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
Avid and Rohde & Schwarz
Ciaran Doran

Rohde & Schwarz is the perfect ingest partner to build flexible workflows with Avid.

Tags: Rohde and Schwarz | avid | spycernode | editing | asset management | venice | Ciaran Doran
Contributing Author Ciaran Doran Click to read
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read