The Dawoodi Bohras community brings members closer together than ever, thanks to immersive, engaging live streams in 4K delivered by Canon PTZ cameras.

A milestone event

Established since the 1960s, the Dawoodi Bohras in London is a 1,000-strong community, which gathers regularly for various events including sermons, prayers, and recitals. The wider network comprises of nine communities around the UK, with more around the world.

After winning a bid to host international event, Ashara Mubaraka, for the first time in Europe, the West London community mobilised volunteers and prepared to welcome 18,000 members to Ealing. However, they lacked the necessary facilities. With all eyes on London, an upgrade was in order. At the 2022 Media Production & Technology Show, they tried out the new Canon PTZ range, before opting for the CR-N300, CR-N500 and the RC-IP100 Controller.

Client - The Dawoodi Bohras of London
Location - London, UK

  • The Challenge

    The primary aim was to deliver a world-class imaging solution to cover the milestone 10-day event for an audience of 18,000. As a charitable organisation, Dawoodi Bohras relies on its volunteers who all have day jobs. Therefore, they needed an intuitive system that was easy to use and within budget. The community members in London wanted to go above and beyond to put on the best programming yet. That meant distributing a 4K UHD image across various giant screens throughout the venue, as well as online. Before they were using “cumbersome” camcorders on fixed tripods, which required lots of cabling and physical manoeuvring to get everything right.

  • The Solution

    The Canon CR-N300 and CR-N500 PTZ cameras revolutionised their ability to capture and process video feeds in a professional way via Vimeo, which set a new standard for other nationwide communities to aspire to. The 4K UHD improved on-going image quality with great feedback from members in person and at home. In fact, online viewership grew because of the improved streams. In practice, the compact PTZs reduced cabling and were less distracting for both speakers and worshippers. They seamlessly integrated with third-party hardware to create an easy, reliable system that volunteers are now excited to try out.


“Using the Canon PTZs has revolutionised our ability to capture and process video feeds”

Immersive performance

“Even if you are far from the speaker, you still feel engaged and part of the event when you can see them on a large screen in full 4K detail. You don’t feel like you are missing out on the experience,” tells Taher Abidali, a volunteer operator at Dawoodi Bohras London.

Having purchased a set of CR-N300s, one CR-N500 and a RC-IP100 controller, the team of volunteers now had the tools to capture, record and display ceremonies in a more immersive way. Members who couldn't attend in person appreciated the enhanced online stream and, in turn, felt less isolated post-Covid.

“The incredible quality of the picture and the versatility of the zoom has been amazing. There are various events that are streamed or captured throughout the year and these two features have allowed us to capture all events really well.”

Additionally, the PTZ cameras mean less bulk and less mess. “Before we had a big camcorder that was right in the eyeline of the speaker and blocking the audience’s view. That can be off-putting. The PTZs are far more discreet.” says Taher. The power over ethernet has also reduced the cabling around the space, creating a cleaner, less distracting environment.

Whether at home or in person, the Dawoodi Bohras community expressed their appreciation for the improved clarity, stability and professionalism of the coverage.

Setting a new standard

“The ease of using the PTZ cameras is unsurpassed. The fact that they are simple to control, they’re out of obvious view of the reciters and that they have a better range of angles than before is a huge bonus to us.”

The RC-IP100 Controller enabled a team of non-professional volunteers to seamlessly switch between different views, ensuring that not a moment was missed. To achieve this, the cameras are connected to a Black Magic ATEM, which feeds into a Teranex to convert the signal. This 4K camera feed is then encoded to h264 over RTMP to stream via Vimeo.

“Before our team of volunteers were intimidated by the tech. Now it’s a lot more difficult for something to go wrong. Now everyone wants a go!” jokes Taher. In fact, viewership has increased multi-fold for those unable to attend – evidence that the Canon solution has helped further strengthen community ties and relationships.

The success of their upgraded system has sparked interest from other community centres around the UK, according to Taher. “Using these cameras in London has set the standard for our fellow members elsewhere. It is now the expectation for community centres to have these types of cameras as part of their AV setup,” he concludes. “We advocate for Canon’s cameras as they are of exceptional quality whilst remaining affordable.”


“The ease of using the PTZ cameras is unsurpassed”

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