Director, cinematographer and camera developer Paul Nichola was recently presented with the Bob Miller - ACS Technical & Innovation Achievement Award at the 46th 2017 Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) National Awards for Cinematography. The award, sponsored by Miller Camera Support Equipment, recognizes Nichola's development of the 360 x 60 High Dynamic Range (HDR) Panoramic Camera System.
The panoramic system uses existing industrial imaging cameras incorporated into a zero parallax rig that is able to capture the same dynamic range of light and dark as the human eye. It was first utilized on a shoot in Beijing for a re-enactment of a Chinese archery ceremony to record key segments of the ancient ritual.
"It is an honor that the panoramic camera system I created has been recognized for the Bob Miller - ACS Technical & Innovation Achievement Award," says Nichola. "Innovation is a passion of mine and it is great to see this has not only reached the ACS stage, but has also contributed to safeguarding some of China's culture."
Nichola incorporated four Ximea 2K x 2K cameras with 6mm Kowa lenses to achieve a 360 x 60 degrees field of view. The Ximea cameras were chosen because they offer a "lin to log" function. This allows the camera operator to nominate two points along its linear exposure acquisition to reduce sensitivity. The dynamic gain control occurs individually on every pixel during the exposure of a frame resulting in a pseudo log exposure, with a net result of preserving deep shadows and bright highlights.
The Bob Miller - ACS Technical & Innovation Achievement Award forms part of the National Awards for Cinematography, which is an annual opportunity to celebrate the art of cinematography in Australia. Miller Camera Support has sponsored the ACS since the organization's inauguration in 1958. In addition, Miller donated an LP54 tripod in a handcrafted wooden case fitted with a special Bob Miller Award plaque which is permanently housed at the ACS headquarter in North Sydney. The LP54 plaque has the name of the Bob Miller award recipients from each year engraved on it, in perpetuity.
"Bob Miller revolutionized the film and television industry when he invented the world's first fluid head by giving operators the freedom to shoot far more creatively and achieve shots that were previously unattainable," says Mark Clementson, managing director, Miller Camera Support Equipment. "Paul Nichola exemplifies the resourcefulness and originality that was personified in Bob by developing a camera system that was specifically built to suit the needs of the project at hand. Miller is delighted to have Paul named by his peers as the winner of the third annual Bob Miller award."
To learn more about the ACS, visit www.cinematographer.org.au.
About Miller Camera Support Equipment
Founded in 1954, Miller Camera Support Equipment designs, manufactures and delivers professional fluid heads and tripods to the film and television industry, providing support for the world's leading camera operators. Celebrating more than sixty years in the industry, Miller is a longtime, global leader in the field of contemporary camera support and holds the first patent for fluid head design for film cameras, which it obtained in 1946. Today, Miller's tripod and camera support systems are frequently used during electronic news gatherings (ENG), electronic field production (EFP), and digital video applications by the world's leading networks, production houses, corporate, educational and government institutions in more than 65 countries. For more information, call +61 2 9439 6377 or visit www.millertripods.com.