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Reuters Teams Up With Canon U.S.A. and Sprint To Move Wire Images Of Shuttle Launches Moments After Launch


Use of Multiple Remote Cameras Placed Around Shuttle Launch Reduce Time of Photo Delivery to Reuters Wire by 95 Percent

NEW YORK.– Reuters has teamed up with Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Sprint to develop a system that captures shuttle launch images from multiple remote cameras moments after they are taken and quickly retrieves and moves images across the Reuters wire, thus reducing the time it takes for wire transmission by 95 percent.

By using Canon’s digital cameras and short telephoto lenses, images were captured from within a few hundred yards of the actual launch pad. The process was powered by Sprint Mobile Broadband, the nation’s largest mobile broadband network with super fast wireless data speeds.

During the past two launches of Atlantis and Endeavour on Feb. 7 and March 11, 2008, the system developed by Reuters, Canon and Sprint successfully retrieved shuttle launch images from multiple cameras around the launch pad almost instantaneously, and placed the images on the Reuters wire in record-breaking time, giving Reuters photo clients a competitive edge.

Historically, photographers were forced to wait for hours after lift-off before retrieving their cameras from the launch pad area. The introduction of digital cameras in 2005 reduced the processing time for photos after launch, but not the delay in retrieving equipment. In July 2005 Reuters took up the challenge of securing digital images from the remote cameras in real-time, and was able to accomplish the task by working with Canon and Sprint.

Wireless internet access, compliments of Sprint, allows the cameras to be placed in any location near the launch pad and still be connected to a high-speed internet network. Using a special, provided antenna to connect to the closet cell tower, the digital images were sent from all four Canon EOS cameras at over 500 mps.

“Reuters picture-clients now have near-instantaneous access to images that for 55 years have taken hours to receive and transmit,” said Gary Hershorn, News Pictures Editor, North America, Reuters. “We have been delighted to work with both Canon and Sprint, who have brought to the project much time, effort and expertise.”

“Thanks to our camera and camera transmitter combination, we offer the capability of retrieving pictures from our cameras in seconds rather then hours,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR, EOS 1D Mark III Digital SLR, EOS 1Ds Mark III Digital SLR and EOS 1D Mark IIN Digital SLR Cameras and the variety of short telephoto lenses used to demonstrate the traditions of imaging excellence and extend the boundaries of technological ease that is always at the heart of the Canon brand.”

Leon Frazier, Senior Vice resident of Enterprise and Public Sector at Sprint, added, “this innovative new approach to providing shuttle launch images to the world in an instant is a perfect example of our vision of delivering information at SprintSpeed™. The power of Sprint Mobile Broadband enables connectivity virtually wherever and whenever internet access is required.”

Utilizing a uniquely designed transmitter from Canon and newly Reuter developed picture-editing software from Reuters exclusive product Paneikon, Reuters editing computers now receive images just minutes after a shuttle’s launch directly from the cameras, thus providing clients with images two-three hours before its competitors.

Plans are on the horizon to use remote imaging capture technology more extensively for coverage at the Kennedy Space Center and in various other areas where using a “live” remote camera can put Reuters far ahead of the competition.


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