Sports camera specialist to undertake APAC launch of new Q3 head, MeerCat camera

Camera Corps has chosen Broadcast Asia for the APAC launch of its new Q3 advanced robotic pan/tilt/zoom/focus head and MeerCat miniature broadcast camera.

Introduced as prototypes at the NAB Show in April, both are now in production and available for rental or purchase. Exhibiting on the Vitec Group stand, 5D1-07, Camera Corps will be represented by Shaun Glanville, business development director.

“Q-Ball, Q3 and MeerCat give programme producers and broadcasters the freedom to set up live video cameras quickly and reliably from practically anywhere,” says Glanville. “The Q-Ball and Q3 heads can be steered in any direction to create a new viewing angle or to track the action.

“MeerCat is designed for fixed-position shooting and can be concealed inside sports field markers, for example, or even on a studio set. Four MeerCats were used to capture and transmit onboard high-definition pictures of the April 2014 Thames Boat Race. One was mounted inside a thin metal pole at the rear of each boat behind the cox, showing the rowing team and beyond them the foreward view. Another was positioned at floor level, looking towards the cox.

“We have supported many Thames Boat Race outside-broadcasts over the years but this was the first time we were able to field a suitable miniature HD camera. MeerCat proved a real winner and the feedback from viewers and production alike was superb. It took you into the heart of the action. In fact it was the Meercat which captured the pivotal moment of this year’s race when the Cambridge number two was temporarily unseated following a clash of oars near the start of the race.”

Developed in response to demand from sports, reality-television and stage-show producers, the Camera Corps MeerCat is housed in a metal case with a very small footprint, 30 x 30 mm, and is only 93 mm in height. Lens protrusion is just 25 mm. High-quality NF-mount lenses are available.

The MeerCat head can be attached to a quarter-inch mount for easy integration into narrow-profile locations. It can also be used as a wearable camera with a full high-definition live wireless link. Full control facilities including manual iris setting with adjustable electronic exposure can be performed remotely using the existing range of Camera Corps joysticks and remote panels.

MeerCat incorporates a high-quality third-inch MOS sensor with 1944 x 1092 effective pixels. This can be switched to deliver 1080p, 1080i or 720p video at 50, 59.94 or 60 hertz frame rate. Video is output as HD-SDI which can be converted to an optical feed using a Camera Corps optical fibre interface. Minimum illumination is 1.2 lux at f/1.4. Chroma, master black, saturation, gain, shutter, detail, white balance, gamma, speed and exposure, video format and noise reduction can all be adjusted from the remote control panel.

MeerCat comes complete with a standard Camera Corps power supply and interface which can be positioned up to 30 metres from the camera head. Control signals can be delivered over a standard audio line, allowing the interface to be located a practically unlimited distance from the operator. Up to six MeerCats can be controlled from a single Camera Corps remote panel.

The Camera Corps Q3 retains the compact spherical housing which made Q-Ball unobtrusive and therefore easy to place within view of other cameras. All commonly used HD formats are accommodated, interlaced and progressive, at up to 60 hertz frame rate. The format can be selected from the operator’s control panel. An enhanced pan/tilt/zoom drive gives producers the freedom to match the precise acceleration and deceleration of much larger robotic heads when tracking moving performers on-air. Initial interest and sales have surpassed all expectations.

The Q3 can perform an unlimited number of 360 degree lateral rotations, 3 gigabits per second video being transferred over high-quality slip rings to ensure complete freedom from cable-snagging. Pan and tilt speed are adjustable from an ultra-slow 360 degrees in 90 minutes to 90 degrees per second. Motion control sequences of up to 25 seconds duration can be stored to internal non-volatile memory.

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