Vinten supports the 4K/UHD transition in sports bro­­adcasting

Vinten’s product manager Philip Dalgoutte highlights the importance of camera support systems in 4K/UHD sports productions

The adoption of 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) technology has been valuable in sports broadcasting as such high resolution is capable of bringing an enhanced viewing experience, thereby influencing the purchasing decisions of millions of home viewers, said Philip Dalgoutte, product manager, Vinten, a Vitec Group brand.

While more attention has been given to ensure that camera sensors and lenses are 4K/UHD-ready, he urged operators to also consider the camera supports and their ability to deliver high-quality moving images in a sports environment.

“The latest generation of 4K/UHD sports lenses has an increased number of corrective elements within the lenses — several of which are within the moving zoom and focus clusters,” said Dalgoutte, in a whitepaper entitled Supporting the 4K/UHD Revolution in Sports Broadcasting by Vinten. “This additional moving mass will alter the balance characteristics of the head during shooting.”

To improve camera and lens control over a spring counterbalance head, Vinten has equipped its Vector series pan-and-tilt head with a pantographic head that allows camera operators to tilt the payload of the camera and lens around its natural balance point, and eliminates the need for additional springs to counterbalance the payload.

A user of Vinten’s Vector series is director of photography (DoP) Tom Guilmette, who has worked on the Super Bowl and the Olympics, along with other major sports events for US broadcasters Fox and CBS.

Guilmette said: “The head can be expanded through the pantographic design and allows it to rise and lower as the operator tilts up and down. When expanded, it moves the centre of gravity of the camera and keeps it in line, thus giving the operator greater control of the camera.

“A tilt-over-centre head that is on a hinge or standard tripod doesn’t have the same type of control, so it’s important to have Vinten’s pantographic design when using a large camera and lens systems.”

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