3D Rigs to Morph into 3D Cameras?

While manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic are working on single-bodied dual lens cameras, the evolution of stereo capture could be driven by 3D rig developers like Element Technica. Stephen Pizzo, the co-founder of Element Technica believes there will soon come a point where 3D rigs are indivisible from 3D camera systems.

“A year ago if you were prepping a 3D job you had to put together a bespoke signal and power workflow for each project with multiple bundles of cable for video lines, rig control and power and additional on board batteries,” Pizzo says. “It all added to preparation time and required highly skilled technicians.

“What is happening now is that there is a higher degree of integration and standardisation so that you only need two cables for each video signal and another for the power and you are ready. Combine that with new lightweight rigs capable of being mounted on Steadicam and, once you get onboard recording, the rig ceases to be a rig and in effect becomes a unified stereo camera system.”

Pizzo highlights Telecast’s fibre adapter CopperHead 3400 as one innovation. Introduced at IBC this is the first product of its kind to mount directly onto a dual-camera 3D rig and transport the signals from two HD cameras as well as the rig’s control system and also carry a return 3D HD/SDI signal back to the camera operator - all over a thin, lightweight fibre optic cable.

“Directors and DPs like to be able to choose the imaging device of their choice with the optics like want and simply fit those to a system that gives them all the flexibility they need. For now people are experimenting with the components they need to fit onto a 3D rig but in the longer run everything will be integrated together into one package.

“The missing piece of development is in the optics. There will be a major development here I am sure which will enable developers to create small form factor, perhaps single-sensor, 3D cameras with all the flexibility and performance of a 2D camera.”

By Adrian Pennington, TVB Europe