church camera installation

Where should you install your PTZ Camera?

"I've been asked the question so many times by church leaders, "Where should I install a PTZ camera?"  The truth is that there are no right or wrong answers. The best place to put it will depend on your needs and your budget."

When your house of worship decides to add a few PTZ cameras so that you can live-stream and record events such as worship services or live productions, one of the challenges you’ll run into is where to put these cameras. After all, unless you want the hassle of using a handheld camera for these events, finding a place to install your cameras is crucial. For the most part, you have two options. One is to permanently install your cameras on the wall or ceiling, and the other is to set them up on tripods. The latter is good for those who intend to transport the camera from one location to another, but if you want something more permanent – and most people do – having them installed somewhere is a smart option.

At one time, houses of worship used camcorders and even large studio cameras, but both of these presented unique problems. Mounting them on tripods took up a lot of floor space, and mounting camcorders came with its own set of problems. This is why most houses of worship today use pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras that are permanently mounted somewhere instead. Indeed, because of all the things it can do and the fact that it can be mounted on a pole, the wall, or even the ceiling, these cameras have solved a lot of the problems churches and synagogues had when they first started recording and live-streaming their events.

Deciding exactly where to install your PTZ cameras doesn’t have to be a hassle. Below are some things to consider before you make up your mind for sure.

Center Rear of Auditorium

The center rear of the auditorium is a great place to install a PTZ camera because it shows the entire congregation and everyone on the stage as well. Because PTZ cameras are consistently working to adjust to their surroundings to get the best shots, you’ll be able to get some great shots of the entire congregation once they’re all set up properly. In this situation, you won’t want to mount the camera too high because it could accidentally end up scanning the ceiling if you’re not careful.

With this position, you can either set the camera up on a tripod or mount it to the wall, but again, the positioning of the camera has to be just right. If your house of worship has two separate sections with a large aisle in the middle of them, you can place the camera adjacent to that aisle to keep the views coming from the camera more balanced.

Midway Wall Mount

This is a permanent installation option but works well because you can place the camera on any wall in the room. You’ll want the camera installed in a position that isn’t too high or too low, and you can easily test out the positions by standing against the wall and looking out to test your view. You can install the camera on a back wall or even one or both of the side walls, and one of the biggest advantages of utilizing this position is that you can get some great shots of both the congregation and the people who are preaching the sermon. If you install a PTZ camera on both of the side walls of the sanctuary, you can get some great shots indeed.

On Stage

The on-stage view tends to be popular for people who may be watching the sermon from home because they can see lots of audience reactions as the sermon is taking place. Placing the camera directly behind the speaker is the best way to catch these reactions, and this is also a good position if you have a preacher who likes to move around a lot during the sermon. The PTZ camera is perfect in this position because it will get shots of both the preacher and the congregation during each sermon, presenting the viewers with several different views of what’s going on in the church or synagogue.

Whether you’re broadcasting live for people who cannot be at the service in person or recording it for people who will be watching it later on, installing a camera directly behind the preacher is always a unique way for people to view the services.

Audience POV

Installing PTZ cameras that show what’s going on from the audience’s point of view is undoubtedly one of the most popular ways to record or live-stream a sermon. There are actually several ways you can do this, but one very popular option is to place the camera in the front row of the facility and face it slightly upward. Not only will viewers get a feel for what it’s like to actually be there in the front row, but they’ll also feel like a real part of the service, as if they truly belong there. By facing the camera upward a bit, you’ll be able to catch everything that’s going on in the front of the audience, allowing your viewers not to miss anything important.

Regardless of which position you choose for installing your PTZ camera, keep in mind two things: how and where you will have to run your wires to install your camera there, and whether or not any fire or building codes will be broken by doing so. You can’t just install PTZ cameras without doing a little planning ahead of time. Once you take these two things into consideration, it is much less likely you’ll regret the decision to install your cameras in a certain location.

You should also know that most cameras come with all of the mounting hardware you’ll need to install the cameras anywhere you want. As a general rule, the only thing you’ll need is a screwdriver and maybe a drill. This means you’ll be able to install your PTZ cameras shortly after taking them out of the box, allowing you to start using them almost immediately.

Knowing where to install your PTZ cameras isn’t as difficult as you might think, and this information should be enough to help you get started on making the right decision.

Conclusion

If you're trying to figure out where is the best place for your PTZ Camera, we have a few suggestions. The Center Rear of Auditorium would be perfect if you want an all-encompassing view of the stage and audience, but it may not offer quite as good audio quality as some other options. You could also try Midway Wall Mounting the camera in order to capture both what's happening on stage and what people are doing while seated in their seats at the same time! It might be more difficult than with our center rear option, which will provide better sound quality anyways.

Finally, there's always mounting your PTZ Camera On Stage itself - this allows you to really get into each performer’s head. ;)

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