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Camera Corps fields 80 Q-Balls at World Cup

Eighty Camera Corps Q-Ball robotic camera systems will be fielded across the 10 venues of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 10 of which will be installed at each stadium, either for the duration of the tournament or moved between multiple locations. These will be used in a commentator camera role and steered via a Camera Corps Mini Joystick Control by the commentators themselves while presenting to camera or by a remote colleague.

“We will be sending a total of seven crews to cover the 10 venues,” said Laurie Frost, Camera Corps founder and managing director. “Four crews will be assigned to single venues and will consist of a climber, a CCU operator plus a technician.”

The other three crews, each including an additional technician, will work across two venues under the overall direction of the outside broadcast production by Host Broadcasting Services (HBS).

The specialist camera developer based at Shepperton, UK, will also be managing 40 Hitachi DK-H32 and 20 Toshiba HD mini cameras. These will provide point-of-view cutaways from the manually operated cameras used to follow the routine cut-and-thrust of each game.

“We have developed a new triax adapter enabling the robotic heads to be powered and data-controlled via a single triax cable,” Frost said. Four of these adapters will be used at each of the 10 venues.

“Two Hitachi DK-H32 cameras will be installed at each stadium as ‘box cameras’ covering the penalty box for close-ups of the ball as it crosses the goal line,” said technical director Jim Daniels. “These will be mounted off-pitch quite high up on remote pan/tilt heads, which will remain in preset positions throughout the game.”

A third DK-H32 will be placed on the VHR remote pan/tilt heads directly behind one of the goals, again from a high position, and operated throughout the game. This will provide end-on shots of the goal area just under it or of the far goal. A fourth DK-H32 will be fitted with a wide-angle lens and will deliver high-viewpoint shots of the entire pitch. Two more Hitachi cameras will be rigged in the international broadcast center press conference area. The Toshiba HD mini cams will be used as goal cams, attached to stabilizing cables supporting the rear top corners of each net, again on remotely adjustable pan/tilt/roll heads, but only to allow positional realignment if a camera is struck directly by a ball.

Adrian Pennington
Adrian Pennington

Adrian Pennington is a journalist specialising in film and TV production. His work has appeared in The Guardian, RTS Television, Variety, British Cinematographer, Premiere and The Hollywood Reporter. Adrian has edited several publications, co-written a book on stereoscopic 3D and is copywriter of marketing materials for the industry. Follow him @pennington1