Out of the Box
You can pop a couple of AAA’s into the remote and, after its initial self-test, the camera immediately responds to its paired remote. The motion of the camera itself is wildly inaudible. I couldn’t hear the camera make a sound. No movement sound, no focus sound, no zoom sound. It’s almost eerie. That sort of silence is absolutely essential in the church production world when you need to take shots without disturbing the created presence of the room, something my team works especially hard to craft and maintain. A perfectly quiet PTZ is absolutely a plus, and the nature of the hardware movement exceeded my expectations.
Getting signal from the camera is as simple as plugging in via USB (you could also use the SDI or HDMI outs) and opening a program like OBS on your computer. Add the camera, and you’re rolling. That’s pretty hard to beat.
Quality and Control
The video looks good. Even though this is just the 1080p offering, we all know there’s good 1080p and, like… “1080p.” This is the good 1080p, even from the small 1 / 2.8 CMOS sensor. It’s crisp, clean, and quick. Additionally, I was able to test out the camera in some low light settings and found that the sensor kept noise to a minimum, which churches will find handy in sometimes less-than-perfect front-of-house lighting. This camera will take care of you.
Controlling the camera without a PTZ joystick is surprisingly customizable. The web UI controls for video over IP offered speed controls for both the camera movement and the zoom, and I was able to get the camera to move predictably smooth from the remote control within seconds of boot-up, which is a real win for someone who needs a solid PTZ that can work right out of the box. If you’re like me and don’t have PTZ joysticks just lying around, the remote is a practical solution, and the user-friendly web UI makes sense immediately, so I found it easy to navigate around and start playing with the camera parameters.
Tracking & Zoom
BZBGear nailed it with the image quality, and they did it again with the auto-tracking. I was deeply impressed.
Wanting to really put it to the test, I cranked the auto-tracking speeds all the way up and started moving around quickly, trying to trip up the camera. The Adamo-JR had no problems keeping up. I thought, too, about how our lead pastor often makes quick movements, so I made quick sidesteps, and it had no trouble following me. You’d have to jog or jump to get out of frame. Additionally, as long as you stay about five feet away from the camera, the headroom is natural with a smooth follow, just as if someone were controlling the camera, if not better.
That being said, you can actually walk away from the camera and keep a quality image. Each model offers a different level of zoom (12x, 20x, 30x), and the zoom does not disappoint while the tracking effortlessly maintains headroom and shot continuity. In theory, you won’t have to worry about someone walking away from the camera since most presenters keep to a specific plane on the stage, but the zoom offers a lot of flexibility in a two or three-shot setup—wide, medium, and close-up. The 30x zoom will more than “get it done,” and all in 1080p60.
The BZBGear BG-Adamo-JR is a well-built camera packed with features. The outputs will fit into any system—HDMI, SDI, USB, and LAN cover all the bases, and you get a 3.5mm audio input if you want to utilize some kind of external microphone as well as power over ethernet if you don’t have a plug nearby for the 12V power supply. Not to mention the on-board recording capability via SD card or its built-in streaming capabilities (no encoder needed). The camera is also available in NDI|HX3 and Dante AV-H models for seamless network integration. The Adamo-JR really is a one-stop shop for any church looking for an affordable, high-quality streaming camera. My impression is impressed.
Joseph is a minister and the Production Director at LifeMission Church. He’s led church production for over a decade & has a degree in Music Business and Journalism from Ferris State University. Follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Substack