Belgian start-up Camargus has devised a picture stitching application for live sports which it claims to be superior to other products under development at Sony and Fraunhofer HII, writes Adrian Pennington.
Still in prototype but due for release in mid-2012, the system combines a single rig of 16 HD 2/3-inch CCDs and software that combines the pictures into a panoramic image. An operator can zoom into any part of that panorama using a virtual camera to track players or freeze frame elements for analysis. It features instant replay with zoom control and playback.
“Sony’s application used three HD cameras. We cover the field of play with 16 HD cameras to provide far greater resolution. You can clearly see shirt numbers and sponsor logos," said CEO, Tom Mertens.
“Fraunhofer’s system is a lot bigger. Ours is more compact and requires very little to set up. You only need to focus the lenses and you are all set.”
The new system builds on two previous prototype’s built by Carmagus with Fletcher Chicago and trialed by ESPN in the US. The Maxx Zoom, was used for replay shots during the 2010 NFL season for ESPN's Monday Night Football while the All22 system linked a wide-angle multi-camera system to Camargus' video stitching technology.
Carmagus is a spin-off from Hasselt University in Belgium.