My church has asked me to do some research re buying x3 cameras they intend to use for recording and occasionally live streaming (e.g. Christmas) church services to other rooms in the church and across the Net. Last year they purchased a specialised PC based card for streaming…. and it turned out to be a challenge. It was mostly significant audio sync/delay issues and camera compatibility/black frames when cutting between cameras via the accompanying software.

Unfortunately I wasn't involved in the decision/purchase process, otherwise I would have ensured a bit more research was done. To be fair I doubt they could have afforded a proper gen-locked system, but perhaps something a little more user friendly/stable might have transpired. Nonetheless they now have budget to purchase some new cameras to use with this hardware and this time I am being involved.

Anyway, with a budget of £350-£550 per camera I assume this will put them in the domestic camcorder market. Since I rarely use cameras in this sector (other than DSLR's) I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to start looking for an appropriate model. I imagine there are a lot of domestic camcorder choices out there…. unless the tide has turned due to smartphone and tablets. So I'm hoping a few of you might be able to point me in the direction of 2-3 cameras that are worth a look. Once I’ve narrowed things down I’ll go back to the manufacturers of the aforementioned streaming hardware and double-check compatibility.

Here's the main criteria for these cameras.

1) They need to be 1080, although switchable 720 is a nice (but not a must have) option
2) Preferably they would be brand new, but not necessarily latest technology/version i.e., discounted discontinued model is fine
3) Good clean low light capability is a high priority given the low light levels in the church
4) Most of the time the cameras will be in the following configuration; Cam 1) a wide shot of the inside of the church and congregation, Cam 2) a shot of the stage/podium at the front of the church, Cam 3) a MCU of the minister/speaker. Cam 3) is the only one likely to be manned (on a tripod) and thus it would be useful (note essential) to have a lanc input to couple it with a zoom bar/controller
5) The distance from Cam 3 to the podium is approx. 10-12m, so the camcorder will need a decent optical reach/zoom whilst still maintaining an adequate wide capability for the Cam 1 perspective
6) For reasons already covered it would be preferable if all the camcorders are the same brand/model to avoid further hardware conflicts.
7) I’m aware some DSLR’s now come with remote Wi-Fi control capabilities (e.g. Nikon D5300). Given Cam 1 & 2 are likely to be mounted above head height on pillars, any remote control feature would be rather handy…. but not essential.
Onboard audio ports are of lesser importance since sound will be added via the church sound desk.

Thank you if you’ve taken the time to read all this… and particularly if you've offered advice