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Video CamerasThere are two types of cameras that are suitable for the church environment. One camera can be mounted on the wall or ceiling and be controlled remotely. This camera comes from the security camera industry and provides a resolution of 480 lines which is the quality of a DVD. If they use of the recorded video is for Internet streaming or is being reproduced on DVDs for distribution; then this resolution is most suitable. The average church would not need any further picture quality than 480 unless the video was to be used as broadcast video on a commercial TV station. This discussion will focus on one particular camera model which will illustrate the versatile nature of a higher quality security camera. The Sony model SNCRZ25N is an IP security camera with a 640 x 480 resolution. This camera has an 18 X. optical zoom and is able to pan and zoom remotely. The output of the camera is MPEG4 and composite video. The composite video can be fed into video projectors in the room and displayed for the congregation. The MPEG4 video may be recorded on a hard drive for later viewing or the production of DVDs. This video may also be live streamed on the churches website. The control of the camera is provided with included software that runs on a PC. The cost of the camera is under $1000. This camera is mounted in a fixed location and controlled remotely.
A second approach in video cameras is to use a hand-held or tripod mounted camera which can be consumer grade or commercial. A camera of this type can be purchased for $800-$2500. The camera format chosen should be Mini DV which will provide high definition video quality (HD). This camera generally will not provide MPEG-4 video for live streaming. There are many video editors on the market which will provide editing and MPEG-4 conversion.