Sony takes to the seas for Outdoor Channel
The salty air and rough seas can be deadly for typical video gear but Sony’s XDCAM disc-based camera system recently proved it has steady sea legs as speargun hunter, filmmaker and director of photography Robin D. Berg and Outdoor Channel used it for a new series.
Outdoor Channel CEO Andy Dale pointed Berg toward using the system and, after rigorous testing, Berg decided on the XDCAM HD PDW-F350 to shoot all of the above-water footage for the Outdoor Channel s Speargun Hunter series, challenging the camera to withstand saltwater spray, tight quarters, and wave-tossed seas.
The format is robust and solid,” says Berg. “I have experienced absolutely no digital dropout or media problems associated with tape and the camera is very user friendly.”
Berg s favorite XDCAM HD features include the flip-out LCD monitor, the blue-laser random access feature that allows instant thumbnail viewing access to the images on site and the cost-effective, tapeless workflow, which enables storage of up to 65 minutes of HD on a $30 disc.
Berg s intense three-month production schedule took him, his production crew, and expert speargun hunters Sheri Daye and Chad Palan to the waters of Puerto Vallarta, Key West and Treasure Coast, Fla.
World record spearfisherman and underwater photographer Terry Maas shot the production s dramatic underwater footage with Sony s HVR-Z1U Digital HD Video Camera Recorder (the Z1), encased within Light and Motion s Bluefin Underwater housing. Using the Z1, Maas captured Palan and Daye s underwater adventures.
Berg condensed highlights of the season s 13 episodes into an hour-long documentary that will air on the Outdoor Channel in January of 2007. The production took Best Documentary honors at the Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival in September.
Berg, president of Berg Entertainment International and director of more than 400 episodes of broadcast television, plans to make XDCAM HD his primary camera for upcoming ocean adventure programming. The Outdoor Channel is also making similar plans.
The footage shot by the XDCAM HD affirms our belief that the future for HD is very bright, says Dale. The clarity and vividness of the footage holds up extremely well, even as it s viewed on movie-theater-sized projection screens.