When it comes to church video and live streaming, you can’t go wrong with PTZ cameras.
Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) cameras are remotely controlled video cameras that are motorized to pan left and right, tilt up and down, and optically zoom in and out. In many churches, even with multiple cameras, all of the action can’t be covered all of the time. With PTZ cameras, no matter what happens, you can move the camera to reframe a shot, even into the audience. And you can do it all without anyone physically touching the camera itself.
But which PTZ camera is the best for church?
The Best PTZ Camera for Church
There are a lot of brands of PTZ cameras these days. You can go high-end with Sony PTZ cameras, which can run upwards of $8000 per camera. And you can order a cheap PTZ camera off Amazon for a few hundred bucks.
There are a lot of choices, and each camera has its strengths and weaknesses. With that said, there are too many choices to narrow it down completely, and the word “best” is subjective. What one person thinks is best is sure to not be the same choice as another person. So, there’s no perfect answer of “this one is definitely the best.”
However, the following recommendations are based on three criteria that churches need in a PTZ camera:
- It needs to have great image quality, even in low-light.
- It needs to be easy to operate.
- It needs to be affordable.
And with those three criteria in mind, here are the three PTZ cameras I think are best for church use.
This camera is great for larger church sanctuaries due to the impressive 30X optical zoom. The camera is great in low-light, and with a little customization of the image settings, the footage can look absolutely amazing. The price is good too, sitting at $1799 per camera, only $100 more than the 20X version.
How far will the camera zoom in?
We put it through a test run and set a Bible on the platform of our church in Seattle. From about 40 feet away, we were able to zoom in close enough to the Bible to read the text easily.
For medium-to-large size churches, the 20X PTZOptics camera is a great choice. At $1699 it’s super affordable for a high-quality PTZ camera, and the video footage is good quality, even in lower light.
For small to medium-sized churches, the 12X zoom is plenty, and the price comes in at $1599. For the price of a good mirrorless camera, you get a good remotely controlled camera with more than enough zoom to handle church auditoriums of up to 50′ in depth. That is if the camera is all the way on the back wall. If it’s closer to the front, you have more than enough zoom to get really tight shots as well as wide-angle views of the sanctuary.
This camera is a great option for smaller churches due to the 10X zoom. This camera is the same price as the PTZOptics 12X camera, but this camera features NDI technology as well as SDI and HDMI.
For churches that want just a little bit better image quality to play with, the BirdDog eyes 20X 4K camera captures images in 10-Bit, which gives deeper colors and more dynamic range. While it is more expensive at $3,995, for a 4K PTZ camera, especially one outfitted with NDI, the P400 is a luxury to have.