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ABC Products


Polecam dive bagNew Cranes and Poles for 2003

by Christina Fox  and David Fox

Polecam has devised a simple, cost effective system to take its Polecam underwater. Owner and designer, Steffan Hewitt, realised that most users just want to dip the camera a few centimetres under the surface of the water and so came up with the 600 Euros Dive Bag (pictured right), which can be fixed onto the camera and head in a few minutes. It is lightweight and allows full pan and tilt movement without any drag or resistance.

Polecam also has a new remote control panel, the £2,400 RCP, which "gives the engineer total control of all camera functions including iris and tally. All data goes down a single cable. It makes Polecam multi-camera friendly," says Hewitt.

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Sachtler's new CamCrane EFP has a "unique damping system that offers exceptionally stable camera movement". It allows users to to switch between horizontal and top/bottom views, even with the camera loaded on the crane, directly from the central movement axis. Sachtler CamCrane

It carries 18kg to 35kg depending on extension length, which goes up in five stages to 5.3 metres. It has a short transport length of 1.5m and weighs 20kg. An outrigger and towers add stability, and as the towers form a V-shape, operators benefit from a continuous view of the camera. It also has Sachtler's Sandwich Touch & Go for fast changeover between crane and tripod.

A smaller version, the new CamCrane DV extends from 110 cm to 320 cm and can carry DV camcorders up to 5.5 kg. It fits any standard tripod with a bowl diameter of 100 mm.

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Panther Broadcast's new Pixy ultra-light crane with remote head weighs just 30 kg in its longest configuration. It extends to 11 metres - at which length it can still carry 16 kg, down from 40kg at its shortest - when it can also be used as a jib arm. It can be operated by a single person and can either be mounted on tripod or dolly. It has a clever anchoring method for extra stability.

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Egripment's new JanJib uses a "unique modular" design to create ten different jib arms with only one basic Trunnion section, one basic Front section and one basic Rear section. It is made of specially designed strong, lightweight aluminium sections that slide and clip together easily.

Its Scanner Elite is a compact camera crane that telescopes out to give the exact length required. New handgrips on all sides of the crane sections increase strength, safety and comfort.


ABC Products' 120 Crane, with the Pele remote head, saw its first action at the 2002 world cup, where 14 units were in use, half on tripods, the rest on dollies. It costs about 20,000 Euros complete.

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Cambase-berlin makes a compact, transparent camera casing for small 3-CCD cameras, such as the Toshiba Type IK-TV48P and Elmo Type TP481, for use in situations, such as inside the goal, where they might get hit. It protects the camera, optic and connector - and any players that might hit it. The company also has a camera helmet, originally designed for parachute jumps (but suitable for other sports, such as motorcycle races or skiing), which can support two video cameras plus a stills camera.

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  • CAMERA SUPPORT... If you don't know a jib from a crane start with our beginner's guide to camera support. Then move on to articles on Steadicam alternatives, Arri motion, Easyrig, P+S Technik and Motion Systems Technology. more »
  • CAMERAS... This section covers our popular camera kit buying guide. Plus, plenty on the new breed of wireless cameras, HD and 24P cameras too. And if you want to make video look like film there's info here to get you started. more »
  • CAMERA ACCESSORIES... Once you've bought your camera you'll need lenses, matte box, filters, camera bag - the list is endless even if your budget isn't. more »

    Christina Fox and David Fox    April 2003