Nikon Robotics and the Boston Red Sox are working together to allow photographers and videographers to capture games while still maintaining social distancing during COVID-19 restrictions. This is done by installing a stadium-wide robotic camera system to capture photo and video content.

Nikon Robotic pod

Fenway Park has installed five Robotic Pods, a modular camera system housing that can be remotely controlled by an operator from a custom software interface. The Red Sox worked with Nikon Professional Services and MRMC, a Nikon Group company, to offer operators and photographers a safe way to remotely control cameras and capture amazing content. 

With this system, a photographer/operator will be able to capture high-quality images and videos for broadcast, social media and marketing needs while socially distancing from other staff and players. They can also gain remote access to restricted areas. This makes it possible for a photographer to cover an entire game without ever leaving the booth.

These cameras allow for more creative camera angles as they are placed in areas where a photographer would not physically be able to access. The photographer also has a full remote operation of the zoom, focus, exposure and more.

“In these times, we have had to adapt at a far faster pace than ever before when it comes to the way we operate, and that includes producing content for our fans, sponsors and partners,” said Billie Weiss, senior manager of photography for the Boston Red Sox. “We are extremely pleased with the image quality and capabilities from the MRMC Robotic Pods and are already discussing new opportunities to use the technology at all Fenway Park events in 2021.”

The benefits of these remote systems go beyond safety. They allow for a constant downloading of images that can be delivered in real-time, ready for use by press agencies, photographers, social media and fan engagement. The cameras can switch between shooting still images and full HD video for broadcast. They can also capture imagery to create GIFs and time-lapse images. 

The cameras used in these MRMC’s Robotic Pods are Nikon’s professional flagship cameras, perfect for their lightning-fast focus and 12 frames per second (fps) shooting speed.

Attached to the camera is the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens, providing wide establishing shots and intense telephoto capabilities.