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BVE Preview: Camera support electrified

A new electric dolly will be one of the camera support highlights at BVE 2011. There will also be new jibs, fluid heads, tripods, stabilisation systems and camera robotics on show.

Electric dolly offers
fume-free filming

The new Flyka Electric Dolly is the first product from a new company, and was developed by photographer and cameraman Tony Holker, who broke his leg in 2008 and used a disabled buggy for filming.

“The smooth ride from a disabled buggy was a great platform to film from. I researched and researched to see what else was out there, but there seemed to be nothing, so I set about developing a prototype. Five prototypes later, I now have number 4 and 5 developed into working, conceptual vehicles for filming and the reaction from the industry has been superb,” explained Holker.

The Flyka should save many hours by making it simpler to set up shots, while no time will be wasted laying track. Users will also be able to record sound during filming, despite using a motorised Dolly. Hire costs are £500 per day (£200 for the first day for new clients) or £1800 per week, and future models are now being developed, including lighter vehicles, jib cranes, all terrain capabilities, and remote control.

Other benefits include: being able to do forward or backwards tracking shots without track coming into shot; doing long shots without having grips getting tired pushing a dolly back and forth; no down time needed while a Steadicam operator recovers; the ability to create very slow moving Steadicam shots without footstep jerks; variable speed and constant speed from 0 to 8mph; easier use of handheld shots for long distance; and step-off capabilities with a Steadicam. – Stand: Vehicle area

Lightweight Multi-purpose Jib

ABC Products’ new DSLR Light-Jib is a lightweight and compact jib arm designed for DSLR cameras and small camcorders. Represented by Ianiro UK, the Light-Jib is available from resellers from mid-February.

It can carry cameras and accessories weighing up to 4.5kg making it equally well suited to compact DSLRs and camcorders, such as the Canon XF105 & XF305, Panasonic HMC-151 & HMC-41 or the Sony NXCAM range.

Its weighs 3.9kg thanks to carbon fibre tubes, and packs small for portability in three parts – assembly time is claimed to be less than a minute. It is also fast and flexible in use thanks to its QuickPin system that allows a rapid change of location and camera angle. Its boom length is 1.52m.

In use, it has a parallelogram bar that can be continuously changed allowing for automatic tilt as well as precise adjustment of the tilt head angle. It also has a special swivel system that enables the jib to move smoothly throughout its range.

“The Light-Jib is a highly adaptable piece of equipment. It’s a great multi-purpose tool. It’s flexible for use with DSLRs and camcorders, fast enough to be set-up without missing a shot and light enough to transport anywhere,” said Nick Allen-Miles, MD of Ianiro UK.

The kit includes a built-in level, quick release and built-in brakes (horizontal and vertical). – Stand: E-26

Sachtler heads up for DSLRs

Sachtler will show its new Cine DSLR fluid head as well as the Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 fluid heads for ENG or EFP work.

In addition, the German professional camera support systems specialist will show the artemis modular camera stabilizer system for professional film production and digital cinematography.

The Cine DSLR fluid head (pictured) is designed for professional use with DSLRs shooting HD such as the Canon 5D Mark II or 7D, and has a payload range of 1kg to 5kg, plus ten-step counterbalance.

The Video 18 S1 and Video 20 S1 have a 16-step counterbalance with a payload range of 2-18kg or 2-25kg respectively. Both heads use the classic Sachtler Speedbalance Technology and a Touch & Go plate.

Sachtler will also be showing its artemis camera stabiliser. The artemis Cine HD Pro features modular construction, dual video processing and HiCap (high capacity) wiring. HotSwap technology provides an uninterrupted power supply when changing batteries. and – Stand: I-30

Scout, Phantom + Zephyr
blow in

Three new Steadicam rigs will be making their public UK debuts on the Tiffen stand at BVE. The lightweight Zephyr, the Scout and the Phantom.

The Zephyr (pictured) supports camera loads of up to 11kg and offers “unique control over the feel of the rig with features usually only found on high-end models.” These include a new tool-free gimbal, HD ready out of the box, fully adjustable lower sled for inertial and dynamic balance, side loading stage and a tool-free Iso-Elastic arm, requiring only ounces of force to support the unit throughout its huge boom range.

The Scout offers a precise and versatile lightweight system in an affordable package. Supporting up to 8kg, it has the same side loading stage as the Zephyr, a new base design for adjusting dynamic and inertial balance and the same tool-free performance from its Iso-Elastic arm.

The Phantom is a low-cost big rig that performs just like the top-of-the-range Ultra2. Working with loads up to 20kg it includes two posts, the Ultra2 tilt stage, an inertially-adjustable sled, G-70 arm and a SD monitor, upgradeable to a high definition monitor, and a motorised stage.

Also showing are the Tango, which delivers long-sought floor to ceiling boom range with lateral reach and Steadicam stabilisation, and the Smoothee that steadies iPhones and other smartphone videos. – Stand B-40

View Vinten’s Vision + Vector

Vinten‘s new Vision blue and Vector 430 will be making their UK show debuts at BVE.

The Vision blue is a competitively priced pan and tilt head and tripod system designed for smaller, lightweight camcorders and DSLRs, such as the Canon XF300.

The Vector 430 is a compact pan and tilt head for broadcast cameras, and has recently been bought by Ravensbourne College for use at its new campus in south east London. It bridges the gap between the Vision and Vector ranges and is ideal for applications which use both compact box lens and large EFP barrel lenses. – Stand I-30

Flexible automation for studios or parliaments

Vinten Radamec will be showing how studios can migrate to camera robotics by adding automation to manual pedestals and heads. The presentation will also feature compact automated camera systems for parliaments.

It will show a Vinten Osprey Elite studio pedestal, fitted with a Vinten Radamec Fusion Bolt on Height Drive and Fusion FH-100 robotic and manual head. These can be fitted to any Vinten or Sachtler non skirted manual pedestal in the field, giving precise control over pan, tilt and elevation when in automatic mode, with the capability of switching at the touch of a button to fully manual mode, giving the system the feel of a conventional Vinten pedestal.

It will be teamed with a Vinten Radamec HDVRC control system, which can perform complex moves, with on-shot trims can be made using a joystick, or pre-set shots from a touch-screen controller. The networked architecture of the HDVRC allows camera control over multiple sites, so that remote and local studios can be operated simultaneously from the same controller. The system can also drive Autocam and Radamec products, as well as specialist units such as external weather cameras.

The legislative system will feature a specialist Radamec 431 pan and tilt head, designed to provide excellent stability and range of movement in an unobtrusive form factor. It will be shown with a Legislative Control System that provides a simple single point of control for any installation, and can involve a very large number of robotic cameras.

The LCS can be linked into a voting or audio system that provides speaker information, from which its internal logic will choose the most appropriate camera to cover the speaker. Alternatively, it can be manually controlled using a touch screen to select and direct the cameras. In both cases, a joystick is provided to trim and tighten pre-set shots.

“Automation – whether for a public building like a legislature or for a busy studio – is definitely no longer a complex, risky and expensive process,” said Karen Walker of Vinten Radamec. “What we are showing at BVE this year is that it is simple to implement, secure in operation and delivers a real return on investment in a surprisingly short timescale.”

Vinten Radamec has now sold more than 500 of its Fusion heads worldwide. Recent orders include Sky Italia’s 24 hour rolling news channel, which has equipped four of its studios with Vinten Radamec robotic camera supports, including three FH-100 heads with Fusion FP-188 robotic camera pedestals, plus a control system.

Paul Vickerage, head of studios for Sky Italia, said: “We have two robotic studios for Sky Sports 24 and two for TG-24. These systems give us the ability to provide seamless interworking not just with newsroom systems but with other studios, which is very important to us. Our sports team controls a studio in Rome from its main production base in Milan, and the news team has the use of two separate studios, but everything is under a single point of control.”

Other recent customers include Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, which bought six robotic pan and tilt heads as part of a sophisticated Vinten Radamec robotics system, working in conjunction with its Orad Proset virtual studio software to provide fully automated control of pan, tilt and elevation, as well as high precision positioning around the studio floor. Another Asian broadcaster, now TV, has also equipped its sports studio with broadcast robotic systems from the Fusion range. In the US, major broadcasters such as HSN, Fox and NBC have all installed Fusion heads. – Stand I-30