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Canon Cameras Enhance Worship Experience

Carl LaGrotteria, Jr
DENVILLE, N.J.—Full broadcast-quality HDTV is the preferred format for houses of worship that record and distribute their services. However, multiple HD cameras on tripods operated by volunteers can sometimes be distracting to congregations. This is why a high-profile client of ours chose two Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control 16:9 HD pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras when it recently expanded and remodeled its sanctuary.

That client is the Beth Israel Worship Center (BIWC), in Wayne N.J., one of the largest Messianic congregations in the United States. It is led by senior pastor and messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn.


Once we demonstrated the high-definition video quality of the Canon BU-50H, the choice was obvious. Pastor Cahn and everyone else saw the incredible level of detail that these cameras can provide. The BIWC is not a typical religious center; it provides a transcendent experience and the choice of Canon BU-50H cameras shows that the worship center is committed to sharing their message with the world at the very highest level of quality. Canon BU-50H cameras deliver robust 1080 line HD, which is perfect for both broadcast and the demands of Internet compression. The Canon cameras are also an ideal fit for the BIWC's highly advanced AV capabilities. In addition to providing superb picture quality, the cameras are remote-controllable, extremely quiet, and very inconspicuous.

Facing the stage from either side of the 500-person capacity synagogue, the cameras overlook the Inspirational Space, an immersive replication of Jerusalem that includes a complete stonework re-creation of the Wailing Wall complemented by a service-spanning digital LED sunrise-to-sunset light show. Imagery from the two BU-50Hs (and an additional Canon XF305 professional HD camcorder) is also projected in HD onto three 16x10-foot display screens.

The Canon BU-50H cameras are used not only to capture worship services at the 70,000 square foot BIWC facility, but also conferences and other events.

The cameras are easy to move, as they weigh only 24 pounds, and they provide smooth 300-degree pans and 40-degree tilts. Users can program them for repeatable and simultaneous panning, tilting, and zooming to up to 32 preset coordinates. The BU-50H's control protocol is non-proprietary and open, allowing easy interfacing and operation via Vaddio controllers from a separate location. The BIWC's audiovisual director has commented that the Vaddio controllers and the Canon BU-50H cameras operate as if they were one unified piece of equipment.

The support from Canon has been there from the start of the project, and we have a great relationship between our team, headed by lead engineer Shelby Tuhari, the BIWC, and Canon. Whenever there were any issues, a local Canon representative was on hand to help us resolve them on the same day. You know you're going to get personal service right then and there, and that's one thing that a dealer always likes to find.

Carl LaGrotteria, Jr. is a Senior Account Executive for Audio Visual Associates. He may be contacted at

For additional information, contact Canon at 201-321-4388 or visit