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Old January 13th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #1
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Lil Help!

Hello Forum,

First post here and glad to be here. Still trying to make sure i'm posting in the right place, hopefully so.

I have on and off 25 years in photography so I know my way around a SLR and now DSLR. Most recently, I have come into the world of video. I get quite a few questions if I do video and until now, it has obviously been no. I would like a few pointers from the educated and experienced about direction.

I am a dreamer to a degree, as in, i think I can do it all, want to do it all, but realistically, I should just stick to one thing first then go from there. Just like the genres in photography, I assume video is the same. (e.g. a wedding videographer may not possess the skills needed to do corporate work). This is a small part of my dilemma in not fully understanding the right equipment for the job.

I am a Canon shooter and I currently own a 5D3 (other bodies N/A) and pro glass (24-70 and 70-200 to name a couple). I have a budget to purchase the right tools for video work, I just need to understand what it is I need to get. I have lots of modifiers and reflectors and color cards and all that stuff, just need to understand cameras and lenses.

I also have the Adobe CS Master, so I obviously have Pr and Ae

My main criteria at this stage is:

- Great Low Light
- How long do you think the current cameras will be able to hold their own before 4k takes a hold of the standard? So is 4k even important right now in day to day videographers?
- Can you mix 4k footage and non 4k footage in post? (e.g. stage performance from 2 different cameras)
- Professional Camcorder v's Consumer Camcorder, would everyone get a Procamcorder if they could afford it? (I understand that one to the other has a learning curve and you should start with the basics, but your added comments would be appreciated)
- Done a bit of reading already (here, several current books, you tube reviews)

Really just want to get involved here and hit the ground running.

I see myself doing some live performance stuff, promo work, corporate work (interview and walkthrough). These are the fields that have inquired to me. Can these fields be mixed or do you need individual skills to be able to get to all this.

I have posted a link for the one and only video I have ever shot. I shot the footage and had a friend co-edit with me. Please let me know if you think I have a building block, or am I doing it all wrong. I know I have a lot to learn. Shot with 5D3, tripod and Glidecam, Ps and Ae.


Thanks in advance. Hope there are many replies to read. I will have many more questions!
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Old January 13th, 2015, 08:55 PM   #2
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Re: Lil Help!

What makes you think that a wedding videographer don't have the skill to do corporate stuff, do you think that we can stop the ceremony and ask the couple to repeat the vows if we bump the tripod or out of focus or audio drop out like you can do when shooting a promo or something like that for a corporate video? but for your questions, I think HD will be good for another 2 years or so before 4K becomes mainstream, your 5D mark 3 is fine for low light shooting but you need faster glass if you are under extreme low light, you can mix 4k with HD as long as your final output is HD, if output is 4K then HD stuff might not look to good, you can use prosumer camera as long as you know what you are doing and use it to its advantage and avoid tuff condition that it can't handle.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 09:11 PM   #3
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Re: Lil Help!

Welcome to DVInfo.

You want audio with that video? Where's your audio and lighting gear? Do you expect to use a photographic tripod for video? Don't answer. They are rhetorical questions.

It's a journey. Things will always be changing. Start.

My rule of thumb is that filming is 25% of the final project. So you have a camera and a couple lenses ... [insert twirling finger]... Cameras and operating them a slice of that. Editing is a much larger part of a well done final project than people think. Learn to edit. Learn to light. Learn how to get great sound.... it's a journey. Oh, and keep the camera in landscape....LOL

Seriously, there's a lot of information and answers here on DVinfo that you can find by searching. Others have gone the same path you are on.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Lil Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
What makes you think that a wedding videographer don't have the skill to do corporate stuff, do you think that we can stop the ceremony and ask the couple to repeat the vows if we bump the tripod or out of focus or audio drop out like you can do when shooting a promo or something like that for a corporate video?
I don't know, that is the point of my question. I am trying to understand how much cross over is possible in Video. I guess to help explain my curiosity, a photographer who shoots food with macro, probably doesn't fully have the creative thinking of a guy who shoots NFL.

So before I invest in thousands of dollars into equipment and begin my Video learning curve, I was just looking some input like "this camera is a well rounded camera for someone like you", "Couple of things I wouldn't do if I had my time over again…" responses would help.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: Lil Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Welcome to DVInfo.
So you have a camera and a couple lenses ... [insert twirling finger]... Cameras and operating them a slice of that. Editing is a much larger part of a well done final project than people think. Learn to edit. Learn to light. Learn how to get great sound.... it's a journey. Oh, and keep the camera in landscape....LOL
Not really sure why I am being mildly ridiculed for having equipment of this level. I do get that I'm inexperienced and I need to learn quite a lot, but I put the video up for constructive comment and advice. I guess my takeaway from your reply is I possess none of the skills that make good video (edit, light and sound). And all the video was shot in landscape, please let me know the time stamp that was shot in portrait.

I appreciate your comments and I will take them as constructive criticism.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 10:10 PM   #6
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Re: Lil Help!

I don't think Les was ridiculing you or your gear but throwing out that while some of the gear for weddings and corporate cross over there is a lot of gear that might be needed for corporate gigs that doesn't apply to weddings at all.
Some of those things that do cross over is audio gear. For weddings it seems a lot of guys are going to audio recorders...for me I used wireless with a recorder for where I might need a 3rd or 4th mic. For the corp stuff I did, I could never use a recorder. It was wireless or not do the job. The lighting I used for weddings might and did work for certain bits of corporate work but not for lighting up a seminar so I rented or hired a lighting company to light the stage. For talking heads the lighting I had in my office worked just fine. For stable shots, I used a video tripod and had a set of wheels for I could use for small movements. I also would NEVER use anything but an actual video camera for 99.99% of the corporate work I did which was seminars, talking heads interviews, training videos and product videos. Why? First off I'm very old school but mostly (towards the end of my career-now retired) my clients would have fired me if I had walked in with a 5D or any kind.
So you've got a start but you'll need more and exactly what depends on the type of work you're going after.
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Old January 13th, 2015, 10:57 PM   #7
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Re: Lil Help!

Les wasn't ridiculing. He was testifying. I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meyer
- How long do you think the current cameras will be able to hold their own before 4k takes a hold of the standard?
In my opinion, you have until Canon announces a 4K handycam. Because they'll be the last manufacturer to do it. When Canon goes in, that will mean they're all in, and then it'll be the standard.

When will that happen? Well, I don't know. And if I did know, I couldn't say. But I'll say this: every five years, Canon hosts their massive Global Expo in Tokyo, Paris and New York. That's when they give you a peak behind the curtain, and guess what? The next one happens this Sept. and I'll bet they won't be empty handed in the video department. Now that's just speculation on my part. I love to speculate when I'm not under NDA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meyer
-So is 4k even important right now in day to day videographers?
Not right now, but maybe 12 to 18 months from now it probably will be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meyer
-- Can you mix 4k footage and non 4k footage in post? (e.g. stage performance from 2 different cameras)
4K properly down-rezzed to HD will look much better than native HD, so that won't be an easy thing to do.

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Old January 13th, 2015, 11:04 PM   #8
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Re: Lil Help!

I'm sure he wasn't either, but I have seen it in Photography forums where the newbie comes in and says I got all this high end stuff, which gets the reaction of "so what" buying the expensive stuff doesn't make you good! I get it! Anyway, not to get off point, I know the 5D has some capabilities, but honestly, I'm of the mind set that I may not even use the DSLR for anything except stills.

I need to get better with the 5D and get the video basics down, so if I need to use my 5D to do that, well, I may have a better jump start than most new video folks that have no equipment at all.

But I am keeping a very close eye trying to learn the industry as a technology evolution. (e.g. Most people will not buy a CD player, when the iPod is the current trend). So I'm trying to ask which way it's all going so I don't end up with a camcorder thats redundant too quickly.

I have had inquiries into sport event videos, corporate, promo's, recitals, and short movies interest me, but I don't know if there is a camcorder that will be well rounded for all these area's or they are all so unique, one camera will only cover 2 of the 4. Mostly the inquiry questions are "no", but they are becoming so frequent, I have finally decided that video is something i'd like to try.

I have lots of questions and as I have found in my DSLR world, books will only get you so far.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: Lil Help!

IMO you have a camera and lenses that you can start with, and that may serve you well for some time to come. I for one do *not* suggest that you have to go out and buy the "right" gear to start learning and making some mistakes and having some successes.

Excepting audio. For almost any video genre, quality sound is critical. And you don't have the gear to build your sound skills.

Good cameras that have application in this or that genre or market are all available for rental. Good sound gear is only a little harder to find. A quality camcorder would typically be chosen over a dslr for sports, but even that varies and depends on the sport and the shooting circumstances.

Your questions are very general; you'll get general answers ;-)

Keep exploring and keep learning and keep your eye on what market(s) you'd like to be working in. Even in weddings, there's every approach being used from one shooter with a dslr and a couple external mp3 recorders through 4-camera crews, switching, and same day edits that show up projected at the reception.

The food shooter you mentioned may be at a top-tier ad agency, or in a teeny tiny market. The sports shooter might be selling soccer DVDs to middle-school parents, or shooting broadcast for ESPN, or storytelling for NFL Films.

It's a very wide, wide set of markets, even if you're just going out as a shooter. As a producer/director/shooter/editor, the markets are even broader. Most people head for the market that seems most available and open to them; what's that for you?
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Old January 14th, 2015, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: Lil Help!

NOTE TO SELF: Don't make a post and then go to sleep.

Thanks everyone for clarifying my intent. No ridicule intended. A good take away is that there is MUCH more to "video" than the camera. There is MUCH to learn in each area as well as equipment and technique. Is the 5D3 and Premier a building block? Ummm I'll finesse it and say it's a starting point. However, as long as you depend on someone else to process your film, it will be hard to progress. So start. I think the 5DM3 has a mic and headphone so go do something start to finish that uses both captured sound and music.

My constructive criticism on the sample you posted is as follows:
1) It's a step up that it used tracking shots
2) Visually the colors are bland
3) The length is far too long for the topic. I gave up after 90 seconds. Seems it;s the same deep focus moving shots over and over but just a different place the gym ... almost a documentary instead of a promo.
4) Music is more appropriate for a 30 second spot. Longer than that it's grating
5) I like the L3 design but the gray color doesn't really separate from the background

My comment about keeping the camera in landscape was preventative being you come from a photographic background where Portrait is OK. It was humor. I do however have strong views against vertical video. And I'm not alone:
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Old January 14th, 2015, 07:54 AM   #11
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Re: Lil Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Meyer View Post
...I need to get better with the 5D and get the video basics down, so if I need to use my 5D to do that, well, I may have a better jump start than most new video folks that have no equipment at all....I have had inquiries into sport event videos, corporate, promo's, recitals, and short movies interest me, but I don't know if there is a camcorder that will be well rounded for all these area's or they are all so unique, one camera will only cover 2 of the 4. ...
Yes, having a camera is better than "no equipment at all" but it seems everybody and their brother now days has a stills camera that takes video or a phone that does. One thing you'll see here is a statement along the lines:

" a camera is a tool on a toolbelt. You use the one that's fit for the job if you can. If you don't need one all the time, rent one when you do or make do with what you have even though it's not ideal."

DSLRs are actually like that. They can deliver shallow DOF pretty easily but fall short in many other ways. Lots of threads here about frankensteining DSLRs. It used to be people started with handicam because that's the tool that made video and stills cameras didn't take video. Relatively speaking stills taking video came after video cameras taking stills. That's changed though. Many people are like you with a nice stills camera and wanting to use the video mode because it takes sDOF which used to be the domain of very expensive equipment. As a Canon user you;ll quickly learn the negatives of their lens strategy because it was driven by photography needs. A great example is that they are missing an aperture ring and that they change aperture in whole stops. Video lenses change aperture in increments of stops are a separate ring on the lens with a nice long throw in comparison to the clickety click little wheels on your 5DM3 body. Then there's white balance... DSLRs have it in menus, pro video cameras have a multi-position switch for instant change to preset values... great when you move from outdoors to indoors... I could go on. Search on "Filmic" and you'll find a plethora of threads of people in the early 2000's wanting to make their "video" look like film.. mostly by coloring and shooting at 24FPS which was hard to do in North America. But I digress....
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Old January 14th, 2015, 07:59 AM   #12
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Re: Lil Help!

Thank you Les, that is good feedback. I wanted an expert to tell me where I really need to grow and learn. Obviously everywhere. I'm not ignorant to think that someone was going to tell me, "that's fantastic" and I look like a clown to even the amateur video guy in comparison amongst video people.

The illusion is, the customer I made this for loved it, but the video community here look at it and just rip it up. Thats what I'm looking for. I'm a big boy, I want to learn. I want the DVINFO Simon Cowell's to say "your video is terrible, put your 5D3 away photo boy and go get a real camera if you want to do real video" kind of commentary. I'm new, I need to see how it's done, that's why I came here.

Yes, the 5D3 and Pr is a building block, until I get the "right" camera. I didn't get these yesterday, I've had the camera body since it came out and Pr is an unused part of the Creative Suite that I have over used Ps and Ai. So, like I said earlier, I guess I need to define what I really want to do and then maybe a camera can be suggested. Because if the 5D3 only get's me so far, well then I don't want to waste my time learning on a DSLR body that has limitations. I'd rather hear, "if you want to learn good video, go get the Canon G30, or the Lumix G4, or the XA20 or the Sony…" and so on.

Hopefully I'm starting to make sense!
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Old January 14th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #13
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Re: Lil Help!

Paul,

While you are getting and digesting all this expert advice, I would suggest you have a look at Magic Lantern for your 5D3 Magic Lantern | Home. It gives Canon DSLRs many of the settings you get on pro camcorders, so it will help you decide what features you need and find out what they do.

You don't install it on your camera, you install it on a memory card and it boots from there, so, different card, no ML.

I put it on a 60D, in fact I wouldn't use it for video without ML. It taught me a lot. As a lifelong stills photographer, I came over to video a few years back, strictly amateur, but I learned more from using ML than from all the reading and research I did. Once the euphoria was over and I realised DSLR video, at least Canon crop sensor video, is not all it's cracked up to be, I bought a G30.

Same lens, sensor and body as the XA20 but no XLR or infra red. Excellent image quality and LPCM audio, plus the facility to set some of your favourite things to the assignable buttons. Not perfect, but a damn good starting point. It's missing one or two things ML gave me that I would like, but I can work around those just like I'm sure you could.

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Old January 14th, 2015, 08:55 AM   #14
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Re: Lil Help!

Here's an idea for differentiating yourself vs everyone else that comes through the DSLR door to video. It may not be what you want to hear:

Don't focus on the camera. Focus on the video (pardon the pun). Grab that Pr and learn color correcting, layering, storytelling, sound, music and lighting. Do them repeatedly using whatever gear you can get your hands on. And channeling my 9th grade english teacher, "You have to read to learn to write". WATCH A LOT OF VIDEO BY OTHERS. What you learn will carry forward to whatever equipment or technology that comes along. Kinda like learning composition in photography. It's independent of the gear.

ASIDE: I take client feedback with a grain of salt especially when it's free. How much they are willing to pay you speaks louder than words.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 09:05 AM   #15
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Re: Lil Help!

One other thing to remember, and it can be major. It regards still vs. motion mindset.

When doing stills you can pick the f-stop you want (for instance to get the depth of field you want) and adjust the shutter speed to your liking. That doesn't work so well for video. Shutter speed isn't quite written in stone, but nearly so. Usually stick to 1/60. Maybe drop to 1/30 in low light situations. Can speed up shutter speed for time lapse video, but will make regular video look "too staccato" or "herky-jerky." You need that little bit of motion blur or video looks unnatural.

You have to think a little differently for still photography vs. motion photography. The rules are the same, but they are applied differently.

Now, I'm certainly not an expert at either still or motion, but have gained valuable experience from the mistakes I've made at both.
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