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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old December 31st, 2007, 05:01 PM   #1
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wedding tips for the A1

Ok guys, I have the A1 and the hv20, and I have the opportunity to film some weddings. I've done some basic test stuff for friends, and I really need a shotgun mic and some form of on camera lighting. I've been through a bunch of threads, but still would like to know what works best for you? Cost is always a concern. Oh and shooting weddings is not nearly as easy as I thought it would be.... thanks, Tony
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Old December 31st, 2007, 06:01 PM   #2
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All I can say is, if you're going to use some on-cam light that uses MR-16 lamps (Frezzi Mini Fill, etc), use a lamp that has a wider than norm degree angle. Many are roughly 40 +/- degrees & I find they are spotty with 16:9 & can ruin a otherwise good shot. They are fine for 4:3 work though.

Lamps Plus has a MR-16 Sylvania lamp that has a 60 degree angle. It's much more pleasing to the eye, no hotspots.

Bill
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Old December 31st, 2007, 08:12 PM   #3
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Wedding and the A1

Tony,

While there is so much that could be said, here are a couple of things to consider:

1) Make sure you have your gain settings set prior to the wedding so you don't have to stop filming to change your preset. I have mine set up for 0 +3 and +6. Remember the A1 drops a couple of stops at full zoom so be prepared for the picture to get darker as you are zooming in close.

2) Play around with your presets at the rehearsal for the right look. Unless it is a well lit church I would be careful about using the vividrgb setting.

3) For the reception, I have been using a simple sony 10/20 light and have had good results. At +6 gain I get nice looking shots from about 15 feet away. Also consider manfrotto's new 561B monopod for the reception. This allows you so much flexibility to move around without being in the way.

Once again there is so much, these are just a couple of items. Good luck.

Jonathan Schwartz
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Old January 1st, 2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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Tony,

Get a G2 senniheiser for audio, esppecially the vows. no short gun mic is going to get good audio for you when you are far away. And the echo of the chruch is really bad too.

I had my G2 hook up with a dynamic mic and place it near the floor or table near the couple during thier vows. It so much better then any short gun mic.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 04:56 PM   #5
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Tony, I have the exact same setup.

- Tripods -
Operate A1 and HV20 unmanned on tripod. Well, they are both on tripod as I have to walk back and forth to adjust angle, pan, zoom. I have manfrotto with the 501 fluid head. That particular bogen tripod extended to about 9.5 foot tall so don't have to worry about the unmanned tripod being blocked by photographers.

- HV20 remote -
get an optical cable to route the remote signal of the HV20 so you can use it as a LANC controller.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=94890

- Wide Angles Lens adapter -
A lot of the wedding preparation and gaming happened in tight space. I added the canon wide angles lens for both HV20 and A1.

You can use the A1 len hoods on HV20 after using the WD-H43 WA lens adapter

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=100952

- Mic -
I have the Rode Video mic on A1 for interview. Rode Stereo video mic on HV20 for broader sound pickup. Also, don't use any wireless lav for the ceremony as it picked up lots of interference. I use an Olypus voice recorder. It gives really good result with a wired lav mic

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-WS-300...4007252&sr=8-1

- Video light -
Since you have A1, get the Canon VL-10 light that uses the same battery for the A1. I mounted two of them on HV20

http://www.hv20.com/showthread.php?t=1401

Also, get a Sima 3 Watt light for close up interview

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=103237

- Batteries -
Get lots of batteries for both camera. I ordered mine from bestbatt.com. check out the BP-2L24 battery for HV20 and the BP-945G for A1.

- Color Matching -
It's gonna be tough when you need to mix footages from both camera as they have quite different color output

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=109599

Good luck
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Also, don't use any wireless lav for the ceremony as it picked up lots of interference.
Actually, a good wireless mic can do wonders for the vows, but you have to get one what works, in your area. Both the frequencies it uses, and a diversity receiver if in an area prone to multi-path. And test it before to be sure you are not interfering with or getting interference from nearby transmitters, the churche's wireless mic, etc.

FWIW: interviews will work OK with wireless transmitter on a handheld mic, even in a room full of loud DJ music.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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It doesn't matter how good your wireless mic is. It only matters what the church uses. Once their cheap wireless mic got interference, they will blame your mic and asked to remove yours. I once got an officant took away my mic clipped on the groom on the spot.

Using a voice recorder is much better as

(1) No interference with other wireless devices
(2) Don't have to worry about range even I'm far away from the object
(3) have an additional audio track to use on top of the one recorded in tape.

A good wireless lav costs a few hundred bucks. A voice recorder cost about $100.

Last edited by Taky Cheung; January 1st, 2008 at 09:51 PM.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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Oh man, great stuff guys, one thing for sure, I'm going to use the help of my wife while shooting with 2 cameras. Does everyone use some sort of wide angle lens? seems it could pain taking it off and on all night.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:34 PM   #9
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I purchased the canon wide angle lens adapter for both HV20 and A1. I found it a must for shooting wedding events. I kept them on all the time.
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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:44 PM   #10
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Taki where do you put the wireless voice recorder, or do you hook up a lav. mic to it?
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Old January 1st, 2008, 09:52 PM   #11
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Sorry, I typed it wrong. It's not a wireless voice recorder. It's just a pocket size voice recorder people use to record meetings and lectures. Then get one of those wired lav mic to cliped on the groom. Have the groom hide the voice recorder in the front pocket. Don't forget to get it back when the ceremony is done.

this is a good one

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-WAS-33..._tit_2_rdssss0

then get the wired lav mic

http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-145045..._sim_e_title_5

You can remove the battery compartment plug the recorder directly to the USB port. Then copy the WMV file recorded to sync with the video/audio in your NLE. It's good to have an additional audio clip to work with.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 07:20 AM   #12
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Taky,

Encountering that level of interference with a church system is a bit unusual, especially if the videographer has a modern UHF system.

What make & model wireless were you using?
What was the church using?

If the church is one you work frequently, might be worth helping them select a decent wireless system, as a potentially business building good will gesture.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 10:37 AM   #13
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It doesn't matter what make and model of the wireless lav they use or I use. At the time the ceremony is going on, their wireless mic got interference. The officant first intent is to remove the lav mic from the groom. Remember it is in the middle of the ceremony. I can't go up there to troubleshoot at that point.

If I work with that church every week, I of course would like to find out the best solution. But I work with a different church every week.

Besides, I already found the voice recorder solution superior than using wireless lav mic. Like I said earlier, using voice recorder gives me an additional audio track to work with. The result is superior. why not!
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 11:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
Then get one of those wired lav mic to cliped on the groom. Have the groom hide the voice recorder in the front pocket.
what about the bride and reverend?
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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A decent lav on the groom (or officiant) will normally pickup the vows, etc. Keep in mind that all three are usually within a matter of a few feet of each other when the bride or groom speak. Adding a second wireless to cover both the groom and officiant can give somewhat better audio, but is more things and inputs to manage, and with a single 2-input camcorder may cost you good ambient sound.

Once the wireless is on, what ever is said goes out over the air, and you can unintentionally get stuff on tape that the wearer thought was said in private, especially if you are rolling the camcorder in the next room. (Last wedding I shot the groom made a comment aside to the best man that the organist plays in bare feet during the entry of the bride. I've captured much worse on tape over time.)

The choices typically are to mic the officiant or groom, which you use depends on local situations - I've done both ways and both will work. Just be sure the wearer knows how not to mess it up (e.g., turn it off by mistake) and tahat you get the wireless system back at the end. Often it may easier to hide it on and get it back from the groom.
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