Live From MLB All-Star 2022: Fox Sports Rolls Out 70+ Cameras for 1080p HDR Show at Biggest Midsummer Classic

Specialty cameras like two FlyCams, a dugout RailCam, Megalodon, and a pair of Sony 5500’s capture the stars

Bring something new to the table every year. That’s the mantra of Fox Sports when it comes to broadcasting the midsummer tent-pole event that is the MLB All-Star Game (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET, Fox).

Dodger Stadium hosts the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, which airs on Fox Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

The 2022 edition in Los Angeles lives up to those expectations and then some. Fox Sports rolled into Dodger Stadium with more than 70 cameras, including a pair of two-point aerial camera systems, Megalodon (a Sony Alpha a7III on a stabilized gimbal), DirtCam, UmpCam, a RailCam along the first-base dugout, and the baseball debut of the Sony F5500, a super-35mm 4K camera system.

“Every time we do an [MLB] All-Star Game, between our bosses and our technicians, we come up with plans for what we can do different every year to make it special,” says Francisco Contreras, director, field operations, Fox Sports, “and we always come up with something new. It’s exciting.”

The Cinematic Sights of Hollywood

The emphasis on high-end acquisition tools should come as no surprise in a setting like Los Angeles. The City of Angels and Dodger Stadium in particular offer a stunning sun-soaked backdrop for this year’s showcase of MLB All-Stars.

Fox is producing the game in 1080p HDR and upconverting that product to 4K for distribution to DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Verizon, Optimum, YouTubeTV, fuboTV, and streaming on the Fox Sports app.

Fox has plenty of experience producing in HDR in the daytime, having produced all its college-football Big Noon Kickoff games last season in the format. However, more often than not, when Fox commits to the 1080p HDR workflow for baseball, it’s on night games (All-Star Game, Field of Dreams, Saturday Game of the Week, Postseason). Thanks to the 5 p.m. start time on the West Coast, most of this All-Star Game will be played in sunshine.

According to Fox Sports VP, Field Operations and Engineering, Brad Cheney, it’s a welcome task to bring HDR to daytime baseball on such a marquee event.

“The HDR allows the cameras to continually pop and [give] a much brighter, energetic feel to what’s going on,” says Cheney. “It’s also spectacular in making that transition from day to night. It brings that cinematic feel that we’ve had in other places, and the beauty of the sun going down here in Los Angeles is going to be incredible.”

Big ‘Cinematic’ Additions

The term cinematic is being tossed around a lot, not just in the MLB All-Star Game compound but across the industry. Here, the addition of two Sony F5500’s is a notable one. It’s the first time Fox has used the units on baseball, and the goal is to deliver a shallow–depth-of-field look from traditional low-first and low-third camera positions. It’s a super-high-end system outfitted with Canon’s 50-1000mm lens. One of Canon’s newest lenses, the DIGISUPER 122xAF is also running on a camera in left field.

At the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, cameras behind home plate for Fox include P50 cameras with 95X lenses at low-home ground level (at bottom).

Fifty of the 70+ cameras on the event are of the Sony variety: most notably, 11 P31 POV systems scattered around the dugout, bullpens, and overhead shooting down on home plate; 16 HDC-43000’s in traditional game positions (two shooting in high frame rate), and 10 5500’s shooting in 6X.

Down on the field, Fox is also experimenting with some new angles. Partnering with Fletcher, the network is poised to debut a RailCam on the front lip of the roof of the first base dugout. It marks the first time a camera of this nature has been built in front of a Major League Baseball stadium’s protective netting.

FOX is also expanding its complement of DirtCams by adding one in front of the second-base bag. A DirtCam has been used in front of home plate for many years at events like All-Star and World Series. One was deployed at second base for the first time at last year’s MLB at Field of Dreams event. The DirtCams are shooting at 500 fps for this event.

“It works, and it looks awesome,” says Contreras. “We’ve been testing it, and I think we’re there. Our plan is to have this and, hopefully, add four more come the [2022] postseason.”

Fox is also partnering with Fletcher Sports (a division of NEP) to add a pair of P50 cameras with 95X lenses at low-home ground level. Fletcher is also supporting the DirtCams.

To the Skies

The package wouldn’t be complete without some stunning aerial shots, and, to get those, Fox has brought in a pair of two-point aerial camera systems provided by FlyCam.

One system is running low inside the stadium, down the first-base line. The other spans a whopping 1,300+ ft. from outside the stadium, over the left-field stands, down the third-base line, and up into the top of the stadium behind home plate. The run is connected to the top of a crane extended outside the left-field stands.

“We’re going to be able to see downtown Los Angeles, drop ourselves into the park, and run all the way down above the third-base line,” says Cheney. “That look is going to be spectacular.”

Fox Sports is also partnering with KTTV, using the local Fox affiliate’s helicopter for shots of the stadium and Downtown L.A. from high above.

Microphones on Players Highlight Audio Complement

As with every major Fox Sports baseball production, audio receives pristine attention, mostly thanks to Fox veteran A1 Joe Carpenter. There are 76 total transducers spread across the field: embedded in the outfield walls, buried in the infield grass, applied to selected MLB All-Star players. The wireless delivery of the signals is supported by CP Communications.

“A lot of credit goes to Joe and his team for all the planning they do to make this happen and continuing to get player and league buy-in on players wearing mics,” says Cheney. “We hope to have a lot more mics on players as we go forward, especially in-game. We’ve seen how well it’s done for everybody.”

Says Carpenter, “There’s tremendous entertainment value in hearing an outfielder talking with [on-air announcers] Joe Davis or John Smoltz in the booth. We will get some of that, but how much we never know until game time.”


Fox’s Own Team of Stars

Fox is more than thrilled to welcome MLB All-Star to Los Angeles, where the majority of the division’s staff and resources are based. That has helped the team roll in with even more crew and resources than ever.

The sun sets over the MLB All-Star Game production compound outside Dodger Stadium.

Game Creek Video’s Encore A, B, and C units anchor the show, which will be produced by Pete Macheska and directed by Matt Gangl. Many of the special tools being rolled out are coordinated by SVP, Field Operations, Michael Davies; and Lead Technical Producer Tom Lynch and his team of Game Tech Producers Sid Drexler, TJ Scanlon, Carlos Gonzalez, and Brady Polansky.

Operationally, the mega-event is kept in line by Lead Operations Manager Judy Acone and Operations Managers Nick Utley, Nicole Perrin, Pam Chvotkin, Bernadette Wells, and Eric Guyton.

The 2022 MLB All-Star Game airs Tuesday on Fox beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday