The elders and pastor discussed broadcasting video from the church. Perhaps they are interested in live streaming. Maybe they are interested in making video announcements.
Whatever the case, they talked and hopefully prayed.
You are at the right place. You are not alone. I know what it is like to be there.
I will share with you four types of cameras that can be used in your church sanctuary.
- The best consumer camera (the lowest price) for your church
- A prosumer camera that is the best for your church.
- Pan Tilt Zoom camera is the most discreet camera for your church.
- The best quality production camera for your church (TV studio-quality camera).
Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Video Camera for a Church Sanctuary
As I have already mentioned, using video in your church ministry seems like a great idea. Although it is a wonderful idea, most people don’t know all the details when deciding. Before buying a cheap camera at a big-box store, you should ask some questions.
While some cameras are great for recording video clips, they require much work for live streaming. While some live-streaming cameras can be connected to live-streaming services, they are not great for producing video announcements. It is difficult to see the video on large projection screens.
Consider these things before you rush out to buy a new camera.
What is the best place to put the camera?
Most churches prefer to keep their video cameras as far back as possible, out of sight. This is fine. This makes it necessary to consider size, zoom capabilities, and lighting levels.
Other churches may want to use multi-camera setups in their sanctuary. They might place one behind the pulpit to capture the reactions of the congregation to the points made by the pastor. They may also place one at a side angle to get a profile shot while the pastor speaks.
These are just a few of the many reasons you need to think about where your camera will be placed and whether or not a human operator will be needed to operate the camera.
Capabilities of optical zoom
You should know the camera‘s zoom and how far it can zoom. Digital zoom is not recommended. Optical zoom is what you need. Digital zoom crops the image you have and attempts to replace the pixels with duplicate pixels. This can lead to blurred images.
Optic zoom is a technique that focuses the image using lenses that alter the size of what the image sensor sees.
Which do you prefer: Full HD, HD, or 4k? Each option comes with a higher price. It is not clear if people will notice the difference. They would have difficulty identifying the difference between your service’s HD or 4k streaming videos. If the screen they are projecting to is large, however, they might be able to tell the difference on video announcements.
4k records images with 4x the clarity as HD. This is the trend in the industry. HD will soon be obsolete. Consider how long you plan to keep the camera in use before upgrading to a better-quality model. It is okay to start with a budget and have a plan for the future.
A second consideration is a fact that modern video editors can edit within a scene. You can crop a scene with a 4k photo without losing video quality.
Recording Low-Light Video
The light level in your sanctuary is another important factor. This is crucial because churches experiment with different light levels for worship. Some are almost completely dark, while others are very bright. It is essential for churches without much outside light to be able to record their services. It would surprise you to learn how many churches are low-light venues for video recording.
Your church sanctuary‘s video camera should have an excellent low-light recording. While many believe they do, you can check out what customers say about graininess in the pictures they record at home. This will give you a good indication.
This isn’t an issue if you choose a higher-end camera, such as a 4k or PTZ camera.
Consumer Cameras Vs. Prosumer Cameras
There are two key factors when deciding whether to purchase a consumer-grade or a professional camera. They include low light levels and whether there is a delay when the camera outputs video.
This might not matter if you’re only streaming live or creating video clips. What if you’re projecting the worship group or the pastor on the screen? It will be obvious that the lips of the worship team and pastor are not in sync with what is being heard by the audience. This can be very distracting.
Other Camera Tips
Live streaming requires a camera with a clear HDMI or wireless output. This will allow you to connect to your streaming software and computer.
Multiple cameras will require cameras that can easily be operated remotely or by volunteers. Professionals are required to set up cameras.
Go Live with Video in Your Church
It’s not difficult to set up a live-streaming church or to pipe audio and video to the nursery or other overflow rooms. This is all you need, besides a camera.
Equipment you will need
- Video camera for church sanctuary (covered here)
- High-speed internet is connected to a computer.
- HDMI cable connecting the camera to your computer.
- Convert HDMI to USB video
- You can connect with video editing software to YouTube, Facebook, and other live-streaming providers.
- Sound mixer (optional).
- Audio cable (optional)
- Website for the Church (optional, but not essential)
Steps to Going Live
- All equipment should be turned on. (Camera, Computer, Sound Board, Ect.)
- You can connect your camera to the HDMI USB converter or wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
- Connect your HDMI converter to your computer.
- Open your video editing program on your computer.
- The audio cable connects your soundboard to your computer.
- Configure your camera and audio inputs for your video editing software.
- You can either record your service and live stream it on Facebook or YouTube or save it as a video for later editing.
The Best Video Camera for a House of Worship on a Budget
I am a small pastor in a small church. Our church budget is very low. I wanted small churches to have the option of a larger church. Video cameras are available for every budget. Don’t be cheap. Buy the highest quality camera, and not the cheapest.
The Best Consumer Video Camera for a Church Sanctuary
Canon Vixia HF R20
Best Consumer Camcorder
Canon keeps proving why it is a leader in the consumer camera market. With 32GB of storage, the R82 doubles its internal memory. The camera is slim and intuitive. You can zoom in and out, and you can also view the record right from your thumb.
The touchscreen display folds to the left. This touchscreen display is sensitive enough to contain most of the controls for the camera. It is extremely lightweight and easy to use.
What stands out, however, is the high-quality video you can capture with this budget camera. Below is a Canon video.
Canon Vixia HF R20 Review
The image quality is impressive, as you can see. The image has good color and is very stable. Canon’s image stabilization system does a great job of keeping everything steady. This is especially important when zooming in on the camera.
Vixia HF R20’s HDMI output is clean and provides great video streaming or editing via an HDMI to USB converter. Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to connect directly with live streaming services from your mobile phone or tablet.
The Canon Vixia HF R20 consumer camera is the best on the market. Anything less than $200 becomes a toy. This camera is for you if you want to keep your costs down. This is the camera I purchased for my church to start making videos from our sanctuary.
The Best Prosumer Camera for a Place of Worship
Panasonic HC-VX1 4K Camcorder Review
Panasonic HC-VX1 4K Camcorder
Best Prosumer Camcorder For Church
The Panasonic HC-VX1 is a budget camera that produces a great-looking image and has excellent low-light performance and UHD4K recording. All for around $800. The image quality of the Panasonic HC-VX1 is exceptional, especially for a small sensor. The HC-VX1 stands out among the rest thanks to its 25mm to 600mm zoom, three optical image stabilizer systems, and its three optical image stabilizers.
We are not sure if Panasonic’s marketing team had enough features to highlight, but it does have a few unique features. Panasonic packs a lot into the HC-VX1 with a high-resolution UHD 4K at 30 frames/second (fps), and the ability to capture stills up to 26 megapixels.
Two things that surprised us about this camera were its image quality in bright light and its ability to capture decent images with up to 12 dB gain. Although it’s full of poorly-named or poorly executed features, this camera is affordable and offers many options.
The Panasonic HCX1 is a great all-around camera. The camera can shoot 4K and has a 25mm-600mm zoom lens. This camera is a good choice if you are looking for 4K at a reasonable price.
The Best Pan Tilt Zoom Camera for God’s House
This video explains what PTZ Optics are and how they can help in a church sanctuary.
PTZ Optics Camera Review
PTZOptics-20X-SDI GEN-2 PTZ IP Streaming Camera
Best PTZ Camera For Churches
PTZ Optics has done an excellent job of understanding the needs and requirements of houses of worship concerning live-streaming worship services. They even offered a free class on live-streaming church services on Udemy.
Their cameras are of excellent quality and easily integrate with most video editing software. They are expensive, but they are well worth it for the quality. There are many more options, including one that automatically follows your pastor or worship leader, but they have a higher price.
The PTZ Optics camera I chose for you has a 20x zoom. You can use 20x zoom to meet the needs of any size church.
The reviews for this product are very sparse, as is the case with most high-end and low-volume products on Amazon. The one verified purchase review is (Don’t trust unverified purchases reviews. Other customers often place these reviews, especially if they’re short and negative. The ptz camera is a favorite. B&H discusses that the 20x ptz ;camera is great for image quality, skin tones, and lens.
The Best Production Camera for a Church Sanctuary
A picture is worth a thousand sentences, as they say. A video is worth a book, right? Take a look at this Blackmagic Ursa Mini video.
Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera Review
Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera
Best Pro Camera For Church
When you talk about video cameras, you reach a point where the quality is high enough to focus on details beyond most people. The Blackmagic Ursa is an example of this.
YouTube reviews are great. They talk about topics that are way above my head. That is probably why I am not a photographer but a pastor. The guys I trust swear by the camera, so I am sharing it with them.
Can you see a video similar to that as one of your church announcements? You get the idea, even though it doesn’t involve pouring an adult beverage.
The Blackmagic Ursa Mini camera is everything a church could ever need. This camera is perfect for churches that value professional quality and studio-quality images.
The best camera for a church’s church is the one that does a good job for the most money and shows the highest stewardship. You don’t need to be embarrassed by any of these cameras. They look fantastic. It is up to you to decide if you want more than just great. My goal was to achieve a goal. We should start thinking about making a video. It is paying off.
Let me know if you found this article helpful and which camera you used to capture the sanctuary of a church. This website can help people realize their dreams and goals.