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Providing network-level mobile production services for professional football, baseball, basketball, golf and hockey, as well as major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, demands mission-critical television coverage. This is why mobile production services provider Corplex recently purchased a selection of HD lenses from the Broadcast and Communications division of Canon U.S.A., Inc. Among the equipment purchased were two DIGISUPER100xs and five DIGISUPER 86xs long-zoom HD field lenses, all with Canon’s proprietary Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (“Shift-IS”) technology for rock-solid HD images, even at telephoto distances. Also chosen were several orders of two Canon HD portable lens models for EFP-style coverage on the playing field: the HJ11ex4.7B IRSE wide-angle zoom and the HJ22ex7.6B IRSE long-focal-length zoom.

“We’ve used Canon lenses through the years, and of all of the lens manufacturers, Canon is the most attentive to our needs,” stated Carter Ruehrdanz, CEO, Corplex, which is based just north of Chicago, in Lake Bluff, IL. “At a large show it’s not uncommon to see a representative from Canon. It’s nice to see vendors taking an interest.”

“Canon places great importance on its relationships with each and every user of its HD field, studio, portable, and cine-style lenses,” said Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “The reliability of these products is now well-proven, and such features as Canon’s highly refined Shift-IS Image Stabilizer technology and our new Auto Focus technology combine to ensure consistency of razor-sharp HD imagery throughout the coverage of any sports event.”

Collaboration Advantage

“There are some great benefits to Canon’s Shift-IS Image Stabilizer,” Ruehrdanz noted. “When you’re in a stadium and everyone’s jumping, it can cause the camera to shake. Turning the image stabilization on makes a dramatic improvement in HD image quality. When the operator begins to pan, it optimizes the use of image stabilization by interfacing with the Vinten Vector 950 Active pan/tilt head system. This removes lag after fast pan or tilt shots, which is great for sports. Canon is adding this capability to our existing 100X lenses on our Platinum truck so that every Canon lens we own will be capable of interfacing to Vector 950 Active heads. That’s great manufacturer support.”

The interface Ruehrdanz refers to is the result of an exclusive technology collaboration between Canon U.S.A. and Vinten, a leading manufacturer of tripods, pedestals, pan/tilt heads, and other innovative camera-support solutions. The Canon-Vinten technology collaboration integrates the advanced capabilities of Canon’s Shift-IS Image Stabilizer lens technology with real-time digital positioning data from high-resolution optical encoders built into the Vinten Vector 950 Active pan/tilt head. A serial digital communication link between the lens and pan/tilt head transmits information that definitively separates camera operational control of pan and tilt from unwanted motion disturbances created by vibration, wind, or other physical factors. The result is preservation of stable imagery and the elimination of any trace of image lag after fast pan or tilt shots – a significant advantage in the production of fast-paced HDTV sporting and entertainment events. This feature is available for most existing Canon HD field lenses with Canon’s Shift-IS Image Stabilizer technology. It is a standard feature on the Canon DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF Auto Focus HD field lenses, and is available as an optional upgrade on the DIGISUPER 100xs, DIGISUPER 86xs II, and DIGISUPER 75xs “legacy” models with Canon’s Shift-IS Image Stabilizer technology as well.

The Canon DIGISUPER100xs (the world’s first triple-digit zoom lens) and DIGISUPER86xs long-field HD zoom lenses chosen by Corplex are the result of Canon’s decades of optical expertise in providing crystal-clear high-definition image capture, and superior digital operational features for focus and zoom control. All Canon DIGISUPER lenses also benefit from advanced computer-aided design techniques, special optical materials, and proprietary multilayer coatings on each optical element to provide precision HDTV image-capture performance and heightened long-range zoom capabilities – features that have made Canon a standard of excellence in sports, entertainment, and other live-event production. These DIGISUPER lenses incorporate Canon’s second-generation Digital Servo System, which includes microcomputer compensation of lens-focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control).

Looking Forward

“Another big plus with the DIGISUPER100s is Canon’s servo crank-style control,” Ruehrdanz explained. “Some camera operators tend to prefer old-fashioned crank-style zoom controls, but installing this requires exchanging modules in the lens. Now, however, Canon has a new servo-controller that simulates the old manual crank; you don’t have to unhook anything from the lens, you just exchange the thumb-grip zoom controller with Canon’s new crank-style servo controller. We purchased a set of those with each of our new box lenses. Camera operators like having both options, especially in baseball and golf.”

Also chosen by Corplex, the HJ11ex4.7B (Canon’s widest angle of view portable HDTV production lens) and HJ22ex7.6B (Canon’s highest-quality telephoto portable lens) both feature Canon’s exclusive eDrive technology, which enables users to easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use LCD menu, as well as assignable “soft” function buttons, and the rocker switch built into the lens grip. Users can program multiple settings or none at all, depending on their personal needs and preferences. With the fast-moving action of professional sports, eDrive offers critical time-saving functions for effective HD production.

“We’re currently finishing the build on our new truck ‘Iridium,’ which will make its debut in July,” Ruehrdanz concluded. “It’s our first truck with all Canon lenses and the Company has certainly earned the business.”

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, ranked third overall in the U.S. in 2007†, with global revenues of $39.3 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 (opens in new tab).

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†IFI Patent Intelligence Press Release, January 2008

All referenced product names are trademarks of their respective owners.