Connecting citizens and government through the power of Canon PTZ cameras

As the pandemic hit, the government of Provincie Drenthe wanted to maintain communication both internally and with the public – Canon PTZ cameras made this happen.

Indoors but still updated

How do you maintain communication with over 400,000 people that need guidance and leadership during a pandemic? That was the question on the hands of the local government in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Fortunately, thanks to the help of Canon PTZ cameras, Provincie Drenthe’s in-house studio helped them keep the local public up to date.

Client: Provincie Drenthe
Location: Drenthe, The Netherlands

  • The Challenge

    The biggest task Provincie Drenthe faced, was keeping internal departments, partners, and civilians up to date with news in Drenthe, without a big team of specialist video content producers. They wanted to create a studio that could be used for a broad range of purposes, from town hall meetings, to live streams. However, as is often the case with government, budgets were tight – any public money spent would be scrutinised. That is why they needed equipment that could create a big production feel without breaking the bank.

  • The Solution

    Provincie Drenthe turned to Canon to unpick this challenge. They bought four units of the CR-N300 PTZ cameras and with these alone were able to set up a flexible, easy to use studio.

“The PTZ cameras encourage us to experiment with new things.”

Products that were used to achieve this

Products that were used to achieve this

Pastures new

“Everything we do now is new to us. The PTZ cameras encourage us to experiment with new things.” says Harold de Haan, Senior Content Specialist at Provincie Drenthe. His was one of the first province councils to get their content studio up and running, and it’s already paying off.

Harold knew that the future of Provincie Drenthe would be led mostly through digital communication, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 that he realised just how much their organisation would depend on it.

Thanks to the PTZ cameras, Harold’s team can now broadcast live from their studio, as well as create pre-produced content. The result is a real upgrade on their two-way communication and information-sharing output.

“We noticed that when we have information to share, we attract a lot more citizens through digital,” says Harold.

Not only does that gain public trust and confidence, but it allows them to view and share high-quality content from the comfort of their own home: “I was surprised it looks so good, and the viewers’ reaction was even better.”

“The Canon cameras gave us a platform full of possibilities, which we didn’t have before. I’ve never created a studio set-up like this, so it’s a first for me personally and for Provincie Drenthe.”


Canon quality

The premium picture quality of the CR-N300s added authority and credibility to the video content produced.

“We had already heard very good things,” Harold explains, “so we knew it would be the camera we wanted. We needed the best gear at a reasonable price – it had to look very professional.” Once the team tested the equipment, they were sold.

Not only was the quality impressive, but also the level of interactivity, which attracted a large audience tuning in from home. The CR-N300’s Real Time Messenger Protocol (RTMP) feature makes live streaming effortless.

“We stream by YouTube and then we get people to interact live using WhatsApp,” adds Studio Manager Hans Dijkstra. “We can use [third-party software] Phoenix to set a tickertape at the bottom reading out people’s messages!”


“I always use the Face Tracking Auto Focus. It’s very helpful, as I have to do everything by myself.”


One man, four cameras

With just one studio manager, they needed an easy-to-use production solution – especially when managing a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions during their monthly internal talk shows.

Four units of CR-N300 cameras later, they’re now able to cover all areas of the studio usually consisting of one host and four guests.

The Hybrid Auto Focus capabilities make their production more seamless between camera movements, especially for one-man band, Hans: “I always use the Face Tracking Auto Focus. It’s very helpful, as I have to do everything by myself.”

This is no mean feat, but the compatibility of the CR-N300 comes to the fore. Hans uses a Skaarhoj joystick controller to manipulate all four cameras.

“Initially, I had to control the cameras with arrow keys! But now we used the Phoenix software, the stream deck software and the Skaarhoj to communicate with the cameras. It was very important that there could be communication between the companion software and the cameras.”

For Hans, however, the most important and useful feature of the Canon PTZ cameras are the Pre-sets: “I’m controlling all the cameras by myself. That’s why the Pre-sets are so useful. Every camera has six, so I can change between the cameras very easily.”

And as their creative knowledge grows, so does their hunger and passion for innovation – with live audience shows being a future goal for the studio.

Hans concludes: “I’m proud that I can do a whole TV show on my own. This camera makes everything possible.”

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