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Publication numberWO2002081962 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/GB2002/001353
Publication date17 Oct 2002
Filing date4 Apr 2002
Priority date6 Apr 2001
Publication numberPCT/2002/1353, PCT/GB/2/001353, PCT/GB/2/01353, PCT/GB/2002/001353, PCT/GB/2002/01353, PCT/GB2/001353, PCT/GB2/01353, PCT/GB2001353, PCT/GB2002/001353, PCT/GB2002/01353, PCT/GB2002001353, PCT/GB200201353, PCT/GB201353, WO 02081962 A1, WO 02081962A1, WO 2002/081962 A1, WO 2002081962 A1, WO 2002081962A1, WO-A1-02081962, WO-A1-2002081962, WO02081962 A1, WO02081962A1, WO2002/081962A1, WO2002081962 A1, WO2002081962A1
InventorsHoward James Smith
ApplicantHoward James Smith
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Support apparatus for a body mountable camera and method of stabilising such a camera
WO 2002081962 A1
Abstract
The invention provides a support apparatus for a body-mountable camera (38), comprising a camera mounting means (2) comprising a battery mounting means (16) for mounting at least one battery (52), and wherein the battery mounting means (16) and the camera mounting means (2) are movable relative to each other. Thus, the invention provides a support apparatus in which the batteries (52) may act as a counter-balance to the camera (38), or vice versa. The invention also provides a method of stabilising a body-mountable camera using the apparatus of the invention.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
Claims
1. A support apparatus for a body-mountable camera, comprising a camera mounting means comprising a battery mounting means for mounting at least one battery, and wherein the battery mounting means and the camera mounting means are movable relative to each other.
2. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the battery mounting means is movable towards and away from the camera mounting means.
3. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 or 2, wherein the battery mounting means is slidably connected to the camera mounting means, such that the battery mounting means is slidable towards and away from the camera mounting means .
4. A support apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 1 to 3, wherein the support apparatus comprises more than one battery mounting means.
5. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the or each battery mounting means is arranged to mount a battery of any suitable dimensions and/or weight such that batteries of one size and/or configuration can be mounted to the battery mounting means and replaced by batteries of a different size and/or configuration.
6. A support as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the or each battery mounting means comprises at least one male member, arranged to be slidably received by a corresponding at least one female member of the camera mounting means .
7. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the or each battery mounting means comprises a first battery attachment portion and a second camera mounting means attachment portion.
8. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 7, wherein the second attachment portion is movable about the camera mounting means .
9. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 8, wherein the second attachment portion is movable towards and away from the camera mounting means.
10. A support apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 7 to 9, wherein the second attachment portion acts as a counter-balance to an attached battery.
11. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the or each battery mounting means is removably attached to the camera mounting means.
12. A support apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 7 to 11, wherein the first battery attachment portion of the battery mounting means comprises a battery retaining member.
13. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 12, wherein the battery retaining member comprises a vessel for retaining at least one battery, or a retaining plate, arranged to be connected to at least one battery.
14. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the camera mounting means comprises a support frame .
15. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 14, wherein the support frame comprises a plurality of elongate members, which together define a framework extending in at least two dimensions.
16. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 15, wherein the elongate members are detachably connected, and can be detached and reattached in different configurations to provide frameworks of differing shape.
17. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the camera mounting means further comprises a camera connection member.
18. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the camera mounting means further comprises a monitor attachment member to enable attachment of a monitor to the camera support apparatus.
19. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising means to attach the support to the body of a camera operator or a vehicle .
20. A support apparatus as claimed in Claim 19, wherein the means to attach the support to the body of a camera operator comprises a stabilising arm and/or harness.
21. A support apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, further comprising means for the attachment of at least one gyroscope, in order to increase the stability of the support apparatus, and thus an attached camera.
22. A body-mountable camera comprising a support apparatus claimed in any of Claims 1 to 21, to which is connected a camera and at least one battery.
23. A body-mountable camera as claimed in Claim 22, wherein the at least one battery acts as a counterbalance to the camera.
24. A body-mountable camera as claimed in Claim 22 or 23, further comprising means to attach the camera and/or support apparatus to a camera operator or vehicle.
25. A body-mountable camera as claimed in Claim 24, wherein the means for attaching the camera and/or support apparatus to a camera operator comprises a stabilising arm, arranged to cooperate with a body harness worn by the camera operator.
26. A method of stabilising a body-mountable camera, comprising the steps of (a) connecting a body- mountable camera to a camera support apparatus, the camera support apparatus comprising battery mounting means, (b) mounting a battery to the battery mounting means and (c) moving the battery mounting means and the support apparatus relative to each other to enable increased balance of the mounted battery and/or camera .
27. A method of stabilising a body-mountable camera, using the support apparatus of any of Claims 1 to 21.
28. A support apparatus substantially as described herein, with reference to the accompanying drawings.
29. A body-mountable camera substantially as described herein, with reference to the accompany drawings.
30. A method substantially as described herein with . reference to the accompanying drawings .
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

SUPPORT APPARATUS FOR A BODY MOUNTABLE CAMERA AND METHOD OF STABILISING SUCH A CAMERA

Field of the Invention

5 This invention relates to a camera support apparatus, in particular to an apparatus for mounting the constituent parts of a body-mounted portable movie or video camera system.

10 Background to the Invention

In the film industry there is a need for portable camera systems which can be body-mounted to a camera operator and carried round a film set by the operator.

15

Known body-mounted movie camera systems generally employ a harness which is worn by a camera operator, and to which is mounted the movie camera system. The movie camera system typically comprises a spring-loaded arm, attached

20 to the harness and on which, at it's free end, is mounted a pole on which the movie camera is mounted. Generally, other components of the system are also mounted on the pole by way of brackets, including battery packs, monitors and distribution boxes. Instead of mounting the camera

25 system to a harness for a camera operator, body-mounted cameras may also be mounted on a suitable vehicle such as a trolley, automobile or aircraft.

Known body-mounted camera systems generally also employ 30 stabilising apparatus, in order to maintain the camera in a prescribed orientation as the operator or vehicle moves around. Stabilising apparatus can include gyroscopes and stabilising springs. Body-mounted camera systems such as those described above have a number of disadvantages.

Prior art systems rely on mounting poles which have fixed battery holders or battery packs. The fixed battery holders and battery packs generally employ only one type of battery which has specific dimensions and weight. Many types of battery are only available in certain countries, and if a camera operator wishes to use prior art systems in countries other than that in which the system was designed, he or she must carry enough spare batteries to finish the work as it is unlikely that batteries of the same dimensions or weight will be available in other countries .

Furthermore, as each type of prior art system relies on batteries of a fixed type, if a different camera of larger or smaller size and weight is fitted to the system, the balance of the system will be compromised. The counterbalancing effect of the fixed battery may not be as effective if a larger or smaller camera is fitted, and the system may even become unstable.

It is therefore an aim of preferred embodiments of the present invention to overcome or mitigate at least some of the above-mentioned disadvantages or other disadvantages, of the prior art, whether mentioned herein or otherwise.

Summary of the Invention

According to the present invention there is provided a support apparatus for a body-mountable camera, comprising a camera mounting means comprising a battery mounting means for mounting at least one battery, and wherein the battery mounting means and the camera mounting means are movable relative to each other.

By body-mountable camera we mean that, in use, the camera is arranged to be coupled to the body of a camera operator, such that the camera may be supported by the body of the camera operator without the need for the operator to support the camera with his or her arms. Alternatively body-mountable cameras may be mounted on suitable vehicles rather than a human operator, such as a wheeled cart or trolley, an automobile or an aircraft.

Preferably the battery mounting means is movable towards and away from the camera mounting means .

Thus, in use, the battery mounting means, and hence the or each attached battery, may be moved about the camera mounting means to adjust the weight and bulk distribution of the mounted batteries in order to enhance the balance and stability of the support apparatus and mounted camera when coupled to a camera operator or vehicle .

Suitably the battery mounting means is slidably connected to the camera mounting means, such that the battery mounting means is slidable towards and away from the camera mounting means.

There may be more than one battery mounting means.

The or each battery mounting means is preferably arranged to mount batteries of any suitable dimensions and/or weight. Thus, in use, batteries of one size and/or configuration may be mounted to the battery mounting means and replaced by batteries of a different size and/or configuration.

The or each battery mounting means may comprise at least one male member, arranged to be slidably received by a corresponding at least one female member of the camera mounting means. The at least one female member of the camera mounting means may be integral with the camera mounting means, or may be connected to the camera mounting means. The camera mounting means may comprise a bracket or clamp, which comprises the or each female member.

The or each battery mounting means may comprise a first battery attachment portion and a second camera mounting means attachment portion.

Preferably the second attachment portion is movable about the camera mounting means, more preferably it is movable towards and away from the camera mounting means.

The second portion may comprise the at least one male member.

The second attachment portion may act as a counter-balance to an attached battery.

Suitably the or each battery mounting means may be removably attached to the camera mounting means. Thus the or each battery mounting means may be removed from the camera mounting means and a battery attached before remounting the or each battery mounting means to the camera mounting means.

The first battery attachment portion of the battery mounting means may comprise a battery retaining member. The battery retaining member may comprise a vessel for retaining at least one battery. The battery retaining member may alternatively comprise a retaining plate, arranged to be connected to at least one battery.

Suitably the camera mounting means comprises a support frame .

Suitably the support frame comprises a plurality of elongate members, which together define a framework extending in two-dimensions, preferably three-dimensions. Preferably the elongate members are detachably connected, and may be detached and reattached in different configurations to provide frameworks of differing shape.

Preferably the camera mounting means further comprises a camera connection member. The camera connection member may comprise a connection bracket or the like, arranged to receive a camera.

Suitably the camera mounting means further comprises a monitor attachment member to enable attachment of a monitor to the camera support apparatus .

The monitor attachment member may comprise an attachment bracket or the like, arranged to receive a monitor. The support apparatus may also comprise means to attach the apparatus to the body of a camera operator. Such means may include a stabilising arm and/or harness as used in conventional STEADICAM (trade mark) systems. Alternatively the support apparatus may comprise means to attach the apparatus to a vehicle. Such means may include a stabilising arm.

The support apparatus may comprise means for the attachment of at least one gyroscope, in order to increase the stability of the support apparatus, and thus an attached camera.

The support apparatus may be constructed from any suitable material, such as aluminium, plastics materials and alloys.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a body-mountable camera comprising a support apparatus as described herein, to which is connected a camera and at least one battery.

The at least one battery may act as a counter-balance to the camera.

Preferably the body-mountable camera further comprises means to attach the camera and/or support apparatus to a camera operator or vehicle.

Suitably the means for attaching the camera and/or support apparatus to a camera operator comprise a stabilising arm, arranged to cooperate with a body harness worn by the camera operator. Suitably the means for attaching the camera and/or support apparatus to a vehicle comprise a stabilising arm.

Preferably the stabilising arm is a spring-loaded stabilising arm.

Suitably the camera is a movie camera, video camera or the like.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of stabilising a body-mountable camera, comprising the steps of (a) connecting a body- mountable camera to a camera support apparatus, the camera support apparatus comprising battery mounting means, (b) mounting a battery to the battery mounting means and .(c) moving the . battery mounting means and the support apparatus relative to each other to enable increased balance of the mounted battery and/or camera.

Suitably the battery mounting means is moved towards or away from the support apparatus .

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of stabilising a body-mountable camera using the support apparatus as defined herein.

Brief Description of the Drawings

For a better understanding of the invention, and to show how embodiments of the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which: Figure 1A illustrates a side view of a preferred embodiment of the support apparatus of the present invention;

Figure IB illustrates a plan view of the support apparatus of Figure 1A;

Figure 1C illustrates a front end view of the support apparatus of Figures 1A and IB;

Figure 2A illustrates the side view of the support apparatus of Figure 1A, wherein the support apparatus includes a battery mounting plate;

Figure 2B illustrates a plan view of the support apparatus of Figure 2A;

Figure 2C illustrates a front end view of the support apparatus of Figures 2A and 2B;

Figure 3A illustrates a plan view of a battery mounting bracket ;

Figure 3B illustrates a plan view of a battery mounting member of the present invention.

Figure 4A illustrates a side view of the support apparatus of Figures 1A, IB and 1C, wherein the support apparatus includes a camera mounting member.

Figure 4B illustrates a plan view of the support apparatus of Figure 4A. Figure 5 illustrates a side view of a body-mountable camera when mounted to a support apparatus of the preferred embodiment of Figures 1A, IB and 1C.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment

Referring firstly to Figure 1A, IB and 1C, a preferred embodiment of a support apparatus for a body-mounted camera comprises a camera mounting means 2 which includes a support frame 4. The support frame 4 comprises a plurality of elongate frame members 6, which are connected together by means of connection brackets 8, to form a substantially rectangular three-dimensional framework.

The connection brackets 8 include screws 10 which can be unscrewed to allow the support frame 4 to be dismantled, and reassembled, in a different shape if desired.

Each elongate frame member 6 comprises a plurality of apertures 12 which extend through the elongate members in a direction substantially perpendicular to the primary axis of the elongate member.

The support frame 4 also comprises a bracket 18 which in use is arranged to slidably receive a battery mounting means to the support frame .

The support apparatus also comprises a battery mounting means. The battery mounting means comprises a battery mounting member 16 as illustrated in Figures 3A and 3B. A mounting bracket 18 is secured to the support frame 4, in order to receive the battery mounting member 16. The mounting bracket 18 includes two clamp portions 20 which in use are clamped around adjacent and parallel elongate frame members 6, as illustrated in Figures 3A and 3B. The mounting bracket 18 also includes four elongate hollow cylinders 22 for receiving the battery mounting member 16.

The battery mounting member 16 comprises a first battery mounting portion 24 and a second portion 26 for attaching the battery mounting member 16 to the support frame 4, by way of the mounting bracket 18. The second portion 26 comprises four elongate member 28 which are arranged to be received by the four elongate hollow cylinders 22 of the mounting bracket 18.

The first portion 24 comprises a battery mounting surface 30 which includes a number of means for mounting at least one battery. The means for mounting the or each battery may include apertures 32 to receive screws or bolts, mounting surfaces 34 and the like.

Alternatively a battery retaining member 36 may be attached to the battery mounting surface 30 as shown in Figures 2A, 2B and 2C. The or each battery can be then be attached to the battery retaining member 36, as shown in Figure 5.

Use of the preferred embodiment of a support apparatus of the present invention will now be described.

Referring now to figures 4A, 4B and 5, in use a camera 38, is mounted to the support frame 4 via a camera mounting member 40, which can be clamped to the support frame in any orientation by way of a suitable clamp 42. As shown in Figure 5, the camera may be mounted on a mounting pole 39 which is connected to the camera mounting member 40. The mounting pole 39 includes an attachment member 46 for attaching the mounting pole 39 to a spring- loaded arm (not shown) which can then be attached to a harness, for attaching the camera system to the body of an operator. Alternatively, the attachment member 46 may be attached to a spring-loaded arm which is connected to a suitable vehicle. The mounting pole 39 also includes a camera monitor 48, attached via a mounting bracket 50.

A battery can then be mounted on the support frame 4 as follows. The battery is mounted on the battery mounting member 16, either by directly attaching the battery to the battery mounting portion 24 or by first attaching a battery retaining member 36 to the battery mounting portion 24, then attaching a battery to the battery retaining member 36 as shown in Figure 5.

The mounting bracket 18 is connected to the support frame 4 by clamping the two clamp portions 20 onto two parallel elongate frame members 6 of the support frame 4, as shown in Figures 1A, IB, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 4A and 4B.

The battery mounting member 16 is then mounted on the mounting bracket 18. The four elongate members 28 of the battery 'mounting member 16 are inserted into the four hollow cylinders 22 of the mounting bracket 18.

Depending on the weight and orientation of the camera mounted to the support apparatus, the battery may be used as a stabilising counter-balance by adjusting the distance of the battery from the support f ame 4. Thus the battery may be moved towards or away from the support frame 4 by sliding the elongate member 28 of the battery mounting member 16 in the hollow cylinders 22 of the mounting bracket 18, to adjust the distance of the battery mounting portion 24, and hence the attached battery, from the support frame 4.

It will be appreciated by the skilled reader, that more than one battery mounting means 14 may be attached to the support frame 4 such that batteries may be mounted in multiple orientations about the support frame 4. This is especially useful if a camera is mounted which has multiple projections, or to which is attached a stabilising arm, as the weight distribution and orientation of such a camera may require more than one counterbalance, or additional weighting of the support apparatus. Also, if a camera of differing size is attached to the mounting pole 39, the battery mounting means 16 may be adjusted such that the attached batteries 52 provide a stabilising counter-balance to the new camera on the apparatus.

The support frame 4 may also include one or more additional mounted batteries which are mounted directly to the support frame 4 without the need to use a battery mounting means 18, to provide additional weighting and battery power.

The support frame 4 may also have subsidiary modules connected to it, such as a monitor, a distribution box, stabilising gyroscopes or a stabilising arm, for attachment to a vehicle or a body harness on a camera operator. The reader's attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with or previous to this specification in connection with this application and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference.

All of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) , and/or all of the steps of any method or process so disclosed, may be combined in any combination, except combinations where at least some of such features and/or steps are mutually exclusive.

Each feature disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) , may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features..

The invention is not restricted to the details . of the foregoing embodiment (s) . The invention extend to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract and drawings) , or to any novel one, or any novel combination, of the steps of any method or process so disclosed.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4158490 *20 Jun 197719 Jun 1979Panavision, IncorporatedBody-mounted support device for motion picture camera
US4474439 *26 Jan 19822 Oct 1984Brown Garrett WCamera support
US4976387 *3 Mar 198811 Dec 1990Sachtler Ag KommunikationstechnikBody-mounted support
US5752112 *6 Nov 199612 May 1998George Paddock, Inc.Mounting system for body mounted camera equipment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
WO2003023273A1 *9 Sep 200220 Mar 2003Sachtler Gmbh & Co. KgDecoupled weight compensation system for a camera balance-device
DE102015107483A112 May 201517 Nov 2016Arnold & Richter Cine Technik Gmbh & Co. Betriebs KgKamerastabilisierungsvorrichtung und Kamerahalterungsvorrichtung hierfür
EP3101327A111 May 20167 Dec 2016FoMa Systems GmbHCamera stabilization device and camera support device for same
US6868598 *9 Apr 200222 Mar 2005Tecsec Europe LimitedEquipment deployment method and apparatus
US73901319 Sep 200224 Jun 2008Camera Dynamics GmbhDecoupled weight compensation system for a camera balance-device
Classifications
International ClassificationF16M13/04
Cooperative ClassificationF16M13/00, F16M13/04, F16M2200/041
European ClassificationF16M13/04
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