Antelope MkII makes North American debut
LMC’s ultramotion system, Antelope MkII, had its first outing at October’s NHRA Arizona National Dragster Race thanks to a new working partnership between the German company and US specialist camera supplier, Skycam. That’s only been a facet though of a hectic Autumn, that has also seen the units tweaked and the AIR wireless system hit production.
First up, the MKIIs – which have recently, along with the other main systems, been out on a competitive test with Olympic Broadcast Services – have some new technical capabilities.
“The MkII has an improved detail feature which makes the image look much sharper,” explains LMC CEO, Felix Marggraff. “The CCU remains basically the same but there is some new design, different power supply etc. The biggest new feature is the detail function and an internal server which records directly from the camera (instead of an EVS or any other external recording device). The Antelope RCP will also both control the camera trigger and the HD recorder. The OCP is also upgraded constantly. There was an issue with VRI cameras which could not be shaded when in replay, but we resolved that. Other functions include improved colour correction with matrix presets and cameraman trigger.”
The AIR system, meanwhile, is now in production. “It’s also based on a 641 and has the same functionality as the MkII system,” says Marggraff. “The transmitter is located in a backpack which can be either carried by the cameraman or an assistant. It is possible to use the AIR system using just one person although we think that on most events like golf (where you will have to move quite a bit) it will be better to have an assistant carry the transmitter and the battery belt.”
No such stealthy movement was necessary at Firebird National Raceway in Chandler, just along from Phoenix. The Antelope was used in two camera positions – at the startline and the part of the track where the cars have reached maximum velocity – and operated by CrossCreek Operators. “The ESPN crew was impressed by the short set-up time and the ease of operation,” commented Christian Schreiber, on site as a support engineer. “I did a quick briefing to the camera op and the vision engineer. In the meantime the replay operator made himself familiar with the controller and they were ready to go!”
The units have also recently worked at the ATP World Tour Finals (where the increased light sensitivity of the MKIIs enabled them to be run all the way up to 1000fps, though they were held in check at 525fps for the broadcast) and have also broken into the Asian market via KOMI in Korea.