SACO, MAINE—When our clients let us know that they wanted a production truck that would allow them to go “bigger” we responded with our newly-launched HD 4 vehicle. This 53-foot long rig is the latest addition to our fleet of mobile production vehicles and features a 47-by-5-foot expandable section and an open concept layout.
Of course, we took the opportunity to outfit our new mobile unit with the most advanced broadcast technology available. CSP Mobile has always been an Ikegami user and we turned to them again for the cameras to be used in HD 4.
This time, Ikegami’s versatile Unicam HD line was available and we installed 10 HDK-95C portable digital cameras in HD 4. On the spec side, there was a lot to like—the HDK-95C HD has native-multiformat 2.5 million pixel, 2/3-inch CMOS sensors and an upgrade path to 24p and 3G formats (including 1080/60p and 4:4:4 24p). Digital processing is end-to-end, and there’s a low-profile docking camera head that we can use in fiber, triax, or wireless applications.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PICTURES
Ikegami’s appeal starts with the imagery the cameras produce. Our producers constantly remark about the clarity, quality and colorimetry the HDK-95Cs produce. These cameras make beautiful pictures, period.
We also appreciate the size of the HDK-95C, which is smaller and lighter than the cameras we have on our other trucks. That’s a big consideration for handheld camera operators. Having a little less weight on your shoulders really makes a difference, especially when you’re covering live sports for hours at a time.
We were also convinced the HDK-95C was the right camera when we saw that it’s compatible with Ikegami’s recently launched SE-H750 system expander. HD 4 is equipped with four of these expanders and this allows us to use 9-inch LCD or 7.4-inch OLED viewfinders, as well as full studio lenses with Ikegami Unicam HD cameras. With the SE-H750, converting our portable cameras for fixed or studio operation is extremely quick and easy, and so is the conversion back for portable use.
IN THE TRUCK AND OUT OF THE STANDS
The biggest benefit of the Ikegami SEH750 system expander is that it greatly minimizes the number of moving parts involved. Mounting or unmounting a camera is now a simple four-step procedure and this significantly reduces the amount of damage or wear that the camera and lens are subjected to. This becomes an important consideration when you’re covering basketball, arena football, and major league lacrosse, as we sometimes have between four and six fixed camera positions set up. Every time an engineer-in- charge has to leave the production truck to attend to something in the sports venue, you’re taking him or her away from something that may be critical to the production going on in the truck. We don’t want our EICs running out to our camera positions; we need them in the truck. The more time they spend there, the better the broadcast looks and with Ikegami’s technology that’s where they’re able to stay.
Len Chase is president and co-owner of CSP Mobile Productions. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or visit www.ikegami.com.