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Old October 28th, 2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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BBC Article - Hexacopter

BBC News - 'Hexacopter' changes the way TV reporters work
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Old October 30th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #2
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

I just came to post that link. It's a fascinating article and a nice demo. I cannot make out what camera they are using. It's small but it's not as I expected an XF100 (which has EBU/BBC approved 50Mbps CODEC). Any guesses?
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Old October 30th, 2013, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

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I cannot make out what camera they are using. It's small but it's not as I expected an XF100 (which has EBU/BBC approved 50Mbps CODEC). Any guesses?
The article relates to News, and the BBC are using XDCAM EX (35Mbs) for that. (The EBU recommendations apply to mainstream HD programming - XDCAM EX is approved for what they refer to as "journalism" use.)

There was a story a while back about BBC News buying JVC HM650s for self-shoot journalist use, as amongst other reasons it shares the XDCAM EX codec with the bigger cameras. Could it be one of those?
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Old October 30th, 2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

I have just double-checked with the BBC video at full screen & I can clearly see at 00:42 that it is a Panasonic Lumix G6 (I have one so can compare it with the screen. It also looks very like the lens is the Panasonic 14mm F/2.5 that I have on mine.

The G6 does have fantastic quality video but it's AVCHD or MPEG4 and not even 35Mbps.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

This is probably being used as what could be termed a speciality camera, rather than the main camera. In news the BBC regularly use internet links, which are definitely not of a broadcast standard. What is acceptable for news may not be acceptable for mainstream HD programmes, although the latter also sometimes use lower standard material, which fit into the SD percentage that a HD production is allowed.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #6
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

I knew these copters would eventually be used by news reporters. You just can't beat the quality of footage you can achieve with these things. Angles you simply can't get with anything else! I like the way they emphasized the fact the operator had been trained for 6 months and acquired a license! almost as if they were implying users at home not to go out and buy one and start flying it around their next door neighbors garden lol
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Old October 30th, 2013, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I have just double-checked with the BBC video at full screen & I can clearly see at 00:42 that it is a Panasonic Lumix G6 (I have one so can compare it with the screen. It also looks very like the lens is the Panasonic 14mm F/2.5 that I have on mine.

The G6 does have fantastic quality video but it's AVCHD or MPEG4 and not even 35Mbps.
Does this mean now I have a "BBC approved" camera?? Must be because they use it for news gathering :) The g6 will surely provide sharp and stunning imagery which will blend in with no issues with their other real "bbc approved" camera's, the g6 with the 14mm pancake is capable to produce some very sharp images while keeping the total weight down as it weighs next to nothing, much better choice then using a gopro if you ask me.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

You can find the list of BBC approved cameras on their and on the EBU web site,. There are tiers of cameras and what might be suitable as the main camera on a news programme mightn't be the case on a programme.

In selecting a camera for this type of work, how it handles vibration might another consideration.

A trained operator would be part of the BBC's health and safety considerations, apart from it being a CAA requirement.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

I don't care much about what a bbc approved camera is, I often see a lot of people get exited when they have a camera that is on that list but I guess they are supplying material to the BBC or are working in any form of newsgathering where their camera needs to be up to a certain standard. I only found it interesting to see they also use this cheap combo from Panasonic.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #10
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

The BBC also use GoPro cameras, it's a case of the right camera for the job. There are other options, but you do get into heavier cameras using better codecs and higher costs, which mightn't be justified in the particular circumstances here.

The BBC has also mounted cameras on eagles. In the past they've used lipstick cameras that gave awful looking pictures. It's part of a tradition that goes back to the use of 16mm gun cameras, which did give rather good pictures.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

As said many times before, the EBU guidelines are just that - recommendations, not "rules" or "laws". That said, they are based on some sound science, consequently there is a lot of sense in taking note of them even if your work isn't for broadcast.

And as also said many times before, the use of non-approved cameras is not a problem if something like "practical operational need" can be proven. In other words, if you're doing undercover work with a hidden camera, nobody is going to force the use of a 2/3" camera underneath your raincoat......:-)

That's no excuse for thinking you can therefore use a cheap camera just to save yourself money.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

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there is a lot of sense in taking note of them even if your work isn't for broadcast.
Why? Because the BBC decides that if it's not on the list, it's only good for undercover work with a hidden camera? :D Will it make my work better if I have got a camera that's on that list? If my client expects a certain format that was shot with a certain camera, then yes, but if that is not the case, would me buying a cheap Black magic cinema camera (they cost less then a handicam these days) to save some money but to deliver excellent imagery be a wrong choice? I never understood why people get so exited over a camera that's on that list, unless their employer expects it from them.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

I couldn't give a flying tosh about BBC's list. My client's don't require a BBC approved camera.

I buy my cameras after seeing what it is capable of and how difficult it is to get such imagery. That's how I make my purchases.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #14
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Re: BBC Article - Hexacopter

Yeah but you better be prepared to put on a raincoat. :) I wonder if there is any footage available shot with that hexacopter and g6 combo that is of higher quality? The link to that footage that Pedanes posted is heavily compressed.
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