February 09, 2011

Compact camera controllers

Camera Corps will introduce new Switchpad and Mini Joystick controllers at BVE 2011 in London next week, as part of programme production system that includes its Q-Ball robotic cameras.

Switchpad is a multi-camera control unit which increases from five to 96 the number of remote camera heads that can be operated via the company's Joystick Control or CCU Panel. It can also be used with Camera Corps' Multi Camera Combiner unit to allow up to four Joystick operators and up to four CCU engineers to control the 96 cameras and pan & tilt heads simultaneously using just a single data line.

It can drive different types of video router, enabling the picture monitor to follow camera selection at any of the eight operator positions. Up to 255 channel numbers and routing-matrix assignment numbers can be selected via the keypad for easy integration of the 96 sources with existing camera channel configurations on video matrices with up to 256 inputs.

Switchpad is compatible with many different types of camera as well as the Q-Ball. Connection is via a robust interface, which encodes control data onto a standard audio line at user-selectable bit-rates.

The Mini Joystick Control has been developed for applications such as commentator-camera control or OB vehicles with restricted space, the compact controller is compatible with Camera Corps and Egripment pan and tilt heads. The joystick and control buttons have the same tactile responsiveness as those on Camera Corps' full-size controller, including fully adjustable pan, tilt and zoom speeds and reverses. Zoom is controlled by rotary twist of the joystick. Up to five separate heads can be operated from a single panel. Reverse settings and control speeds for each of the five channels can be stored in non-volatile internal memory."

Camera Corps' generic audio data communication system is employed to allow unlimited operating distances between Mini Joystick Control and the remote heads. Each of the five channels has its own red and green cue/tally light switch. Individual channels can be locked to prevent inadvertent alteration of presets. Focus can be remote-adjusted manually or switched between manual and automatic when used with cameras that support these features. Mini Joystick Control operates from 9v to 18v DC power adapter or battery. Total panel dimensions are 190x140x110mm. Weight is 400g.

By David Fox

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