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WYES/YES Taps Ikegami HDK-77ECs for New Studio

One of the new Ikegami HDK-77ECs on set at WYES-TV NEW ORLEANS—Content creation is a diversified practice at WYES-TV, the PBS station here, and our sister company YES Productions. We can go mobile with two fully-outfitted 53-foot expando mobile production units, or clients can work in our new 4,000 square-foot studio.

In either case, the cameras we use are Ikegamis. Between the two trucks and studios, we now have a total of 23 Ikegami HD cameras, with the latest additions coming in the form of three new HDK-77EC models. These new recruits came at the perfect time, and were procured as part of a package designed to establish Studio A as a premier video production center for the region.

Cooking shows are a specialty with us. We started shooting video productions involving chefs and food some 25 years ago, and this has developed into one of our fortés, with the likes of Paul Prudhomme, John Besh, and Justin Wilson instructing millions of viewers in the culinary arts from our studios. And this long experience has brought with it a basic fact of life—when you’re producing cooking shows camera choice is very important, for when the chef is talking about the flavor and aromas, great looking video can help to convey these sensations to the viewer.

When we used Ikegami HDK-77EC cameras to shoot the 26-part series “Chef John Besh’s New Orleans,” the lighting director and crew were blown away by the picture quality of the cameras. This was one of our cooking series and included lots of visual highlights. The production was set in a televison kitchen with silver, chrome, aluminum, blacks, rich texture, depth and color. The new Ikegami cameras did an excellent job of reproducing everything.

In addition to cooking, we’re doing a lot of public affairs and entertainment shows in our new Studio A, and to enhance these productions visually, we’ve created multiple sets with backlit Duratrans backgrounds that show New Orleans cityscapes. The sets and the Ikegami KDK-77EC’s high performance combine to provide great detail and a very pleasant onscreen experience, allowing the viewer to experience a feeling of actually being in a downtown setting overlooking the city, rather than just watching a production unfold within a television studio.

One invaluable aspect of the Ikegami HDK-77EC’s is their multiformat capabilities. Whatever high-defintion format of the network or channel that our client is shooting for—1080i or 720p—they know they’ll get what they want in raw format. There’s no degradation of signal coming down the road; they can walk out with their footage without having to compromise or convert.

With our long-standing experience with Ikegami products, we know that we can count on complete support from the company at any level in case we should need it. We haven’t required this in connection with our new cameras, as their performance has been rock solid, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

In doing our cooking show productions, we typically shoot two shows a day—every day—for three weeks. Any drift or inconsistency in the cameras can’t be tolerated, as the images have to look as crisp at 4 p.m. as they did at 8 a.m. By the same token. episode 26 of a cooking show needs to look exactly like episode 5 in terms of video quality as these shows will be on the air for years. That’s the kind of consistency that our production team strives for, and our Ikegami cameras are one important way in which we make it happen.

Jim Moriarty is VP and General Manager of YES Productions. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or