NAC, designers of the ultra slo-motion camera, High-Motion II, has switched system partners from Panasonic to Ikegami, writes Adrian Pennington. In addition, the High-Motion II, which is showing in prototype at NAB, will be trialled at sports events this summer including at next month’s UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley.
The decision to move production of the new model to Ikegami will enable sales of the High-Motion II into the rental market. Following the Beijing Olympics 2008 NAC and Arri Media, NAC’s rental and resale partner, received several offers of purchase for the original High-Motion unit which TVBEurope understands it was unable to fulfill following Panasonic’s decision to withdraw from specialist camera projects.
While the camera head and sensor design are NACs, the unit incorporates a fibre interface, viewfinder, tally and comms among other off-the-shelf items from Panasonic, which also built the camera. Going forward Ikegami will fulfill that role.
There are around twenty of the $300,000 (approx price) Hi-Motion I units extant worldwide but the new deal is expected to considerably boost the number of Hi-Motion II’s in the field when it debuts in Q1 2012, ahead of the Olympic Games in London.
New features of the High-Motion II include:
* A 3-chip CMOS sensor at least two stops more light sensitive affording images four times brighter than previously. Arri Media claims the sensor is capable of even greater sensitivity
* Continuous live output separate from replay output. Instead of a single function, the RAM record device can now record and playback at the same time
* Integration with EVS XT-LSM from day one. The original camera featured EVS integration as a bolt-on in 2009, two years after the product debuted, but development for the new camera is being done with EVS as a key partner
* Flicker Correction Function, which reduces lighting flicker in a venue where local lighting systems are not synchronised with the frequency of the ultra slow motion camera systems
* Memory capacity is doubled to 96GB
“One of the key differences the Hi-Motion has over the competition is that it is designed as a broadcast camera and fits easily into an OB,” said Andy Hayford, Digital High-Speed manager, Arri Media. “It has three sensors on an optical block and its colourimetry is similar to a Sony or Grass Valley camera. Other ultra motion cameras are based on large single sensor Vision Research cameras which were originally made for missile testing or other applications.”
Recording at 1000fps is slowed down 40 times for broadcast. Most sports, including football, use 300fps slowed down 12 times for replay, otherwise the clips become too lengthy to use. Cricket coverage prefers 500-600fps and sports such as darts up to 1000fps.
Sky has broadcast 3D ultra motion clips for its darts coverage and Hayford said that the new camera has been designed so that the sensors will be perfectly synchronised when two cameras are positioned on a rig.
Tests on the Hi-Motion II will take place in Europe, including at the Champions League Final 28 May, and in the US in July.
The Hi-Motion system is available from Arri Media in the UK and partners in Japan, USA, France and Germany.