Open Forum

Camera recommendations

  • 1.  Camera recommendations

    Posted 06-22-2021 11:12
    Happy Summer.

    We are spoiling ourselves and equipping our theater with a live camera feed to the green room and box office, so the house staff and offstage actors can keep up with the show more easily.

    Anyone else have this? If so, what make/model of video camera are you using? This and any other advice would be appreciated!

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    Josh Kauffman
    Teacher, Thespian Society/Drama Club sponsor
    Winfield City Schools
    Winfield, AL
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  • 2.  RE: Camera recommendations

    Posted 06-23-2021 07:05
    Hi Josh,
    We got a set of security cameras for our closed circuit monitoring.  We could move them very easily as they are small and then we place them where we need them, depending on the configuration we are using in the black box. (It's a small, 100 seat space which is flexible). In addition, ours have night vision, which allows us to see when things are set or a stage is clear during a blackout.  We've been using them for more than 10 years.  I think it was a set of 8 cameras for about $250? (It was a while ago) and then we cabled it all to our booth (in our black box) and our scene shop-so both I and the tech director could keep an eye on things during a show and not necessarily have to be in the black box (there's not a good space for us to be during a show).  ​We also move a few to back stage during our MainStage shows, to view the stage from the wings.  Also used to view our conductor, as we can put a camera focused on him in the pit, so those who are singing reinforcement from back stage during a musical can see his direction.  He directs to the camera when he knows the kids are also singing back stage.

    For the longest time, we used an audio baby monitor to get the sound from our black box down to our scene shop (about 50 feet away down a hallway).  We have since replaced that with a microphone in the middle of the black box ceiling and an audio feed--but it was a cheap and effective solution.

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    Holly Thompson
    Worthington Kilbourne High School
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  • 3.  RE: Camera recommendations

    Posted 06-23-2021 11:18
    Hi, Josh.  I don't know if I can be of any help or not.  We have a great stage monitor system that I would HIGHLY recommend.  The camera is mounted to the front of our balcony rail and feeds directly to the stage manager's console backstage.  From there the signal is sent to monitors in all the dressing rooms and the box office. By pointing the remote at the stage manager's monitor (not the camera itself), you can zoom in and out, pan from side to side and up and down.  It has an automatic focus on it that keeps the picture consistently clear.

    Here's the issue.  No where on the camera or remote is there a brand name, model or serial number.  The camera is bolted to a bracket mounted on the front of the balcony, so I can't see the bottom of it.  Unfortunately this is a system that was installed before I came to work here, and I can't seem to find any paperwork on it either.

    The monitor is an LG, but I think any monitor would actually work.

    I know much of the equipm that was purchased for our theater came from Sweetwater Sound.   You might check with them.

    Good luck.
    --
    Terry McGonigle
    Operations Manager, John Legend Theater
    700 S. Limestone, Suite A
    Springfield, OH  45505
    937-505-2944  (office)
    479-430-4878  (cell)
    District Website:  www.scsdoh.org


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  • 4.  RE: Camera recommendations

    Posted 26 days ago
    I have a video system that provides a feed to our backstage/green room/lobbies. This system uses multiple cameras that allow us to live stream concerts/events. The primary camera we use is https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1111115-REG/panasonic_aw_he40skpj_aw_he40sk_ptz_camera_with.html  If you are looking for a good PTZ camera, Panasonic makes very durable equipment. I'm going on 2 years now with no issues. We did the cameras that can do 30x optical zoom, if you don't really need close ups their camera's with less zoom will work fine for you.

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    John Vales
    Logansport High School
    Logansport IN
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