Chase Oaks Church, with its legacy campus in Plano, TX, was recently tasked with a large-scale replacement of its video systems for improved live production and streaming of weekly worship services.
According to the church’s Production Technology Director Paul Mitchell, “Chase Oaks’ robust video outreach is a vital part of the church’s ministry, and we have a legacy of live streaming dating back to 2015. A main impetus to upgrade our video equipment was a desire to move from 1080i to 1080p output – and with a pathway to ultimate HDR production.”
Chase Oaks Church regularly sees approximately 8000 attendees per weekend over its four campuses, plus online live broadcasts on Facebook and the church’s web site, https://live.chaseoaks.org. The church’s satellite sites are located in Fairview, Sachse, and Richardson, all located in the greater Dallas, TX area.
Chase Oaks elected to invest in four VariCam LTs, as well as two AU-EVA1 5.7K handheld cameras and two AW-UE150 4K pan/tilt/zoom cameras for live broadcast and streaming.
Chase Oaks’ Plano broadcast venue houses the main sanctuary, which can hold 1,800 people. Pastor Jeff Jones’ sermons during Plano’s 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Sunday worship, as well as Friday evening services, are broadcast live to the satellite campuses, and are streamed live to social media platforms.
“As well as addressing our criteria for 1080p and HDR, the VariCam LT represented a budget-friendly way to avoid the common moiré issues presented by LED screens,” Mitchell said. (As part of its upgrade the church purchased several new LED screens.)
Customizing the Solution
In addition to broadcast and streaming, the Panasonic cameras are utilized in-house at Plano for IMAG projection to two 22-feet wide by 16-feet high LED screen located at either side of the sanctuary stage. Typical weekend services feature modern worship music, alongside a conversational message.
“Beyond the LT’s cinematic look and feel, we are extensively utilizing the ability to switch frame rates in- camera,” Mitchell said, noting that worship productions deploy the 1080/60p format for more lifelike sermon capture in brighter lights, with an effortless switch to 1080/30p for a filmic rendition of the rest of the service, which is lit considerably less brightly.
In terms of VariCam LTs’ placement, one camera is used on a 16-foot dolly track stage right, 40-feet from the platform; two cameras are on tripods at center, 30-feet from the platform; and one LT is on a tripod stage left, 40-feet from the platform. Both AU-EVA1s are used on Steadicams to capture stage and audience shots. One AW-UE150 PTZ is placed on a custom pole in the sanctuary directly in front of the pastor for a head-to-toe shot of his sermon. The second AW-UE150 is mounted high for overhead shots.
The VariCam LTs are outfitted with Canon L series lenses, the dolly-operated camera with an EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM zoom, the camera center stage right with an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM zoom, the camera center stage left with an EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM zoom, and the camera stage left with an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto zoom. The AU-EVA1s use an EF 70-200 mm f/4L USM zoom and EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM zoom.
For Chase Oaks, the VariCam LT represents a budget-friendly way to avoid the moiré issues commonly presented by LED screens.
Chase Oaks has been deploying the new Panasonic cameras since October 2019. Mitchell noted that the move to the VariCam LTs as the church’s main broadcast cameras has resulted in “a more cinematic worship experience, especially for our growing on-line audience.”
“The proof of our success with the upgrade would be for our congregations to notice an improvement – and there was an immediate and widespread appreciation of better images and color rendition, both on-site and on line. The general consensus is that our video production values have increased ten-fold,” he added.
For more information about Panasonic VariCam cinema and high-speed cameras, visit us.panasonic.com/varicam, or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.