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Old November 28th, 2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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New camera

I'm going into the Wedding videography business shortly and I'm needing a new camera. I'm somewhat new to the videography world so I don't want to invest too much and on the same token I don't want to invest only to turn around in 6 months and wish I had taken a step up. I'm needing an HD 1080i or p with a high framerate. What is something that would work well as a second camera once I do step up but would serve as a good stepping stone?

Also, I know what they mean, but what are the benefits of having either 1080i or 1080p?
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Old November 29th, 2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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I just happened to notice your post while I was waiting for a render.

It's probably as much a question for the Wedding specific forum because there are certain things to look for in a camera for weddings - Low light performance, audio inputs etc.

I'll give you a quick opinion anyways. I'm a Canon guy so keep that in mind. If you want a relatively cheap starter HDcam that will come in handy down the road, then the hv (20, 30, 40) type cams will serve you well. Not particularly good in low light, but I'm now getting used to the Canon 5d2 which is absolutely phenomenal in low light. The other down side to these cams is that they are not impressive looking. Down the road, they make a great b-camera when fitted with a wide angle adapter. They fly easily on a glidecam (though don't even think about that at this point). When shooting weddings, if you don't have an impressive looking camera, you can impress them with the number of smaller cams you have, and you can pick-up two good used HV20 or 30's for pretty cheap, then spend a little on some of the other peripheral gear you need.
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #3
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1081i can always be recompressed (interpolating and loosing quality) to 1080p or 480p. If you shoot in 1080p (0r 480p) you'll never be able to go back to 60i whatever resolution. So... if you shoot in 1080i you can convert after to anything else (allthough as I said 1080p will loose quality).If you're sure you'll edit and master in progressive (either HD or SD) then 1080p is the best resolution to shoot at.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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I think going with a Canon XH A1s or Sony Z5u is a great way to go.

I have shot several weddings with my Canon XL H1s and clients have always loved the final output.

The XH A1s should provide mostly similar results for a price around $3500-$4000 (once you get extra batteries, light - definitely get an onboard light).

Good luck!
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Old November 29th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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I wouldn't suggest a consumer camera as a first camera for shooting weddings professionally, although they can certainly be very useful. Sony HDR-FX1s have been widely used by wedding videographers for years now - very capable and sturdy workhorse camera, with pro level manual control, well suited for shooting weddings and events. They can be purchased used for under $2k nowadays. It would be tough to go wrong with a good used FX1 as a first camera for starting out shooting weddings. I've got one in excellent condition, with almost no wear on the heads (mechanically, it's essentially like new), that I intend to sell. Drop me a line if you like.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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I agree that the HV-20, 30, 40 are very nice cameras for the money. But there are a couple of other things to consider. The first is low light performance. With weddings, low light is often an issue. The HV-30 class of camera is inadequate for these shooting conditions. Although you will always want a camcorder that can "see better" in the dark, the "Canon XH A1 and the Sony FX-1 are a couple of good choices. If you check around, you can find a good deal on a used camera to keep the cost down.

The other thing to consider is image, your image that is. If you are serious about becoming a professional wedding videographer, you can't show up with a small camera that makes you look like one of the guests. Smaller cameras are fine for second cameras to use for cover shots but you will find it difficult to be taken seriously if you are waddling around with a camcorder version of a Brownie camera.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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Do you think you'd be taken seriously if you were using a 5D or 7D DSLR type camera? Or would this also look like you were "one of the guests?"

I'm just curious about what you think the "audience perception' would be. I was thinking that when people want a video of their event (wedding or otherwise) they have an expectation of seeing a pro video camera either hand held or shoulder mount, and anything else would be a letdown, regardless of the quality of the finished product.

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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #8
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take my advice and before you started to invest your money, get the feeling of what you're trying to get into; as you said you are new to videography, so I guess you are also new to a wedding video; please, try the assistant role for a couple of gigs, even for free, just to get an idea what it is and if you love doing this, cuz if you don't you won't be able to succeed and offer competitive product (unless you're very strong at sales :)
wedding video is a very different type of business, and not everybody can do it, I'm saying this cuz I shot myself about 500 weddings and also I've seen people spending thousands of dollars and dropping out after very short time;
Camera is only a tool, but you need to know how to use it; I can show you wedding samples shot on 5D that look like s**t, and some other samples shot with FX100 and looking like 5D video;
I'd say go with your budget, but if you serious about the business, buy the best you can afford,
and don't forget that camcorder is just a half of equipment you need to get,
good luck and all the best!
I love this place!
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Old November 29th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for the suggestions all!

Buba, this is a field I'm definitely going into. I definitely am trying to help out in the assistant role at a couple of events (if I can find anyone in my area to help). There's a huge need in this area for it. I do have all the editing equipment that I need. And I'm needing a camera for work I do with my church and state making videos. Thanks for the advice!
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