During the final competition of the individual all-around gymnastics (won by Gabby Douglas) I noticed a photographer (if memory doesn't fail me, he was placed behind the russian team) with a very large and "strange looking" camera.

Did anybody else see him? What camera was it? Was it simply a large format? Was it an old bellows camera? From what I cannot remember it did seem relatively old but maybe large or medium format camera are like that and I simply cannot recognize one :-)

I have searched on youtube but obviously all the focus is on the performances of the athletes and not on all the great camera gear that was floating around the venues, can you believe that? ;-)

P.S.: the reference to old bellows camera is of course related to this other question of mine.

  • Some people had stereo/ 3D camera equipment, which may be what you saw. Aug 29, 2012 at 14:05
  • I am sure that he inserted and removed slides from the side of the camera : if memory serves me from his right side (so it was on the left of the tv screen).
    – Francesco
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:06
  • Btw: great, there are 3d cameras around and all those youtube clips instead focus on gymnastics (which unfortunately I am not interested in, I just happened to watch the contest while working at home)... :-(
    – Francesco
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:10

2 Answers 2


I think you are talking about the 4x5 Graflex Speed Graphic that David Burnett was shooting with.


  • 2
    One little nit to pick: the Speed Graphic is a 4x5 sheet film camera, not medium format. You can use a medium format roll film holder with the Graflex back, but the "real deal" is to use a 6-sheet Grafmatic holder.
    – user2719
    Aug 29, 2012 at 20:04
  • @StanRogers you are quite right, my mistake. I've edited it to reflect this.
    – camflan
    Aug 29, 2012 at 20:11
  • And four years later, I own a speed graphic in good working order :-)
    – Francesco
    Aug 12, 2016 at 14:26

At a distance this dual camera arrangement from here used by Getty Images to capture 3D footage may have looked large and/or strange.

The article talks about a single system but seems to also include footage without any real discussion of a robotic camera which appears far closer to what you described. This appears to be a 35mm DSLR (probably 5D MkIII well encased in robot armour -

enter image description here

Probably not a temporarily down to earth Skycam but worth a mention.

enter image description here

  • thanks for the pic but the camera was being operated on a tripod and it definitely didn't have such a regular looking lens. At first sight it really appeared to my eyes as a black box like an old style camera...
    – Francesco
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:36

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