The History of King Camera

King Camera Services opened its doors in 1983 as a Rostrum Camera service. Using an Oxberry Master Series Animation Camera & Stand along with a Mark Roberts Motion Control computer system.

We provided our services to animation companies and film makers; filming title sequences, special effects and credits, medical film graphics and animation, commercials for television and cinema.

In 1987 we moved to our current location. The studio we occupy now was purpose built to house tall rostrum camera columns. At present it is home to all our digital equipment and a video rostrum camera.

Initially film work on 35mm, 16mm and Super16mm occupied all our time. In 1990 with the purchase of a second rostrum we added a video camera to our equipment. Video became an increasingly important part of the business and at present dominates the camera side of King Camera.

1995, the digital era began with the purchase of a QuickFrame Video Disk Recorder for recording animation shoots and laying them off to tape.

1996 Our first SGI blue box, an Indy, found a home in the studio. A Fujitsu scanner from Amblin Animation was added to the digital pipeline. USAnimation System software was installed as the production engine and we jumped fully into the digital production world.

Since then, in response to the success of our services, we have added incrementally to our digital production capacity. On the rostrum side we now have a Sony Digital Widescreen Camera for 16x9 FHA shoots and a Sony DigiBeta VTR.

2006: We now rostrum shoot onto High-Definition tape using a SONY HDW-750P camerahead attached to our unique video lens adaptor that lets us use prime SLR photographic lenses from Nikon & Olympus.

2008: For High Definition rostrum we can now use the Panasonic DVC Pro HD tape cameras; HDX-900 & Varicam bodies.

For HDCAM tape we can use the SONY F900R, as well as the HDW-750P.

2009: Panasonic P2 & XDCAM High-Definition Cameras now available.

2011: Sony PMW-EX3 solid state HD shooting onto SxS cards + Nanoflash if required for higher bit-rate.

2012: DIT service added for image date management.

2013 to 2023: Soho, London studio closed & I continued to make rostrum shots for clients in Adobe After Effects from the Reading office.

Additionally I used a Nikon Z7 45MP Camera to image capture large artwork, newspapers, magazines etc., & for shooting animation artwork at up to 8K resolution.

Tom Wakeling, a Director working in London, has made an award winning short documentary about the last days of our Soho studio operation.


Film website - 'Rostrum Film'





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  73a Beak Street, viewed from Great Pulteney Street
King Camera Services during construction in 1987, and today