Santa Barbara, Calif. - Iconix Video, manufacturer of the world's smallest professional-quality HD video camera, used the Iconix HD-RH1 camera system to capture bullfighting footage for ESPN's new multithemed primetime news magazine show, "E:60."
"E:60," which airs nationally on ESPN Tuesdays at 7:00PM Eastern, includes sports-focused investigative reports, personality profiles, and features on emerging sports trends and innovations. The Iconix HD-RH1 was employed by veteran cameraman Bob Sloan to capture high-definition footage of a bull charging the camera for a segment entitled "Baby Bullfighters." Aired October 23, the segment follows a 14-year-old matador too young to fight in his native country of Spain who treks to Latin America to go up against bulls 10 times his size.
The "E:60" production initially tapped Sloan to provide HD footage from a camera mounted to the support bar of a matador's cape. "The Iconix really allowed us to take things a step further," comments Sloan, president and owner of Bob Sloan Productions. "Instead of just seeing the bull rush the camera and then having it pass over the bull's head, we were able to get a shot of the bull charging the camera and actually running right through it. No other high-def camera would have allowed us to do that."
To cushion the camera head from the shock of being hit by the charging bull, Sloan constructed a special housing made from flexible plastic with varying densities of foam rubber, and suspended it over the side of the bullring with a boom assembly.
"The Iconix is a very rugged camera by itself, but we definitely wanted to err on the side of caution," Sloan relates. "I'd never shot a charging bull before. It's really exciting and gratifying to build a camera system based on a set of assumptions, and then have it all work flawlessly."
A first for a camera this size, the HD-RH1 system can capture and output video in both NTSC and PAL formats in all HD resolutions, including 720p, 1080i and 1080p while supporting frame rates of 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 frames-per-second (fps). Outputs include HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) as two single-link 4:2:2, or dual-link 4:4:4 RGB/YCbCr; DVI-I; and analog outputs, with genlocking capability to tri-level sync. Remote-control protocols are available over RS-232 or 9-pin DSUB connectors. Power requirements are 30W at 12VDC.