Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
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Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Postby slaugh » Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:06 am

I'm looking to upgrade our webconferencing camera for our stake conference broadcasts. The church has been recommending the Sony EVI-D70 on the wiki for several years now and it seems like it is starting to become a little dated. I am wanting to see if there was another camera that is recommended by this community for about the same price.

Here is what I'm looking for in a camera:

SD Video: We are not broadcasting in HD and wont be for the near future. If I could find something with an HD output in order to future-proof the system, I would consider it.
Price: Up to $1000
Remote PTZ: It will be mounted high up on the wall and I would need to control it
Picture Quality: Excellent. This is the primary reason the upgrade the system. We currently use the sony handicam and the quality is terrible. We will be using the Meetinghouse Webcast software on High quality settings.

I appreciate any recommendations.

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Re: Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Postby michaelfish » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:47 pm

The camera the church is currently recommending is Sony's EVI-D80 for $815.00 USD (, sign in, search for WEBCAST, look at the bottom of the page). This camera is a current model and replaces the discontinued EVI-D70.

I'm constantly looking for comparable PTZ cameras but so far I've discovered most are deficient in one respect or another (for choices under $1,000).

If you're not satisfied with the EVI-D70 or 80 picture quality, look at Sony's BRC line of PTZ cameras (BRC-xxx). They're broadcast quality, fully remote (every setting), have super-smooth operation and are designed for worship services. For instance, the Sony BRC-300 is a 3-CCD professional broadcast camera who's back-end operation is just about the best you can get. The picture quality is 600 TV lines, zoom is 12x (48x digital), and has optional SDI, component or RGB outputs (with card). Although this camera is thousands of dollars new, you can pick up a used one in good condition about $1,000 USD.

One camera which I would love to test is the KATO KT-H868. This is a brand-new Chinese produced (Sony EVI-D70 look-a-like) has very impressive specifications like a 2.1 Mega pixel count (16x9) CMOS image sensor, HDMI and analog video output, VISCA and PELCO protocols for remote control compatibility (major brand PTZ controllers) as well as control over white balance, gain, etc., a pretty decent zoom (18x but only 3.4 degrees at full telephoto) and a price of $350 (plus shipping) in lots of 30. I’m looking forward to some reviews because specifications don't always tell the whole story.

For instance, a recently tested HD 1080p PTZ camera looked REALLY good on paper but we found it was deficient in the following areas:

    1. The 1080p SDI (Serial Digital Interface) output was not compatible with the new Black Magic Design ATEM Production Studio 4K (or TVS).
    2. Any change in zoom resulted in a change of focus, so the picture went fuzzy until it settled on a new object
    3. The camera consistently focused on the background (not the speaker), unless it was tilted down so until the podium filled the screen, and then waited for the focus to settle before tilting back up.
    4. Override of iris was not possible
    5. Adjustment of the white balance was not possible
the list goes on, but you get the idea...

When looking for a PTZ camera, there are several things to consider which makes the perfect choice VERY expensive.

    1. Picture quality - High-end Canon, Sony and Vaddio manufactures will have the best picture quality and it is always something you just need to spend more money on to get great results. Don't forget that your environment has a significant influence on the quality of the picture (adequate light, correct color temperature, uniform light spectrum from bulbs, etc.) as well as fine tuning your camera settings. Our old EVI-D70's looks really good if the iris is adjusted one notch and color balance is tweaked. When it comes to detail, compare resolution and pixel count. Some manufactures state 720p is HD and others scale the output. 1 to 2 million pixels only gets about 1080i@30. I would suggest on 3 Mega pixels or more for true high definition 1080p@60 (if you're looking for HD)
    2. Zoom Ratio - IMO, forget about digital zoom. Optical ratios of 18x (about 2.5 degrees) or better can achieve tight head-and-shoulder shots from 75' back (typically the back of the chapel pews) so you can crop out the choir and frame just the speaker.
    3. Video Output - As we transition from analog to digital, make sure your equipment is compatible. Analog, Component, and the many SDI formats need to be considered in order to connect to other devices. In addition, make sure you're not wasting fantastic HD on an upload speed of less than 7 Mbps (1.5 Mbps for standard definition).
    4. Latency - Less expensive digital video equipment (cameras, converters, capture devices, etc.), and especially surveillance cameras, may have slower processors. The longer it takes to get a digital signal processed, converted and so on, the more the picture will lag behind, resulting in the audio arriving in your ears before the picture. Audio delay processors can sync the sound back up, but that's not practical when the speaker and sound is live (in a stake center chapel or cultural hall). In addition, latency in PTZ operations makes it difficult to 'fine-tune' a pan or tilt. I'll sometimes I'll need to compensate for latency while panning or tilting by anticipating the correct composition on the screen (stopping the pan or tilt before the picture frame is correct) because the camera continues to move for a split second after I let go of the controls.
    5. Smoothness of Pan/Tilt/Zoom – Some PTZ cameras tend to ‘ratchet’ when attempting to pan or tilt very slowly. Zooms can also jerk when just a ‘bump’ is needed. Also the number of incremental PTZ speeds will make a difference if you adjust the camera while 'live'. The more steps or increments the camera allows, the smoother each movement will appear on screen.
    6. Remote Control – If you settle for remote control of just PTZ operation, you won’t be able to control the brightness, backlight, color balance, etc. This is one area Sony excels in. The ability to fine tune each camera allows compensation tweak and fine-tune composition to compensate for environmental issues (mixture of various colors of light, too much light in the background, etc.) and allows each camera look the same.
    7. Upgradability – Analog cameras are being phased out and digital cameras are becoming the standard. Cameras with both digital and analog outputs allow for growth and expansion of a system, instead of becoming obsolete.
    8. Type of video connection – Currently the distance raw HDMI signals can be extended is about 40 feet. Special (amplified) cables, baluns or extenders need to be employed to extend the signal all the way back to the equipment. The SDI digital signal is becoming standard because of its ability to be run long distances over standard RG-59 or better coaxial cable, but SDI protocols are not always compatible with other equipment. Camera outputs need to be considered.

From my experience with the EVI-D70, the 80 model would be my choice for under $1,000 but I welcome other’s suggestions and experience with PTZ cameras.

Any other suggestions?

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Re: Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Postby rolandc » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:52 am

I would wait till the new webcasting system is in place BEFORE making this decision. Very Soon!

The new system will pickup an IP (or networked) streaming video.

SDI is great. Will take over in the future. will run on cheap coax up to a 1000 feet.

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Re: Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Postby ssintay » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:51 am


(Off topic) Will you clarify your comments? Is the church producing a new webcasting system? or are you referring to a specific installation in your stake?


Thanks for the outstanding input.

We have enjoyed the stability of the EVI-D70 and in the last year when we wanted a 2nd camera, we went with the same.

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Re: Alternate Camera Recommendations for the Sony EVI-D70

Postby pete.arnett » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:28 pm

It has been rumored that the older version of Webcast is being replaced by a newer version during 2015, see beta link

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