‘Pan & Scan’ 8K Is Ideal for Sports Capture
One of the most intriguing applications of the development of 8K content capture is the way that it can be used to develop content that is selected from the huge canvas that 8K camera can provide. One of the companies that has been developing 8K cameras for this application is IO Industries. We reported on the firm’s development of an 8K camera in 2021 and followed up with Todd Seath, Sales Manager of the company, to see what developments have taken place since.
IO Industries, based in Ontario, Canada, has moved into the area of creating cameras for a wide range of video applications. Its cameras were originally developed for machine vision and other more technical video camera applications. It has two main cameras that find a home among 8K content creators.
First, there is a 65 megapixel camera, the 654G71 (using a Gpixel GMAX3265 65MP global shutter sensor) that can capture native 8K and is designed for those wanting to go beyond 8K. The camera can capture up to 70fps at full resolution and has been used in a number of ‘pan and scan’ applications.
A sport application that Seath particularly liked was in ice hockey. Capturing the image in 8K meant that a wider area of the playing area can be seen. The system was set up to recognise the puck and use a ‘pan and scan’ technology to automatically follow the puck at a speed and with an accuracy that could not be repeated by a regular camera operator. Because the content was broadcast in Full HD, there was lots of ‘virtual space’ to make the camera shots look smooth, as though they were created using a high speed gimbal.
‘Just 44 Megapixels’
The second 447X52 camera offers fewer pixels, it is ‘just’ 44 megapixels, which also allows full 8K capture (which needs 33 megapixels). Both the 65MP (mentioned above) and the 45MP version uses a special protocol, specific to the machine vision industry called CoaXPress. This allows the use of a single fiber cable output from the camera and tremendous flexibility in trading resolution and refresh rates within the overall bandwidth of the interface.
Output is available with up to 12 bits of color depth for the support of HDR. The firm sees itself as ‘The Raw Guys’ so that is generally the preferred lossless output format for some applications.
Seath told us that the two cameras are available with different lens mounts. The 8KSDI camera with SDI outputs has MFT/Active EF/F-Mount options while the 45MP and 65MP have F-Mount,/Active EF and M52 x 0.75 mounts. They typically cost from $8-12K depending on the precise configuration.
There is a lot of interest in using the cameras in fixed locations in sports stadiums to minimize the need for camera operators. They are also being used in novel applications – the firm sold 20 of the cameras for a project in Asia where viewers can choose their own ‘point of view’ from any point within the stadium as well as moving closer or further away from the action.
The firm has had particular success in developing the market for volumetric capture systems and believes that it is the standard device for a large number of high profile companies in the 4D scanning and Volumetric Capture market. [TS3]
Professional sport is a big area for the company overall and it sells many units for use in sports analysis and technique practice. For example, the cameras are widely used with very high frame rates but with lower resolutions of 3.2-12 megapixels in baseball pitcher analysis.
Seath has a very exciting application that he is waiting to reveal, but has so far had to maintain customer confidentiality. When release of the story is agreed, he has said that he will come back to us. We can’t wait!