Panasonic Automates Panoramic Video Shooting

Apr 11, 2013
Tsunoru Nakashima, Nikkei Electronics
A panoramic video taken by the "Ultra Wide Angle Camera." In its booth, Panasonic used three 55-inch LCD displays to show the video.
A panoramic video taken by the "Ultra Wide Angle Camera." In its booth, Panasonic used three 55-inch LCD displays to show the video.
[Click to enlarge image]
A panoramic video can be taken by using four cameras.
A panoramic video can be taken by using four cameras.
[Click to enlarge image]
A server installed with software for controlling the cameras
A server installed with software for controlling the cameras
[Click to enlarge image]

Panasonic Corp showed a prototype of a system that takes 160° panoramic video by using four high-definition (HD) cameras.

The system, "Ultra Wide Angle Camera," was exhibited at 2013 NAB Show, a trade show of broadcasting equipment, which runs from April 6 to 11, 2013, in Las Vegas, the US. It enables to easily take panoramic video by automating camera control.

Panasonic expects that the system will be used for live broadcasts of sports events, music performances, etc. Though its price has not been decided yet, the company aims to release it in the fall of 2013.

The Ultra Wide Angle Camera makes it easier to take panoramic video by using software to control cameras. After a main camera is chosen, the control software analyzes the video being taken by each camera with image recognition technologies and adjusts the zoom ratios and orientations of the other three cameras so that seamless panoramic video can be taken.

Then, four (1,280 x 720-pixel) videos taken with this method are synthesized to generate one (4,736 x 720-pixel) panoramic video.

The system also has a function to recognize and track a person, etc in video and can be used for sports coaching and surveillance systems, Panasonic said.