Church At BattleCreek Upgrades Video Outreach With Panasonic VariCam LTs

The Church at BattleCreek, the broadcast campus for a vibrant and dynamic ministry that comprises five additional Tulsa-area locations, as well as a satellite church in DuPage, IL, has invested in Panasonic VariCam LT 4K cinema camcorders to support live video production of its Sunday services.

According to Technical Arts Director Josh Stephens, the installation of the VariCam LTs several months ago has allowed the Church at BattleCreek not only to upgrade to HD (and ultimately 4K) production, but also to present a more immersive, cinematic experience to its congregants.

The sermons of Pastor Alex Himaya delivered during 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services are now broadcast live to the other Tulsa-based churches (the Church at Downtown, the Church at Midtown, the Church at Owasso, the Church at South Tulsa and the Church at Jenks), as well as to the Church at DuPage. At the Church at BattleCreek, the entire service is displayed on LED walls and is also broadcast in real time on Facebook Live and the church’s website.

Stephens says that, with the church’s previous SD cameras aging out, what he gained with the VariCam LTs was an immediate upgrade path to 4K/HD, “amazing” picture quality and, importantly, the ability to effortlessly frame drop from 59.94 to 24fps during the services with 59.94 used to give a clean, broadcast look to the pastor’s sermons, and 24fps to lend a cinematic look to the performance-based aspects of the worship experience.

Two of the VariCam LTs are placed on fixed tripods front and center in the sanctuary for tight and wide shots, a third LT sits on a tripod house left for a different angle, and a fourth camera roams on the right side of the space. The cameras are outfitted with Fujinon 20-120mm T3.5 Cabrio wide-to-telephoto zoom or Fujinon ZK85-300mm T2.9-T4.0 cine-style lenses with ENG-type controls.

“I like having the dual 800/5000 ISOs that address the range of lighting between the stage and the rest of the sanctuary,” Stephens says.

“Also, operating the VariCam LT is quite intuitive. We have a staff of 43 rotating volunteers, and with a bare minimum of training, the camera operators caught on quickly. The Focus Assist functionality is terrific. Focus is simply not an issue, which wasn’t the case previously.”