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Canon Provides HD Lenses for NBCs Coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games

Canon U.S.A.’s Broadcast & Communications division has been chosen as the exclusive provider of HD lenses to NBC Olympics for its coverage of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. NBC will also be using the Canobeam DT-150 HD Free Space Optics video transceiver system for transmitting “beauty shots” of Beijing back to NBC’s Olympic broadcast facility. Canon will provide on-site technical support for NBC Olympics throughout the duration of the 2008 Olympic Games.

“This will be the seventh consecutive Olympics that NBC has entrusted Canon to be our exclusive lens provider,” says Dave Mazza, senior vice president, engineering, NBC Olympics. “This is not something we take lightly. We only get one shot at capturing each moment of competition and emotion at the Olympic Games. Canon’s superior optics, functionality, reliability, and support are of paramount importance to us in reaching that goal. In addition, the latest features of the DIGISUPER 100AF long-field auto-focus HD zoom lens and the economics of the DIGISUPER 22xs compact studio ‘box’ lens both fit right into our production requirements.”

“Canon is proud to once again be NBC’s choice of HD lenses for its coverage of the Olympic Games,” affirmed Larry Thorpe, national marketing executive, Broadcast and Communications division, Canon U.S.A. “A wide variety of Canon HD lenses will be used by NBC Olympics to image all of the action at many venues in Beijing. The superior performance, reliability, and picture quality of all Canon HDTV lenses will ensure that NBC provides viewing audiences in the U.S.A. with HDTV pictures of stunning brilliance and clarity. And of course, Canon professionals will be on-hand with NBC at the Beijing Olympic Games to ensure a positive production experience.”

Lens Choices
Canon’s DIGISUPER 100AF (based on the original DIGISUPER 100xs) and DIGISUPER 86AF long-field auto focus HD zoom lenses are the industry’s standard of excellence. The Canon DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF lenses (model numbers XJ100x9.3B AF and XJ86x9.3B AF, respectively) create an operator-controllable window in the HD camera’s viewfinder that targets the scene subject that operators select for sharpest focus. Camera operators can change the window’s position and size by means of a miniature joystick on the camera handle’s focus servo control.  An additional button provides three modes of operation:

  1. Part-Time: Actuates the auto-focus system as long as a control button is depressed.
  2. Full-Time: Actuates the auto-focus continually on selected moving objects such as runners (which might be speeding toward the camera position), or for shooting situations entailing full-servo robotic operation.
  3. Off: Allows for normal, unassisted lens focus.

“Canon’s extensive experience in long-zoom HD field-lens design provides the Company with a unique understanding of the challenges that HDTV presents to camera operators. This is why Canon developed the new DIGISUPER 100AF and DIGISUPER 86AF auto-focus long-field HD zoom lenses to help camera operators ensure that their shots are always in exact focus, even in challenging situations such as fast-paced Olympic games,” remarked Thorpe.

In addition to the DIGISUPER 100AF, NBC has also chosen Canon’s DIGISUPER 75xs long-field HD zoom lens. Both models feature Canon’s proprietary Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (“Shift-IS”) technology for rock-solid HD images even at extreme telephoto distances.

Canon HD studio lenses chosen by NBC Olympics include the DIGISUPER 22xs, the industry’s first-ever Compact Studio Lens. An HD lens product category created three years ago by Canon, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio Lens is designed for direct mounting on portable HD cameras configured for studio use. Officially designated as the model XJ22x7.3B IE-D, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens weighs just 13.4 lbs., which provides an appropriate HD studio lens/camera package that can be supported on a modest-size pedestal or a sturdy tripod system.

All Canon DIGISUPER HD lenses feature Canon’s X-Element and Power Optical System along with the company’s second-generation Digital Servo System, which includes microcomputer compensation of lens-focus breathing (the inadvertent alteration of field-of-view when operating the focus control).

Portable HD lenses chosen by NBC Olympics include Canon’s HJ11ex4.7B IRSE wide-angle zoom, the HJ22ex7.6B IRSE long-focal-length zoom, and the HJ40X10B IASD-V highly telephoto, image-stabilized HD EFP lenses.

The HJ11ex4.7B IRSE and HJ22ex7.6B IRSE both feature Canon’s exclusive eDrive technology, which enables users to easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use LCD menu, as well as assignable “soft” function buttons, and the rocker switch built into the lens grip. Users can program multiple settings or none at all, depending on their personal needs and preferences. With fast-moving sports action, eDrive offers critical time-saving functions for effective HD production.

The HJ40X10B IASD-V telephoto HD lens combines an extraordinary 40:1 zoom range (remarkable for a portable EFP lens), Canon’s “Shift-IS” Image Stabilizer technology, and superb HD imagery for capture of distant scenes in a portable HD lens form factor. The HJ40x10B telephoto EFP lens also features Canon’s Enhanced Digital Drive technology that enables users to pre-set zoom position memory and other user-defined settings that significantly empower the camera operator. Ergonomics are further enhanced by a compact digital servo drive unit, which is mounted to the lens at a 12.5 degree angle for operator comfort and balance.

The Canobeam DT-150 HD
Canon’s Canobeam DT-150 HD video transceiver is the newest member of Canon’s acclaimed series of point-to-point Free Space Optics transceivers that use infrared light to bridge gaps in high-bandwidth transmission situations. The Canobeam DT-150 HD video transceiver provides reliable bi-directional, uncompressed 1.5 Gbps transmission of embedded digital HD video, audio, and camera-control signals on a single HD-SDI stream with no delay. It can relay embedded HD-SDI and SD-SDI video from multiple cameras or other HD/SD video sources, along with embedded return video and audio to the camera operator, and even robotic camera-control data. In dense, RF-heavy urban environments such as Beijing and other major cities, the Canobeam DT-150 HD offers a major advantage in that it requires no frequency licensing or coordination and it sets up quickly.

“The Canon Canobeam DT-150 HD is an innovative means of enabling producers to establish camera positions that would be otherwise impossible, allowing for more creative flexibility when composing camera shots,” said Thorpe.

The DT-150 HD Canobeam has a range of up to one kilometer and, like all Canobeam DT-100 series products, features Canon’s exclusive Auto Tracking feature to maintain beam alignment despite vibration due to wind, rain, or unsteady platforms. All Canobeam transceivers are protocol-independent (like fiber), and feature Small Form Pluggable (SFP) fiber-interface connections as well as Canobeam’s DT-MNG-100 Management Board, which enables users to monitor the status of Canobeam transceivers via simple network management protocol (SNMP) or Telnet (for monitoring and setting). In addition, diagnostic logs can be stored in a PC via FTP (for log data transmission).