3D Steadicam Rolls into Pre-Production

Presteigne Charter is to rollout pre-production models of its bespoke 3D Steadicam-mounted radio camera this week. It is has also made one of the first purchases of Sony’s new 3D Processor Box for rental to the outside broadcast market.

The dual lens single bodied prototype Steadicam unit has been co-developed by wireless systems expert Robin Tomlin and Presteigne Charter and trialed by Telegenic for Sky Sports soccer, Burberry’s London Fashion Week 3D show and by Inition during its recent coverage of the RBS Six Nations.

The PC-RT1000 combines sensors, CCU and a remote control panel to provide a complete camera channel whose zoom, focus, interaxial separation and convergence can be operated at the camera or remotely. It is built using small format Sony F11 sensors with a 5-50mm zoom range housed side by side in a body similar in size to a HDC1500 or LDK 8000.

“We’ve re-engineered the signal processing in house so that both signals, power and data can travel across a single SMPTE fibre,” explained Presteigne Charter’s business development manager Steve Boland [larger rigs typically require three SMPTE links].

The prototype has a fixed interaxial of 54mm but the pre-production models will feature flexible 54-76mm ranges. Two models will be available by the end of this month for wet hire with a dozen anticipated by the end of the year. It can also be used for handheld work.

“Typically this camera will work in the 2m to 8m, range shooting players emerging from the tunnel, line-up shots, touchline action, throw-ins, corners or crowd reaction,” says Boland. “It can also be mounted remotely behind the goal for example.”

Presteigne Charter has equipped itself with a range of additional Sony 3D kit including dual link 42-inch LMD monitors, HDC P1 small POV cameras and two 3D Processor Boxes. It is also examining a number of small, lightweight rigs to offer the hire market.

“3ality and Element Technica rigs are a very substantial size and not mobile,” said Boland. “The solution we bring to market addresses that mobility.”

The MPE-200 boxes which cost north of £20k are “a vital tool if you are not a trained stereographer,” according to Boland. “It offers real time analysis tools and in effect is a legaliser to stop you exceeding the depth budget that’s been set.

“The next phase for these boxes, which we will probably see during the World Cup, is for the technology to become ‘active’ and drive the motors of the rigs. 3D production is very much a series of one-off events right now so we’re not going overboard but Sky is building its catalogue and it makes sense for us to build our 3D inventory also.”

By Adrian Pennington, TVB Europe