The Top Video Cameras For Broadcasting Church Services

"Studies have shown that most millennials want to view 6 live streams of your church services before deciding to visit your church. That is a huge difference between the way we did church when I first started out in ministry compared to now." - C.Leaders

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pvawter's picture

These articles are interesting but not always very helpful, especially to small churches wishing to improve their capabilities. For instance, the "prosumer" camera models recommended have already been discontinued. Also, the cost of the least expensive option is $900, and that's just for the camera and a few accessories, some of which are not helpful for church livestreaming. With additional components that are required, many small churches are priced out of this completely.

dcbii's picture

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pvawter wrote:

Also, the cost of the least expensive option is $900, and that's just for the camera and a few accessories, some of which are not helpful for church livestreaming. With additional components that are required, many small churches are priced out of this completely.

Although we're not livestreaming (just filming and uploading the video with a 1-week delay), our church ended up budgeting for a prosumer camera ourselves.  Last year, we originally went with a standard consumer 1080p Canon that had very good ratings.  However, in the subdued light of the sanctuary (the lighting system is pretty-much out of date in the sanctuary), the camera performed poorly, noticeably worse than a 2009-vintage 1080p Sony camera personally owned by one of the members.  We ended up using that personal Sony camera for a few weeks until we got one that would work for the church.

We settled on the Sony FDR-AX700 Prosumer camera.  This camera was a good bit more expensive than we wanted to spend, but it films in 4K, allowing a lot of cropping and editing when submitting a 1080p video for upload.  In addition, it handles the lighting beautifully.  We noticed that from the sound booth, the lighting of the speaker looks better (brighter and more clear) through the camera than in the real-life room lighting, and the results when viewed on YouTube on a TV at home look really good.

A church doesn't have to go with a camera that expensive, but like in most things in life, our church learned the hard way that you get what you pay for, and in this instance, trying to go cheaper than prosumer for something that is serving as a lifeline to anyone not coming due to Covid did NOT pay off.

Edit: I should note that we are a relatively small church -- about 80 members.

Dave Barnhart