Mini-Zoom and Q-Ball remotely controlled miniature camera systems from Camera Corps were used for ITV’s annual Text Santa last month. The TV programme is a fund-raising initiative for six UK charities. Cameras were positioned at each extremity of a massive 'tree-of-terror' opposite ITV's London Studios on the South Bank.
"The 'tree' was ascended by Ant and Dec, two presenters well known for the challenges to which they subject contestants in their own very popular television series," explained Camera Corps Business Development director, Shaun Glanville. "The 30m high structure was comparable in size and shape with the mast of a tall sailing ship. The presenters' task was to climb the main tower and walk out along each branch.”
Installed by Camera Corps technicians, each MiniZoom camera tracked the presenters' progress, with a Q-Ball mounted at the apex enabling viewers to track the climb. The MiniZooms and Q-Ball were operated from Camera Corps remote control panels in the production studio, delivering high-definition video to intercut with signals from the main studio cameras.
"The cameras performed well, handling the extremes of outdoor night shooting and direct light from the various lamps which illuminated the structure. Fortunately the contestants and the cameras were spared the traditional Christmas rain!" added Glanville.
The Camera Corps MiniZoom incorporates a 1/3-inch 2 megapixel CMOS sensor with 5.1 to 51mm focal length optics, housed in an aluminium case. Q-Ball is a 1080i high-definition camera with 10:1 zoom optics plus a fully rotatable pan and tilt head. Transmitted live on UK ITV, Text Santa elevated proceeds for the Text Santa 2013 campaign to £4,200,000.