New MRMC robotics solution
Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC) has announced the introduction of a new robotics solution that it says allows professional photographers to achieve shots that were ‘never possible before’.
Bob Martin, legendary sports photographer, made history at Wimbledon 2013 as the first photographer to trial a new fast action robotics system; the product of a collaboration between Nikon and MRMC, the leading designer and manufacturer of quality motion control products.
Using Nikon’s award-winning D4 digital SLR cameras mounted on MRMC’s SFH-30 robotic heads located at the venue, Martin was able to quickly move and rotate any of the cameras and take shots from positions that would not normally be physically possible, allowing photographers to shoot difficult angles and in problematic locations.
Each camera is controlled and used to shoot images by a single photographer from a remote location. The impressive latency of this system of less than 0.1 seconds makes this robotics system an ideal solution for shooting fast action sporting events.
James Banfield, professional services and business solutions manager at Nikon UK, says: “Our robotics project has been in the making for some time; since the London Olympics we’ve been working with Bob Martin and leading photo agencies who needed more from existing robotics systems, listening to their feedback and requirements to refine and develop this system.
“Initially the robotics set-up has been designed to support sports photographers, maximising the qualities of the D4 camera and allowing them to track fast-moving subjects, however there is great scope to use it for other areas of photography – our customers will dictate where this solution is used next.”
Nikon is working with Bob Martin to trial the setup. He used a Nikon D4 camera, 200-400mm and 80-400mm lenses with the robotic system and MRMC Polycam configuration set up with SFH-30 heads to control Pan, Tilt, Roll (landscape/portrait),Zoom and Focus control via ethernet. Three Nikon D4s were also set up in various locations to record time-lapse images, with each taking one picture every minute and feeding it directly to the Wimbledon iPad App giving viewers a unique Wimbledon experience in superior full-frame resolution.
Assaff Rawner, managing director of MRMC, says: “We’re pleased to be working with Nikon, to explore this new area for us creating solutions for photographers who are keen to take photography to a new level, with the help of our robotic and Polycam systems. Whilst the partnership has only been going since the start of the London Olympics, we’ve learnt so much and look forward to taking the systems further to support all photographers’ creative ideas and other specialist projects.”