New Olympic record: Getty publishes photos shortly after they’ve been taken

getty images olympics coverage sports photgraphers
Oleksandr Prykhodko/123RF.com
When it comes to Olympics photography coverage, Getty Images has it down. Its team of photographers and editors shoot, upload, edit, and share images in as little as two minutes, so audiences around the world are never far behind the action. What’s perhaps more impressive, however, is that Getty’s image-delivery system in Rio was seven years in the making.

In planning for the 2016 Games, Getty held its first meeting with the International Olympic Committee in 2009, shortly after Rio de Janeiro had been selected as the host city. “We partner with the committee to basically link all of our photographers in the key photo positions that they work in back to our editing hub in the main press center,” said Ken Mainardis, vice president of sport imagery and services for Getty, in an interview with Popular Photography. “And that network takes years of planning, because it crosses cities and it has to be able to handle about 1.5 million images during the duration of the games.”

That network is the key component of Getty’s impressive image-delivery times. Six to 12 months before the games began, the agency ran Ethernet cables to all the important positions, such as the finish lines of the track and pool. “The latest top-of-the-range DSLRs from Canon and Nikon allow you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into the camera so it becomes part of the network,” Mainardis said. “If the photographers need to move, they simply unhook the cord and put it back where they found it, then move onto another position and another cable.”

While Getty photographers have relied on Wi-Fi hot spots in the past, such as at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the preference is for wired networks whenever possible. While having an Ethernet cable attached to the camera somewhat limits a photographer’s mobility, wireless networks can become too unreliable in crowded venues due to interference from all the other wireless signals bouncing around.

All of the images from various sports are transmitted back to Getty’s editors in the press center. Mainardis said they were receiving up to 10 images per second in recent tests. From there, an image goes through three editors before getting pushed to Getty’s customers. The entire process is completed in as little as 120 seconds. “Watching these guys work is like watching a musical orchestra,” Mainardis said. “It’s incredible how slick and efficient they are.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Gaming

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.
Photography

Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Photography

Going somewhere? Capture more than your phone can with the best travel cams

Hitting the road or doing some globetrotting this year? Bring along the right camera to capture those once-in-a-lifetime vacation memories. Here's a list of some of our current favorites.
Photography

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.
Photography

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.