Monomoy Regional High School, located in Harwich, Massachusetts, is confident that the best way to train and educate students is by exposing them to the same state-of-the-art tools, scenarios and curriculum that they’ll encounter in their higher education experiences, as well as in the professional world. That is precisely why Steve Cass, Digital Media/TV Production teacher and TV Manager at Monomoy Regional High School uses a number of Sony’s durable, high-quality studio, PTZ, mirrorless and cinema-style cameras with his students.
Employing a mix of Sony’s latest camera technology, including HXC-FB80 studio cameras for use in the school’s TV studio, XDCAM camcorders for remote productions, SRG series streaming PTZ cameras, used in the school’s Media Center to capture school committee meetings, a handheld 4K Super35 cinema camcorder and Alpha 7 III full-frame mirrorless cameras for Digital Media students’ use on YouTube and local cable projects, Cass’ fleet of updated technology helps reinforce his philosophy of providing his students with a competitive advantage and edge that will serve them now and into the future.
Last year, when Cass was tasked with refreshing the technology used in the Digital Media courses and by the TV Production team, he sought studio camera options that would be “up to date, 4K-ready, industry-standard options.” Additionally, he was looking for tools that “the students would see in college and in the real world, which will prepare them for meaningful experiences and afford them opportunities that will give them a leg up on other students that they are competing with.”
Cass worked with Ockers, an AV consultant in Massachusetts, to help with the selection of Monomoy’s upgraded studio technology. He explained, “My district has been working with Ockers for a few years and when I met with the team and discussed my upgrade needs, they were very receptive, and provided insights and recommendations and detailed the pros and cons of each option.”
Ultimately, with Ockers’ guidance, Cass decided upon Sony’s dependable and cost-effective HXC-FB80 full HD studio cameras for his television studio, which produce powerful images that underscore Sony’s history and heritage in imaging and provide a logical path to 4K/HD HDR live production. As Cass noted, “The HXC-FB80 cameras allowed us to stay current while expanding what we are able to do in the future. The added features, along with the ease to integrate into any production was one of the many reasons for choosing this versatile camera.” He continued, “The picture quality is superb, the images are crisp and detailed, and the colors are rich and accurate, so we’re very happy. In addition, the learning curve for the students to learn was pretty short. We have only had the equipment for a few months and the students are having no issues using the cameras. They instinctively know how to operate the controls and the CCU.”
Additional reasons Cass cited for his selection of Sony’s technology were the brand’s legacy and reliability, as well as the value. He stated, “When I think of broadcasting equipment, I think of Sony. I’ve been proudly using Sony products for over 20 years. In other schools that I’ve been at with TV studios, I’ve made sure to get Sony studio cameras because I know and trust their quality and reputation. As a user, I know that the cameras are going to work seamlessly and that I’m not going to have many issues with them.”
But it’s not only Cass who realizes the benefits of using “eye-opening,” high-end capture equipment in high school – the students also see the value and opportunity that goes along with this unprecedented access. He noted, “I thought it was important to choose the latest cameras for the students to use in our studio since they are being used by professionals and also what they may see at their colleges. I feel that it is beneficial that my students are using solutions that the professionals are using so they know what is out there in the real world. It’s a competitive world so any advantage I can give my students is always a good thing.” He added, “Not a lot of students get that opportunity, at the high school level, to be able to come in and work with high-end cameras like this. The students love using the Sony equipment, can take it anywhere and find it brings their projects to the next level.”
This was a sentiment echoed by his students, including Maggie Dever, who said, “Our new state-of-the-art Sony cameras are really cool because they give students like me the opportunity to record in 4K. We’ve never had that here at Monomoy. Additionally, it prepares me for pursuing film media art in college. The upgraded technology gives me an experience that I wouldn’t get at any other high school, which is really great.”
In addition to outfitting the studio with an upgrade featuring Sony’s HXC-FB80 cameras, Cass and the Monomoy team are avid users of a complement of Sony imaging solutions, which helps create an intuitive workflow and a consistent and cohesive look and feel that seamlessly color matches. The SRG streaming PTZ camera is actively used for school committee meetings because, as Cass described, of “the picture quality and easy integration into the existing system.” He added, “The SRG cameras are very responsive and the students learned how to use them quickly.” Cass continued that the Sony Alpha and cinema cameras were chosen “because of their cost and versatility,” while the Alphas continue to be “a great camera for students to use because of the size, mobility, 4K capabilities and picture quality, as well as the benefits associated with using interchangeable lenses.”
He concluded, “My high school teacher spoke highly of Sony’s products and being able to use them when I was a student got me hooked. The name brand recognition and trust I have in Sony is passed down to my students, who are likely to be the next generation of the brand’s loyal users.”