Seven Dwarves | The Garden Productions

Minicams advised us on the camera specification for our rig, recommending the HD Sony BRC-H700, which proved perfect for the job. They also gave immediate on-site technical support, keeping the workflow uninterrupted. The service was excellent.” The Garden Productions

In 2011 Minicams supplied a 16 channel HD multi-camera system for The Garden Productions latest fixed rig documentary, recently aired on CH4.

Minicams provided 16 Sony BRC-H700 robotic cameras with HD-SDI outputs, to deliver the first truly HD fixed rig system to film in the UK. With this being the first of CH4’s fixed rig documentaries to migrate to HD, Minicams were also key in introducing a new streamlined approach and workflow to this specialised genre of filming.

Minicams was also instrumental in moving fixed-rig filming from tape based recorders to a tapeless workflow, essential for HD filming. For Seven Dwarves, Minicams introduced The Garden Productions to the EVS system and IP Director logging platform. By working alongside key partners, Minicams offered a fresh and modernised approach to fixed-rig filming. This streamlined the whole process, by eliminating the need for vast amounts of costly stock and enabling instant capture review and logging of the footage.

The BRC-H700 cameras are ideally suited to fixed rig documentaries, as they perform very well under low lighting conditions. Having a 3 chip CCD sensor, these cameras vastly outperform single CMOS based cameras, which struggle in low light and manifest excessive noise in the pictures with the introduction of even low levels of gain. This was an essential factor in our choice of cameras for this production, as the last thing you want to do, is add lots of additional lighting to someone’s living environment. This has the inevitable effect of distracting the contributors by placing them in unnatural studio like conditions and adjusting their behavior.

With the BRC-H700 cameras we were able to subtly complement the existing house lighting with the addition of extra practical lights and fittings, providing the contributors with a relaxed atmosphere and living conditions.

Another huge advantage of the BRC-H700 is that it has an external reference input, allowing all the cameras to be accurately genlocked together. This has the added benefit of eliminating the need for additional frame synchronisers and removes any worries over lip sync in post. This is also an important requirement when using large numbers of cameras, as for example a 60 camera rig would then require 60 HD frame synchronisers. This then starts to get very expensive!!

Our BRC-H700 HD camera system was highly reliable and robust, providing a solid platform for fixed-rig HD filming.

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