NEP Supershooters Provide Production Services for Super Bowl XLIII Game Coverage Using Canon DIGISUPER 100xs, DIGISUPER 86xs, and Portable HD Lenses
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 10, 2009 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, is proud to announce that for more than 15 years, the Company has continued as the exclusive provider of lenses for Super Bowl network television game coverage. Among the many championship players on Sunday, February 1, 2009 were a total of 34 HD lenses provided by the Broadcast and Communications division of Canon U.S.A., Inc., used by mobile production specialists, NEP Supershooters, to bring viewers vivid, up-close HDTV imagery of every angle of the thrilling football action of Super Bowl XLIII.*
NEP Supershooters reports that it made full use of the Canon HD lenses carried onboard its ND3 HD and SS24 HD mobile units for production duties on the network telecast of Super Bowl game coverage. The longest reach at the game came courtesy of eight Canon DIGISUPER 100xs (XJ100x9.3B IE-D) long-zoom HD field lenses and 16 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 rock-solid imagery at telephoto distances. NEP’s hand-held cameras, meanwhile, were outfitted with eight Canon HJ22ex7.6B IRSE long focal-length portable zoom lenses, and two HJ11ex4.7B IRSE wide-angle portable lenses.
“Every Canon HD lens we select for the Super Bowl is crucial, because they all go on the air and any one of them could be on the camera that shoots the pivotal play,” stated George Hoover, chief technology officer of NEP Supershooters. “The first and foremost reason you select any lens for mobile production is image quality, and that’s what all of our Canon lenses deliver. They provide our client and the nation’s Super Bowl viewers with sharpness, crispness of image, and the ability to maintain a great degree of sensitivity across the zoom range. When the sun goes down and you have to get those tight HDTV shots, the lenses also have to be fast. Canon meets and exceeds all of these criteria.”
“Canon is honored that it was once again the exclusive choice of HD lenses for Super Bowl game coverage,” commented Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A., Inc., “The Super Bowl is the most widely viewed U.S. sporting event, and Canon personnel were on-site to provide NEP Supershooters service and support at the game.”
Since its introduction, Canon’s standard-setting XJ100xs has stood as the elite long lens for sports and entertainment production. At Raymond James Stadium, NEP Supershooters counted on them to capture many of Super Bowl XLIII’s most dramatic moments. “The 100xs is the tool that captures the emotion of the game,” Hoover stated. “You’d think that those lenses would be way up in the rafters, but actually they’re down at field level clustered in the end zones. That’s what’s getting us the really close, tight HDTV shots for the look under the helmet.”
While weather conditions were optimal in Tampa Bay, Hoover notes that the solid all-weather reliability of Canon lenses helps NEP Supershooters’ trucks enjoy success during the rest of the football season, as well as throughout a tough schedule of stock-car racing and baseball’s October playoff games. “Canon lenses hold up well in the worst conditions,” noted Hoover. “They are able to handle extreme environmental factors, again and again. They’ve withstood minus 2-degree temperatures at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in January, as well as the heat of Hawaii.”
“Backing that up is the excellent support we always get from Canon year-round,” Hoover continued. “No matter how careful everyone is, and how well-built the lenses are, they can get dropped and damaged. What’s important to us as a mobile production company is that when we do have a problem, Canon gets the equipment back in service for us ASAP. At Super Bowl XLIII they had their technical staff on-site, so in the event that anything came up, it was dealt with in an absolutely optimum timeframe.”
Specially modified Canon lenses also played a part in the famed “yellow line” that demarcates the first down to television viewers. “SportsMEDIA Technology Corp. picks zoom and focus data off the lenses, which we feed to the telemetry systems that produce the graphic enhancement overlay,” Hoover explained. “All of those graphics are part of a presentation that makes the game much more enjoyable.”
Canon’s decades of experience in optics technology is the basis for the many highly advanced digital functions its HD lenses provide (including the one described above). In addition to the Shift-IS Image Stabilization technology, these long-zoom HD field lenses also feature Canon’s exclusive Digital Servo System, which employs microcomputer technology for precise and repeatable zoom and focus settings, compensation for lens-focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control), and other operational advantages. Both long-zoom HD field lenses are also available in Auto Focus versions as well. The Canon HJ22ex7.6B IRSE zoom and Canon HJ11ex4.7B IRSE wide-angle lenses used by NEP Supershooters both feature Canon’s unique “eDrive,” which enables camera operators to digitally pre-program the iris, focus and zoom controls for repeatable precision.
As Hoover explains it, these operational features can make the difference in capturing a key play at a crucial moment. “Our camera operators really appreciate the Canon lenses’ extensive capabilities for customizing control,” he stated. “The lenses’ digital controls are the tools they use to do their job, and they use them to push our camera packages to 110 percent performance by the day of the big game.”
With 34 Canon HD lenses on-hand as key tools in the telecast of Super Bowl XLIII, NEP Supershooters once again produced images for all the world to see. “Every year when you get to the site, you can’t help but get an adrenaline rush,” Hoover concluded. “The whole crew, who have been running these Canon HD lenses in the toughest of conditions, love the excitement of finishing the season with them at the Super Bowl.”
* Claims herein regarding “Super Bowl network television game coverage” refer exclusively to pre-game, post-game and in-game coverage and does not constitute telecast activities occurring on the field during half-time when game play was suspended.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked third overall in the U.S. in 2008†, with global revenues of US $45 billion, is listed as number seven both in the computer industry and among Japanese companies on Fortune Magazine's World’s Most Admired Companies 2008 list, and is on the 2008 BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei - - “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” - - Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at www.usa.canon.com/kyosei. 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/RSS.
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†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.