Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale Connects Congregations With IKEGAMI HDK-55 Full Digital HD Cameras


Portable Cameras from Ikegami's New Unicam HD Camera Series Enhance the Video Experience for 20,000+ Parishioners

Last Updated: June 27, 2013 6:44 pm GMT
(Maywood, New Jersey--June 27, 2013) At a growing megachurch such as Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale (CCFL), providing highest-quality video to parishioners is the only option. With 20,000 people worshipping on its main campus, at satellite locations, and online every week, the sanctuary selected Ikegami HDK-55 full digital HDTV cameras to communicate its message as clearly as possible.

"When a parishioner comes inside, a church can't put bad video in front of them - you want them to have a good experience, and have your video be one of the positive things they remember," says Jack Chew, Video Operations Manager for CCFL. "I've been a videographer for decades, and I know Ikegami makes a phenomenal product. When we built our new HD production chain, the first thing we bought was our Ikegami HDK-55 cameras."

The most affordable member of the Unicam HD camera series, the Ikegami HDK-55 uses 1080i 2.3 megapixels AIT CCDs. Like the other portable cameras in the Unicam HD series, the HDK-55 is a compact low-profile camera head with docking adaptor for fiber or triax cable use.

Superior support and reliability were Chew's top priorities when he recommended Ikegami to his colleagues at CCFL. "My first mandate is that I want all of our equipment providers to be focused on customer service - Ikegami has always provided world-class support," he says. "Second, I want to make sure that we buy equipment that is the best and will last, and Ikegami cameras have proven to be extremely reliable. That's an important reason why we built our production environment around the HDK-55."

CCFL is centered around its 4,000-capacity main congregation, the hub of seven satellite campuses in the South Florida metropolitan area. In the Fort Lauderdale sanctuary, Chew and his team have three Ikegami HDK-55's on platforms with long lenses, one on a jib, and another handheld to capture each service, broadcasting it to the satellite campuses and over the Internet.

CCFL depends on the superior imagery of their Ikegami HDK-55 cameras feeling connected at all times, even under challenging conditions. "We have several types of lighting present on our sanctuary stage for different situations, in addition to a 60-foot wide image-blended background projection," explains Chew. "We were concerned that the difference between these various components would make video acquisition difficult, but the Ikegami cameras were extremely impressive in that regard: the HDK-55's balanced perfectly, right out of the box."

"With these cameras in place, we're putting out an image quality that is superior - our parishioners at our satellite campuses feel as though they're actually there in the main sanctuary," he continues. "The Ikegami HDK-55 is allowing us to display a projection image that is more detailed and refined. Our parishioners are telling us that what they see is sharper and cleaner - it feels like you're actually watching somebody right there onstage."

The ease-of-use built into the Ikegami HDK-55 is particularly important to houses of worship, many of which depend on a volunteer corps of camera operators who must be able to learn their equipment quickly. "We have gotten great feedback from my operators and engineers," Chew confirms. "There are so many features of the camera that are intuitive, that I know it's making my operators' lives easier."

In turn, Jack Chew and his team at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale appreciate that Ikegami clearly understands their specific needs. "Ikegami is very in tune with how houses of worship operate," he says. "Small churches looking to grow, big churches, and megachurches will all benefit from putting Ikegami into their production chain."

Ikegami Electronics (U.S.A.), Inc. is a leading supplier of professional broadcasting products in the Western Hemisphere. With US offices in New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, and Illinois, the Ikegami name is recognized worldwide for its state-of-the-art television cameras and closed-circuit TV equipment. Ikegami's universal HDTV cameras have been widely accepted by the broadcast industry as it continues the transition to the High Definition Television Format.

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