Our Favorite Dynamic Camera Systems

May 8, 2016

Going into any live production project, we always look unique features to integrate into the live show.

Read More Add A Comment

Going into any live production project, we always look unique features to integrate into the live show.  Here are some of our favorite dynamic camera systems.

Technojib Camera System

We always love working with a jib, but the technojib adds a whole new range of motion that’s tough to beat.  The technojib camera system robotically telescopes from 9’ to 24’ at a rate of 5 feet per second.  This allows you to get the impressive sweeping crowd shots that you can capture with a jib, while simultaneously expanding the length of the jib arm.  It takes more manpower than a regular jib and the base requires a larger footprint (which can be tricky in tight situations), but it’s definitely worth it.  We most recently used a technojib during the “Impractical Jokers” Live Punishment Special at the South Street Seaport in New York and during Epson’s “Swimming in Ink” webcast in Times Square.  (Shout out to our friends at Black Dog Jibs).

Cablecam Camera System

If you’re not rolling in Spidercam money (more on that below), we like using a 2-point cablecam system.  As if the name doesn’t already give it away, the cablecam is a wireless camera system that runs along a cable fixed between 2 points (thus, cablecam).  The camera is controlled wirelessly by an operator and can hit speeds of up to 40 MPH.  Because the cablecam runs off batteries, the operator needs to have access to at least one end of the cable during production so they can swap batteries or make adjustments.  We used a cablecam during the Impractical Jokers special, which worked out perfectly as we had the cablecam run parallel to the high wire.

Spidercam Camera System

You’ll most commonly see the Spidercam in use during Monday Night Football or professional soccer.  It’s very similar to the cablecam, except it runs between 4 fixed points instead of 2.  In the case of MNF, this allows you to go up the sideline (from goalpost to goalpost) or across the field from left to right.  You can also map out pre-determined camera movements with graphic overlays.  We’ve looked into Spidercam rentals in the past, but their rental price tag were cost prohibitive and didn’t fit in our budget.

Blackcam Camera System

The Blackcam System is a small, tracking camera system that’s typically mounted to a track or dolly and controlled remotely.  You can use a variety of cameras and tracks depending on the size and scope of your production, so they’re pretty versatile.  They’re a great complement to live music productions, fashion shows, sporting events and broadcast television productions.  (NOTE: its best to watch the clip below with your speaker volume turned all the way up.)


We’ve tried to integrate drone footage into a number of our live production projects, but the idea has been routinely shot down for various reasons (terrible drone pun intended).  Drones burst onto the scene a few years back, but due to FAA regulations, their use during remote productions can be challenging (though not impossible – ESPN first integrated them into the X-Games last winter).  There are a number of players in the drone game, but we like DJI’s Phantom drone.


OK, so POVs aren’t a dynamic camera system.  And compared to the systems mentioned above, they’re about a fraction of the cost.  But, you can do some pretty cool things with a POV camera that you can’t do with other ENG or studio cameras.  We routinely integrate POVs into our live productions to add a unique perspective.  Our go-to is the Marshall CV-340, but we’ve also integrated GoPros into live productions as well.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!