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Hitachi Cameras Bring Passion 2013 to Life

Tony Holt, TNDV broadcast utility operator, prepares the group’s Hitachi cameras for coverage.

NASHVILLE—TNDV is a provider of mobile television facilities for event coverage throughout the United States. We produce programming ranging from small single camera productions up to multi-million dollar international television events.

Earlier this year, we undertook one of our largest events yet—coverage of the Passion 2013 event held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. This is a religious gathering of more than 60,000 young adults, with an additional 300,000 participants watching live online.

Our camera of choice for this coverage was Hitachi’s Z-HD5000, which we used in a wide variety of ways to bring the full scope and impact of the event to viewers. We employed a total of 22 Hitachis. Six of these were equipped with long lenses for our basic coverage. To add perspective, we mounted two of the cameras on jibs with 24-foot arms. To capture the enormous feeling of the event we also used seven dolly cameras, all equipped with wide angle lenses and operating on 40- and 80-foot tracks.

In addition, we had a “high and wide” camera equipped with an ultra wide angle lens located at the very top of the Georgia Dome, allowing viewers to take in the entire venue from a single shot. We also used three specialty robotic-style cameras in our coverage. One of these provided a bird’s eye view of the stage; a second was used for dolly shots and the third was set up as a tower camera. We relied on three other wireless cameras for audience shots.

All camera feeds were accessible in two of the three production trucks we had on location. Our larger truck was responsible for feeding the many live screens located throughout the dome and the second truck handled switching for the live Web feed. Directors in either truck could access any camera and communicate with each of the camera operators. Every camera had a triple tally light system, so camera operators knew when they were live and with which feed or feeds.

The venue had a small number of prerun SMPTE cables. We used these, and added more than 20 additional runs of our own. Most of these were well over 1,000 feet.

The Hitachi cameras played a big role in this production. They’ve been our workhorses— rock-solid and dependable— sometimes running four or five days without being shut off and never experienced any problems. The cameras maintain their scene file settings, don’t drift, and their iris control is very accurate.

In addition, Hitachi camera systems are feature-packed. They come with multiple return video options, multiple intercom channels, and accept multiple tally light feeds. They also can output both HD and SD video. These features are all standard items in the Hitachi package. In addition, the company also provides the most outstanding customer service anywhere. If I ever need something for our camera fleet, or have a problem, I’ve got the personal cell phone numbers of Hitachi engineers who are able to address any issues immediately. This level of service makes all the difference in the world.

Nic Dugger is owner of TNDV Television He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Hitachi at 516-682-4431 or