Need advice on what our church needs

Started 4 months ago | Questions
Moondoggy51 New Member • Posts: 7
Need advice on what our church needs
1

First and foremost I know absolutely nothing about video equipment so if you respond please keep your response as simple as possible.

The church I attend has been recording our church sermons and uploading the video to YouTube.  We've already burnt up an Iphone I've been told that the video and audio is not great.  We only used the Iphone that we burnt up because someone had a old Iphone that they no longer needed and because of Covid our budget didn't allow us to spend any money on anything other than necessities.   Now that things have returned to normal and we have some extra funds in the budget we would like to buy an camera to be used to handle our video needs that has an external microphone on it but we have no idea what to buy.  I was looking at some on Amazon tonight but again we lack knowledge on what to look for in the way of specs and features.  What we want to do is shoot the video, do whatever we need to upload the video to our PC and then do whatever is needed needed and then upload the video to YouTube.  The current setup has the iphone attached to a tripod and a church member starts and stops the video process..  We want whatever we get to be extremely easy to use.  Lastly, we want to have a easy to use, quality device that isn't necessarily low ball cheap but not not real expensive either.  Can anyone help us out by telling us what we need and buy and/or what to look for so we don't buy something we regret.

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Off The Mark Veteran Member • Posts: 6,608
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

What is the lighting like?

Iss the voice going in to a PA system?

How competent is the person doing the editing?

What is your budget?

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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,804
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Moondoggy51 wrote:

First and foremost I know absolutely nothing about video equipment so if you respond please keep your response as simple as possible.

The church I attend has been recording our church sermons and uploading the video to YouTube. We've already burnt up an Iphone I've been told that the video and audio is not great. We only used the Iphone that we burnt up because someone had a old Iphone that they no longer needed and because of Covid our budget didn't allow us to spend any money on anything other than necessities. Now that things have returned to normal and we have some extra funds in the budget we would like to buy an camera to be used to handle our video needs that has an external microphone on it but we have no idea what to buy. I was looking at some on Amazon tonight but again we lack knowledge on what to look for in the way of specs and features. What we want to do is shoot the video, do whatever we need to upload the video to our PC and then do whatever is needed needed and then upload the video to YouTube. The current setup has the iphone attached to a tripod and a church member starts and stops the video process.. We want whatever we get to be extremely easy to use. Lastly, we want to have a easy to use, quality device that isn't necessarily low ball cheap but not not real expensive either. Can anyone help us out by telling us what we need and buy and/or what to look for so we don't buy something we regret.

This is an opportunity to spend huge amounts of money.  Or not.  Our church went into "Covid" without any sort of organized "broadcast" ministry.  Initially our Junior Warden (one of the two primary  Vestry (lay) leadership positions) with experience in the video arena began by doing a simple pre-recorded service and then we added zoom group efforts together and/or full pre-recorded then assembled/edited services including different clergy, readers from home and the organist/choir director sending out instrumental, by parts for some of it, music, that musicians or singers played or sang to then sent him there recorded part and he assembled them.  All of that was done with camera phones or tablets.

Even after we got back into the building and then until recently, it was done for the most part with phones and tablets.   Some personal, some "extras" people had replaced, etc.  And a range of other gear  Not having actually put it together but having been roped into assisting, now,  I have some insight into what's going on.    (Incidentally, with work or school at home, you may have some resources in your congregation who have been doing similar sorts of things that might be able to help?)

Now that we are back in the building, we broadcast the full services to/with both You Tube and Facebook.  We do use several "cameras" and operators, now fixed  PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras but before inexpensive (cheap!) tripods with camera clamps for phones/tablets and sometimes a bit of camera/tripod movements, too.

Some questions:

Is the facility already miked for sound, from speaking points like a lectern, musicians, clergy miked wireless, etc.?  Is this mixed or run through a PA system or sound board of some sort?

You mentioned your computer.  One or more?  PC or Mac? Any networking, wired or wireless in place?

So, for sound we have an output from the existing sound system

Turns out when using the Iphones/tablets (happened to settle on Mac products because that's what they had more of and for consistency of connectors), ethernet worked better than trying wireless, apparently they got delays with wireless that they couldn't easily work around.

On the computer, they are using OBS Studio (IIRC?) , I don't remember the phone camera ap, I've got IP Webcam on my phone but it's not the one they are using.  NDI? on tablets/phones? and Restream.IO for scheduling and handling feeding the broadcast to YouTube and Facebook but believe that can be done directly, too.  These are all free programs.

OBS Studio takes the audio from it's input, and while we are controlling the cameras and some video feed externally, I believe OBS will allow and control several video feeds.

Since you are only (at this point) doing the sermon, you could maybe do this live, starting streaming from the already running camera and audio and stopping streaming at the end of the serman.  We just do the full service.  Incidentally both FB and YT record the uploads.  Not sure how long they would be kept on your account.

Kind of late so may need to revisit this tomorrow to see if it makes sense.

OP Moondoggy51 New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Off The Mark wrote:

What is the lighting like?

I would characterize it as normal indoor lighting.  Not terribly bright but not dim either.

Iss the voice going in to a PA system?

The pulpit has a mic and the sermon is on carried on a PA system but the camera would not be connected to the PA system.  As mentioned we're currently recording the sermons today on someone's iPhone

How competent is the person doing the editing?

Hard to say.  They are competent enough to do what needs to be done to transfer things from the iPhone to a PC and then do whatever currently needs to be done to upload the video to YouTube.  If there's freeware or an inexpensive piece of software that we need to get to make the job  quicker and easier then we would consider getting that software as part of the camera purchase.  The gentleman recording the sermons today on an iPhone is in his late 70's but he's not a techie.  We have a 20 something recent college grad that is handling everything on the PC side as soon as the video has been uploaded to the PC.

What is your budget?

I would like to say that we could probably go as high as $300 for everything but I would like it to even be lower as long as the quality was there.  Again this doesn't have to be a prime time setup but we want it to be better than shooting it with an iPhone.

OP Moondoggy51 New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Craig Gillette wrote:

Moondoggy51 wrote:

First and foremost I know absolutely nothing about video equipment so if you respond please keep your response as simple as possible.

The church I attend has been recording our church sermons and uploading the video to YouTube. We've already burnt up an Iphone I've been told that the video and audio is not great. We only used the Iphone that we burnt up because someone had a old Iphone that they no longer needed and because of Covid our budget didn't allow us to spend any money on anything other than necessities. Now that things have returned to normal and we have some extra funds in the budget we would like to buy an camera to be used to handle our video needs that has an external microphone on it but we have no idea what to buy. I was looking at some on Amazon tonight but again we lack knowledge on what to look for in the way of specs and features. What we want to do is shoot the video, do whatever we need to upload the video to our PC and then do whatever is needed needed and then upload the video to YouTube. The current setup has the iphone attached to a tripod and a church member starts and stops the video process.. We want whatever we get to be extremely easy to use. Lastly, we want to have a easy to use, quality device that isn't necessarily low ball cheap but not not real expensive either. Can anyone help us out by telling us what we need and buy and/or what to look for so we don't buy something we regret.

Is the facility already miked for sound, from speaking points like a lectern, musicians, clergy miked wireless, etc.? Is this mixed or run through a PA system or sound board of some sort?

Our church is really small. About 9 pews deep. We do have a PA system and a mic at the lectern that amplifies the pastor's sermon but nothing fancy.  Currently we're using an iPhone mounted on a tripod about 12-15 feet from the lectern to capture the sermon

You mentioned your computer. One or more? PC or Mac? Any networking, wired or wireless in place?

We have a Windows 10 PC that's wired to the router.  The router does have wireless capability we just have it wired for faster performance.

So, for sound we have an output from the existing sound system

Turns out when using the Iphones/tablets (happened to settle on Mac products because that's what they had more of and for consistency of connectors), ethernet worked better than trying wireless, apparently they got delays with wireless that they couldn't easily work around.

On the computer, they are using OBS Studio (IIRC?) , I don't remember the phone camera ap, I've got IP Webcam on my phone but it's not the one they are using. NDI? on tablets/phones? and Restream.IO for scheduling and handling feeding the broadcast to YouTube and Facebook but believe that can be done directly, too. These are all free programs.

OBS Studio takes the audio from it's input, and while we are controlling the cameras and some video feed externally, I believe OBS will allow and control several video feeds.

Since you are only (at this point) doing the sermon, you could maybe do this live, starting streaming from the already running camera and audio and stopping streaming at the end of the serman. We just do the full service. Incidentally both FB and YT record the uploads. Not sure how long they would be kept on your account.

Kind of late so may need to revisit this tomorrow to see if it makes sense.

Off The Mark Veteran Member • Posts: 6,608
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Moondoggy51 wrote:

Off The Mark wrote:

What is your budget?

I would like to say that we could probably go as high as $300 for everything but I would like it to even be lower as long as the quality was there. Again this doesn't have to be a prime time setup but we want it to be better than shooting it with an iPhone.

I am sorry but at a $300 budget I can't think of anything to suggest. Maybe a used phone and something like a zoom h1 to take the audio feed directly off the PA / sound mixing board (the editor will have to sync the audio in post, which ain't rocket surgery).

Hopefully others will have better advice than me.

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PerfectMark Regular Member • Posts: 271
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

We are small church, so have a PC connected to the mixing desk and then I just plug my Canon M6ii into the PC using a USB cable and use it as a webcam. I also have a power adapter for it so don't have to worry about batteries running out. You could then live stream the service to Youtube via the PC. Although we use Microsoft Teams as it allows those people stuck at home to be more interactive (e.g. say a prayer). I then upload the video to Youtube afterwards for others to watch later.

Since your budget is small, I would probably look for a cheap 2nd hand camera that supports being used as a webcam (e.g. Canon M50). This is Canon range of cameras that support USB webcam mode:

https://www.canon.co.uk/cameras/eos-webcam-utility/

The recent Canon cameras (starting at M50) or the one of the recent Sony 6000 series would be best as they offer the best autofocus, so less likely to hunt for people if they like moving around when they are speaking.

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Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,804
Re: Need advice on what our church needs

Moondoggy51 wrote:

Craig Gillette wrote:

Moondoggy51 wrote:

First and foremost I know absolutely nothing about video equipment so if you respond please keep your response as simple as possible.

The church I attend has been recording our church sermons and uploading the video to YouTube. We've already burnt up an Iphone I've been told that the video and audio is not great. We only used the Iphone that we burnt up because someone had a old Iphone that they no longer needed and because of Covid our budget didn't allow us to spend any money on anything other than necessities. Now that things have returned to normal and we have some extra funds in the budget we would like to buy an camera to be used to handle our video needs that has an external microphone on it but we have no idea what to buy. I was looking at some on Amazon tonight but again we lack knowledge on what to look for in the way of specs and features. What we want to do is shoot the video, do whatever we need to upload the video to our PC and then do whatever is needed needed and then upload the video to YouTube. The current setup has the iphone attached to a tripod and a church member starts and stops the video process.. We want whatever we get to be extremely easy to use. Lastly, we want to have a easy to use, quality device that isn't necessarily low ball cheap but not not real expensive either. Can anyone help us out by telling us what we need and buy and/or what to look for so we don't buy something we regret.

Is the facility already miked for sound, from speaking points like a lectern, musicians, clergy miked wireless, etc.? Is this mixed or run through a PA system or sound board of some sort?

Our church is really small. About 9 pews deep. We do have a PA system and a mic at the lectern that amplifies the pastor's sermon but nothing fancy. Currently we're using an iPhone mounted on a tripod about 12-15 feet from the lectern to capture the sermon

Can you get audio "out" from the sound system to to the PC's "Audio in?"

You mentioned your computer. One or more? PC or Mac? Any networking, wired or wireless in place?

We have a Windows 10 PC that's wired to the router. The router does have wireless capability we just have it wired for faster performance.

Ethernet also allowed longer cable runs than either HDMI from a camera or Blu-tooth.  It does require conversion from either usb out - Android phones or "Lightning?" for Apple products.  (Newer phones/tablets may also use a usb-c type connector?).

So, for sound we have an output from the existing sound system

Turns out when using the Iphones/tablets (happened to settle on Mac products because that's what they had more of and for consistency of connectors), ethernet worked better than trying wireless, apparently they got delays with wireless that they couldn't easily work around.

On the computer, they are using OBS Studio (IIRC?) , I don't remember the phone camera ap, I've got IP Webcam on my phone but it's not the one they are using. NDI? on tablets/phones? and Restream.IO for scheduling and handling feeding the broadcast to YouTube and Facebook but believe that can be done directly, too. These are all free programs.

OBS Studio takes the audio from it's input, and while we are controlling the cameras and some video feed externally, I believe OBS will allow and control several video feeds.

Since you are only (at this point) doing the sermon, you could maybe do this live, starting streaming from the already running camera and audio and stopping streaming at the end of the serman. We just do the full service. Incidentally both FB and YT record the uploads. Not sure how long they would be kept on your account.

Kind of late so may need to revisit this tomorrow to see if it makes sense.

OBS has a record function  and I believe once you have the camera(s) streaming and audio "in," you could record for later upload/stream. I'm not sure if you can stream/upload and record simultaneously.

I don't know all the "phone" end details as they'd worked that out before I got there  I believe they did use some form of NDI (an app/program for streaming from phone, etc.)  Since they had Apple to ethernet converters and I have Android phone and tablet, I never connected using mine.  But besides  an old "church" Ipad, we used several parishioners' phones or I-pads with the NDI ap.

That suggests with some cajoling, you may have all you need already, if PC to PA to "lectern" camera phone spot wiring works out, and if you have another phone or tablet or two available.

There's a large OBS using community so "support" is out there  It's free.  I believe the NDI or similar aps are free or not very expensive.  You don't need full on 4K HDR, phones easily handle the usual resolutions/frame rates for YT or FB.  I think we actually got better image quality when using the phones over the later installed cameras.

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