The BBC Natural History Unit has chosen remote camera systems from Camera Corps for the seventh Springwatch series.
A combination of Q-Ball robotic heads and MiniZoom cameras are being used to provide close-up HD images of wildlife under daylight and infra-red-illuminated conditions.
Springwatch is the largest annual outside broadcast production and this year centres on the RSPB’s Ynys-hir nature reserve near Machynlleth, mid-Wales.
Remotely controlled equipment is ideal for obtaining close-up wildlife video. Q-Ball combines an HD/SD camera, 10x optical zoom plus a variable speed pan and tilt mechanism sealed inside in a weatherproofed housing. Its positioning motors can be operated over a very wide speed range with gradual acceleration if required.
The HD MiniZoom is an ultra-compact camera incorporating a 1/3 inch 2 megapixel 16:9 CMOS sensor delivering 1080i/720p HD or 625/525 SD, both at 50 or 59.94 Hz and in 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio.
A development of the HD MiniZoom, Q-Ball incorporates a built in 10x zoom optical lens and smooth-accelerating pan/tilt motors in a 115mm diameter machined-aluminium sphere. Master black level and colour saturation controls allow colour matching with other HD/SD cameras. Up to 96 Q-Ball cameras can be operated under full remote control from a single Camera Corps Multi Camera Keypad.
Viewers to the show are also able to get involved by sharing their photographs of wildlife. They can upload stills to Flickr and use the BBC Red Button to see images shown during the show as well as other viewer submitted images. The images are being checked for aspect ratio and editorialised into themes using technology from Pixel Power before publishing to Pixel Power’s Clarity system.