FOX has been broadcasting NASCAR and motorsports for years. However, while 2020 was different for everyone, 2021 could be slightly different for NASCAR fans, especially when watching one race on FOX in particular. That race could be the Daytona 500. According to a report, FOX is reportedly planning to welcome a new addition that could give fans an entirely new experience during that race. The specific addition is already a fan favorite, too, as the network could use the same “megalodon” camera it has been using for NFL games to cover the Daytona 500.
What is the “megalodon” camera?
According to Sporting News, it all began in Week 15 in a game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Football Team. FOX started using a camera that they refer to as “the megalodon,” which is a Sony A7R IV. According to Yahoo Finance, the rig also includes a Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM lens, a field monitor, a DJI Ronin-S gimbal, and a 1080p wireless transmitter.
If you’re not a photographer or you don’t work in broadcasting, that might not mean much to you, but it is reportedly $10,000, which is cheap compared to other cameras that the network typically uses.
So, why did FOX start using it? Sporting News reports that the network was already using it for pregame and postgame footage. They ended up liking it so much that they chose to use it for the actual broadcast of the game.
“This camera isn’t ordinarily made to shoot live video,” senior vice president of field operations at FOX Sports Mike Davies said to Sports Video Group, according to Sporting News. “It certainly does a great job of shooting beautiful video but is not typically used for live. We were astonished by how much this was recognized. Certainly, we liked it, and people on our crew have been working with it all year, but we didn’t know your ordinary viewer would see such a difference sitting on their couch. It’s fantastic.”
FOX apparently plans to use the camera moving forward, too. According to The Athletic, Davies said that it will probably be hard to pry the camera away from that crew now.
“We have a job to do in terms of covering games, but we like to spend time seeing what will work out in the field. This is part of the innovation,” Davies said, according to The Athletic. “It doesn’t normally catch fire like this.”
FOX could reportedly use the “megalodon” for the Daytona 500
Since everyone has loved the look of the camera in FOX’s NFL broadcasts so far, the network could now reportedly use it for its NASCAR coverage.
Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported that FOX is planning to use it for its coverage of the Daytona 500 in February.
While FOX typically gets NASCAR fans close to the action, this will give them an entirely new experience. Some fans seem to be pretty excited about the addition, too.
“I salute Fox for their coverage,” one Reddit user said. “They have been pushing the envelope with their camera angles and coverage for a long time.”
Fans have loved FOX’s use of the camera so far
Fans have made a bunch of comments about FOX’s use of the camera in its NFL coverage so far. Many appear to love it, too.
“Why does this Seahawks Washington game have the best cinematography I’ve ever seen in my life,” ESPN’s Mina Kimes tweeted.
The Athletic’s Robert Mays also replied: “The close-up of [Freddie] Swain after the touchdown legitimately looked fake. I felt like I was in the uncanny valley.”
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey also tweeted, “Fam this camera angle in the Cowboys Eagles [game] is crazy.”
The camera has already been a home run (or a touchdown) during FOX’s NFL coverage. It will be interesting to see how it works in its NASCAR broadcasts.