Thanks for reaching out!
First of all, this is some of the better looking shots I've seen from PTZOptics cameras. So kudos for making the best with what you have!
Before we jump into your list, I'm curious what your expectations are for the Pocket Cinema Cameras? I'm mainly curious if you've considered other options or are already decided on going the BMPCC route? They're great cameras (obviously, since I recommend them a lot), but I think there may be some better fits for your situation, especially if the cameras will only be used for this context.
I'm going to go ahead and answer the questions in your list, but I'd suggest you at least consider alternatives so you know you're checking all the boxes possible and not adding unnecessary frustrations or downsides.
Let's jump in...
Should we go with the BMPCC 4k or 6k (super 35 version)While there is a cost difference, I believe we have the funds to go with the 6k. However, I want to be good stewards of our money and not spend the extra on the 6k upgrade if we could use the money somewhere else in our system. The 6k is appealing from a future growth standpoint as I don’t believe we would ever need to upgrade based on the feature set and the super 35 image sensor.
If you can afford the BMPCC 6K along with all the proper accessories and lenses, then the 6K wouldn't be a bad option. You'll get more lens choices in EF mount, you'll get more control and options for depth of field, and you'll get 6K (but only if you record BRAW - ProRes formats are limited to 4K or less). The biggest downside you'll face with these cameras, though, is the limit of 1080p from the HDMI output. So even if you have 4K or 6K capabilities, you'll only get them when you record in the cameras.
Could the 6k (and even the 4k) be able to be utilized on our stream while not making the PTZ cameras look like total garbage if we still want to use them for wide shots?
This is doubtful. I've seen a lot of PTZOptics setups that are mixed with other cameras and brands, and almost never do they match well. The biggest limitation is usually the image adjustment options within the PTZs. It's just a part of the "you get what you pay for" aspect to these cheaper PTZs. However, you can make it work if you do some work with your non-PTZ cameras. It usually takes some "dumbing down" of the non-PTZ cameras to get them to match closely.
Would you recommend we try to sell some or all of our PTZ cameras to purchase another manned camera to avoid the use of vastly different image sensors?
This decision is ultimately up to you. I don't think going in phases is a bad idea, but it's also kinda nice to start with as much consistency as possible. Do you like my super vague answer? 😆
If we were to go with the 6k, I’ve read a lot of good reviews about the Canon f/2.8L IS Lens. However, it is significantly more than the equivalent f/4L IS lens. Is the lower aperture worth the additional $800 cost? My pastor likes to roam into the crowd, where we don’t have the best lighting, so my first thought is that we may want the additional aperture.
This is a bit of a two-edged sword. The extra aperture is nice for lower light situations, but it also comes with a shallower depth of field and more difficulty maintaining focus on a moving subject. If you'll take a look at the section in this article about cinema lenses and depth of field, you'll see that I typically recommend higher apertures for follow shots with these cameras. Ultimately, f/4 is about as wide open as I'd ever go for a camera that is 65' away and does any kind of follow shot on a person. So you could probably save some money (and possible frustration) by sticking with the f/4 lenses and planning on running a smaller aperture (higher f-number).
It’s difficult for me to justify paying the additional cost for a servo lens. Is it realistic to think we will be able to closely follow our pastor with a manual zoom lens? If we were to use a manual zoom, I plan to purchase a focus follow system to be able to better control the zoom. My understanding is that the manual zoom would allow the focus to be maintained if the pastor is going side to side on the stage, but that I would lose focus if he comes off the stage and moves toward the camera or further away. If that’s the case, I guess we could just make sure we move off the camera when that happens until the pastor's distance away from the camera is not changing?
Considering that you mentioned your pastor likes to walk around, especially off the stage, then I would highly recommend a servo zoom lens with full zoom and focus controls for the follow camera. You could cut away when he moves like that, but best practice is to not have to cut away from a camera because it can't adjust focus or zoom well. If you're going to invest, I would suggest investing in cameras and accessories that can do everything you need and want. This will also probably help you sell the transition to the newer non-PTZ cameras a lot easier as well.
Hopefully this info helps your journey and decision-making process. There's a lot of things to consider, so definitely feel free to reach out with more questions as you work through all of this.