Why new Fox cameras are capturing NFL touchdown celebrations with crystal clarity

Fox has caught the eyes of NFL fans the past two weeks with one of its end-zone cameras. The occasional celebration shots in Washington-Seattle in Week 15 and Dallas-Philadelphia in Week 16 have used the crystal clear images as a change of pace from the usual broadcast views.

The broadcast network’s new camera is an 8K Sony A7R IV, according to technology website Engadget. Fox Sports wanted to use the camera to give viewers a more cinematic experience, according to NFL Network. 

Check out how beautiful these shots are:

What’s the new Fox NFL camera?

Fox Sports began utilizing the 8K, Sony A7R IV in Week 15 when Seattle played the Washington Football Team. It’s a $10,000 camera.

According to NFL Network, the Fox crew refers to the handheld camera as “The Megalodon.”

Engadget writes that the full camera rig includes a Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, DJI Ronin-S gimbal, a field monitor and a 1080p wireless transmitter.

Why is Fox using a new NFL camera?

Fox Sports was already utilizing “The Megalodon” to shoot some pregame and postgame footage, and they liked how the shots looked. So they chose to use it as the 11th camera in their repertoire for the Week 15 game between Seattle and Washington.

“This camera isn’t ordinarily made to shoot live video,” Mike Davies, a senior vice president at Fox Sports, told Sports Video Group. “It certainly does a great job of shooting beautiful video but is not typically used for live. We were astonished by how much this was recognized. Certainly, we liked it, and people on our crew have been working with it all year, but we didn’t know your ordinary viewer would see such a difference sitting on their couch. It’s fantastic.”

Davies told Sports Video Group that the technology isn’t new, but it usually uses a post-production phase before the footage it takes is broadcast. Using such a camera for a live broadcast was a new touch.

“It wasn’t a thing we made a big deal about,” Davies said, “but all credit goes to this crew for seeing something that really worked, pushing it into the limelight, and using it so effectively.”

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