Making its worldwide exhibition debut at the 2009 NAB Convention in Las Vegas, Polecam’s new 7th Heaven jib spans up to 26 feet from its pivot, the longest reach of any ultra-mobile HD/SD camera support system currently available.
“A standard Polecam comes with five connectable elements which combine to achieve a span of up to 20 feet from its pivot,” booms Polecam founder Steffan Hewitt. “With 7th Heaven, we can now offer it bigger, stiffer and longer. 7th Heaven uses a new method of pole fabrication to achieve higher rigidity, allowing the seven elements to provide the 26 ft span. A highly innovative combination of laminated and spun carbon-fiber, unique in our industry, maintains strength and rigidity without sacrificing the portability and discreet on-screen profile that have made Polecam so successful over the past decade. The fibers used are 15% stiffer than in our previous booms and there is approximately 24% more fiber per square foot, maintaining rigidity over the entire length. The 26 ft reach makes a dramatic difference to vertical as well as horizontal camera angle, both on location and in the increasing number of studio productions being made with Polecam jibs.”
7th Heaven retains the standard Polecam rig’s fast-and-easy set-up and dismantling capabilities which allow much higher operational efficiency than traditional bulky dual-operator booms. It is fully compatible with all standard Polecam accessories including heads, HD and SD cameras, CCUs and recorders. 7th Heaven also retains the internal cable ducts that allow wiring to be routed inside the rig rather than left exposed to wind and rain.
John Gillan is one of the most experienced Polecam specialists. Operating from London and Los Angeles, he owns two systems and has been testing five sections of the high-rigidity boom since September 2008. “The new boom formulation makes a very big difference in terms of the acceleration you can give the camera. I am greatly looking forward to trying the full 26 ft version.”
Existing five-section Polecams can be retrofitted with the new high-rigidity 26 ft boom plus two-new counterweights and a replacement strain relief strap. Owners of existing systems have the option of buying five new high-rigidity carbon-fiber sections. Standard Polecams have been equipped with the new high-rigidity sections since January. Increasing these to 26 ft span simply involves investing in two new boom sections, two counterweights and a Velcro strain-relief strap.
What does a 26 ft reach mean to a camera operator?
A fully-grown male giraffe is approximately 18 ft tall. Instead of looking him in the eye, you can approach him from above.
Sharp made a Christmas tree out of 43 LCD television receivers. Polecam 7th Heaven lets you capture the topmost screen.
Mounted at 26 ft window level, Polecam 7th Heaven allows a camera to be operated from ground level to a height of 52 ft under full manual control. This height is equivalent to the largest dinosaur skeleton ever put on public display.
Combined with Polecam’s FishFace camera housing, you can shoot underwater to a depth of 20 ft without having to come up for air.
Polecam was established in 1998 by extreme sports cameraman/director Steffan Hewitt. While directing a series of windsurfing kit commercials in Hawaii, he needed to obtain close wide-angle front sequences of a windsurfer in action, shot from a tracking boat or jet ski. Steffan improvised a rig comprising a miniature camera on a carbon-fiber windsurfing mast. Returning to Britain, he developed a lightweight go-anywhere rig with a remote joystick-controlling a high-precision pan and tilt head. Polecam is now supplied in HD and SD versions with a range of additional options including underwater and 3D pan/tilt heads. Polecam Ltd is active globally from its base near Bedford, England.