While their 1,200-seat auditorium is typically packed for Sunday services, virtual worshippers watching from overflow rooms, at home, from a satellite campus, or streaming via YouTube and Facebook Live exceed those at the church’s main location in Chesterfield, Missouri. Given the number of parishioners watching from outside the main sanctuary, it was decided that an upgrade was needed to replace the church’s 10-year-old cameras.
The Crossing selected six Sony HXC-FB80s HD cameras. Five are manned studio cameras and one is used as a handheld camera for roaming the stage. The camera’s low light sensitivity, feature-set, and performance set it apart from competitive cameras. In addition to the cameras, The Crossing also purchased four Sony BRAVIA FW55-BZ35F 55-inch 4K HDR professional displays to replace their video wall displays.
The Crossing has found a cost-effective mix of enhanced imagery, ease of use and quality which they expect will serve them and their community of worshippers for years to come – no matter where they’re watching Sunday services. The low light sensitivity of new Sony cameras ensures that the volunteer camera crew can easily deploy a range of lighting levels to produce engaging environments for worship, to help emphasize teaching points, and to create more intimate atmosphere. In addition, new displays are brighter, with higher quality color reproduction and consistent video look between each monitor.
Our Sunday service touches a lot of people and you realize you need to serve them to the best of your ability, We were serving them well but knew we could do even better. We wanted to provide a consistent, quality experience.
TechArts Systems Engineer at The Crossing
The church’s previous cameras had challenges capturing a clear picture in low light. Operators were struggling to balance the needs of the room to get the lights low enough to create the right atmosphere, yet still have enough light so anyone outside of the room could tell what was going on. With a sensitivity of F13 and a corresponding signal-to-noise ratio of just -60 dB, the Sony cameras are ideal for quiet, low light reproduction. The camera operators at The Crossing were able to get up to speed on the cameras in a couple of weeks and were awed by the picture quality.
The ability to digital color and shade the HXC-FB80’s wasn’t an important feature to the church at first, but it’s become one of its most appreciated. Optical filter wheels for neutral density and color correction can be controlled from a remote-control panel, master setup unit (MSU-1000), or directly from the camera head. Gamma functions enable the user to fine-tune tonal values as well as control contrast and detail. The Crossing was able to tie it into their system so that selecting a camera button on the MSU also brings that camera up on the shading monitor, which has been particularly helpful to its volunteer camera operators.
Moving from a one-third to a two-third-inch sensor (the HXC-FB80 is equipped with three 2/3-inch Exmor CMOS sensors) with their new cameras has meant the camera operators have to be more aware of things like the lighting levels and focus. Previously there was no depth of field control on the older cameras. The HDV-FL750 viewfinder clearly shows the focus and zoom levels so that operators can easily adjust the camera when needed.