Three Sony PDW-700 XDcam HD 422 shooting kits were sold to the main production crew, Amis Productions, which is working with producers Sunset + Vine, Volvo Event Management and facilities company On Sight on coverage of the global yacht race.
Two of the cameras will be used to shoot from chase boats with the other one to be used for aerial shots from a newly kitted out helicopter.
The Amis Productions Crew will film the race - which started last week in Alicante - until it concludes in St Petersburg in late June 2009.
Amis' Matthew Connor, who is working on one of the chase boats, said that initially because of the very harsh working conditions, salt water and choppy seas, he was worried about the reliability of the cameras.
“I think the start of the Volvo ocean race proved just how good these cameras are with over 25 knots of wine and huge seas the cameras coped without a glitch,” he said. “Another point of these new cameras which has amazed me is their low light capabilities. We have been shooting with plus 18 gain in and can see no grain in the picture at all something that the old digibetas would never have been able to cope with."
A PDW HD1500 XDcam HD deck will also be installed on the helicopter. Simon Aldridge, a director at Amis Productions said that size and power requirements were important considerations.
“The deck was chosen for its compactness and because it could be powered off 12 volts and work with the Flir Ultra Media HD stabilising camera system in some of the races,” he said. “But most significantly because XDcam HD uses a laser to record the data, vibrations in the helicopter won't cause a break in recording which can be an issue traditionally with tape.”
Aldridge was also keen to make use of the ability to shade the lenses. “This is a process where the camera is balanced to each individual lens to give an even image intensity across the CCDs,” he said. “CVP-Mitcorp engineer Brett McCaughn helped us set up our various specialist lenses so we could work quickly in the field.
“With modern Fujinon or Canon lenses the camera will automatically switch the shading settings to the particular ID of the lens that is fitted to the camera. With older lenses, such as the Schwems, once shaded it is simply a case of choosing the specific lens from the Lens file menu.”
The Volvo Ocean Race lasts for nine months.
Starting in Alicante, Spain in October 2008, it concludes in St Petersburg, Russia, during late June 2009.
In total, the teams will sail over 37,000 nautical miles of the world's most treacherous seas.
It will go via Cape Town, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Goteborg and Stockholm.
Weekly coverage of the race will air on Sky Sports.