Inertia Unlimited xMo Offers Super Improvements

In covering the Super Bowl this weekend, Fox Sports will have the benefit of the latest in super-slow-motion technologies. Inertia Unlimited will provide two xMo cameras that offer a better picture due to less noise in the images and happier operators thanks to 3 lbs. less weight.

The advances are due to Inertia Unlimited’s being the first to get ahold of the Vision Research v641 high-speed camera. New features include dual power inputs for battery backup or hot-swapping batteries when under battery power and a viewfinder port moved forward on the camera to make cabling cleaner and less intrusive. In addition, two auxiliary power ports provide 12-volt DC (1.5 A) power for accessories, and each has an available trigger signal input.

According to Inertia Unlimited President Jeff Silverman, Vision Research redesigned the layout of the circuit boards so that air can be circulated more efficiently. That allowed the fan to be moved from the rear to the side, shrinking the camera’s length by 1.5 in. and its weight by approximately 3 lbs.

“A year ago at the Super Bowl, we had a handheld that needed a backpack and an umbilical [for signal transport],” he says. “Now we have eliminated the backpack, and a SMPTE connection off the back of the camera [handles] signal transport.”

Fox Sports gave the camera a tryout at a regular-season game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The v641 also supports SMPTE and IRIG timecoding in and out, and a remote port allows users to connect the Phantom remote-control unit directly to the camera (or use the convenient Bluetooth wireless dongle). And versatile dual HD-SDI ports give users maximum flexibility for video workflows and broadcast applications. The two ports can be configured as a single dual-link 4:4:4 port, used separately as identical 4:2:2 ports, or configured to provide a live image on one port while the second plays back a recorded clip.

The cameras will operate at 480 frames per second, and the improved performance will give the operator an additional f-stop on the lens versus the earlier Vision Research v640 system that is at the core of the Inertia system.

“Shooting at 480 frames,” says Silverman, “is a nice balance between speed and the length of replay.”