenty crane locations in a day becomes possible. Not only does 7th Heaven allow a wide variety of smooth moves from any angle you can imagine, it offers a really fast way to achieve static shots in countless camera positions, from ground level to eight metres high, all at full HD resolution or even 3D."
IBC was also the first IBC showing of Polecam's Full Frontal Filter System, FFFS. This enables Polecam operators to use high quality optical filters with compact HD cameras that have no integral filter mount. FFFS includes a Polecam filter holder and five 62 mm screw-fitting circular Tiffen filters plus a Cokin A121M Grad neutral grey medium filter.
The supplied Tiffen filter set consists of infra-red cut; 0.9 neutral-density (equivalent to three stops); 85B daylight corrector; 85BN9 combined neutral density and daylight filter; plus a circular polariser. The system comes complete with a Cokin A121M graduated neutral-grey medium filter and a 62 mm adapter ring allowing the use of many Cokin-compatible filters. A LensPen lens cleaner is also supplied.
Considerable interest was also shown in Polecam's new Universal RCP MkIII, which allows comprehensive control of up to five different camera types from a single unit. It allows a Polecam cameraman to delegate camera control to a colleague in, for example, commercials production. The control format used is a highly robust audio sine-wave data signal which can run at 1,200, 2,400 or 4,800 baud. The RCP can be linked via balanced audio cable to the RX Box receiver, which can be located up to and beyond 1,500 metres distant. The Universal RCP MkIII is compatible with Polecam-approved ultra-compact HD and SD cameras from manufacturers such as Camera Corps, Hitachi, Iconix, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba.

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