I sent you an email regarding this, but then stumbled upon your community here. I'm re-writing my message to include more details.
Our current workflow
For projection, we are using ProPresenter with two TVs in the FOH for the audience display. We have a separate PC for streaming since I'm not a fan of combining systems on a computer. The computer is running OBS and we are using an external capture card to grab video from our current camera, a Canon XF300. ProPresenter is sending it's audience display out over NDI and is being picked up by OBS over lan.
Our sanctuary was blessed to have a huge tech upgrade in the early 2000s which added a large tech booth in the back, 48 channel patch panels for audio in the front, and a full video distribution system. When installed, we had a BNC component matrix attached to our presentation PC and two projectors. Our building was designed and built in the 60s so far before any projection technology. As a result, we have a nice bright Sanctuary which made projection difficult without spending a ton on bright far throwing projectors. As such, are now using two 4k TVs in the FOH running over wireless HDMI. The next time we go through the painstaking process of snaking 400ft of cable, I'll be running some fiber cables to replace wireless hdmi.
Our new streaming system
We've been using NDI and computers for our whole streaming setup for about a year now. Because of both the wireless HDMI + NDI, we have quite a bit of latency throughout our system. This in addition to our "gaming-grade" capture card which has random issues constantly.
Since we don't have a huge budget to do a system upgrade, this is our current plan. We'll be putting a BM Decklink Duo in a thunderbolt cage for our ProPresenter mac and a Decklink Duo in our streaming PC. We'll then be installing a BM Smart Videohub 12x12 for our FOH displays, booth displays, and future stage displays. The system will then be using SDI for connecting our Videohub, OBS PC, and the Videohub together. The ultimate plan is to replace the OBS system with an Atem switcher. We decided against using the Atem Mini, and Atem Television Studio HD for now. When it comes time to make that investment, we'll be planning on adding many more cameras anyways so we'll need a bunch of inputs. I'm currently looking at the ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K for that, but that's beside the point of this post.
The one part of the system that we haven't figured out is a new camera. (segue to the actual topic of this post)
The camera upgrade
(Start of original email)
I'm contacting you regarding some questions I have about live streaming cameras. My Church is looking to upgrade it's 10 year old Canon XF300 to a newer camera. Your best cameras for livestreaming article has helped provide a good list of cameras for our tech team to look at, but if you are willing, I wanted to reach out to see if you could help point us in the right direction.
As you are aware, the XF300 is a camcorder so we've been using the "all-in-one" camera approach for our live services for 10 years.
Here is our last live service, if you could take a 2-minute glance from the posted timestamp in the URL. We do have the option to use the zoom ring, but we opt to use digital buttons for zooming with a pot determining the speed. Because of this, our zoom often appears unnatural and autofocus is hopeless in our setup. We only have one camera currently so it sweeps across the entire sanctuary. We normally have the lens zoomed in around 60-70ft since our booth is in the back.
We are looking at a budget of ~$3000 ($3700 max) for the camera upgrade. We are in the process of upgrading our single-capture card streaming system to a blackmagic switcher integrated with OBS. Our camera input would then be SDI, so a camera with SDI would be a nice touch but is not required. We use a camera from the Sony A7 series for filming so this new camera would be exclusively for streaming.
We plan to use this camera for 6-7 years since our budget doesn't allow for a more respectable 3-4 year upgrade schedule. For that reason, I'm keen on getting a camera that can output 4k for future-proofing.
I was originally looking at the Canon XA45 for a new camera. I'm starting to move away from the idea of camcorders simply because of the quality hit as well as mediocre zoom/autofocus. I'm starting to look at micro 4/3rd cameras as well as broadcast cameras. I'm a bit unfamiliar with those categories of cameras specifically for broadcast so that's where I'm asking for some help.
Basic recap of requirements/usage:
- ~$3000 budget ($3700 max)
- Exclusively used for broadcasting
- 1080p30 minimum output (4k would be nice)
- Minimum 60-75ft zoom
- Camera will need to sweep the whole sanctuary
I've been interested in the Panasonic BGH1 and the BM Pocket Cinema 4k which happen to coincide with your top picks for the year. Do you think those would be a good fit from the best of my description? Any lens recommendations? Any other cameras?