Kitplus Magazine

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Steffan operating Polecam with PICO ultra motion at Doha FINA World Swimming Championships or that may be done by an engineer in the truck. very much a dance between the two, because sometimes you can be locked on to a subject but be panning, tilting and booming at the same time while keeping the subject in the centre of the frame. What that does, is to allow the background to change – to bring things into the foreground and take them away, making the shot much more interesting. “By adding the PICO, from a cameraman’s point of view, there’s very little change with regards to physical equipment. You have the camera and CCU; but what is very different is the operating style. With an ordinary camera you are into smooth, slow booming shots, and smooth, slow pan and tilt because you don’t want it fast and jerky. But with ultra motion, once you slow these shots down, maybe a tenth of normal speed, a nice, smooth panning and booming shot will actually look almost static, and therefore to keep movement in the shot, you have to move very fast. “If I’m shooting swimming, I move in and out of the water very quickly, otherwise it would just take too long on replay. If I’m shooting handball, booming across the floor of the court, I’ll move very quickly. When it’s slowed down it keeps the movement in there and looks great. So how does PICO work in practice? “There are two remote units, an RCP and an OCP. One controls the camera iris, colour balance and setup parameters, and the other is very similar to an EVS unit, designed specifically for logging, banking and replaying the shots which we often replay directly into an EVS server. So there are two people required; the Polecam operator, and the slo mo operator who manages the ultra motion workflow, and may also manage the camera adjustments, “Within the camera CCU at the back of the Polecam is 8GB of RAM that is constantly loop recording. With the PICO you The Antelope PICO camera head don’t start recording , you only stop recording; if you try and start recording, by the time you hit start and it’s recording, the event’s probably gone or half gone. Consider a whale surfacing. By the time you see the whale coming out of the water and hit record, it’s too late – you’ve missed it. “So for example, at 1080i, 50 Hz, running at 350 fps, with 8GB of RAM, this gives me approximately 12 seconds in the past. At any point you can stop recording and wind backwards 12 seconds, and whatever’s been happening, you will catch it. That 12 seconds, to replay at normal speed, takes about 2 minutes. With the whale surfacing, by the time it has jumped into the air and splashed down again, bang, the PICO operator triggers it and then has the ability to replay that shot instantly. “So if the operator’s triggered an event and it’s playing out, what happens if something else occurs while that’s playing out? You can break up this 12 second 8 Gigabytes of RAM in up to four different banks. So you could have say, four 3 second banks, each 3 seconds equating to about thirty seconds of replay time, which is a lot. The beauty of it is not only can you be replaying that clip out, but if something else happens, you can trigger a second event – and once event one’s played out you can then play out event two, and cancel event one. “Importantly PICO has two outputs – a permanent live feed that can be cut with the other cameras at any time, but also the ultra motion replay channel; and they are independent, so you can use the PICO as a permanently live camera and also for ultra motion replays. If you wanted to record you could have two recorders – one for the normal output, and one for the ultra motion replays for later editing.” KITPLUS - TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 98 FEBRUARY 2015 | 71