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Bonds' 756 at 30fps (video)
Video Clip: To document Barry Bonds breaking Henry Aaron's career home run record, USA TODAY wanted to do something different but also give their readers a memorable feature that captured the moment.

For home run #756, staff photographer Robert Hanashiro was able to achieve 30 frames-per-second by constructing a three-camera sequence rig consisting of Canon Mark III digital camera bodies (10 fps each); three 600mm f/4 lenses; two sets of MultiMAX radio triggers and cords (plus 2 back ups); Slik "triple plate" (to mount three cameras/lenses); Gitzo Pro Studex tripod and tripod head; three 10-pound Boa sandbags.
(A 26mb Quicktime movie clip.)

Video by Jordan Murph
The sequence rig, plus Hanashiro's usual gear (cameras, lenses, laptop and accessories) weighed in the neighborhood of 175 pounds including the cases.

Hanashiro hauled this gear to 11 games in four cities, with the help of assistants at every game.

The intricacies of lining up three cameras with 600mm lenses was "high maintenance" with constant readjusting and tweaking of alignment and focus. Everything had to be the same: color balance, ASA and exposure - so this was double and triple checked before each Bonds plate appearance.

Editing, sorting and then transmitting the images captured from three cameras shooting at 10 fps was also a labor intensive task and there was no native way to do this other than to look over each frame and manually drag and drop them into order by visually comparing the individual frames.

In all, Hanashiro got the sequence down to 70 frames that he transmitted to USA TODAY for use in the sequence gallery. Editors whittled that down to 22 frames for the gallery which could be clicked through manually or played continuously.

Hanashiro had done something similar with Bonds several years before for a full-page feature and an Internet multimedia package analyzing Bonds' home run swing. At that time he rigged up four Canon EOS-1D camera bodies (at which firing rate was "only" 8 fps) sequencing them so they fired hundredths of a second after one another.


Link to the USATODAY.COM gallery from the three-camera sequence of home run #756 at 30 fps:
  usatoday.com/sports/graphics/bonds-756/flash.htm

Link to the first time Hanashiro did the sequence camera, for a multimedia piece of Tony Gwynn analyzing Bonds' home run swing. This was four cameras at 8 fps:
  usatoday.com/sports/gallery/bonds/flash.htm

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