Panasonic 4K cameras chosen for cutting-edge onsite broadcast truck

Innovative Production Services chooses Panasonic Professional Broadcast cameras for cutting-edge 4K ONE OB truck

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Client: Innovative Production Services

Location: Sydney, NSW Australia

Product(s) supplied: AK-UC4000 AG-CX350 AW-UE160 AW-RP150GJ

Riding High with 4K ONE

With over 25 years of experience in live events and high-end OB production, Innovative Production Services now boasts one of the industry’s most cutting-edge broadcast trucks, 4K ONE. For the truck’s cameras they turned to Panasonic for high quality imaging solutions and a full range of products such as the AK-UC4000 4K studio cameras, AG-CX350 4K camcorders, AW-UE160 4K Pro PTZ cameras and a range of controllers.

"Prior to building our studio, called The HUB, we had never really thought about owning serious cameras. We did have some entry level cameras but nothing of true broadcast standard and we never had plans to buy these either. However, once the studio gained some traction we started to consider our options of which broadcast cameras to buy. Since our experience was based primarily in live events, we researched and discussed our options with those we knew in our industry and that we trusted. This led to us putting the Panasonic UC4000 studio cameras at the top of our list and once we tested them and saw the pictures, we knew they were the right cameras for us."

Besides wanting a top-level broadcast camera with all the regular features you expect such as 4K, Super Slow Motion and excellent support, Innovative had two big requirements that played a major role in their decision to buy Panasonic cameras.

Koch continued, “The two kickers were having excellent colour reproduction in particular for stage lighting, especially rich saturated colours like Congo blue and having the ability to sub-hire more cameras of the same type from other companies we knew. Having Panasonic cameras ticked all of these boxes and more.”

When their assessment was complete, Innovative purchased multiple Panasonic AK-UC4000 4K studio cameras with AK-UCU600 CCUs, AG-CX350 4K handheld cameras with wireless backs and AW-UE160 4K PTZ cameras.

Koch added, “with The HUB, we needed a minimum of four studio camera chains, so we started with the AK-UC4000's. When we won our next major project, we needed some PTZ cameras that could keep up with the AK-UC4000's and also a great compact handheld camera that would work well for wireless shots in various situations. At that time Panasonic had their AW-UE150 which is an excellent Pro PTZ camera, but we wanted even better levels of performance in low light situations. When we found out the new AW-UE160 Pro PTZ was coming out with a new sensor, engine and some amazing features, we knew this would be the answer.”

To make sure it was, Innovative put the then new AW-UE160 PTZ camera through its paces as Koch added, “when we first tested it, we were very impressed. At the first event we used them on they really blew everyone away and knocked it out the park. Then the AG-CX350 handheld was equally impressive especially given its size, and how well it integrates into our truck and also with the UE160's. Iris control from the HRP-1000's and zoom and iris from the AW-RP150 are an added bonus.”

It’s fair to say Innovative’s requirements for their cameras were comprehensive and their production and quality values are justifiably high.

"I think the best thing is how easy the Panasonic cameras are to manage and control. Panasonic seem to be in front of the market with Ethernet control protocols and being able to write our own custom control apps in various systems to control our cameras is just fantastic. The other great thing is the constant stream of firmware updates. Besides bug fixes, Panasonic are great at adding new features. Just recently TSL5.0 was added to the RP150 and this is a major bonus for us."

For Koch and his team their new Panasonic cameras also add significant value to their flexibility as he explained, “they are so versatile and this is why we love them so much. There is nothing you can’t put a UC4000 up to as long as it fits. If they are too big, we can look at using our UE160 PTZ's or the CX350 handheld. From simple one camera shoots to PTZ-only capture sessions to a complete eight or more camera broadcast, our Panasonic cameras are out there kicking goals for us and our clients.”

Innovative’s Panasonic UC4000's are usually out with 4K ONE, along with the CCUs which also live in the truck.

Koch added, “on occasion we take the UC4000's and the HRP-1000's on events without the CCUs and we still achieve great results. Again, lots of flexibility there. The UE160's and the CX350 are out on all kinds of shows and with such a great remote-control solution, they really allow for a reduced crew on shows where space or costs are a concern. In short, our Panasonic gear has the edge over other cameras and the value for money they offer is a winning factor. As a side note on value, the biggest thing at the time of the UC4000 purchase was not having to license 4K as it was 4K enabled out of the box.”

All the Panasonic cameras purchased by Innovative for 4K ONE are high quality 4K cameras that are built to be reliable and give years of use when used for live events. As Koch mentions, apart from the equipment’s excellent image quality, colour reproduction and skin tone reproduction, all the cameras are ‘connected’ and so can all be tied back to 4K ONE for central control - the AK-UC4000's via SMPTE fibre, the AG-CX350 via wireless link and the AW-UE160 via LAN/fibre. 

The same ROPs can also paint and shade the AK-UC4000 cameras, AG-CX350 cameras and AW-UE160 PTZ cameras so, even though each type of camera has a different use within an Innovative production, they can all be centrally controlled.

Finally, the combination of the AK-UCU4000 and AK-UCU600 is suitable not only for Innovative’s studio productions but for a wider range of productions including sport and many types of events.

With this in mind and the fact that these cameras truly provide the level of high-end production that is needed in the 4K age, it's clear that Jeremy Koch and the Innovative crew are big fans of their new Panasonic cameras and the value they add to their cutting-edge 4K ONE broadcast truck as he concluded, “our Panasonic cameras give us a serious edge. Being able to incorporate Panasonic’s leading technology in custom ways within our truck and our OB systems is where the cameras really shine and is the icing on the cake.”

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