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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Feb 25

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2/25/2008 12:56 PM  RssIcon

canon-super-bowl-2008.jpgAs the final seconds ticked away on the thrilling action of Super Bowl XLII, in Glendale Ariz., the New York Giants were not the only team that would emerge triumphant from the contest. Game Creek Video, a leading mobile production company, had captured every moment of football‘s greatest annual event in full HDTV (high definition television) for a worldwide audience. With so much riding on its coverage of this second-most-watched broadcast in U.S. TV history, the Hudson N.H.-based company chose only the best production equipment, and this included an array of HD lenses from Canon U.S.A., Inc.‘s Broadcast and Communications division.


“This being our first Super Bowl, we wanted to make sure everything went right,” declared Pat Sullivan, president of Game Creek Video (and former general manager of the New England Patriots from 1985-91). “We feel very confident using Canon HD lenses with our reputation at stake for live events. Our camera operators love them, and we‘ve had nothing but success dealing with Canon from a support standpoint. It is an outstanding company to work with.”


To cover the game, which was broadcast in both HD and SD (standard definition), Game Creek Video used 15 Canon DIGISUPER 100xs (XJ100x9.3B IE-D) long-zoom HD field lenses and four DIGISUPER 86xs (XJ86x9.3B IE-D) long-zoom HD field lenses, all of which feature Shift-IS, Canon‘s unique second-generation built-in Optical Shift Image Stabilizer Technology. For the crucial “All-22 Camera” position, the wide-angle performance of Canon‘s DIGISUPER 22xs (XJ22x7.3B IE-D) compact studio lens was used in the stadium to capture shots showing all 22 players simultaneously. Game Creek Video also employed four HJ11ex4.7B IRSE wide-angle portable eHDxs lenses and two HJ22ex7.6B IRSE portable eHDxs ENG zoom lenses. Handling the pre- and post-game telecast were three Canon DIGISUPER 25xs (XJ25x6.8BIE-D) HD studio lenses, as well as one HJ22ex7.6B IRSE lens and two HJ11ex4.7B IRSE lenses.


These same Canon HD lenses were on-hand two weeks earlier in Green Bay, Wis. to cover the NFC Championship Game. Temperature at kickoff was below zero, with the wind chill factor at -24°, but the lenses performed flawlessly, according to Sullivan. “We wrapped the cameras and lenses in heating blankets, and they performed without a hitch,” he said. “I think you always anticipate that there may be some kind of compromise in your equipment in those types of conditions, but the good stuff always holds up well.”


“We were extremely happy with the quality of all our Canon HD lenses, from the DIGISUPER 100xs to the 4.7x wide-angle hand-held lens,” commented Michael Davies, director of FOX Sports Field Operations, regarding Super Bowl XLII. “In the spirit of evolution and trying something new, we're excited to probably be the first to use the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens [model XJ22x7.3B IE-D] on our ‘All-22 Camera‘ as well. Also, we were happy with the results of the Canon DIGISUPER 86xs on our [Vision Research Phantom V10] Inertia Unlimited Hyper Slow Motion camera, which had some of the evening‘s most memorable and written-about replays. As usual, Canon came in with an army of support and good ideas on what was an exceptionally smooth and well-received Super Bowl for us.”


Canon‘s DIGISUPER 100xs is the world‘s first triple-digit long-zoom HD field lens. Both the DIGISUPER 100xs and DIGISUPER 86xs HD lenses used by Game Creek Video for Super Bowl XLII feature Canon‘s exclusive Shift-IS built-in Image Stabilization system, which enables television directors to capture dramatic high-impact telephoto shots and deliver this video shake-free to the viewing audience. These advanced HD lenses also feature Canon U.S.A.‘s XS technology for superior optical performance and lighter weight, as well as Canon U.S.A.‘s second-generation Digital Servo System, which provides microcomputer compensation of lens focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control) as well as a host of other improved digital operational features for focus and zooming control. Precision HD production performance and heightened long-range zoom capabilities are features that have made Canon U.S.A.‘s DIGISUPER field zoom lenses the standard of excellence in HDTV sports production.


“We wanted to use mostly long-zoom HD lenses for the game production because we wanted to give the director maximum flexibility,” Sullivan explained. “Having so many powerful zoom lenses throughout the stadium allowed him to get close, dramatic shots of players, coaches, and important plays from any angle, which is especially important if a play has to be reviewed by the officials.”


The world-leading optical excellence of Canon‘s portable HD lenses was also integral to Game Creek Video‘s successful Super Bowl XLII coverage. Canon‘s HJ11ex4.7B IRSE eHDxs lens is the widest angle-of-view portable HD production lens offered by the Company. The HJ22ex7.6B IRSE portable eHDxs ENG zoom lens is Canon‘s longest-focal-length portable HD production lens (without an image stabilization system). Both lenses bear the designation “eHDxs,” which indicates not only Canon‘s exclusive XS technology, but also the highly innovative control features of Canon‘s unique eDrive technology. With eDrive, users can easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings into a lens for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use LCD menu, assignable “soft” function buttons, and the rocker switch built into the lens grip. With the fast-moving action of professional football, this time-saving function can be critical for capturing that game-winning moment.


To cover pre- and post-game studio shows, Game Creek Video employed Canon‘s DIGISUPER 25xs HD studio lens, which is the most popular HD studio lens in the world. Engineered to deliver the most demanding image quality for HD television production, the DIGISUPER 25xs is the product of advanced technologies and manufacturing processes, including supercomputer-aided design techniques and special optical materials. Like its long-zoom counterparts, the DIGISUPER 25xs also features Canon‘s XS technology and second-generation Digital Servo System.


“Canon designs all of its HD lenses - portable, studio and field - to deliver superb video images with crystal clarity,” added Gordon Tubbs, director, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We are honored that a leading mobile production company and a leading broadcast network were both impressed with the results, which were seen by the second-largest audience in U.S. TV history.”


For Sullivan, knowing that over a billion people worldwide were watching the game through Game Creek Video‘s Canon U.S.A. HD lenses provided him with confidence. “The Super Bowl is the most watched event in television every year, so we know how important it is that we put our best foot forward,” he concluded. “By exclusively using Canon lenses, we know that we did just that.”


About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2007’, with global revenues of $34.9 billion, is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is on the 2007 BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/pressroom.


’ IFI Patent Intelligence Press Release, January 2008


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