Fujinon Lenses Receive Calvary Chapel High Praise

Fujinon’s HA14x4.5 lens is used for wide-angle coverage by Calvary Chapel. FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—Calvary Chapel is considered to be a “megachurch,” as we have more than 30,000 attendees visiting our main and regional locations in Boca Raton, Plantation, and Boynton Beach, Fla. each week, along with the 10,000 or so individuals who regularly attend via the World Wide Web.

Our regional campuses request video-on-demand of the entire service from our main campus server. We move our video files via fiber to the regional locations for large screen display there. We’re also providing a live media stream that’s accessible via our website or for display at our regional Web enabled campuses. Our services are also carried on Miami’s WSVN television. This multifaceted video distribution strategy allows worshipers to participate in our main campus services without having to drive to Fort Lauderdale.

To serve such a large and growing congregation, Calvary Chapel has invested millions of dollars in video equipment for use at our 82-acre main campus.


As the picture quality we produce must hold up when displayed under magnification on large screens or when we’re streaming over the Internet, we’ve invested heavily in high quality acquisition gear, including what we feel is the best of the best in the way of HD cameras and lenses—a combination of Ikegami HDK-55 studio/field cameras and Fujinon HDTV lenses. Our lens package includes two XA77x9.5 box lenses, two HA14x4.5 wide lenses, and one HA22x7.3 for shoulder-mounted ENG-style shooting.

These cameras and lenses are very well matched—like a marriage made in heaven. It’s as if the respective research and development engineers of the two companies considered how well their products would work together right from the design phase. We made the decision to move to this combination when our 15-year-old SD cameras showed signs that they were approaching retirement time. As we knew we’d soon be transitioning to a tapeless XDCAM HD infrastructure, we purchased the HD cameras and lenses ahead of schedule.

We’re using three Ikegami cameras (two on tripods and one on a jib), with these situated around the 4,000 seat sanctuary at our main Ft. Lauderdale campus. Camera video is projected onto three large screens in the sanctuary to provide a clear view for everyone.

Even though the control room and streaming media operations are still limited to 4:3 SD, our members are already complimenting us on how good the video now looks on the big screens. Those watching SD video-on-demand and in our webcasts have noticed an improvement also.

Before making a large capital investment in equipment such as cameras and lenses, we had to consider every aspect—including price-performance, reliability, and technical support level. We wanted to purchase gear from manufacturers that we know would stand behind their products, allowing us to keep our cameras, lenses, and other equipment operating at its best and providing service to us for as long as possible.

When we’re spending our congregation’s money, we take our purchasing decisions very seriously and I’m proud of the video decisions we’ve made—Fujinon was one of those decisions.

Jack Chew is video operations manager at Fort Lauderdale’s Calvary Chapel and has worked in television and film for more than 30 years. He may be contacted at jackc@calvaryftl.org.

For additional information, contact Fujinon’s optical devices division at 973- 633-5600 or visit www.fujifilmusa.com.