James Madison University Buys Hitachi Z-HD6000 Cameras

James Madison University selected Hitachi Z‑HD6000 HDTV cameras as part a major upgrade and refresh of the equipment in its instructional television studio.

The School of Media Arts and Design (SMAD) at James Madison University, a Virginia public institution, integrates traditional concepts, values, and skills with new and evolving technologies in its media education programs. 

Three Hitachi Kokausai Z-HD6000s are deployed in the SMAD studio for hands-on instruction in a broad array of multiple-camera production disciplines, from media arts fundamentals to filmmaking and television news. Weekly newscasts produced as part of the university’s Broadcast Journalist curriculum are seen live on its on-campus, HD cable network and online, while select programs from SMAD’s Studio Production class including variety and talk shows are also seen on the school’s closed-circuit channel. 

Supplied by systems integrator Digital Video Group, the cameras are connected to HITACHI CU-HD500 camera control units (CCUs) using the studio’s SMPTE fiber infrastructure. John Hodges, technology manager for SMAD, points to the Z‑HD6000’s uncommonly rich array of built-in features – such as dual-channel communications, and prompter/floor monitor power and video at the camera head – as simplifying wiring while delivering additional benefits. “It’s so nice that we don’t have a bunch of extra cables hanging off the camera that the students could get tangled up in, or even just looking unsightly on the studio floor,” he noted.

Jon T. Wenger, chief engineer for James Madison University’s School of Media Arts & Design, with one of the school’s Hitachi Z-HD6000 cameras.

Jon T. Wenger, chief engineer for James Madison University’s School of Media Arts & Design, with one of the school’s Hitachi Z-HD6000 cameras.

“As technology manager, I always try to keep up with what’s out there and what other users are saying, so I was aware that they were really good cameras,” he said. “I knew they would look great, so I had no hesitation whatsoever in switching to HITACHI cameras over our previous vendor, and they definitely did not disappoint. I’m just thrilled with the Z‑HD6000’s picture quality” remarked Hodges.

Hodges also highlights the cameras’ seven-inch VF-701HDA high-resolution, color viewfinders as a significant upgrade from their previous units, and the ability to transfer setup parameters easily from one camera to another as both efficient and effective. “Our students really enjoy having the menu-driven, color viewfinders, which are great for critical focus and adjustments, and make it easier for them to follow directors’ instructions,” he said. “And we really like that we can set up one camera and copy its settings to the others, so we get an absolutelyconsistent look across all three cameras.”

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