6 STREAMING MEDIA April/May 2017
How to Use Non-PTZ Cameras for
Remote-Controlled Live Production By Paul Schmutzler
Remotely operated cameras aren’t a new tool for the trade, but the variety in which they come to the market is constantly
growing. Most producers looking for robotic
camera solutions are going to think of Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) systems first. While these PTZ models are industry stalwarts and often meet the
requirements for shoots, they also have some
limitations. In this article we’ll take a look at
some non-traditional systems and explain how
you can use them to get greater freedom of
movement and imaging choice.
I’ve written about and reviewed the multi-axis robotic camera platform from eMotimo in
the past ( bit.ly/2jZGZ1Y), but the California-based company just released an auxiliary motor that should put old-school PTZ systems on
notice. The Spectrum out-of-the-box is a very
capable, programmable Pan-Tilt system capable of multi-axis control (Figure 1). With an optional slider and additional motors, the Spectrum can add slider (third axis) control to shots
for video or time-lapse using either of the two
auxiliary motor ports.
Near the end of 2016, eMotimo released the
first accessory for the Spectrum: the Fz (Figure 2).
The Fz adds a fourth motor to the Spectrum camera control system, which allows lens control.
The Fz ships with an oversized L-bracket and
15mm rail, enabling maximum flexibility when
mounting the Fz to a rig. Since the system is designed around a standard 15mm rail, users can
substitute their own hardware if extra length
is needed. A longer rail might be required for
larger lenses utilizing multiple Fz units. If a
lens doesn’t have a toothed ring for the Fz to
align with, then toothed plastic bands can easily be zip-tied around the lens, allowing it to be
smoothly controlled by the Fz.
The eMotimo Fz
Spectrum S T4