FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—Calvary Chapel Church is what people call a “mega-church,” with a central location and regional campuses connected via fiber optics. When the main sanctuaries of our regional campuses are full, we have overflow rooms where church-goers can watch the service on a screen. This creates a disconnect between what was happening on-stage and the people in these rooms, who we think aren’t getting the “true” experience of the worship.
For this reason, we wanted to add unique POVs with additional cameras, but the common denominator in any decision we make is that we work with volunteer-staff who aren’t trained as broadcast specialists. Instead of a complex broadcast camera with a remote head, we decided to look at PTZ cameras for a small, easy-to-control, quality camera.
|The Ross PIVOTCam is able to integrate with the church’s Ross Carbonite switcher.
We searched for our ideal PTZ camera for a year with little luck. The price range of all the cameras we looked at were anywhere from $6,000 and above, too expensive for all the cameras we wanted. We were beginning to write off the idea of a quality PTZ camera within our budget range when we heard that Ross Video was releasing the PIVOTCam. My engineer and I took a look at the camera and discovered it was exactly what we had been searching for.
The camera had a small footprint, conventional or inverted mounting, smooth PTZ, 20x optical zoom lens and a fantastic quality image. The most beautiful part of the package? PIVOTCam was half the price of any comparable camera we had looked at. By the time we had purchased and installed our PIVOTCams, we had come in under budget.
Since setting up our new multicamera show, the greatest benefit has been the many mechanisms of control. The ability to use preset camera shots with a customizable software panel for recall has been a huge feature for our volunteers. With this feature, we’re able to set up all the shots for our show and label them “Start of Service,” “Mid-Service” and “End of Service.” Our volunteer operators can run the entire show with a few button pushes, reducing their frustration.
Another big control feature is the integration with Carbonite, the Ross switcher we use at all of our locations. PIVOTCams can be directly controlled from the joystick on Ross switchers, which is key when you need to make a minor adjustment to a shot before taking it to air. Pastors like to move around when they talk, so we use the joystick many times during our service.
PIVOTCam has been the perfect solution for us, both financially and functionally. Whenever I speak with other churches trying to put together an easily controllable multicamera broadcast solution on a budget, I recommend Ross Video PIVOTCams.
Jack Chew is the video operations manager at Calvary Chapel Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He can be contacted at [email protected].
For more information, please visit www.rossvideo.com or call 613-652-4886.