Panasonic develops ultra-wide 64:9 video system
By Ben Coxworth
August 26, 2013
You think that the regular HD video aspect ratio of 16:9 is good enough? Ha! Panasonic will go you one better – in fact, it’ll go four times better. The electronics manufacturer has developed a 64:9 Ultra-Wide Camera System. With its 160-degree horizontal field of view, it can capture an entire sports field in one 720p image, in which all of players are still clearly visible.
Instead of one camera with a crazy-wide lens, the system incorporates four of Panasonic’s AW-HE120 16:9 cameras. These are mounted together in a single 40-kg (88-lb) rig, and use visual cues to automatically pan, tilt and zoom, in order to follow the action.
They all move in unison (not unlike the cameras used in NHK’s bullet time video system), each camera’s shot picking up at the edge of where one of its neighbors’ shots leaves off. Software is used to “seamlessly” stitch the four cameras’ shots together in real time, side-by-side, to form one really wide picture. That picture is viewed on linked 16:9 screens.
Before you start looking forward to Ultra-Wide movies, however, take note that the technology is intended more for things like sports coaching analysis. It should be released commercially in November, with its price being revealed sometime before that. In the meantime, if you happen to be at Australia’s Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre this Tuesday through Thursday, you can see it for yourself at the Integrate 2013 electronics show.
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