LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2007 - At North Point Community Church, growth has been a welcome result of its mission to provide a compelling worship service experience. Since it first opened its doors in 1998, the church has expanded to three campuses in and around Atlanta. As part of its drive toward constant improvement, North Point recently turned to Canon U.S.A. Inc., to upgrade its video-production capabilities to HDTV with new HD cameras outfitted with a variety of HD lenses.
North Point Community Church chose a total of nine Canon HD ENG/EFP portable lenses, as well as two of Canon‘s revolutionary DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lenses for its Panasonic HD studio cameras and studio-configured SD camcorders. A separate multi-camera HD set-up is in place at each of the church‘s three campuses to capture weekly services and live events. Video at all of the locations is projected on wide-format Image Magnification (IMAG) screens to enhance the worship experience. At one of the campuses, the North Point - East Auditorium, Canon HD lens-equipped HD cameras are utilized to produce content for distribution to other churches.
“The demands we have in our production work are no different than those of a commercial-scale secular sporting event or concert,” said Brendon Petty, technical director and lead video systems design engineer for all three campuses, North Point Community Church. “Canon understood this fact and refused to place assumptions or limits on how we utilize our gear. What a breath of fresh air in the broadcast industry!”
According to Gordon Tubbs, director, Broadcast and Communications Division, Canon U.S.A. “The age of HDTV has definitely arrived and is being embraced by all segments of the television and video production community. HDTV offers tremendous new opportunities for all kinds of visual communication. Canon is pleased to be able to offer a wide range of HDTV lenses to suit the production needs of every kind of user.”
Canon Reinvents the HD Studio Lens
The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens is a new product category created two years ago by Canon. Smaller in size than a traditional studio lens, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens is designed for use with portable HD cameras configured for studio use. Officially designated as the model XJ22x7.3B IE-D, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD lens is an advanced optical system based on Canon's classic studio lens design principles. The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio HD Lens weighs just 13.4 lbs., which provides an appropriate HD studio lens/camera package that can be supported on a modest-size pedestal or a sturdy tripod system.
The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens features Canon‘s X-Element and Power Optical System to achieve the highest possible specifications in an extremely compact and lightweight package and is ideal for robotic-system application. Top performance is a hallmark of this first-ever Compact Studio lens; with a maximum zoom speed of .5 seconds and focus of 1.5 seconds, the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens features an f-stop of 1.8 that provides very fast optical performance, excelling in low light. It offers a focal length of 7.3-161mm and, when used with the 2X extender, can achieve a focal length of 14.6-322mm. A choice of three different zoom and focus-control systems enables users to tailor the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens to their exact requirements. An included supporter system for both camera and lens ensures a rigid support for every configuration. The DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens also provides status information on an easy-to-read display for such critical lens parameters as f-stop, focal length, and focusing distance.
The small size of the DIGISUPER 22xs Compact Studio lens was helpful for North Point‘s dynamic schedule, as it helped the church‘s production team to be as unobtrusive to the worship experience as possible. “These lenses have been a great addition to our line-up,” said Petty. “Their compact size helps us achieve the higher quality typical of box lenses, but still keeps the production presence to a minimum in our auditorium. The added feature set of the lens allows for great flexibility when transitioning from Sunday morning services to special events and conferences.”
Ease of Operation
North Point‘s additional HD lenses include nine portable models from Canon‘s high-end eHDxs line for 2/3-inch-imager cameras. These include:
• Two HJ18ex28B IASE Super Telephoto EFP lenses (Canon‘s newest and most telephoto portable lens, which weighs only 5.5 lbs and measures 10.5 inches, the HJ18ex28B IASE offers the longest focal length of any lens in its class, yet requires no mechanical support system to mount to an HD camera. This lens is engineered for capturing challenging location productions in superb quality over very considerable distances.)
• Four HJ22ex7.6B IASE lenses (The longest focal-length portable HD production lenses offered by Canon without an image-stabilization system.)
• One HJ40x14B IASD-V Image Stabilizer EFP lens.
• One HJ17ex7.6B IRSE ENG/EFP zoom lens.
• One HJ11ex4.7B IASE wide-angle EFP lens.
• Three J22ex7.6B IASE SD (standard definition) lenses for North Point‘s new Browns Bridge campus.
Canon's eHDxs lenses all feature the benefits of Canon‘s X-Element and Power Optical System for highest-quality optics in a compact and lightweight housing, as well as the advanced capabilities of Canon's Enhanced Digital eDrive. These Canon eDrive capabilities include microprocessor-driven servo control of iris, zoom and focus, along with position memory and user-defined functionality. With Canon‘s eDrive, camera operators can pre-program iris settings, repeatable “padded” zoom start/stop positions, steady and slow zoom creeps, and focus settings with no mechanical play or gear backlash.
“Video production is foundational to what we do; it is an essential part of the program,” explained Petty. “In many cases, it is the only delivery system for creative content, and it is specifically designed to engage our audience. We've actually been using Canon lenses since the beginning, about nine years now. Canon‘s product line always seems to offer something that fits our needs, the service is exceptional, the lenses are incredibly reliable, and the images are unbeatable.”
While Canon‘s HD and SD lenses have delivered great images for North Point Community Church, Petty maintains a focus on the “big picture.” “I have to be honest and say that organizations that make up the house of worship market, including North Point, should primarily focus on the quality of their content long before they focus on the quality of their image,” Petty reflected. “However, when that time comes, I believe that Canon‘s HD technology is necessary in order to deliver matched quality with mainstream media outlets and, more importantly, to achieve a production value worthy of the most important message I know.”
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune‘s Most Admired Companies in America and is on the 2006 BusinessWeek list of “Top 100 Brands.” Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2006’, with global revenues of $34.9 billion. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company‘s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/pressroom.
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’IFI Patent Intelligence, January 11, 2007