Cameras for IMAG: Define Goals, Needs of System Through Research

If you intend to use the live output of a camera for IMAG, you need to make sure that you can properly and efficiently get the signal to the video switcher.

Cameras for IMAG: Define Goals, Needs of System Through Research
Professional cameras with CCUs may run the signal over triax or fiber, while others transmit over Serial Digital Interface, or SDI, and HDMI. There are many converters available to get a signal into/out of SDI, but remember that converters add delay. Delay is a big deal when shooting for IMAG. I would recommend finding a camera that has a SDI output directly on the camera if possible.

Cameras for IMAG News

Cameras for IMAG: Define Goals, Needs of System Through Research
Cameras For IMAG: A Valuable Tool For Churches

Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
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Image Magnification, or IMAG, in its simplest form is the art of shooting and mixing an event for the live audience to view onscreen as it happens.

There are many levels of cameras for IMAG. Some facilities will have cameras with full studio-kits and remote CCUs…

The focus when using IMAG is getting “tight” shots of the worship team, pastors and events that make up your service. From a producer’s standpoint, IMAG is approached differently than a video that would be produced for film, cinema or television. The aim of IMAG is to bring the live audience closer to the stage by magnifying the presenters/performers with tight shots. By doing this, it will reveal minute facial expressions and mannerisms that are not typically perceived in a large room.

Resolutions, Sensors, Lenses: Optics Are the Heart of the Camera

Resolution is a hot topic when it comes to camera marketing. This is probably because it is the easiest factor to understand. More pixels typically means clearer image. Most people have heard the terms 1080p or 4K. The price for 4K cameras has certainly come down in recent years to a more affordable price point, but is 4K or even 8K necessary for your application?

What is the resolution of your projectors? Is your system capable of distributing or transmitting the higher bitrates? Are you planning to record or stream the IMAG feed? What platform will it be distributed on?  With the price of digital storage these days, many churches are shooting the service in high resolution for archival purposes, but still distributing in 1080p; sometimes projecting in 720p or lower.

It is important to decide what your intended purpose is, and make sure you have the infrastructure to distribute and upgrade when necessary.

Then there is zoom range, which is a big factor for me when considering cameras for IMAG. The lens gives you optical zoom ranges and can be one of the biggest determining factors when selecting a camera.  The sensor is only as good as the light that will hit it, so make sure your lens is up to the task.

Consider the following questions when specifying a lens: How far away are the camera positions? Are they near the back of the room, to the sides? Will you need risers to get the lens above the audience? Will they block natural sight lines?


More About Jeff Snyder
A/V Professional services with 25 years experience in sound, lighting, rigging, power distribution, stage management, set/scenic design, convention services, facility management, video production and commercial broadcast engineering and production. Works as an audio contractor at Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind.
Get in Touch: jeff@eventswithmojo.com    More by Jeff Snyder

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.


Article Topics

Technology · Video · Cameras · Visual Arts · Video Production · Bitrates · Camera Control Units · Cameras for IMAG · HDMI · Lenses · Professional Cameras · All Topics

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