Over the last decade, esports has become really big business. Spurred on by the phenomenal growth of live Web streaming, the craze is gaining momentum at a rapid, if not unfathomable pace. For Producer Tim Reis, improving the quality of his “player cams” with Marshall Electronics CV502 Miniature Camera, helped to bring a more immersive, all access experience to his broadcasts and live streams.
The first eSport broadcast Reis worked on using the Marshall CV502 Miniature Cameras was for a particularly popular five vs. five online multiplayer game that was both broadcast and streamed live. The championships were held in an arena format with all 10 players sharing a single stage. The production wanted individual “player cams,” in order to get a look at the intensity of the eSport athletes’ faces as they played. This was previously achieved using standard webcams, which inevitably resulted in a complicated network of wires and conversion boxes to make the player cams a functional asset to the program.
“As we prepared for the event, it was clear that our ‘player cam’ system needed an update,” says Reis. “I needed a 1080p SDI out native camera with a small footprint and action-cam-style field-of-view. I was led to Marshall’s CV502 POV Camera. With the CV502, we mounted them atop each computer monitor and they worked incredibly well.”
The Marshall CV502 camera offered a clear solution for Reis, especially due to its visual fidelity in an environment with constantly shifting stage lighting as well as its streamlined workflow that would have been unachievable with a standard webcam-based setup. “We bought 15 of the CV502 POV cameras for that show, and a lot of major eSports brands were paying attention to our production that year,” says Reis. “Now you’ll see the CV502 at pretty much every major eSports broadcast. It’s becoming the industry standard. The CV502 has an ultra-low, 0.2 lux rating, making it great for low-light settings, which is fairly standard for eSports competitions.”
The Marshall CV502 Full-HD Miniature Camera offers performance, flexibility and value in a tiny form factor. Built around a next generation 2.5-Megapixel, 1/2.86-inch sensor, the CV502 delivers progressive Full-HD video up to 1920x1080p at 60/59/50fps and interlaced 1920x1080i at 59.94/50fps.
The CV502 utilizes a full-sized BNC (3G/HDSDI) output and a threaded M12 lens mount for a wide range of prime and varifocal lens options. Remote adjustment and picture settings commands are delivered via common RS485 (Visca) or OSD menu joystick. A wide range of picture adjustment settings are available and adjustable from a distance including paint (red/blue), white balance, exposure, gain control, pedestal (blacks), white clip, gamma and more.
Reis has been involved in several eSports broadcasts domestically as well as on the international stage. In addition to Marshall’s POV camera, Reis has also rented its MD Series monitors and has used it as a client monitor. “Marshall’s monitors are rugged and have great color fidelity. It also has fantastic false color exposure tools for camera ops,” says Reis. “Both the player cams and monitors from Marshall are a great asset to have on any eSports production.”