This robotic arm equipped with a Nikon D4 camera is ready for the Olympics

The video bellow shows technicians working together with AFP to build a dozen robotic arms equipped with Nikon D4 cameras that will be used for aerial shots during the 2012 London Olympics Games:

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  • Alon

    Nahhhh, it’s back focusing!

  • EAJ

    Should be a great tool for recording those farm animals and nurses at the opening ceremonies.

    • Alex Kells

      Farm animals and nurses. It doesn’t get much better than that!

    • I’m sorry for not getting the joke, but does England have a lot of nurses?

      • Alex Kells

        Sorry, I was being facetious, as I understand some men find women in nurses’ uniforms extremely attractive. (The less said above farm animals the better!)

        • Nurse fettish is big thing back in Japan. Then again so is school girl, tentacles and Hello Kitty

          • gsum

            What on earth do you do with tentacles? Or shouldn’t I ask.

      • EAJ

        No real joke here, but I do understand that farm animals and nurses played roles in the opening ceremonies – I guess those of us west of GMT will have to wait for conformation. I’m looking forward to the event and glad to hear that they’re paying homage to their citizenry and culture. Hopefully there won’t be anyone lip synching while a less cute child sings off stage.

        Also, I heard that Michael Phelps failed to quail…just kidding.

  • Jabs

    Great – now Nikon as well as Canon have robotic camera mounts. Will they stick an 800mm F5.6 on a Nikon V1 and thrill us from this thing?

    • Big J

      I imagine some guy in the crowd with such a setup and a troll face painted over his face saying, “U mad?”

    • Eric

      There is no need, where is allowed to mount, max 300mm is enough.

  • I hope actual photographers will be operating these rigs to pay at least some attention to minor details like composition 🙂

    Wonder if they’re using the D4 because even AFP is having problems getting their hands on D800s!

    • Jabs

      @Ed R – the D4 has the best remote capabilities of all Nikon DSLR’s. D800 cannot match it nor any Canon.

    • iamlucky13

      It’s more likely that, like most SLR’s in use by the broader population, they’ll be operated by engineers and other gadget geeks.

  • Ow! My EYE! Huh?

    I’m guessing AFP is bothered by any OSHA-type watchdog. Think I’d still be wearing at least some safety glasses when using a milling machine and some ear plugs around those machines.

    • Ben Dover

      You’ve made my day… I’m not alone!

    • iamlucky13

      Meh…ordinary mills and lathes like that aren’t particularly loud…definitely below 85 dB continuous exposure OSHA guidelines for hearing protection.

      Eye protection would be a good idea, but cutting aluminum with a 1/4″ bit is a relatively low risk. I still wear mine when I do so because it’s a good habit to be in, but I wouldn’t be the least bit afraid not to on small stuff like that.

      The OSHA regs actually are not explicit about when eye protection is required. They provide a list of recommended situations and generally leave the final decision up to the employer and employee, although if somebody has an eye injury, then obviously it was a situation where it should have been required.

      • Otto Manuel

        stay off topic for a moment with me 🙂

        a quick & dirty search found this to be one of the lower estimates:
        Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters). Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft (83 dB). Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB)…. i agree that a milling machine isn’t that loud for a moment or two but this looks like a full time gig.

        i have seen two people in my life wind up with a tiny spec of metal in their eye — no fun. with alluminuim, it’s even worse cos a magnet can’t be used to get it out. glad to see the nonchalent attitude you are describing is changing in the industry where i work.

        seriously, why wouldn’t a worker use the pretective gear? (and yes, my spelling sux.)

    • Arkasai

      If I ever lose an arm, I’d like one of these to be attached in its place.

  • D800 issues are fun

    Seriously, there’s not a one troll out there that can find some reason to bring to the D800 focus “issue” despite not owning the camera themselves?!

    I guess it’s up to me then.

    D4 huh?! At least the left side will be in focus.

    You’re welcome!

    • gsum

      OK I’ll bite.
      Bugger – can’t think of a pithy reply.

  • Anonymus Maximus 1st

    What Lens do they use? 70-200?

  • kin Notwell

    50mm thats all you need

  • Anonymous Maximus

    They could have used D800 instead of D4, at least for some of the robotic arms.

    • Landscape Photo


      D800 is better than D4 in almost every aspect.

      D800 is for the photographer who knows how & what. And D4 having a touch of snobbery emphasized by its sheer size & price rather suits better for wealthy photographers to show off their charisma.

      • fjfjjj

        Ok, I’ll take the bait…


        There, done.

        • dfgvbff

          -2^16 🙂

      • PHB

        Except that the D800 was almost certainly not announced when they started the design.

        I would imagine this settup is rather sensitive wrt the weights and balance of the camera.

    • Jabs

      The D4 has capabilities that the D800 does not especially with the newer Wireless remote that the D800 cannot use. What of that do you not understand?

      • dfgvbff

        Who cares the wireless remote. I’d use a card reader anyway.

    • don

      Frame rate is too slow on D800

  • Bring on the nurses…

  • Funduro

    So if an image is published who is credited as the photographer? The person behind the jog toggle or the owner of the rig?

    • Jabs

      AFP is a News Organization, so they own the rights as you work for them including these remote units that they own.

  • Who needs robotic arms when two perfectly functional organic ones will do? 😉

  • Don
  • Jabs

    What happened to the vaunted “Ultimate Showdown” between Nikon and Canon in the Olympics with their top of the line Pro DSLR’s?

    Seems like Canon went MIA (missing in action) or became shy and never really released anything to the public or maybe the D4, D800 and D800E sucker punched them into ‘therapy’ – LOL.

    I kept waiting for Canon after announcing their 1DX last year to now release it to the general public, but it kept hiding? What gives?

    In training for almost a year?

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