Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

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dsorbera

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Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSat Feb 02, 2019 5:28 pm

This is kind of a two part question but they are related.

I'm coming from a production studio background, and I'm more familiar with a cinema workflow. But my church is looking to completely revamp their media department and I've been asked to provide some insight.

It's a non denominational mega church and a normal service looks something like a concert, with full stage lights.

Right now they are running some old Sony ENG style cameras and the gain has to be at 24db or more just to achieve proper exposure, which makes things pretty grainy.
I've suggested we brighten up the stage lights but everyone is against that, they say they don't want it too bright in the room as they like the feel with it more dim.

So question one is are they crazy and do we need to have the stage brighter so our cameras can have lower gain with proper exposure?

Question two is totally dependent on question one, but lets just assume that I have to keep the lighting as is. What is the best camera to buy that would work in a live environment but still be clean at high iso/gain?
I wanted to get the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4k because they have the ATEM production 4k switcher and they integrate so well with each other.
BUT I've heard the studio 4k is bad at low light, and that's already an issue.

So I was thinking about going with a GH5s with the 45-175pz and LANC controller. Obviously I would have to use an HDMI to SDI converter, but that's not the end of the world.

has anyone tried using a GH5s with an ATEM in a live environment? Any unforeseen issues you can think of?
Any other cameras I should be looking at that I missed?
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Howard Roll

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSat Feb 02, 2019 8:08 pm

Any broadcast or ENG cam from Sony that I've ever used is roughly in the 200-800 ISO range, +24db is 4 stops. Assuming the camera is ~ISO 200 at a wide open f2, you're saying you need to add 4 stops of gain? That means (assuming ISO 200) there are only about 2 footcandles on stage. So to answer question 1 in a roundabout way, yes they are crazy if they think that 2 FC is adequate lighting for video.

I think most likely the issue is that the LD. (Lighting Designer/Director) is using all the fixtures for FX and not separating anything out for the talent.

If it were me I'd meter the stage and see what kind of foot-candle readings you're actually getting. I'd certainly do a little more physical research before committing to laying out 10-50 thousand clams on a new system.

Good Luck

P.S. An Atem/GH5 combo is going to create so many new issues I wouldn't even know where to begin.
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dsorbera

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSat Feb 02, 2019 9:26 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'll try and meter tomorrow and report back.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSun Feb 03, 2019 7:21 am

If you want to move to BMD Studio Cameras, you might consider using the Ursa Broadcast Camera, as it has better low light performance over the Studi 4K, and can use B4 zoom lenses, giving you f/1.4-2.0 or two more stops of light over the MFT PZ Zooms, which are f/3.5-5.6 max.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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dsorbera

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSun Feb 03, 2019 3:59 pm

I'd love the broadcast, but it's a bit over the budget.

I metered the stage and found around 3-4 candle power on the front line and even less on the musicians near the back of the stage.
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Andrew Martin

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSun Feb 03, 2019 6:22 pm

Search out Photo Joseph on YouTube.
His studio setup is Atem and GH5s ( I think he's a Panny affiliate)
has a whole lotta vids dedicated to their use, his usecase / hardware / setup etc.

From my mobile using Tapatalk
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Howard Roll

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSun Feb 03, 2019 6:48 pm

So 4 FC max? It's a lighting problem. That is an unrealistic number for any stage production. The room/stage doesn't need to be bright but you need some key light. Spend the money on a guy who knows how to light for imag.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you change to another camera format you lose the biggest advantage of the 2/3" format which is lensing. Your 20X f1.7 is now a 3x f2.8 at best, your ISO 2500 camera is losing a stop and change at the lens.

Good Luck
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dsorbera

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostTue Feb 05, 2019 3:50 pm

What kind of candle power do you normally see in a live stage environment?
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Denny Smith

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostTue Feb 05, 2019 6:39 pm

Another option if the Ursa Broadcast is not in the budget area, is the new Pocket 4K Camera.
You gain low light ability with the second stage ISO/Gain, and the cost is less than the BM Studio Camera. Both are MFT mounts, and will have the same lens issues, so you are going to need lenses like the Olympus/ Panny Leica 12-60 or (Oly 12-100 f/4). The issue is long lenses for these MFT cameras are slow, not remote controlled and you will need a HDMI/SDI Converter for each camera, which adds to the cost

If you already have good 2/3rds B4 zooms on yiur existing cameras, you can use them with the Ursa Boradcast. Once you kit out a less expensive csmera to get rhe job done, you will have spend as much, or more $ than the Broadcast camera would cost. You do not need to add the fiber converter and Studio monitor to get started, using your existing SDI cable runs. So a Urs Boradcast is $3500, and a VCT14 Base plate from SmallRigg can be had for $150-200, add your existing 2/3rds B4 Lens, and connect the csmera with the SDI cable’s, and you are good to go. ;)
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Howard Roll

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Re: Lighting in church environment, and which camera to buy?

PostSun Feb 10, 2019 12:17 am

dsorbera wrote:What kind of candle power do you normally see in a live stage environment?


The "normal" range I see is typically about 10-150 FC it can vary wildly depending on the design of the show. At 25~50 footcandles I'm sitting right around an F4.0 which is where the glass wants to be, also gives the operators a chance. A lot of LDs like to crank the spots, 100+ foot-candles, so the talent pops to the naked eye but that's too much for video, texture gets lost in blackness.

Alternately you can tell them what I tell them when asked such questions.

"Why is the Bass player so dark?"

"Because she's in the dark"

Good Luck

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