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Helinet, Cineflex create aerial HD digital camera, microwave downlink system
By Hank Russell
Over the summer, the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) held its annual conference and exhibition in Charlotte, NC. At the show was the Helinet/Cineflex HiDEF, a five-axis gyro-stabilized high-definition (HD) aerial camera system. It is the product of Helinet Aviation Services’ (Van Nuys and Hayward, CA) recent acquisition of Cineflex, LLC ( Grass Valley, CA), an engineering/design and manufacturing company specializing in motion camera systems.
Features include a fully Digital Servo Control System, dual 32-bit proprietary technology, zoom to ultra-wide zoom lenses (all with motorized 2x extenders), on-screen annotation, HJ40X10B and HJ40X14B 1140mm lenses from Canon (Lake Success, NY), custom control panel features, auto/manual rate adjustments, camera set-up controls, VTR controls, variable zoom speed and multifunction joysticks. The cameras have a 2/3-inch 3CCD color format with switchable aspect ratios of 16:9 and 4:3, and switchable gain settings from -3 dB to +12 dB.
HiDEF can be configured with different lenses. In fact, Helinet/Cineflex has incorporated the HA42X13.5ERD from Fujinon ( Wayne, NJ), a HD lens with a focal length of 13.5-570 mm (27-1140 mm with a 2x extender). An encryption feature scrambles the HD video signal to ensure secure transmission.
Designed by Cineflex’ founder and president, John Coyle, the Cineflex HiDEF is built around the HDC-950 and HDC-F950 cameras from Sony (San Jose, CA; Park Ridge, NJ), the latter capable of uncompressed digital 4:4:4 RGB output. This product is the latest in Helinet/Cineflex’s line of gyro-stabilized aerial camera systems and the first to accommodate HD. “Sony has developed this camera to have part of the camera optic head be splittable from the main body that allows us to put all we need in the gimbal in a small package,” Coyle explained.