Camera rigs and lighting


The biggest single story at IBC this year, apart from the usual company-eats-company rumours, was the continuing progress of stereoscopy or '3D' as it is currently undersold. A stereoscopic snapshot may well be 3D (displaying length, width and height) but a stereoscopic movie is in fact 4D as it includes a timeline. John Logie Baird set the stereoscoopic TV ball rolling 90 years ago by adding 4D capabilities to his early Televisor. Other factors such as improved resolution and larger images took precedence and stereoscopy languished for decades as a minor backwater of cinematography. Now, if you believe the hype, it could be a serious part of television's future.

90 years not withstanding, stereoscopy has yet to be taken seriously by many manufacturers of camera rigs and lights. I could find only one IBC rig exhibitor with a stereoscopic product – Polecam's 3D Head. A key element of Polecam's thinking is the ability to capture to a dual-channel video recorder such as the HD-SDI disk-based Wafian HR-1 for further processing downstream.
At the sharp end of non-stereoscopic television rigs, meanwhile, notable new developments include Cartoni's P90 compact pedestal which is designed to support up to 90 kg of camera and lens in studio and OB configurations. The P90 has a two-stage column which performs a 77 cm on-shot stroke. Its dolly is equipped with double wheels interlocked by a chain to allow accurate travelling and steering. The pneumatic column works on compressed air which can be loaded with an electric compressor or a hand pump. Complicated balance setting is avoided and no counterweights are needed. The P90 interfaces with all flat base four-bore-hole heads.

Egripment's TDT remote crane system is claimed to be a new concept for a lightweight remote camera crane and remote head combined as a single product. Portions of the remote head are built into the front section of the arm. Controls at the back of the crane form part of the weight bucket. The TDT crane is a modular design with three arm sections each 1.5 metres in length. This enables users to transport the complete arm in a very small vehicle. The TDT remote head is a combination of Equipment's Scanner head and SuperShot head.

Sachtler is offering MiniDV and HDV users a tripod, monopod and baby tripod which combine to create the new SOOM HiPod system. Matching heads and an LED camera luminaire complement the system. The system consists of a 75 mm tripod (called the SOOM TriPod) and a mid-level spreader (SOOM TriSpread) which combine with a monopod (SOOM Tube) to create the SOOM HiPod. The SOOM TriPod is based on Sachtler's 100 mm single-extension ENG tripod and has a height range of 68.5 to 141 cm.



Shotoku Broadcast Systems specialises in remote camera systems and camera support equipment for the broadcast and parliamentary TV. Its new Type-S panel expands to support up to 16 camera channels using the same interface as the standard TR- 8S but including panel keys, LED control displays and a high contrast LCD that indicates the current status of all cameras in the system. New setup facilities enable performance characteristics to be modified from the control panel itself. The Type-S panel integrates with all Shotoku remote pan and tilt heads.

Vinten's new Vector 750 tripod incorporates the company's 'Perfect Balance' system which is claimed to offer the exact amount of torque necessary to counterbalance the camera throughout its tilt range, making the camera appear weightless in the hands of the operator. Like the Vector 700, the Vector 750's counterbalance mechanism does not use springs or cams. Instead a combination of mechanical linkages can balance cameras with various centre-of-gravity points, making adjustment and reconfiguration easy. Maximum payload of the Vector 750 is 75 kg, increased from 70 kg on the Vector 700.


Lighting

Balcar's new Monolite is an ENG/TV light fixture using a single 55 W Dulux full-spectrum daylight or tungsten balanced fluorescent lamp. Easily mounted to a news desk for a low angle fill, the Monolite provides 500 lux at 1.8 metres and can be equipped with a grid screen for beam control. It comes in a basic and phase dim version for intensity control.

Kino Flo's new VistaBeam Single produces twice as much light as the Kino Flo Single and comes in a portable package for television and feature film location lighting. The modular VistaBeam Single combines many recently introduced Kino Flo parabolic Light Beam features (already available on the Kino Flo ParaBeams and large studio VistaBeam 600s) with the fixture and electronic designs that won an Academy Award for technical achievement for the portable Kino Flos. Kino Flo's True Match colour-balanced high-output lamps snap into the VistaBeam Single. The lamps come in daylight, tungsten, and visual effects blue and green colours.

Lowel's new SoftCore fluorescent soft light is designed to use the modular accessory fluorescent lampheads of the Rifa eXchange system. SoftCore works with popular video accessory softboxes and has three lamphead options: FLO-X1 - a single Edison type screw thread lamp socket; FLO-X3 - 3 Edison screw thread sockets, individually switched; BRFLO-X5 - 5 Edison screw thread sockets, individually switched. A four-arm hooking arrangement simplifies softbox attachment. The design also allows attachment of a Lowel Pole and balance weight when using larger front heavy lampheads, lamps, and softboxes.

Photon Beard introduced the Photon Spot 650W as the first in a new range of Fresnels. The lamp heads are manufactured from aluminium extrusions and aluminium sheet for low weight, quicker cooling and compact size, and come complete with pole-operated focus as standard. The GY9.5 lamp base will also accept a 300 W and 500 W lamp.

The LED lighting sector, which has been progressing very rapidly over the past few years, seemed strangely quiet at IBC 2008, perhaps because one vendor has been trying to frighten its competitors off the block by claiming patent precedence. One to watch.


Summary

Overall, the rigs and lighting area are in a business-as-usual condition, pursued by the usual number of Chinese manufacturers offering products that in some cases look extraordinarily similar to long-established American and European designs. Whether the copies are as good as the originals has yet to be confirmed.

Tags: ibc | eye to eye | camera | rigs | lighting | iss024 | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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