The Canon XJ27x6.5B HD lens SECAUCUS, N.J.
MLB Network launched on Jan. 1, 2009 as the largest debut in cable television history and is currently available in approximately 53 million cable and satellite homes. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games and coverage of baseball events, the MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans.
As we wanted to provide the best possible images for MLB Network viewers, we selected four of Canon's flagship XJ27x6.5B HD studio lenses and two HJ11ex4.7B portable HD lenses for use on our Sony high-definition camera used at our new broadcast studios here.
SOUGHT THE BEST OF THE BEST
We made the selection of Canon optics only after extensive research regarding the HD lenses. For quite a long time, I've been impressed with the way Canon has consistently stayed ahead of the curve in lens design, and also listening to its customers. Anything that broadcasters want, Canon seems to deliver.
Our timing was fortuitous, as Canon's Digisuper 27 HD studio lens was basically a new product when we acquired it. It's a nice improvement over the previous HD studio lens that the company offered in past years. I've used Canon lenses in the field, and have always had good results, especially when it came to image quality.
PICTURE EDGES ARE IMPORTANT TOO
Here at the MLB Baseball Network, we're concerned with the whole image—not just the center—for in sports, there can be times when there's plenty of action at the edge of the screen too. And now with high definition, this is more of a consideration than ever before.
Mark Haden You have to be really careful about such things as lens "vignetting" and "port-holing" associated with some optics. The XJ27 provides us with total clarity, raster-to-raster, which is something you don't always get with competitor's models.
Our Canon lenses provide flawless performance with virtually no edge distortion, which is very important to us.
The Canon XJ27 lenses come with positional-data functionality, so we have the option of someday adding virtual signage, holograms, or 3D imagery—any application where you need precise tracking. That's something we can grow into without having to make wholesale changes to our optics package down the road.
And the Canon HJ11 really gives us what we need in connection with our portable cameras. Our high-tech news and highlight studio has a lot of different areas where we are able to shoot "in-the round." The HJ11 enables us to "hop-scotch" from area to area when such shots are desired, and provides us with nice, tight, close-up capabilities while also being wide enough—even when shooting through prompters—to handle the frequent transitions among the six separate areas of the studio. The lens gives us a lot of flexibility and the smooth handheld free-wheeling motion look that we want for our product.
Both of these lenses are very flexible in how tight and wide they can go. When it comes to image quality, Canon is second to none.
Mark Haden is the vice president of engineering and IT for MLB Network, based in Secaucus, N.J.
For additional information, contact Canon at 800-321-4388 or visitwww.canonbroadcast.com.