The high-performance camera systems from Shotover are truly world-leading. The precision parts that Contour produce for them are part of the puzzle. Together, the two companies produce camera systems and UAVs that leave their competitors in their dust.

Shotover Cameras are the best of the best. Acknowledged worldwide as producing the ultimate in camera systems, they supply their products to broadcast, film, surveillance and commercial markets. They make a range of gimbal platform products including a gyro-stabilised camera system and UAVs (drones). Their products have been used to help create hundreds of blockbuster movies.

Their ‘B1’ recently won the 2019 Award of Excellence from ProductionHub. Weighing less than 20kg, the B1 gyro-stabilised camera system can be used on a number of different helicopters, cable cams, tracks and watercraft too. It uses 6-axis stabilisation technology that gives huge flexibility and scope for creativity that film-makers love.

Their gyro-stabilised camera platforms are the best because they got Contour Engineering to create the parts.

The problem

To create the best camera systems, there has to be an unprecedented level of control and stability to produce the perfect shots. However, there are many things that confound that—weather, wind, weighty systems and rough motor controls.

So Shotover went to Contour with a series of tricky and hard-to-make parts, and Contour made them.

Contour took on the challenge

It’s been a six-year journey together. Starting with in-depth research to understand what Shotover needed, Contour created their parts, perfectly to spec. Then, with constant refinement and improvement, they made those parts better. Those continual production refinements meant that the parts could be produced faster and with lower overheads, but still with no flaws.

The unconventionally shaped parts have meant that Contour has had to push the limits of their manufacturing processes, finding innovative ways to create the parts. And then once the parts were created, they needed to be made lighter and thinner. As the parts became sleeker and more sophisticated, the product followed.

The nature of the Shotover products means that these parts need to be perfect; no flaws, highly durable and fitting seamlessly within the wider unit. The outcome of a faulty part could damage delicate camera gear or ruin a million-dollar shot. This is where Contour’s focus on quality and zero defects really made an impact. Their ‘zero’ level of product defects is a testament to their systems which is backed up by their ISO 9001 certification.

“Contour Engineering has provided us with quality products, on spec and on time – every time. I have never returned a part to Roland for re-work and his attention to detail and open feedback ensures we get product fit for purpose and within budget.” Shotover

Future plans for amazing technology

Their partnership with Shotover works well because they have the same focus on quality, but also on relentless improvement. This is the sweet spot for both companies. Never content with the status quo, there is a continual focus on making things better. When one part changes, it sets off a chain of transformations to their designs, creating an end product that is always at the head of the market.

So, where to from here, for Shotover and Contour? The future is taking off. Shotover’s camera systems are at the top of the game, and that’s where they want to stay. The partnership between these two world-leading companies is set to stay, creating beautiful machinery together.