Italy’s national public broadcasting company RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana S.P.A.) has purchased a Q-Ball robotic camera system from Camera Corps, a Vitec Group Company that is focused on specialty remote cameras, tracking systems and camera support systems. Initially used for coverage of the most recent papal conclave in Vatican City, the Q-Ball is now a mainstay in Saint Peter’s Square.
“The Q-Ball is the perfect addition to RAI’s production team,” said Jim Daniels, technical director, Camera Corps. “Its size and durability allows the network to capture footage that may not be obtained by a traditional, handheld ENG camera, especially in crowded situations where onlookers gather in the square.”
As media from around the globe descended on Vatican City in March, the Q-Ball mini-cam system gave the Italian broadcaster a strategic advantage for covering the papal conclave. It positioned the camera where it would best capture the historic St. Peter’s Basilica and its famous windows and fireplace.
Q-Ball offers a robust, high-level mini-cam system with excellent performance in the most demanding remote camera applications. It is compact, weather resistant, HD/SD remotely controlled camera, featuring an integral 10-times-zoom optical lens and smooth-accelerating pan/tilt motors. Housed in a 115-mm diameter aluminum sphere, the Q-Ball camera has a two-megapixel CMOS sensor and is capable of operating in daylight or infrared illumination. Q-Ball delivers 1080I/720P high definition or 625/525 standard definition imagery at 50- or 59.94-Hz refresh rates.
Following the network’s coverage of the papal election, RAI has mounted the Q-Ball in a fixed position to film future ceremonies happening in the square.