Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


“This was the first time we have exhibited our new 7th Heaven seven-element camera rig in south-east Asia,” explains Mel Noonan, Polecam’s Sales and Marketing Manager. “The response was very positive. We displayed the 7th Heaven mast in vertical position to emphasise its potential to deliver very high viewing angles in SD or full 1080i and 1080p HD while retaining the portability for which Polecam is renowned.”

“A key feature of 7th Heaven is its ability to capture video from very high viewing angles with total control of ascent and descent speed. You are essentially flying your camera from ground level to 8 metres above the tripod pivot. The standard five-element Polecam’s 6 metre span is long enough for most practical purposes but an even longer reach is often useful, as in wildlife close-ups where you don’t want to risk becoming a tiger’s breakfast, live event coverage such concerts and sports where you need to get near the action without interrupting every else’s view, and news where you can elevate your camera and microphone over a crowd of reporters. And of course there is always the freedom to operate 7th Heaven from the top of an OB truck or on a balcony.”

The latest version of Polecam’s Full Frontal Filter System (FFFS) made its first-ever exhibition apearance. FFFS includes a Polecam filter holder and five 62 mm screw-fitting circular Tiffen filters plus a Cokin A121M Grad neutral grey medium filter. Polecam’s filter holder is designed for use with compact HD cameras that have no integral filter mount. The Tiffen filters comprise an infra-red-cut, 0/0 neutral-density, 85B daylight corrector, 85BN9 combined neutral density and daylight filter, plus a circular polariser. The system comes complete with a Cokin A121M graduated neutral grey medium filter and a 62 mm adapter ring allowing the use of many Cokin-compatible filters. A Lenspen lens cleaner and carrying case with room for additional lenses are also supplied. “Optical filters enable fast and intuitive adjustment of camera performance in a wide range of locations and lighting conditions,” explains Polecam founder Steffan Hewitt. “They allow picture quality to be enhanced without the loss of dynamic range that often occurs when adjusting electronically within a camera. The combination of filter elements we have chosen is the result of very careful technical and operational evaluation. The filters can be used individually or dual-in-line.”

Polecam also displayed its new Universal RCP MkIII remote control panel which provides comprehensive control of up to five different camera types via a single highly robust balanced-audio sinewave data channel. Parameters such as colour balance, master pedestal, gain and detail can be remote-adjusted in Polecam-recommended Toshiba and Iconix HD and SD cameras. Red and green tally lights can also be activated remotely.

Polecam was established in 1998 by extreme sports cameraman/director Steffan Hewitt. While directing a series of windsurfing kit commercials in Hawaii, he needed to obtain close wide-angle front sequences of a windsurfer in action, shot from a tracking boat or jet ski. Steffan improvised a rig comprising a miniature camera on a carbon-fibre windsurfing mast. Returning to Britain, he developed a lightweight go-anywhere rig with a remote joystick controlling a high-precision pan and tilt head. Polecam is now supplied in HD and SD versions with a range of additional options including underwater and 3D pan/tilt heads. Polecam Ltd is active globally from its base near Bedford, England.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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