AMES, IOWA--When the University of Iowa’s Collaborative Technology Services (CTS) unit wanted to up its production game, deploying cameras that were easy to get in and out of remote venues, offered great sensitivity for challenging lighting environments and delivered high-quality 1080p images was high on the list of priorities.
CTS found in the Hitachi Kokusai Electric America Z-HD5500 studio and field production cameras the right solution to satisfy its requirements.
Those requirements have evolved as the CTS mission has grown over the six years of its existence, says CTS manager Roger Suski.
“Our group’s original primary goal was to deliver classes online, so we started with some lower-end technology and made the best of what we had available,” he says. “That often meant cobbling together disparate products as best we could.”
However, as CTS was called upon to produce events, such as convocations, presidential addresses and community activities, a change was needed.
The Hitachi Z-HD5500 offered the technical specs Suski sought and came as a turnkey camera system from one manufacturer to enable CTS productions to “be set up in a standardized way,” he says.
The camera’s native 1080p imager was particularly attractive to Suski. “Some cameras had only 720p sensors that they upconverted for 1080p output,” he says. “Others had 4K sensors that could be licensed to just do 1080p, but then you’re paying more for something you’re not going to use, which isn’t a prudent use of university budget.”
The camera’s light sensitivity was another important feature because CTS frequently must make do with the lighting that’s available at a venue. Ease of setup and fiber connectivity also make the Z-HD5500 the right choice for CTS, he says.
“We used to have to block large amounts of time in anticipation of configuration and setup problems,” he says. “But now I can be confident we’ll have a base level of operation set up in a very short time.”
Having the new Hitachi Z-HD5500 cameras has given Suski the confidence to take on any job that comes in the door, he adds.
More information is available on the Hitachi website.
Photo credit: Paul Jewell
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Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.
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