Miniature cameras on the move


Kieron Seth# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Kieron Seth
Issue 95 - November 2014

Using cameras in-car has always been problematic. Most importantly, the size of camera is crucial: sit a camera operator in the vehicle with a camcorder and the natural sense of intimacy is lost. Mount the camcorder within the cockpit and it is sure to obscure the driver's view of the road.

The alternative is miniature cameras. Toshiba's miniature industrial cameras have been a favourite among broadcasters, with their robust construction and reliable performance. Used as specialist lightweight heads on super-long carbon fibre poles or mounted to motorbikes, they have a reputation for delivering in any environment. Now with the latest iteration, the IK-HD5, many of the issues of miniature cameras, such as noise interference and lack of support for broadcast formats, have been overcome.

The full HD IK-HD5 has chalked up its first TV production, being used extensively on Channel 5's Never Teach Your Wife to Drive! The fly-on-the-wall documentary examines what happens when couples get behind the wheel with their partner beside them. London-based Minicams was commissioned to install and operate cameras in-car, in order to capture the front seat shenanigans as well as the view of the road ahead.

"What initially drew us to the cameras," said Minicams MD Nick McLachlan, "was their quality. They're the same size as earlier Toshiba heads, despite the leap in video performance." After initial testing other factors became apparent. As Milko Kostadinov, Toshiba's Europe Representative explains:

"The unmatched colour fidelity, improved light sensitivity and now IR capability of the HD5 line, makes our cameras one of the top choices for In-car - or any application with challenging and constantly changing light environment. The IK-HD5 camera line features Toshiba's signature Microprism technology this time furnished with a brand new trio of full HD CMOS image sensors with high S/N and enhanced IR sensitivity coupled with the feature-packed 3G-HD-SDI/DVI-D camera control unit."

The results on screen for Never Teach are impressive, as McLachlan attests:

"They're the best pictures we've seen from in-car cameras. It's a really tricky environment to shoot in with lighting conditions changing every second, and most cameras deliver pretty average results. Toshiba's IK-HD5 is way ahead in terms of picture quality."

The IK-HD5H 3CMOS mini-camera head provides native 1080p/i HD in each channel at full 50 frames per second and delivers up-to 1,000 TV lines resolution. The CMOS technology results in 1-stop higher sensitivity - F11.0 @ 2000 Lux (50Hz) compared to the F7.4 @ 2000 Lux (50Hz) of earlier 3CCD model. The companion CCU IK-HD5E introduces an adjustable 'knee and clip' functionality which increases the dynamic range for excellent colour performance in both bright and shaded areas of a scene.

The IK-HD5H also includes a removable optical low-pass filter (OLPF) for dual-mode imaging applications in visible light and near-infrared spectrums. Other features include expanded menu functions for red filter IR mode and approximately 3dB increased sensitivity in the near IR.

"The all-round performance of the IK-HD5 gave us the ability to film the couples at any time of day and whatever the weather. As lighting control is impossible in a moving car, the superb dynamic of the IK-HD5 range really paid dividends, giving consistently usable results." Continues McLachlan.

The production used Fujinon's new TF4XA-1 4mm c-mount lens with the in-car rigs. Its F2.2 maximum aperture and focusing range that starts at 0.1m made it a natural choice. McLachlan concludes:

"This is the best c-mount lens we have used. SeeSense recommended it to us and we were delighted with its performance. It's really up to broadcast standards."


Tags: iss095 | kieron seth | mini cams | miniature cameras | never teach your wife to drive | channel 5 | Kieron Seth#
Contributing Author Kieron Seth#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Toshiba Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

    Polecam Slow Motion Minicams at BVE 2014

  • Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

    Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

  • Polecam at IBC 2015

    Polecam at IBC 2015

  • CameraCorps at BVE 2015

    CameraCorps at BVE 2015

  • Polecam Antelope Pico at IBC 2014

    Polecam Antelope Pico at IBC 2014

  • Marshall Electronics Miniature Cameras at NAB 2018

    Marshall Electronics Miniature Cameras at NAB 2018


Related Shows
  • The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery

    The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery


Articles
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Switching to Internet Based Distribution
Chris Clark

"An IP status check for the broadcast industry", "Resistance is futile", "IP points the way forward for the broadcast industry"...

Yes, we've read the headlines too. But rather than force you into submission, scare you, or leave you feeling like you have no other choice, we want to give you the information that helps you to make a sensible decision about Internet-based distribution.

So what’s stopping you from making the switch right now?

Tags: iss135 | ip | internet | distribution | cerberus | Chris Clark
Contributing Author Chris Clark Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF