Church on the Move Transitions to Full HD Hitachi Cameras

Church on the Move of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been redefining the worship environment for the past decade. With an eye toward increasing appeal to younger generations, longtime Pastor Willie George spearheaded a movement toward more dynamic, engaging services that heavily relied on professional video production, audio and lighting gear. That effort continues with a recent facility-wide upgrade that includes seven Hitachi Z-HD5000 HDTV cameras.

“Church on the Move is fairly typical of a large church in the Midwest, with a large congregation that fills a spacious sanctuary,” says Andrew Stone, production manager, Church on the Move. “Pastor George’s vision to reach out to younger generations has driven Church on the Move to deliver a concert-type experience with live cameras and video, big sound and immersive lighting that remains positive and family-oriented. Hitachi has been a significant part of that seachange over the past 10 years.”

Since joining the staff in 2005, Stone and his team of in-house personnel and church volunteers have relied on the rugged durability of Hitachi cameras. Until recently, Stone had been using Hitachi SD cameras while gradually upgrading the surrounding infrastructure to HD. The continued high performance of the Hitachi SD cameras allowed Stone to focus on upgrading video walls, LEDs and studio gear, and later invest in high-quality HD cameras once his budget replenished.

Stone made the decision to invest in Z-HD5000’s following a site visit from Hitachi. In addition to the Z-HD5000’s versatility and exceptional image quality, Stone was impressed with the care Hitachi took to ensure the most ideal camera for his production needs.

“Hitachi flew the cameras here at their expense, and configured them in our sanctuary to simulate how they would perform during real-time services,” says Stone. “They took the time to steer us toward a product that was sensible and cost-effective for us. I’ve built my career on relationships, and Hitachi definitely stands out from the other camera manufacturers.

“For us, consistency and versatility are also vitally important, and Hitachi has paid attention to these points on the user side,” he continues. “Most of our operators are volunteers, and these cameras are simple to operate and resilient. The Z-HD5000 has the same rugged design as Hitachi SD cameras, and a feature set that brings together what really matters in live production. New volunteers are up and running within a few rehearsals. That short learning curve is a huge benefit in a worship environment, where volunteers may be here today and gone tomorrow.”

The Hitachi Z-HD5000 signals run through a Barco FSN-1400 switcher that retains the exceptional image quality captured by the camera operators. Stone calls this a future proof architecture that ensures a seamless transition from 720p to 1080i should Church on the Move upgrade again.

“We wanted a camera that could capture what we needed in our 720p native resolution and make it pop, but not having to think through our camera situation for future transitions is a nice selling point,” says Stone. “It’s hard to imagine a scenario where we would even consider other cameras.”

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