While Panasonic rolled out a number of 4K cameras and upgrades at IBC, including a new VariCam camera head with integrated Codex recording, the company also peeled back the curtain on what could well be the future of 4K cinematography for virtual reality productions at live stadium events like concerts and sports.
Describing the protoype as a "360° 4K degree real time camera, designed for virtual reality viewing," Panasonic has created a uniquely robust and professional-level VR camera system with built-in stitching and sync. When mounted to its base, images from the four cameras in the 360-degree cap are synchronized through cabling, creating a single 4K "equi-rectangular" image. Panasonic has said that this instantly available single 4K image is ideal for projecting in the moment to stadium screens and pushing out on the fly to social media outlets like Facebook 360 and YouTube.
"VR is big this year at IBC and a growing trend in events,” Michael Pullan, Panasonic's European PR manager, told StudioDaily via email. “We've had really strong interest here at the show in the prototype 360-degree camera from across the industry, from broadcast and production companies, and we've seen a large number of events production companies. They’ve all been impressed with the ease of use of the system. Some have also expressed interest in producing 360-degree web content from stadium events and concerts."
When off its base, the camera could potentially be fitted to a wire-flown cable-cam system, drone or other aerial transport. "Once the camera is returned to the base unit, the processor would sync and stich the images together, automatically amend the light and color temperatures, and either play out the footage in real time or store it for broadcast at a later date," Pullan explained.
(Photos courtesy Panasonic, special to StudioDaily).