Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Dutch Dakar Press Team captures off-road rally with power from the sun
An estimated 456 drivers of specially designed off-road motorcycles, cars and trucks New Year's Day began racing from the Atlantic coastal resort town of Mar del Plata, Argentina, to Peru's capital, Lima, located on the Pacific coast as part of the 2012 Dakar Rally off-road automobile race.
The drivers are traverse some of the world's most unforgiving environments, and along for the ride is Léon Jansen, who with his crew at the Dutch Dakar Press Team, will shoot the race from start to finish with DSLR cameras. Jansen and his crew are relying on the Anton/Bauer DIONICHCX, DIONICHC, Solar Panel, and various other power and lighting accessories to help capture the event.
Jansen first discovered the Dakar Rally in 2004 and began covering it as a photographer in 2005 when he launched the Dutch Dakar Press Team. The 2012 rally will mark Jansen's ninth year covering the race, which will take participants several thousands of miles from the sunny Atlantic shores of Mar del Plata, Argentina, through Copiapó, Chile, which is surrounded by the formidable Atacama Desert and ending in Lima, Peru, a subtropical desert city.
According to Jansen, Anton/Bauer's Solar Panel and DIONIC HC batteries are well suited for powering his equipment in a desert environment. "In January in South America, it's summer, so there is a lot of light to power the Solar Panel," he says.
"Using the Solar Panel to charge our batteries while on location is really simple: We just unfold the panel and put it on the roof of the car. It charges relatively fast because of the very intense sun light.
Jansen's team for the 2012 Dakar Rally includes eight people traveling in two Toyota Land Cruisers. Because there is very little room for both people and equipment in the vehicles, each Land Cruiser is carrying only four batteries per day. The teams will charge the batteries at night using the 375W power inverter for mobile power.
The space limitations also prevent carrying large HD broadcast cameras, so the team opted for DSLR cameras to cover the race and uses the Anton/Bauer batteries to power them.