REPORTS: The Unique ‘Megalodon’ Camera Used in NFL to Make NASCAR Debut at Daytona 500

Published 12/29/2020, 12:50 PM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 06: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)


In February, reports suggest that FOX Sports is planning something special for the Daytona 500. As it turns out, the broadcaster is experimenting with a new hand-held camera, a Sony a7R IV with a Canon lens. This was primarily used for NFL matches, but will soon make its NASCAR debut.

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Apparently, the ‘Megalodon’ camera grants viewers a ‘video game-like’ experience. It first made its debut at a Seattle Seahawks game. Now, this newfangled camera will be put to good use during the 2021 Daytona 500 in February. Admittedly, this may sound good in theory, but its practical use might be a different story altogether.

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“It always looks pretty good, but today I think we had it really dialled in,” Fox senior vice president Mike Davies said about its use in the NFL. “What was different about today was being able to use it seamlessly in a live game.”

How will this work in the Daytona 500?

Truthfully speaking, witnessing a video game-like experience could be fun for the viewers. This is especially true for elements like post-race donuts, interviews, fan interaction, driver interaction with fans.

During the races, it would be interesting to use this camera to film pit stops from behind the wall or show crews working in the garage.

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 01: William Byron, driver of the #9 AXALTA/Vorteq Chevrolet, celebrates winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

However, there is a matter of knowing when to use it and when it isn’t needed. If the camera crew deploys them on pit road during pit stop sequences, they could get in the way and jeopardize safety.

On the other end of the spectrum, this could provide the FOX Sports viewers with a brand new experience. Of course, the 2021 Daytona 500 is still some time away.

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However, this gives the media giants enough time to tweak the camera to give everyone a cinematic experience by February. Only time will tell if this ambitious experiment reaps rewards like it did in the NFL.

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Dhruv George

11441 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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