Robotic cameras triumph on four continents


Camera Corps, a world leader in broadcast-quality remote cameras and tracking systems, reports strong demand for its Q-Ball HD/SD robotic pan and tilt minicam system. Q-Ball has sold successfully across four continents since its introduction in 2009, including 120 systems during 2010. Recent new orders include 33 Q-Ball systems in the USA, 36 in Australia, over 40 in Europe and 20 in South Africa. 

"We have experienced overwhelming success with the Q-Ball system," comments Scott Nardelli, chief business development officer of Camera Corp's US distributor, Bexel. "It is already being used by major players such as ESPN, HBO and NBC in applications as diverse as sports and entertainment capture. At the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, Q-Ball was deployed under and on top of structures to capture the event without scaring the horses, something a full-sized camera would simply not be able to achieve.

"Industry acceptance of Q-Ball happened very quickly. In fact every unit we own has remained busy on long-term and short-term rentals, and sales have been rapid. Broadcasters like the small form factor, the functionality and the options that Q-Ball provides. Being ultra-compact and weather-resistant, it is a popular choice in tight spaces, in challenging elements or in other areas where a full size robotic camera won't work.

"Q-Ball's ability to provide a full 360 degree rotation in any direction along with its robust construction make it a durable platform to capture unique images indoors or outdoors, adding a new and exciting perspective to sports and entertainment events."

Australian broadcast service-provider Cutting Edge recently took delivery of 25 Q-Ball systems, increasing to 36 the total number it has purchased in recent months. Productions made by Cutting Edge using Q-Ball have included Australian reality show 'The Family'. A total of 24 systems were deployed along with eight Camera Corps Minizooms, all controlled by a single cameraman plus one video engineer.

In South Africa, over 80 Q-Ball were used by Camera Corps itself during coverage of the summer 2010 world football championships and 14 systems have been sold for a variety of productions. Camera Corps made football history by capturing a disallowed goal in full view of a worldwide audience during a playoff between England and Germany.

Sales have also been strong in Europe where Q-Ball systems have been purchased by some of the largest outside broadcast facilities and equipment hire companies, right across to Moscow where Camera Corps' CIS distributor Media Trust is actively involved in supplying equipment to Russian broadcasters. 

"Like all the tools we develop, Q-Ball was developed initially to satisfy our own requirements as providers of production equipment and skilled operating teams to cover some of the largest events in the international sports calendar, reality television shows and stage events," adds Camera Corps founder and managing director Laurie Frost. "We are quite literally our own most demanding customer so we know how important it is to protect a robotic head from homeless insects, from rain, sea-spray and high humidity."

Q-Ball incorporates a built in 10x zoom optical lens and smooth-accelerating pan/tilt motors in a sturdy 115 mm diameter fully-weatherproof aluminium sphere. A 37 mm thread standard-adaptor 0.7x wide-angle lens adapter is optionally available. Master black level and colour saturation controls allow colour matching with other HD/SD cameras. Q-Ball is fully compatible with all existing Camera Corps robotic control systems and CCU panels. Up to four SDI-embedded audio channels are available to accommodate stereo microphones. 

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