PTZ cameras help Finnish live events company switch to hybrid

AV production company SVV are used to producing huge events, from international summits to large-scale trade exhibitions. Find out how Canon CR-N500 PTZ cameras have helped reinvent their business offering in a new hybrid form.
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Adjusting to the new normal

“We cannot organise any indoor events in the summer here in Finland,” declares Mika Vakkilainen, CEO of Suomen Videoviestintä (SVV). “No one would come! Because the Finnish people would be enjoying their summer homes, after the long winter.”

In normal times, his company SVV would provide AV solutions for around 100 events a year, often based in their home Messukeskus Helsinki, Finland’s largest Expo and Convention Centre. They specialise in everything from video and sound to projections, lighting, and stage rigging. Spanning more than eight football pitches, Messukeskus itself attracts more than a million visitors a year.

However, the Finns have been hibernating at home for a different reason other than the weather. Disruption due to the global pandemic has inevitably led to a rethink of not only SVV’s business model and service offering, but also the event industry as a whole.

Client - Suomen Videoviestintä (SVV)
Location - Helsinki, Finland.


    In 2021, only two of their live events were given the green light, resulting in a loss of around €10 million. Going back to the initial outbreak in 2020, that amount rises to about €30 million, with nearly half the staff laid off. Whereas live-event production was the business’s bread and butter work before, now Mika and his team had to pivot quickly. They’ve since expanded into streaming hybrid events. This shift to online broadcasting has in turn led to an increased demand for remote camera systems with excellent image quality.


    Canon provided two sets of new CR-N500 PTZ cameras alongside RC-IP100 remote controllers that together provided the optimum price point versus tech spec for the client.

“ Can clients see the difference in picture quality? With the 4K CR-N500 the improvement is clear ”

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Products that were used to achieve this

Canon’s new range of PTZ cameras close the distance with unrivalled clarity.

All in the details

“For an upcoming event, we are filming 10 different streams across five meeting rooms at the same time, so of course, we need a lot of cameras for that,” says Akseli Oinonen, SVV technician.

“We already own the Canon XF105 and XF305 Professional Camcorders as part of our live event kit, so adding the CR-N500 made total sense from an integration point of view, as well as in terms of price versus spec. Before, we were using another brand’s outdated PTZs which could no longer provide the quality we needed.”

Mika adds: “The price point compared to the image quality was perfect for us. There was a competitor camera which was 50% more expensive – so out of our budget. We also must consider how much we can charge if we rent it out and see whether the client values the difference. Can they see the difference in picture quality? With the 4K CR-N500 the improvement is clear. Clients love to see it.”

Since many of the exhibitions and events that SVV produce will have notoriously tricky lighting, the CR-N500’s key features are the large 4K 1.0-type CMOS sensor and DIGIC DV6 processor, which help retain incredible image integrity even in challenging lighting conditions.

“This model performs well in low light because of the 1.0-type CMOS Sensor, which is great for shooting in varied lighting conditions,” says Akseli. “You can see the improvement when you stream it and look at it from the computer screen. If you compare side by side, the difference in quality is great,” Mika adds.

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“This model performs well in low light because of the 1.0-type CMOS sensor, which is the main thing for us.”

A matter of time

For any production company, set-up and dismantling equipment can be just as important to factor in. “The old cameras required three cables to connect. With these Canon PTZs, we now just need one ethernet cable for the power, the control and the picture! It takes half the time to set up and take it down.”

Such ease of connectivity is a valuable time-saver, particularly when you have several cameras to set up. Integration into a range of workflows is also convenient, according to Mika.

The accompanying RC-IP100 units also offered an attractive price point for SVV. Combining high-precision movements with slow speeds down to 0.1Åã/s, the intuitive controller did everything they needed it to – at the right price. When you’re buying in bulk, economies of scale matter. The value-for-money of the complete package was unbeatable, compared to other quotes the company received.

SVV has always believed in investing in new technology, the Canon CR-N500 being the perfect example. “I remember how happy the team was when they realised how good an investment the Canon cameras were. With the latest equipment, we find ways to improve and make things easier, while maintaining a high level of quality.”

The challenge now is less about maximising every square metre in a physical space and more about having the right gear that can close the distance for an audience from afar. That said, Mika and his team can’t wait to get back to “real business”. By which he means, real exhibitions, with real faces, in real spaces. When that time comes, he’ll no doubt be well equipped.

Diagram, Photos, Cameras

Case Study Schematic: SVV (Large Event)

- Larger multi-cam events output via SDI through vision mixer before streaming
- Control of cameras via XC protocol and power via POE++
- May use laptop for control instead if necessary

8 X CR-N500

Case Study Schematic: SVV (Large Event)

- SVV do not have fixed/permanent installations
- Each event served by required number of cameras to cover the event
- Control and output options chosen to suit the event

8 X CR-N500
2 X RC-IP100

Diagram, Photos, Cameras


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