Dutch content creation company MotionDezign deploys Canon PTZ remote cameras to film high-quality, classical concert recordings fit for broadcast, bringing viewers closer to the musicians like never before.

A visual symphony

From the world-renowned Concertgebouw and the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam to the Liszt Concours in Utrecht, MotionDezign specialises in capturing classical music concerts, performances and events around the Netherlands. They cover around 25 productions a year, the majority of which are recordings. Operating globally, the recordings are often then used by broadcasters, predominantly the Dutch Public Broadcasting foundation or Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO).

Client: MotionDezign
Location: Amsterdam / Eindhoven, Netherlands

  • The Challenge

    MotionDezign aimed to deliver high-quality TV productions of live classical concerts and corporate events with a small production team on a medium budget. They needed PTZ cameras that could perform under the most challenging of lighting conditions which differed from concert hall to concert hall. The multi-cam system would need to be positioned strategically to capture all the various soloists in the orchestra, allowing for seamless video sequences as the music unfolds.

  • The Solution

    To help capture concerts fit for broadcast, the company ordered 8 units of CR-N500s and a RC-IP100 Controller. This created a competitive difference in image quality to win more work from clients. As well as improve overall production value with 4K, the Canon PTZ cameras became a mainstay of their production package, allowing them to capture concerts in more immersive, innovative ways.


“No other brand has the same focus and performance of these cameras – and I’ve owned lots of PTZs”

Low light. High performance.

“You need to work with the lighting that’s already set for the concert by the lighting engineer. We don’t have the luxury of choosing our optimal lighting conditions. Our previous PTZs were not up to that challenge,” explains Harmen van 't Loo, Founder of MotionDezign, who decided to upgrade his gear in the name of better performance. Based on his specific needs, local dealer Vocas proposed the Canon CR-N500 PTZ camera.

“I was blown away by the sharpness and speed of the Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus. It was unbelievable how spot on and accurate it was straight out of the box,” Harmen says. “No other brand has the same focus and performance of these cameras – and I’ve owned lots of PTZs. The face-tracking is also excellent!”

Harmen’s team described the picture as “excellent”, “crisp” and “sharp” – even in low light. At a typical concert, they set up at least five PTZs, one left and right pair towards the back of the hall, another pair at either edge of the stage, plus one nestled within the orchestral players – mostly close to the percussion. “If the soloist is a pianist, then we make a top-down shot of the keys,” adds Harmen, bringing unique perspectives to the experience.

Control is key for switching camera views and picking out soloists in the orchestra. These days the team uses a Skaarhoj PTZ Extreme to precisely control the CR-N500s with a single operator. The result is a more intimate, multi-layered spectacle, closing the distance between the musicians and the audience.


Key changes

The 4K UHD resolution proved to be a major upgrade. Other improvements included the low noise and sharpness, due to the large 1.0-type CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV6 processor, as well as the depth of field. The 15x optical zoom also offered impressive flexibility in larger venues.

"We are using the Canon CR-N500 PTZ cameras more and more. Each time our setup gets noticed, we receive more interest in our services, leading to more work,” explains Harmen. “So we are seeing if we need even more PTZs to meet increased demand. I’ve been experimenting with them in virtual productions. But we need time to calibrate the hardware and explore its full potential," he ends.

In the Canon CR-N500 PTZ cameras, MotionDezign has found a professional solution to create a cinematic symphony, broadcasting classical music from the Netherlands to TV screens with outstanding precision and clarity.


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