No Bull: ESPN E:60 taps Iconix HD-RH1 camera

ESPN used the Iconix HD-RH1 camera system to capture bullfighting footage for ESPN’s new multi-themed primetime newsmagazine show, “E:60.” The Iconix HD-RH1 was employed by veteran cameraman Bob Sloan to capture high definition footage of a bull charging the camera for a segment entitled “Baby Bullfighters.” Slated to air October 23, the segment follows a 14-year-old matador too young to fight in his native country of Spain who treks to Latin America to go up against bulls 10 times his size.

The “E:60” production initially tapped Sloan to provide HD footage from a camera mounted to the support bar of a matador’s cape. “The Iconix really allowed us to take things a step further,” commented Sloan, President and Owner of Bob Sloan Productions. “Instead of just seeing the bull rush the camera and then having it pass over the bull’s head, we were able to get a shot of the bull charging the camera and actually running right through it. No other high-def camera would have allowed us to do that.”

To cushion the camera head from the shock of being hit by the charging bull, Sloan constructed a special housing made from flexible plastic with varying densities of foam rubber, and suspended it over the side of the bullring with a boom assembly. “”The Iconix is a very rugged camera by itself, but we definitely wanted to err on the side of caution,” Sloan related. “I’d never shot a charging bull before. It’s really exciting and gratifying to build a camera system based on a set of assumptions, and then have it all work flawlessly.”

As ESPN moves more and more of its productions over to high definition, Sloan predicts that the Iconix HD-RH1 camera system will become one of his key players. “The Iconix is the go-to POV camera for high-quality HD work,” Sloan explains. “There really is no second-runner at this point. I’m extremely impressed with everything about the camera, especially its quality, design and flexibility.”

A first for a camera this size, the HD-RH1 system can capture and output video in both NTSC and PAL formats in all HD resolutions, including 720p, 1080i and 1080p while supporting frame rates of 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60 frames-per-second (fps). Outputs include HD-SDI (SMPTE 292M) as two single-link 4:2:2, or dual-link 4:4:4 RGB/YCbCr; DVI-I; and analog outputs, with genlocking capability to tri-level sync. Remote control protocols are available over RS-232 or 9-pin DSUB connectors. Power requirements are 30W at 12VDC.

The HD-RH1 incorporates an expansive array of features found only on top-of-the-line HD ENG and EFP camera systems while utilizing an innovative signal processing architecture. This POV camera system, which includes a very robust separate camera head and processing controller unit, is the smallest high performance HD camera in the industry. The lightweight HD-RH1 remote camera system is comprised of a 1.32″ x 1.50″ x 1.92″ POV camera head weighing 2.5 oz.; a 3.5 lb. universal HDTV controller unit measuring 8.4″ x 1.8″ x 12″; power supply, and 3, 6 and 10 meter cables.