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Elevation Church Produces Cinematic Worship Broadcasts with VariCam LT CineLive System

NEWARK, NJ (February 11, 2019) – Elevation Church, a multi-site church and member of the Southern Baptist Convention with its main campus in Charlotte, NC, has recently upgraded to Panasonic VariCam LT cameras and the CineLive system for live production of its weekend wor-ship services.

Elevation’s ministry reaches over 25,000 weekly attendees at its 17 locations, as well as a growing online and TV audience each week. Simulcasts of one Saturday and two Sunday services allow its sixteen satellite locations, as well as the live-streaming audience online, to sync up for one shared worship service.

According to Zach Kimrey, Technical Director for Elevation Ballantyne (the church’s broadcast lo-cation), live transmission of weekly services was formerly handled by Panasonic’s AK-HC3500 studio camera systems. 

“We’d had a successful run of close to a decade with the HC3500s, but it was time to upgrade to cameras that would position us for eventual 4K production,” he said. “We did a competitive shoot-out, and the VariCam LT displayed truer colors than any other camera. That, coupled with our comfort level with the Panasonic team, significantly influenced our decision.”

varicam LT

Kimrey explained that eight VariCam LTs are positioned throughout the church’s sanctuary, which seats 1750 congregants: cameras 1 and 2 in front of the house for wide and tight shots; camera 3 in a “towercam” configuration that flies on a 100-foot track extending from the back to the front of the worship space; cameras 4 and 5 used handheld on stage; camera 6 on a 24-foot Jimmy jib in the back; and cameras 7 and 8 typically utilized in the lobby or outside the church to produce cut-aways with a pastor who leads the live on-line service.

The VariCam LTs are outfitted with a variety of Fujinon Cabrio S35 lenses including the ZK12x25 (25-300), ZK4.7x19 (19-90), ZK3.5x85 (85-300), ZK2.5x14 (14-35) and XK6x20 (20-120).

Using a DTS fiber system, the cameras are connected to the control room, where they are con-nected to Panasonic HRP1000 Remote Operating Panels.  The VariCam LT and HRP1000 combi-nation is referred to as CineLive, and allows complete control and shading of the camera from the control room.  Elevation Church utilizes preset Scene Files with live shading for instant precision adjustments of the VariCam LTs on the fly.  While the CineLive system is capable of internal 

recording and 4K output, Elevation Church is mostly utilizing an HD output to interface with its LED video walls and live streaming service.

During services at Elevation Ballantyne, images are displayed on 9-foot by16-foot LED walls. Be-yond live transmissions, all services are recorded on external hard drives. The church’s TV team edits the footage down to a 28-minute version that airs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network as a teaching and ministry program, “Elevation with Steven Furtick” (Furtick is the church’s senior pas-tor). 

The VariCam LT features a large Super 35mm sensor to capture a more cinematic image, with a great sense of depth and wide field of view. The unique large sensor technology also provides ac-curate and pleasing colors and Panasonic’s pioneering Dual Native ISO technology for enhanced sensitivity.  Elevation Broadcast Video Producer Chelsea Gribble cited the VariCam LT’s cinematic image handling as the key factor in the church broadcasts’ “new fresh look and feel of a concert film.” 

“The VariCam LT displays great dynamic range: as an example, our operators can now expose for wide shots of the audience without blowing out the stage,” Gribble said. “The camera’s color science is definitely the most true to our environment, with vibrant rendition of the blues and pur-ples we tend to use a lot, as well as excellent skin tones.”

Technical Director Kimrey added, “The dual ISOs are so beneficial—we make constant use of ISO5000 because our musical performances are typically low-lit with deep colors. Having that ex-treme low light capability at our fingertips gives our director exactly the exposure she’s looking for.”

The CineLive system allows all major control and imaging matching of the cameras to happen in the control room.  An engineer can even remotely navigate the camera menus without the camera operator knowing. The CineLive system also feeds tally, return video and a callback from the con-trol room to the camera for two-way communications.

Kimrey noted that Elevation’s camera operators are 100% volunteers. “The LT’s intuitive operative and focus assist features have really helped us out,” he said. “Our congregations are remarking on a noticeable difference in their worship experiences. The LTs were definitely the right decision for us--we love the cameras and they are performing with zero issues.”
For more information about Elevation Church, visit

About CineLive
The CineLive system is the unique combination of the VariCam LT Cinema Camera and the HRP1000 Remote Operating Panel.  Through an Ethernet connection, the HRP1000 interfaces 
with the VariCam LT to adjust the camera’s menus and imaging controls.  Production-style LUTs and CDLs can be used, or broadcast-style RGB controls for live grading.  Scene Files can be uti-lized for presets and quick switching of modes and looks, including switching between sensor frame rates for different looks.  The CineLive system allows multiple outputs from the VariCam camera so that the camera operator can view a display with focus tools while an engineer sees menu controls and a clean image is fed to a switcher for live output.  Equally at home in 4K or HD environments, the CineLive system can output in either resolution and also record a 4K or HD sig-nal internally for later use.  The internal recording can be color graded to match the live output or left “flat” for later adjustment.  A 4K image can be recorded while an HD live signal is output, allow-ing for future archive use.  Remote record, tally, callback and return video features allow the engi-neer at the HRP1000 to communicate with the camera operator at the VariCam LT.

For more info on the CineLive system, go to

About the VariCam LT
The VariCam LT camcorder inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabili-ties that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price. Incorporating this identical imaging “DNA” in a more compact rendition, the VariCam LT delivers 14+ stops of dynamic range with V-Log, and the esteemed cinematic VariCam image qual-ity and color science, as well as the VariCam 35's breakout innovation, dual native ISOs of 800/5000. Weighing just under six pounds and having superior capability to similar sized cameras, the VariCam LT is the ideal camera for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone, gimbal and overall cinema verité work. The VariCam LT offers a host of new features including an EF lens 
mount, hot swappable batteries, IR shooting capability, a 23.98 PsF output, cinema style file nam-ing, and image presets such as scene files. 

For more information about Panasonic VariCam cinema and high-speed cameras, visit, or contact Panasonic at 877-803-8492.

About Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, delivers game-changing technology solutions that deliver customized experiences to drive better outcomes—for our customers and our customers’ customers. Panasonic designs 

and manufactures reliable, flexible and dependable products and solutions to help create, capture and deliver information of all types, especially where, when and how it is needed. The complete suite of Panasonic professional solutions for government and commercial enterprises of all sizes addresses unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, audio and visual systems (projectors, displays & digital signage) and professional video production. To learn more and Panasonic’s business products and solu-tions visit

About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies and consumers across the region. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and leverages its strengths in Immersive Entertainment, Sustainable Energy, Integrated Supply Chains and Mobility Solutions to enable its business-to-business customers. Panasonic was highlighted in Forbes Magazine’s Global 2000 ranking as one of the Top Ten Best Regarded Companies for 2017.  The ranking is based on outstanding scores for trustworthiness, honesty with the public and superior performance of products and solutions. Learn more about Panasonic’s ideas and in-novations at 

Neil Matsumoto