For sports photographers out there, the Olympic Games are also about clicking the right photo at the decisive moment.
Each top photographer will be looking to take the best pictures of the world’s best athletes in action. But this time, they will have to worry not only about other ace shooters, but also robots. Now, that’s a tough job.
At this year’s Olympics, Reuters will have 11 robots set up in places no shooter would otherwise be able to get so that they take photographers no shooter could manage to.
Fixed remote-operated camera systems are normally used to take tricky shots, but this time it’s the robots.
The robotic camera system was developed by Fabrizio Bensch and Pawel Kopczynski and is equipped with Cannon’s 18.1 megapixel 1-DX, with a wide range of lenses: a 24-105mm, a 70-200mm and telephotos up to 400mm.
The systems will have three-axis control and have a photographer at a computer operating its every movement with a joystick. Photos are instantly streamed into Reuters’ remote editing system, Paneikon, and are moved to clients real soon.
Cameras will be set up in venues of table tennis, boxing, taekwondo, judo/wrestling, fencing and weightlifting to get the most dramatic shots.
The robotic camera system will also be installed in the main Olympic Park for swimming, basketball, gymnastics and athletics.
We are essentially able to put cameras and photographers where they have never been before, capturing images in ways they have never been captured, Bensch said.
They have installed a robotic camera unit on a truss, 30 meters high — in a position where no photographer has been in a previous Olympics.
Photographer Mark Reblias thinks those are positions you just can’t compete against. If Reuters is able to get that shot, he says there’s nothing he could do.
Maybe I’ll have to upgrade my gear and make a robotic system. It’d be expensive, it might be a cost I have to take on, he added.