Press Release – May 23, 2016

 

For Immediate ReleaseIMG_0270RGB

Sandra Crawford Goodman, CMO

SPACECAM  SYSTEMS, INC.

818-879-3433  

sandy@spacecam.com

http://www.spacecam.com

 

 

Maximus 7-SpaceCam’s new remote stabilized head for camera car, crane, boat, helicopter, track, cable rig and studio work is now available worldwide.

We’re turning your world upside down!

 

Los Angeles, CA.-May 23, 2016: Spacecam Systems Inc., the Academy Award-winning designers, engineers and manufacturers of SpaceCam, Oculus and now, Maximus 7, brings you the ultimate in gyro stabilization. Maximus 7 is a lightweight carbon fiber head (64lb) that meets every cinematic need. It’s virtually silent in studio, takes on the rugged terrain of camera car work, keeps a level head in high G forces and makes any crane it’s placed on, a better crane. It gets the shot every time!

 

Measuring just 23.5” x 29.5 x. 8”, Maximus 7 is the go-to head for any production because it can do it all, saving the production money on renting additional heads. It’s really easy to set up and use. The dove tail plate can be mounted on just about anything allowing Maximus 7 to go anywhere you want it to go, with rig changes complete in just a few minutes.

 

Ron Goodman, designer of Maximus 7 and President of SpaceCam says, “There is no other head like Maximus 7 on the market today. As a cinematographer, I wanted to design something that could get shots we’ve never seen before but with a system that’s easy to use.” Maximus 7 is continuous 360° in pan, tilt and roll giving access to shots that were previously impossible, with speeds up to 240° per second in all axes.  It easily mounts in any position and can transition into these positions while operating. Maximus 7 keeps a perfect horizon even under continuous high G forces with negligible drift rate in every axis. There’s no need for a leveling head, saving valuable weight and the tilt axis yoke can be extended by 4” or 6” to accommodate the longest payloads.

 

The control design packs a ton of features in a compact console with dedicated controls for over 95% of common functions. In addition to traditional wheels, the stick functions are swappable for lefties making set up of your preferences simple. You can choose an optional pan bar or military style hand-held joystick if that’s your preference. These multiple options are designed with the end user in mind-everything is at your fingertips!

SpaceCam provides training for Maximus 7 so that every shoot is a success.

 

Maximus 7 and Oculus can be seen in Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Baywatch and numerous commercials, working flawlessly. For a complete list of credits, please visit our website at www.spacecam.com.

 

SpaceCam is free to sell, lease or rent Maximus 7 which is available worldwide with units in Dubai, Germany, Italy and France as well as the US. For information on sales, lease, rental availability or hands-on demo, please contact sandy@spacecam.com.

 

 

 

System Specs

 

System Type                        7-axis carbon fiber gyro stabilized gimbal

Gimbal Weight                       64 lbs. (29 kgs)

Gimbal Dimensions               L: 23.5” W:  8” H: 29.5” (60cm x 20cm x 75cm)

Temperature                         -20° to +50°C (-5° to 122°F)

Pan, Tilt and Roll Limit            360° Continuous in all axes

Pan and Tilt Speed                Up to 240° / sec

Payload                                 75 lb. payload plus (34 kgs)

Maximus 7                             Designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA.

 

About SpaeCam Systems: SpaceCam is an Academy Award-winning design, engineering, manufacturing and 24/7-service company based in Southern California. SpaceCam is committed to providing cinematographers with the highest quality products available for land, sea and air. www.spacecam.com

Academy Award-Winning Designer of SpaceCam, Oculus and Maximus 7, Ron Goodman, Talks about Moving Cinematography Forward

ron-goodman-spacecam-maximus-7Maximus 7

With the recent release of Maximus 7, SpaceCam once again, takes the spotlight with its latest engineering marvel. Ron explains how one gyro stabilized head can disrupt the movie industry and why it’s a game-changer.

The Maximus 7 head provides a new freedom in positioning, stabilizing and controlling cameras on different vehicles as well as specialized applications.  No other head has had this wide-ranging ability. Maximus 7 employs a completely new proprietary approach to alleviating external rotational disturbances.

It is vital to the production because it fills the important cross-over needs of traditional studio (silent), crane (sturdy), camera car and aerial applications (stabilized) with virtually no compromises in any of these applications, which means that a single Maximus 7 system can be utilized throughout production, eliminating the need for multiple heads. This translates to budgetary advantages by only needing one head!

A head’s size and weight is especially important for installation challenges on various vehicles. Maximus 7 has a distinct advantage in this respect because it is so compact and lightweight. Most importantly, Maximus 7 is the most operator friendly system in the industry providing a choice of various control device inputs including wheels, two types of joysticks and a pan bar option. No matter what your preference, Maximus 7 has the controls you need.  You choose the right controls for the job.

As a cinematographer, I always strive to direct the viewer to see images and visual perspectives that otherwise would not be experienced. Maximus 7 was built with that in mind as it’s 360* seamless cinematography brings visuals that the industry has never seen before. This is a game-changer!

If you’d like to learn more about Maximus 7, and how it’s changing the world of cinematography, please visit our website at www.spacecam.com.

The Human/Machine Interface

OCULUS PIC

The point of contact between the cinematographer and camera in a remotely-controlled camera system is the control console.  Its importance cannot be underestimated. The approach to control console design should be based not only upon steering the camera, but also upon the working environment encountered on stage, on location or in the air.

The question begs to be asked, “Would anyone consider buying a car from a automotive engineer who had never really driven a car”?  The answer is obvious but in the motion picture world, the vast majority of remote/stabilized heads are designed by engineers with no cinema experience at all.

A few years ago an aerospace engineer  questioned even the need for a custom designed control console.  He thought everything could be handled with a laptop computer.  “Why go to the expense?, he asked. This perception from designers who have little practical knowledge in the use of these systems has resulted in a series of console design shortcomings for both ground-based and aerial systems.  Many control consoles have been simply “after thoughts”.  Those of us who have found ourselves in highly stressed shooting environments  know the features we would like to have.Read More

Axes…The Numbers Game

As we all know there are only three ways one can move a camera. They can be panned, tilted and rolled. Therefore it would seem logical that 3 axes would be all that would be needed to be incorporated into a gimbal design. This would be so if not for the annoying mechanical constraints that must be addressed.

The traditional approach to high-level gimbal design is to have a second redundant axis for azimuth (pan, yaw), tilt (pitch) and roll with 3 coarse outer axes and 3 direct drive inner axes. This results in a 6 axis system. What it does not avoid though is a condition known as “gimbal-lock” which briefly is a relationship between the base mounting and the camera or sensor direction in which the camera loses the ability to be controlled or stabilized in a certain direction. (A system with this problem can still “look straight down” contrary to the understanding of some). In order to truly solve this “gimbal-lock” challenge, an additional outer primary axis is required.

Read More

Carbon Fiber…Handsome is as……

Yes it is beautiful, the lovely refraction of light from the glistening carbon strands under the glass finish…. but its appeal was not designed to be cosmetic.  Properly applied, carbon fiber structural design provides up to 3 times the strength of steel in a structure of the same weight or, to put it another way, it provides the same strength in a structure weighing one third of the weight. The latter relationship is the major attraction.

From the outset, the material of choice for the new Oculus gimbal system from SpaceCam was carbon fiber.  The learning process to understand its ultimate application is not quickly attained.  It requires decades of experience.  This was a major consideration in the selection of team members for the Oculus project as our goal was to utilize this material in an optimal manner that would result in a lightweight, yet very rigid structure.  We did not want to just end up with a cool-looking end-cap.

This has been achieved.  The total weight of the carbon fiber structure for Oculus is 12lbs, (5.4kg).  When motors, electronics and other components are added the total weight ends up around 45 honest lbs.  We are led to believe that this is by far the lightest gimbal in its class.

A low mass structure in a gimbal translates to faster control responses  (400 deg./sec for Oculus, see the last posting), improved stability performance and offers many advantages when supporting the system on camera cranes, cars, boats and aircraft, in short, it is a very good attribute…and by the way… it looks very cool.

…..Stay Tuned…

 

photo photo (1) photo (2)

Control Speeds …and the Oculus System

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Pan and Tilt speeds of remote heads and stabilized camera gimbals have always presented a challenge to designers.  Traditionally, these systems have been lacking in sufficient control speeds to adequately cover the fast-action found in many modern films and commercials.  The need for a large dynamic range of control speeds is  unique to the professional motion picture industry.  Notably, it is not a design requirement in aerospace or law enforcement air or ground surveillance systems.  Consequently,  today’s gimbal systems  simply cannot meet the challenge of high speed action shooting.

So what  pan and tilt rates  might be considered as “entry level” in this market area?  Experience based on 4 decades of gimbal/head use and design in the professional motion picture arena suggests that 100°/ sec would be a good figure.  Anything in the region of 45°/sec relegates a system used in the air for instance, to “scenics” or simple establishing shots.   Such a system would not be competitive in this field.

Control is not just about speed but is also about quality as defined by acceleration/deceleration, smoothness, lag, bounce and overshoot. Certainly when these aspects are considered, the maximum pan and tilt speeds claimed by some are found to be unusable in the real world.

When we started the design of Oculus, control speed as well as stabilization performance was foremost in our minds.  As with everything, sufficient power is needed to achieve a goal and more power should be held in reserve to handle unforeseen demands.  This is the case with Oculus.  It is probably the most powerful gimbal design in its class.

 

Oculus Control Speed Specifications
(Achieved) with equivalent mass and moment of full-bodied Arri Alexa with Angenieux 12:1 zoom

  • Pan and Tilt: 0 to 400° per second, de-rated to 200° per second.
  • Zero lag, bounce and overshoot even when maximum control rate is instantaneously removed. (Oculus employs several features to assist the operation at very high pan and tilt rates…more on this later).
  • System exhibits extreme smoothness of control at all speeds.
  • Pan and Tilt Acceleration: 200°/sec/sec
  • Roll: 180° per second.
  • Roll Acceleration: 180°/sec/sec

…………………More to Come….

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Spacecam Announces Production Of The Oculus Stabilized Gimbal

SpaceCam Systems is proud to announce production of the first 20 Oculus stabilized camera gimbals in its new CNC shop.

The new Oculus stabilized camera gimbal from SpaceCam easily transcends the capabilities of competing systems, and presents new and unique aesthetic opportunities for directors and directors of photography in the motion picture industry.

The Oculus gimbal head revolutionizes the operational envelope of such devices as it is basically free of movement and control restrictions. Faster, smoother, lighter, stronger, quieter and able to look in any direction from any position, Oculus is poised to change the creative concept of the cinematographer and director.
….Stay tuned

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Spacecam completes 3 Month Filming on “Hobbit”

Los Angeles, March 2, 2012 – SpaceCam RX has just completed a 3 month filming schedule on the Hobbit in New Zealand. The initial requirement was broken into two parts of a 2 month and 1 month
duration. These shoots involved hundreds of flight hours. The new SpaceCam RX system was configured for 3D shooting with two Red Epic Cameras. The new system incorporates many new
features including image roll, straight down pan and a multiplex single mode fiber optic line for image data transmission through a rotary joint. The system demonstrated superb reliability and completed the shooting period without a single lost shot despite an average of 7 to 8 hours in the air every day. David Nowell performed the Aerial DP duties assisted by Andrew Sych of SpaceCam. The team plans to return later in the schedule to contribute more stunning aerials to the project.

For further information, please visit www.spacecam.com or contact Sandra Crawford at 818.889.6060.