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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:50 PM   #1
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Wedding Equipment

I'm making a big jump from SD shoulder cameras to DSLR. I have two very, very nice weddings coming up. Between the two, I will be attending a two-day seminar with Adam Forgione (Pennylane Productions). I expect I will get more solid ideas concerning equipment, and lenses in particular after my first DSLR wedding and again after the seminar. But, I'm looking for some input from some of you seasoned wedding/DSLR pros, as to what I might need at a minimum to do a good job on the first wedding. As a side note, the bride knows I'm using brand new equipment and using a new shooting style and I am doing it at no charge as a learning experience. I thought this the responsible thing to with everything being so new for me. So, here is a list of stuff I happened to already have (none are stabilized lenses):

Canon 50 f/1.4
Canon 35 f/2
Canon 24-70 f/2.8
Canon 70-200 f/4 (I know f/4 is questionable but I'm hoping this will work for my first gig)

Canon 60D
Canon T2i

Manfrotto monopod with swivel head

I have plenty of good tripods if needed and all the audio gear I'll need

So, here's the list of stuff I think I'll need:

Slider thingy
Manfrotto 561BHDV - fluid head monopod (if they ever get off back order)
(6) SDHC class 10 cards
Memory Kick portable storage device to backup SDHC cards
Wide angle prime or zoom lens
Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS $990
or
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 (non stabilized) $599
or
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (vibration compensation) $599
or
A prime wide angle of some sort?

I'm hoping I can do a few "glide-cam" moves with just a monopod and a wide angle lens. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

Thanks for any suggestions or input.

Geoffrey
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:58 PM   #2
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I forgot one important thing - I feel like I need one more camera. Should I get a small HD camcorder to roll for the ceremony or another DSLR???
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Hi Geoffrey,

I think you've got a good start on your equipment. A couple of things stand out for me:

How do you normally do processionals and recessional? (I stay at the front of the church off to the side and go high on a 4-step ladder when the guests stand up for the bride's entrance.) I personally can't cover a processional well without a lens with IS. I used the Canon 70-200 4L IS which works very well in a decently lit situation but I sold that and got the 2.8 IS version, which is still not fast enough to keep the iso down sometimes. I've tried shooting with a 135 1.8 but the results were predictably not so good. (I was able to smooth out the result with a stabilizing filter.)

The portable storage for your cards isn't necessary in my opinion. If you feel the need to back up asap (I do) bring a laptop. I put together an SDE for nearly every wedding anyway so this has just become part of my day - constantly transferring cards to my computer. (I never erase cards at the event. That only happens when I have all of them backed up in two locations.)

I love the Tokina 11-16. One of the best investments I made.

I have 12 16gb class 6 cards and on a normal day rack up approximately 100gb of footage.

Definitely get that slider-thingy and dedicate a tripod to it so you're more apt to use it.

A long-run camcorder is a good thing to have. I run a Canon HV30 from a high angle or the balcony in back with the intention of only using that footage if I have to.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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Hi Geoffrey,
How do you normally do processionals and recessional? (I stay at the front of the church off to the side and go high on a 4-step ladder when the guests stand up for the bride's entrance.) I personally can't cover a processional well without a lens with IS. I used the Canon 70-200 4L IS which works very well in a decently lit situation but I sold that and got the 2.8 IS version, which is still not fast enough to keep the iso down sometimes.
With my big JVC DV5000's, I used to stand in the back with the bride/dad and the bridesmaids and my assistant would stand/sit in a pew half-way up the aisle. So with the DSLR's I was thinking I'd do basically the same thing except instead of handholding, we'd use monopods - The aisle cam using a 50mm or maybe the 28-70 zoom and I could use a 35mm in the back. It's hard to think through the lenses I'll need for each segment when I'm so used to having one big, fast, zoom.

Do you think my 70-200 f/4 (non stabilized) would be OK for the ceremony if I don't try to do pans or any camera moves?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Peregrine View Post
I love the Tokina 11-16. One of the best investments I made.
Do you think I'd be able to do glidecam-like moves with the 11-16 with just a monopod held out at arm's length? I'm going to pick up a wide-angle tomorrow once I make the decision and I suppose I can do my own tests.

Thank you very much!!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #5
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Hey,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Chandler View Post
...It's hard to think through the lenses I'll need for each segment when I'm so used to having one big, fast, zoom.
I know what you mean. Its a big tradeoff, but in the end it just means you have to think more about your position, which isn't a bad thing. I'm now thinking about zones of 'in-focus' coverage with a stationary camera rather than zooming for the correct composition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Chandler View Post
Do you think my 70-200 f/4 (non stabilized) would be OK for the ceremony if I don't try to do pans or any camera moves?
The 70-200 is about as 'versatile' as you can hope for. Wider-range zooms are slower at the long end and narrower-range zooms are very limited in reach. The fact that you'll be closer to the action (in the pew rather than at the front of the church) means that you won't have a long focal length that can cause jumpy camera work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Chandler View Post
Do you think I'd be able to do glidecam-like moves with the 11-16 with just a monopod held out at arm's length?
If you practice, go slow, and use your legs yes - you can make them work. May mean a few takes to get it right. I think if you see what you can do with the slider you may end up using that more for shots that don't demand moving your feet.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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I totally agree with Joel on the Tokina 11-16. It's a wonderful lens. The 70-200 f/4 is a weak link for darker ceremonies, so it just depends on your lighting conditions. Think of it this way, depending on how light sensative your previous cameras were, shooting in the f/3.5 to 4 range with DSLRs will be about the same to worse than your video cameras. There are a lot of variables, but it's a good general rule. You need to go with lenses of f/2.8 or faster to get a low light performance upgrade.

A big gap I see is a faster, longer lens. I really like a lens in the 85mm 1.4 range for tight shots during special dances or anytime you need a tighter shot from a distance in low light. It looks like you are going with a lot of Canon glass, so if you want to stay with Canon they have an 85mm f/1.8 for about $375 or if you want to go for broke, a Canon L 85mm f/1.2 for about $2000. Another alternative is the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 for a about $250. It's sharp, fast and cheap. It just doesn't have auto focus for stills.

I use a Glidecam 2000 and a DP Slider and the Tokina 11-16 works great on both devices. I also like using a 50mm 1.4 on the DP Slider. The DP Slider is so solid, just about any lens will work with it.

Another thing to consider is a shoulder style mount, especially since you are coming from shoulder mount cameras. There are dozens of choices out there and I recently did a review on three of them. You can read the review here.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #7
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My advice is practice around the house a bit. You have to get used to how these cameras are affected by micro-jitters and jello effects. Pans probably have to go half as fast as you may be used to. Also, its important to nail the exposure and white balance in the camera instead of post, IME. I personally like the monopods or run and gun style (gorillapod or travelpod) to be less intrusive during the reception.

Whats everyone's experience with those memory card backup drives? When I looked it seemed to take an hour to backup a card with video from the specs, but I've never actually used one.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Vivitar has a manual focus only 85mm 1.4 for the Canon that may be good enough for video.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #9
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What the best thing for Geoffrey to use to enhance judging focus? I can't see relying on a bare LCD screen, I can't see holding my eye to a loupe all day, and a low cost external monitor can be cumbersome, and also you only get a downgraded output from these cameras while recording.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #10
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which of the pennylane work shops are you attending?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 06:03 AM   #11
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which of the pennylane work shops are you attending?
Chicago. You thinking about going to one?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 06:55 AM   #12
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Whats everyone's experience with those memory card backup drives? When I looked it seemed to take an hour to backup a card with video from the specs, but I've never actually used one.
No personal experience yet, but here's part of a review on the MemoryKick. MemorKick Review - Alex Mustard

-----------------

The download speed is astounding. A completely full 8GB CF card takes more than 20 minutes to download into my laptop via my USB-2 card reader. The same card on the MemoryKick took less than 3 minutes and then just another further 3 minutes to copy onto my laptop and read into Lightroom.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:23 AM   #13
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Here's a list of things you should have if you want to seriourly have a stab at doing weddings with a DSLR:

1. A camcorder.
2. A spare DSLR body.
3. An assistant/second camera operator.

With these three things you'll have a bit of a safety net if you need to quickly change lenses, or if a body overheats. You'll also need:

4. An audio recorder such as the Zoom H4n.
5. A loupe such as the Hoodloope or Z-finder.
6. Some kind of shouldermount/stabiliser for handheld shooting.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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Chicago. You thinking about going to one?
Geoffrey, I am also attending the Chicago workshop and will have the Tokina 11-16, you are welcome to take the lens for a test drive. It looks like you may have a wedding before the chicago workshop, is that correct?

before i bought some of the lenses i rented them, you could rent some for your upcoming wedding and then compare to the info presented at the workshop.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #15
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before i bought some of the lenses i rented them, you could rent some for your upcoming wedding and then compare to the info presented at the workshop.
You guys in Chicago are lucky to have rental places locally. In Milwaukee the last shop that rented lenses closed up nearly 10 years ago. Makes me think I should start a S.E. Wisconsin lens rental business. Great excuse to continue my lens buying addiction.
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