Texas’ Oaks Church Purchases Four Panasonic VariCam LTs for Sermons

In a large-scale replacement of its video system for improved live production and streaming of weekly worship services, Chase Oaks Church (Plano, TX) has invested in four VariCam LTs, as well as two AU-EVA1 5.7K handheld cameras and two AW-UE150 4K pan/tilt/zoom cameras.

With its main broadcast campus in Plano, Chase Oaks regularly sees approximately 8000 attendees per weekend over its four campuses, plus online live broadcasts on Facebook and the church’s web site. The church’s satellite sites are located in Fairview, Sachse, and Richardson, all located in the greater Dallas, TX area.

Chase Oaks’ Plano 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.

The Panasonic cameras are likewise 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.

Paul Mitchell, Chase Oaks’ Production Technology Director, said that the move to the VariCam LTs as the main broadcast cameras has resulted in “more cinematic worship experience, especially for our growing on-line audience.”

“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,” Mitchell said. “A main impetus behind our investment in the VariCam LTs was a desire to move from 1080i to 1080p output—and with a pathway to ultimate HDR production. Also, we purchased new LED screens as part of our upgrade, and the LT was a budget-friendly way to avoid the common moiré issues presented by LED screens.”

“Beyond the LT’s cinematic look and feel, we are extensively utilizing the ability to switch frame rates in-camera,” he continued, 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-feeet 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.

Chase Oaks has been deploying the new Panasonic cameras since last October. Mitchell said, “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.”

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters