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Opinions needed for all new 3 cam setup at our church

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Jonathan Hudak
Opinions needed for all new 3 cam setup at our church
on Feb 8, 2013 at 9:43:34 pm

Hello all, I am on the media team of a decently large church of 1200 that has decided to endeavor into the world of live production. my background is video production, however I have never had the opportunity nor budget to setup a ground up video system. Currently we have a max budget of $25k (not tiny, but not big either) for the system in its entirety. We are looking for as future proof and as high of quality as possible: that being said here is a list of equipment that we are looking into so far, if you could give me any advice or your opinions on this equipment that would be much appreciated!

conditions will be low light, cameras about 80-120ft from the stage, and most likely on tripods in the balcony, for services, and in a 16x18 studio for pre-recorded videos, the switching and editing will be in an enclosed studio

(needs to have hd-sdi and a minimum of 4 inputs)

Panasonic hmx100
Datavideo se2000

Cameras: ( this is where we are most torn)
Looking for: high zoom range, 3 chip, 422 color, p2 v.sdhc v. cf, high mbps data rate, I know we can't get everything we want for $4500ish each cam but trying to get the most for our money

JVC gy-hm600u
sony pmw 100
sony nexcam ea50u
canon fx105

Most of the time cameras will be used to shoot services, however they will also be used in a studio environment and for field shooting

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Mark Suszko
Re: Opinions needed for all new 3 cam setup at our church
on Feb 11, 2013 at 9:02:27 pm

Does that budget include the video screens or projectors too?

Some computer or laptop to feed graphics to the switcher and play out files?

I think you don't have half the money you need to do this "right". Not all at once.

Your camera list contains cameras that IMO are more for close-in wide-shot or ENG type work, than for long-throw telephoto shots from a distant balcony. The Sony NEX-FS100UK looks like it has the longer lens you need to get shots from the balcony, three of those will run about fifteen grand, plus sturdy tripods and controls. Lighting for the small studio? That will run around two grand maybe. If the architecture of the church allows it, maybe a remote-controlled PTZ camera closer to the front would be a better substitute for all the cameras being in the balcony.

Your rock bottom starting setup needs at least two matched cameras, and all their support gear, and cabling, plus the switcher and a graphics source and a recording system, be that a DVD recorder or a hard drive DVR type deal. I'm assuming you'll get your audio from the house system already in place, but you may find you need some reinforcement there.

Likely the overall lighting in the church may need to be tweaked to slightly higher levels in key spots.

Ideally, you'd find an experienced church video consultant/designer who can spec out the whole system for you end-to-end. When you try and a-la-carte something like this yourself, without experience, you often end up making the job cost more than the fees the expert would have charged to get it right the first time. Plan this in phases and get the basics this year, then build up confidence from the parish that you're giving good value and they will increase their investment over time.

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