On-camera mount

On-camera mount

By October 5th, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments

There are many hardware vendors that offer video-over-cellular backpack solutions. Some of them even announced small and lightweight devices for on-camera mount, which is definitely a real advantage over these huge and heavy backpacks. MobileBroadcast in contrast is a software-solution and runs on normal notebook computers.

So, time to mount MobileBroadcast directly on the camera. Impossible, or at least impractical? Well, read on!

Indeed it was not an easy task to find a suitable notebook that is booth fast enough to perform the required video encoding, and small enough for being mounted on a camera. Also, the laptop should be applicable for outdoor usage, and at best even work in harsh environments or bad weather.

In fact, we found a computer that met all these requirements: The Panasonic Toughbook CF-19.

The latest Panasonic Toughbook is an awesome piece of hardware: While only having a size of 10,1″ and therefore being as small as a netbook, it delivers the full power of a Core i5-2520M, the newest generation Intel CPU with Sandy-Bridge architecture. This is more than enough processing power to do SD encoding in real-time, and even HD should work under most circumstances. No further external components are required for transmitting, since a Firewire connection and a 3G modem are already built into the notebook. Being fully ruggedized, it’s perfectly well suited for on-the-field usage.

For a first try, I sticked the laptop to the camera using some Velcro tape. While for a real-field application some additional brackets are highly recommended, it worked well for testing and could easily carry the 2.3 kg device.

The whole assembly has a weight of 10.5 kg, which is not what you would call lightweight, but acceptable for a camera operator. Especially for getting some breaking news on air, this is certainly a decent solution.

Concerning the price, the Toughbook is more expensive than what we call “standard” hardware, but still much cheaper than specialized devices from other vendors. And it really looks promising not only for running the MobileBroadcast Client on it, but for video applications on the field in general.

Thanks to FF COMPANY OFFICE SOLUTIONS for providing the Toughbook!