Major League Baseball Productions specifies Panasonic VariCam for This Week in HD

The AJ-HDC27 VariCam serves a triple role: 1.) as a 24-fps camera, 2.) as a standard 60-fps video camera, and 3.) as a variable frame rate special effects camera.

New York City-based Major League Baseball Productions (MLBP), the production unit of Major League Baseball, has told all of its freelance camera operators who work on its flagship series This Week In Baseball that going forward they must shoot segments on Panasonic’s AJ-HDC27 VariCam high-definition camera. The program airs nationally on the Fox network prior to the MLB Fox “Saturday Game of the Week.”

[Editor's note: It should be noted that although material will be acquired in HD, viewers will not be able to enjoy he quality because the Fox has refused to broadcast in high-definition.]

The deal should stimulate the rental business for the VariCam, as most freelancers will probably rent the camera for individual projects.

David Gavant, Major League Baseball Production’s executive producer, said that going forward all of the series’ main segments, or nearly 40 percent of each episode, will be shot in 720p HD video using the VariCam; replacing all segments previously shot in film and 1080i HD video.

“Given the inherent need for off-speed shooting in sports production, we think the VariCam is an ideal fit for us, and it's a giant step in our evolving HD strategy,” he said. That strategy could include the shows being broadcast on ESPN HD or HDNet, two 24-hour HD sports networks now becoming available on select satellite and cable TV systems.

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