Fletcher Chicago, a broadcast and video equipment supplier to the live sports and entertainment fields, recently sent several Panasonic AK-HC1500G 1080i/720p switchable HD point-of-view cameras to cover the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held every August for the past 66 years in the small town of Sturgis, South Dakota.
The ten-day Rally encompassed hundreds of events, including dozens of concerts with such headliners as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Billy Idol, Steppenwolf, David Lee Roth and Joe Cocker. Fletcher client Coming Home Productions (Los Angeles, CA) rented four of the Panasonic HD POV cameras to create a DVD documenting the Rally. The DVD will be available later this year.

Fletcher has purchased a total of 20 AK-HC1500Gs for rental to its clients specializing in sports production (such as MLB, the NBA, NFL and NHL) and event staging. Fletcher has made extensive use of Panasonic’s previous generations of multi-format cameras.

“Panasonic continues to lead the industry in POV technology,” said Dan
Grange, Vice President, Fletcher. “”The HC1500G is the only product
available that is switchable between 1080i and 720p, which means we
can now supply cameras to all our clients without regard to the camera
body itself. We can use only one camera in situations where previously
we needed up to three.”

“Factor in the camera’s compact size, lighter weight, improved paint controller, 24p film-like image capture and variable speed shooting, and you have one powerful acquisition tool,” Grange added.

Compatible with all international HD standards, the AK-HC1500G is the
first multi-purpose camera to feature a variable frame rate functionality and cine gamma curve, features that have distinguished Panasonic’s popular VariCam HD Cinema Camcorder. The camera’s 1-megapixel, 2/3-inch 3-CCDs produce outstanding color accuracy, with improved on-chip lenses to achieve a standard sensitivity of F10.0 at 2000 lux and a smear level of less than -130 dB. The AK-HC1500 uses CCD accumulation and horizontal/vertical addition to create a gain increase of up to +68 dB (with a minimum illumination of 0.015 dB). The camera offers both 1080 (60i/59.94i, 50i, 30p, 25p/24p) and 720 (60p, 59.94p/50p) high definition output.

The remotely-controllable AK-HC1500G is compatible with Panasonic’s comprehensive line of indoor and outdoor pan-tilt heads, pan-tilt controllers and camera control units. The optional, compact AK-HRP150
camera control unit offers full image control. The camera has a rear
option slot for expansion (e.g., downconverter, analog or fiber output
unit), making the AK-HC1500 suitable for a broad spectrum of