The 2016 Olympic games are shaping up to be one of the most technically advanced games ever, with NBC broadcasting in VR and Getty fitting EOS 1D X MkII cameras to underwater robotic rigs, it’s hard to imagine it can get any bigger.

Well, take a look at the staggering US$6-Million dollar stockpile of camera gear from Canon!

The company has announced it is loaning out 1,600 lenses to the world’s best sports videographers and photojournalists during the games. Canon Professional Services (CPS) has also hired 78 Tech Support staff members to have on hand for any possible hiccups.


Shooting all of the athletic action at the Games in Rio and broadcasting it live to the world, will be almost an Olympian effort of it’s own.

Television networks from just about every continent have convened in the city over the last few weeks in preparation for the Games.


Each of those TV networks come with their own cable rigging tech crews, real-time editors & producers, ENG/camera & broadcasting crews, sports journalists/commentators and tv reporters.

All trying to push the visual and technological envelope in any new way they can, competing to capture every unique angle and  second of the Olympic action for their audiences back home.

“Photographing large sporting events for thousands of news outlets and an audience of billions requires meticulous planning and technical resilience,” said Reuters Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Coombs.


NBC has stated the television network os providing 6700-hours of coverage for the Games, 4500-hours of which will be streamed directly online.

With a further 85-hours of Virtual Reality sports programming – the first time VR has ever been used to capture the Olympics.

A photo posted by L’ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) on

Ken Mainardis, VP of Sport at Getty said the company had begun planning in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games from the moment Rio had been announced – seven years ago.

He told GeekWire,“The first is we build out a big office which acts as our operations hub and editing center, that, extraordinarily, during the Games, becomes Getty’s fifth-largest office anywhere in the world.

“It pops up one month before the games and then the day after the Games it disappears again. So it’s an amazing logistical effort to build an office up like that.”


The company has laid over 100-kms of cable throughout the Olympic venues, connecting each camera unit to a network that brings all of the captured images and footage back to its editing centre.


Connected to all that rigging and networking, are a number of remote-controlled robotic camera platforms strategically placed throughout the Olympic venues.

Along with underwater robotic camera rigs, each fitted with Canon EOS 1D X MkII cameras and EF 11-24mm f/4L ultra wide-angle zoom lenses.


Getty photgrapher arming remote-controlled underwater robotic camera rigs
for the 2016 Olympic Games (image: Getty).

“We’re deploying 20 robotic rigs around venues. [These] allow us to put cameras in places that humans don’t go, generally, on roofs and in floodlight pylons,” Mainardis said

“And unlike the regular remotes, you have the full control of the camera through that robotic rig — zoom, pan, 360-degree movement — all the functions on the camera, which increase the chances of you making great imagery from difficult locations.”


With this much gear on hand, there’s little doubt the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio will be one of the most technically challenging, cinematic and visually stunning games ever captured in history.

There may be some concerns about how prepared Rio is to cope with all of the athletes competing and living in the Olympic Village. Along with the world’s media covering the event, and the many thousands flying in to attend the Games in person.

But one thing is for certain, the audiences at home will be getting the very best view of every sporting achievement as it happens, in real-time and in cinematic excellence. All from the comfort of their armchairs. Isn’t technology grand.

Check out PetaPixel‘s video below, taken from inside the massive stockpile of Canon gear at Rio.

Images courtesy of Canon.

1 Comment

  • […] Canon is heavily involved with digital cameras – they provide cameras and support for photo journalist. A very rare look inside Canon’s operations at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games tells that there is a Canon Professional Services to borrow equipment from them and gives view to CANON’S $6,000,000 STOCKPILE OF CAMERA GEAR FOR THE RIO OLYMPICS. […]

Leave a Reply