Canon Cameras Deliver for Lander University Baseball, Softball, and Soccer

Baseball, softball, and soccer are looking better than ever at Lander University, not only because they’re being played in the new Jeff May athletic complex, but also because each sport is being telecast with a variety of video cameras from Canon U.S.A.

Located in Greenwood, SC, Lander University is utilizing a combination of Canon BU-46H remote-control HD pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, Canon XF305 HD camcorders, and Canon VC-C50iR security cameras to capture game play for local cablecasts, worldwide webcasts, and coaching/player analysis. As director of special events Eddie Shaw explains, each Canon video camera serves a special purpose.

“The centerfield wall in our baseball stadium is 401ft. from home plate, so it’s a long stretch to capture a shot of both the pitcher and the catcher,” Shaw explained. “We are using a Canon BU-46H HD PTZ camera to capture those shots, and it’s doing a superb job. We feed our games live to the Internet via WebStream, and the video from the BU-46H is so good that – even after Internet compression – you can see on your computer what sign the catcher is calling: fastball, curveball, in or out. The detail is really amazing.”

Canon BU-46H HD PTZ cameras are mounted atop 14-ft. steel poles in both the baseball and softball stadiums at the Jeff May complex. A completely integrated, turnkey robotic remote-control HD camera system, the BU-46H is equipped with a Genuine Canon 20x HD zoom lens (4.5 – 90mm) with a 2x digital extender to double the image size of distant objects. Employing three 1/3-inch (1.67 million-pixel) CCD image sensors (1440 H x 1080 V) and advanced Canon Autofocus, Image Stabilizer, and Night Mode features to provide exceptional broadcast-quality HD video performance, the BU-46H is encased in a weatherproof housing that meets IP-45 specifications for dust- and waterproof-efficiency. A remote-control ND (neutral density) filter and “windshield-wiper” type blade for clearing the lens port further ensure optimum HD image quality.

The BU-46H can pan through ± 340 degrees and tilt + 30 degrees to -50 degrees in highly precise and smoothly choreographed movements. A non-proprietary control protocol enables users and system integrators to interface the camera with control systems from many leading third-party providers. Lander University’s BU-46H cameras are controlled by Vaddio ProductionVIEW controllers, and connected via a fiber optic network.

“Once a ball is hit into play we switch to our hand-held Canon XF305 HD camera to follow the action,” Shaw continued. “Those cameras are amazing, too, and the quality they provide for WebStream and for our DVD copies is excellent. Our athletic director and staff get a ‘right-now’ DVD of each game for player analysis, and the local cable channel plays DVDs of the games on a delayed schedule. Both are extremely pleased by the image quality provided by both the Canon BU-46H and XF305 cameras.”

A hand-held tapeless professional HD camcorder, the Canon XF305 includes BNC connectors for HD-SDI output and genlock input, which are well suited to Lander University’s multi-camera sports production applications. The XF305 also features a Genuine Canon 18x HD L-series lens with a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 29.3 – 527.4mm and a Full Manual Focus mode with mechanical “hard” end stops and distance markers for the professional operability needed in sports coverage. The lens also features a new SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system featuring Dynamic and Powered IS modes for optimal performance in the greatest variety of shooting situations. Equipped with three Canon 1/3-inch native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensors and the 4:2:2 50Mbps Canon XF Codec, the XF305 captures exceptional HD picture quality with high color detail.

“We have a third Canon XF305 that we use for soccer coverage, and it’s the only camera used there,” Shaw noted. “It really carries the load and does a great job. Our soccer team has many foreign players, and their parents are able to watch clear, colorful XF305 video of the games live on Ustream’s Lander Channel no matter where in the world they are.”

Three more Canon video cameras complete Lander University’s image-acquisition needs for soccer, baseball, and softball. They are Canon VC-C50iR analog security cameras, which are installed at all three stadiums to shoot scoreboards as a picture-in-picture inserted into game coverage. A ceiling-mounted camera, the VC-C50iR has a Genuine Canon 26x optical zoom lens with 12x digital zoom capability and a Canon Autofocus feature for clear capture of distant scoreboard displays. A Minimum Subject Illumination camera setting that reveals details down to 1 Lux scene illumination (at 1/30 second shutter speed) further ensures that viewers of Lander University’s sports coverage always know who’s winning.

“Our HD sports coverage system is an exciting new venture for us,” Shaw concluded. “Other schools in our Conference have seen what we’ve done and were so impressed with our video stream that they were asking us what we use to make ourselves look so good. We are really pleased with the picture quality and the performance that we are getting from all of our Canon cameras.”

The Lander University sports video system was designed by SCI Electronics of Greenville, SC, and installed/integrated by CIAv of High Point, N.C.

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