Fox Sports to Deploy Gyro-Cam, Super Zoom 4K for NASCAR
New Camera Tech Makes Its Car-Racing Debut
When Fox Sports kicks off its coverage of Speedweeks in Daytona this weekend, it'll bring some camera innovations to Daytona International Speedway.
The "Gyro-Cam" is a gyro-stabilized camera that rotates to remain level with the horizon at all times, even as the car it rides inside takes a banked turn around the racetrack. Being used at Daytona for the first time this year, Fox hopes it will give viewers a new, more dramatic first-person perspective on the races. (Watch the video, above, for a simulation.)
The "Super Zoom 4K," also making its NASCAR debut this weekend, describes the practice of shooting 4K footage, then extracting cropped 720p HD frames from the higher-resolution image for replay, providing viewers a sharp close-up of details in the frame. Fox's announcement didn't specify which 4K camera is being used for NASCAR, but it utilized the Sony F65 for some its "Super Zoom" NFL coverage last season.
Fox is also using the CAMCAT two-point flying camera system, which travels at up to 85 mph along a cable suspended over the track between two cranes parked outside. From 2005 to 2007, Fox used a four-point cable camera, suspended inside the track, that maxed out at 20 mph.
Finally, Fox plans to generate some 3D objects on screen, including a clearly marked "restart box" and a yellow "caution" highlight that will cover the entire track during a caution period, using Vizrt graphics hardware.
Fox's live coverage begins tomorrow, February 16, at 8 p.m. ET, with the 75-lap Sprint Unlimited.