Smart Cameras to Capture 2016 Summer Olympics

June 6, 2016

2:00 pm

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, to say the least.

While some athletes have chosen to opt out of the global sports events due to the Zika virus, the countries and athletes descending on the Brazilian city are expecting a lively competition regardless of the conditions. Thanks to Getty Images, smart cameras will be capturing the whole thing in a way that will blow you away.

In previous years, the advancement of camera technology has made the Olympic Games that much more exciting. Cameras were mounted on rafters, placed above stadiums and even located underwater in order to guarantee that synchronized swimming was viewed as comprehensively as the basketball games. Photographers could synchronize multiple cameras in order to get the same shot from multiple angles. They can even chance the focus and exposure of cameras without being nearby.

However, these cameras couldn’t do everything. Once the location was set and the focus was adjusted, photographers couldn’t do much to change them. Getty Images, the official photo agency of the International Olympics Committee, is utilizing brand new technology from Mark Roberts Motion Control that will show the world a whole new side of Olympic sports.

“Putting a traditional camera in the rafters involved a tremendous amount of luck when actually making the picture,” said Ken Mainardis, vice president of sports imagery for Getty Images. “While with a robotic camera, you’re narrowing the odds. The chances of making something really strong are very high.”

With the new, robotic rigs provided by MRMC, photographers will be able to do a lot more when it comes to capturing the action. They will allow them to alter vantage points, change lens focal length, and even rotate the cameras in 360 degrees for optimum action views. And with multiple costume presets, photographers will have more control then ever when creating the storyline for a game or event. In addition to smart cameras, the 2016 Summer Olympics will be home to another technological breakthrough: virtual reality.

“We have been shooting VR and 360[-degree images] since 2012,” said Mainardis. “But this games we will be doing much more of it. Every one of our editorial photographers will be carrying a small 360 camera that enables them to do an interactive 360 and have that uploaded in a matter of seconds to our editors and then uploaded to our site.”

Don’t get too excited, though. While you will be treated to some of the best shots you’ve ever seen this August in Rio, Getty Images has no intention of allowing these PODs to be available for consumer purchase. So if you were hoping to get the perfectly angled shot for your next selfie, you are going to have to qualify for the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

Photo: Flickr / Alistair Ross

H/T Mashable

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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