Beyond just Sony when considering PTZ cameras, another leader in the PTZ market space is Panasonic. Although they cannot boast a 1.0 type sensor, they have units that are solid and will do your production justice. They offer a variety of PTZ cameras, but the one I’m going to highlight is the AW-UE70. It delivers 3840x2160 resolution images, at 29.97p/25p via HDMI, and is capable of doing it via IP streaming or in-camera. This high resolution 4k image allows you to not only see the image better, but have a higher quality standard zoom or a higher quality picture in picture zoom. It also has a 1/2.3-type MOS sensor. It outputs 3G-SDI as well as HDMI.
Any of the PTZ cameras noted in this guide can be placed where traditional cameras cannot.
It works well in that you can easily set it up as a USB webcam or record right on the camera via a microSD card. These recorded files can be delivered over your network, which can speed up your workflow and get the files to the editor faster. While it isn't up to the level of the Sony in terms of picture quality, if that isn’t a factor based on your needs, it’s solid unit with a lot of features that can help your production environment succeed.
One other camera that I have not researched as much, but has recently come on my radar is the Ross PIVOTCam. It has a 20x optical zoom and a 12x digital zoom. It supports multiple formats and outputs to DVI-I or 3G-SDI. It also has 128 presets for positioning and zoom. With it being a relatively new camera, having won a 2017 New Product Award, I had read some details about it online, and knowing that Ross is a good company, I would keep them in the mix when looking for PTZ cameras.
The last two manufacturers I will recommend are JVC and Vaddio. Both offer good PTZ camera units. JVC has units with 4GLTE and Vaddio not only has PTZ cameras, but offers controllers that work with Sony and Panasonic.
Also, if your PTZ has RS232 Serial port control, Vaddio will most likely interface with the unit. I would encourage you to check out their websites and compare features and price. Both JVC and Vaddio offer units that can help you expand your production, without breaking your budget. If you are looking to have a simple security camera in a church hallway or want to record a classroom at the church's school, these units may be exactly what you need, a solid camera with unique features at a better budget price.
From the moment God said, “Let there be light,” Genesis 1:3, man has wanted to draw, paint, replicate and record the beauty of God’s creation. Cameras allow us to show and capture amazing atmospheres of worship.
Any of the PTZ cameras noted in this guide can be placed where traditional cameras cannot. They can secure shots that are different and interesting to the viewer. That helps us draw our people closer into worship and allows us to lead our congregations in new and exciting ways.
The most important thing, though, is to recognize that cameras allow our worship services to reach beyond the four walls of the local church.
Cameras truly are missionaries, carrying the gospel to the entire world.
The next time you see a camera during a service, don’t think of it as a distraction. Think of it as your church's approach to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation," Mark 16:15(NIV), thus fulfilling the Lord’s Great Commission through digital means.
Yes, your church is answering the call for what I call "The Digital Great Commission." Let’s teach it, live it and go fulfill it.