Eastern Hills Community Church, a Christian Reformed Church located in Aurora, CO, was recently tasked with providing its in-service worshipers – who can number up to 1,600 – greater accessibility to see and hear services more effectively, as well as with delivering broader outreach to its online viewers.
Eastern Hills upgraded to Panasonic VariCam LT cameras with CineLive for live production of weekly worship. In partnership with technology integrator Diversified, the church invested in a total of four VariCam LTs as well as an AK-UC3000 4K/HD camera system in a large-scale replacement of its video system.
Zach Radabaugh, Eastern Hills’ Production Manager, said, “Our stylistic objectives were the best-available clarity and artistic imagery. With its Super 35 sensor, the VariCam LT delivers a beautiful cinematic image. Also, we can switch frame rates in-camera, with sermons using the 1080/59.94p format for a lifelike teaching experience, then an easy switch to 23.98p for music segments.”
In the Eastern Hills’ sanctuary, VariCam LTs are used handheld to capture stage action and close-ups.
“Pairing the VariCam LTs with Panasonic’s AK-HRP1000 Remote Operating Panels affords a ton of flexibility. We now have a single shader remotely controlling all the cameras, which is a huge benefit,” he continued. The VariCam LT and AK-HRP1000 combination is referred to as CineLive and allows complete control and shading of the camera from the control room. While the CineLive system is capable of 4K internal recording and live HD output, Eastern Hills currently utilizes the 1080p output to interface with two 16' by 9' LED screens and streaming services.
In terms of camera placement in the worship space, one VariCam LT and the AK-UC3000 are permanently placed on tripods 80-feet from the stage for stage-wide shots; two VariCam LTs are used handheld on the stage for action and close-ups; and the fourth VariCam LT is currently being used on a dolly track house right.
The VariCam LTs (handheld) are outfitted with Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 telephoto zoom lenses and (tripod and dolly) Sigma 120-300 F2.8 high-action zooms. The AK-UC3000 uses a Fujinon broadcast lens. Radabaugh said that during the week he will often use a VariCam LT in the field for pre-produced content. He noted that he sometimes acquires in 4K for flexibility and extra resolution in posting these segments.
“Since we installed the cameras, we’ve achieved a completely new, film-like presentation in live production, and – unlike with our prior gear – I feel there are no technology limitations,” Radabaugh said. “Our congregants now participate and interact more with the people on stage, and our online engagement – both live and post-services – has increased.”
Eastern Hills is utilizing the Panasonic cameras for IMAG and streaming of its Saturday evening 5:00 p.m. service, as well as its 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 am Sunday morning worship services. Services are live streamed on the church’s website (https://ehills.churchonline.org/) as well as on Facebook Live. For more information about Eastern Hills Community Church, visit http://ehills.org/.
Ready to start producing cinematic worship services at your house of worship? Reach out to a Panasonic live video production expert to setup a demo today!