St James Church, Piccadilly has history coursing through its brickwork. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, 18th century Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder was baptised at its font. German Bombs severely damaged the church during the blitz and it stood empty for 7 years after the war before being repaired. Now St James Church is not just used for services, it hosts lunchtime and evening recitals which they wanted to share with larger audiences by filming and streaming. SFL was asked to pitch a solution and they chose a combination of Panasonic AW-HE40S SDI PTZ cameras, some Panasonic camcorders, and the Datavideo NVS-33 on the grounds of image quality, simplicity, and performance.
Andy Felix is a project manager at SFL, an Audio Visual Installer and Production company. He was tasked with specifying the equipment for St James’s Church with the brief that they wanted high-quality visuals which are simple to operate.
With stained glass windows, old churches can be difficult from a lighting point of view, and this needs to be taken into account when specifying cameras, Said Andy.
There are quite good light levels at St James’s, but light can fluctuate and features like Dynamic Range Extension and Neutral Density Filters which the Panasonic AW-HE40s have can help cope with these situations. Because of budget constraints, Andy supplemented the AW-HE40S PTZ cameras with a couple of Panasonic camcorders which are mounted when needed for events.
Wiring is another problem in old buildings as it has to be discrete. The HE40’s can be powered over the same Ethernet cable that controls them, so we only need this and an SDI cable. For the video streaming, Andy chose the Datavideo NVS-33 which like the Panasonic PTZ cameras was supplied by Holdan Ltd. “Simplicity was the key factor here. The NVS33 can start and stop streaming with the touch of a button and once set up via a PC its incredibly simple to operate by the church staff.”