Vitec Group adds Camera Corps. to its product portfolio

In a move that adds remote, field-proven, POV-style camera and control systems to its video production product offerings, the Vitec Group’s Services Division has acquired the assets and technology patents of U.K.-based Camera Corps Ltd. Camera Corps will now become a wholly owned subsidiary of the company’s Vitec Videocom division.

Camera Corps develops and markets remote cameras and tracking systems, camera-support systems and offers full-service facilities to broadcasters of live high-definition and stereoscopic 3-D sports and studio productions. The company has achieved a reputation for its ability to acquire exciting and unusual television content from exceptionally challenging environments. The Camera Corps team expands during large-scale events from 16 staff based near London’s Heathrow airport to as many as 200 specialists, including professional climbers who are very experienced at rigging camera systems at height in almost any location.

The acquisition, financial details of which were not made available, supports Vitec’s efforts to provide one-stop broadcast services to handle a multitude of productions. Camera Corps’ products also complement the range of lighting, power, tripods, robotic cameras and prompting solutions now offered by Vitec’s Videocom division.

Among its many products, Camera Corps (based on the site of the former Brooklands motor-racing track), is known for its Q-Ball HD/SD mini-camera and POV system, and the design and manufacture of specially made camera systems. The Q-Ball, which is used on several UK-based reality shows, sports broadcasts and televised stage events, is an ultra-compact, remotely controlled camera with an integral 10x zoom optical lens and smooth-accelerating pan/tilt motors. Housed in a weatherproof 115-mm diameter aluminum sphere, it is fully compatible with all existing Camera Corps robotic control systems and CCU panels.

Vitec’s Bexel services division has been a U.S. distributor and rental agent for the Q-Ball camera system for several years, making this acquisition a natural fit, according to Jerry Gepner, chief executive of the Vitec Group Services Division. He said that the Bexel would expand the use of Camera Corps’ products into its upcoming live sports projects.

Camera Corp’s portfolio of specialty equipment includes high-level cranes, HD and SD motorized tracking cameras, underwater cameras, bull’s-eye-mounted archery target cameras and fireproofed high-temperature cameras.

Laurie Frost, founder and managing director of Camera Corps, said the two companies share “the common goal of creating solutions for our customers that deliver truly compelling images and adhere to the highest technical and service standards.”

At the NAB Show, The Vitec Group will exhibit its products in Boot C9046 while Camera Corps technology and systems can be seen in Booth C6428. At the show Camera Corps will introduce the latest version of its Q-Ball compact remotely controlled pan/tilt/zoom HD/SD camera system. Q-Ball Pre-Set allows 18 shot settings (each comprising pan angle, tile angle, zoom and focus) to be stored prior to a live or real-time recorded shoot.

Q-Ball and Q-Ball Pre-Set are compatible with all existing Camera Corps robotic control systems and CCU panels. Up to 72 heads can be operated from a single controller.