The NFL Playoffs kick off this weekend and FOX Sports is bringing along some popular regular-season technology to capture the action.
FOX says it will be using its so-called “Megalodon” mirrorless camera system during four postseason games it’s broadcasting, including on Saturday when the Seattle Seahawks face the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field in Seattle.
If you missed the news on this camera tech, it originally caught the attention of Seahawks fans and others back in December when it was used to bring a cinematic quality to footage of end zone celebrations. The Seahawks were in the first game where the footage appeared, on Dec. 20 against the Washington Football Team.
This camera angle is insane ??
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 20, 2020
NFL fans and analysts, accustomed to all manner of technological innovation when it comes to sports on TV, couldn’t help but notice something was different, and they tweeted their delight.
why does this Seahawks Washington game have the best cinematography I’ve ever seen in my life
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) December 20, 2020
Fox sideline video people in this Washington game pic.twitter.com/g9xiUWKwjB
— Josh Cashman (@CableThanos_) December 20, 2020
The Athletic and Endgadget were among the sites that wrote about the tech in the wake of the game. “Megalodon” — which FOX says stands for Mirrorless Gyrostabilized Lightweight DSLR Nonorig (MGLDN) — is actually a Sony A7R IV, Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, DJI Ronin-S gimbal, a field monitor and a 1080p wireless transmitter — to send images back to a production truck immediately.
Endgadget reported that FOX camera operator Mike Smole called it a “poor man’s Steadicam,” because the $10,000 price tag is so much lower than the price of a broadcast camera and full Steadicam rig.
“Even in the era of 4K broadcast cameras and advanced production quality, it was a marked difference from a typical end zone shot,” The Athletic wrote about the images, which offered a shallow depth of field that made the foreground subject pop against a blurred background.
Sports Video Group reported that none of the tech was new, and is commonly used by sports-video creatives. But the use during a high-profile NFL broadcast served as “unique deployment” and FOX is continuing to seize on the popularity over the next couple weekends.
Playoffs on Prime
Amazon is getting in on the postseason action. The tech giant has been streaming “Thursday Night Football” games since 2017, but Prime Video and Amazon-owned Twitch will stream a playoff game for the first time this weekend.
Amazon has rights to the Sunday Wild Card game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints at 1:40 p.m. PT and will be using CBS’ broadcast feed of the game.
During the regular season, Amazon streamed 11 Thursday games broadcast on television by FOX.
A rumble to remember
Exactly a decade ago today, Marshawn Lynch caused a Beast Quake.
One of the most memorable runs in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/VBb8Lc0yGW
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 8, 2021
“Beast Quake” was getting some more much-deserved attention on Friday as it was the 10-year anniversary of what is arguably one of the greatest plays in NFL, Seahawks and Seattle sports history. The historic playoff touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch against the Saints on Jan. 8, 2011, certainly has to be Seattle’s most moving sports moment.
The crowd noise and foot-stomping excitement at what was then Qwest Field was enough to register on equipment at a nearby Pacific Northwest Seismic Network station. John Vidale, who was director of PNSN at the time, remembers the moment in a look-back published this week by The Ringer, which said the 67-yard rumbling run changed the Seahawks forever.
“Earthquakes, their impact is instant,” Vidale said. “But sometimes it lasts years.”