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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 19th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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Just starting out, need lots of help!!

Hi everyone!
Long story short, I've edited for years but really enjoy shooting. So....I am slowly starting out and the equipment is my issue. I've been reading the posts, but there is a lot of general info. Could or would anyone please take me by the hand and let me know specifically what I need? I have the Canon XH A1, so I guess I could start with:
What tripod would be good to start with? (remember, I just starting out)
Lighting for the camera? and other?
Audio? Lavs and what else?
and more I'm sure...
Thank you in advance for your time, it's greatly appreciated!!!
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Old November 19th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #2
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I guess it all depends on how much money you have. You could get away with a cheaper tripod, lights, but use a good lav. Price yourself accordingly and when you make some money invest in a better tripod, etc...If you keep looking around the classifieds here you will come upon some really good deals on some good equipment.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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frankly, it is very dependant from what you are shooting.
what kind of lighting you can get, if the camera will move or not, if you are shooting inside , outside or both, if sound is very important or not.
from these question you will find if you need light or heavy, cheap or expensive, wide or tele, wireless or not, stabilized or not etc....
I mean you probably got a style, and have to find the right equipement for it.

My style is: light and fast, close and mobile.
So i prefer shoulder mount to tripod, wireless to wired, wide angle to tele, led to halogen but if possible no light at all (VX2000 allows this), hardisk to tape (or both if possible).
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Old November 19th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #4
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What Giroud said.
And I'll add what Jason said as well. Hows that?;-O

Your gear depends on a few things. 1) BUDGET - how much is your budget and how far are you willing to exceed it. Don't tell us be truthful with yourself. Most people set a budget and then exceed by as much as 100%-if they do that and don't lose their house or car then they underestimated their budget. Remember there is a difference between what we want to spend, can afford to spend and need to spend. Only you can tell the difference.
2) what type of work are you looking to do. News and sports takes somewhat different stuff than weddings. Seminar work takes somewhat different stuff. Don't get me wrong, a good tripod and a good wireless lav with a plugin transmitter and a good handheld and a good on camera light will be used pretty much no matter what kind of work you do but for news a really good handheld and a couple of 20 foot XLRs are more important than a wireless lav unless you're shooting the screen talent. Also need a good tripod and a good powerful on camera light. For sports you can probably do away with the tripod and use a monopod but still need a good handheld for interviews although for both news and sports a wireless system would be less hassle excep[t for making sure you were on a different channel than the 20 other camerapeople out there. For weddings a differnt setup.
To be versatile, you need it all and that can cost some so see #1 then go back to #2.
Once you figure out those 2 things I think we'd be able to help you out more.
Don
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Old November 19th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #5
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First, thanks for responding. I appreciate it.
Well, you're all right, it's extremely difficult to determine how much money I can spend....want to spend is not a question. Maybe I should start a little low and work my way up. I mostly have been asked to shoot weddings (for my editing) So that is where I would start first hand. I have also been asked to shoot a Irish bands performance at a local theater. That worries me some due to equipment shortage. So, if I was to start with a reasonable tripod, say in the $500-800, what would that be?
Lighting, I just am not sure even what to say, I don't know the price range. What would be the cheapest of the acceptable low lights? is there a favorite of you all that people don't seem to notice for a few low light reception shots?
Audio: well, I have Shure lav mics and a great studio mic for voice overs. So what kind of extra audio equipment would you suggest for weddings? Again, I would say on the cheaper side, but still acceptable. So if the cheapest is $1000, that's what I need t know and which one.

As for the performance, what would be the best audio for that venue? (I'm sorry if that's too general, I don't know how to be more specific)

Thanks again!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 12:10 AM   #6
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Hi Suzanne,

I'd like to give you some advice about how to best leverage the power of all the information found on this site. First it's important for you to realize that the questions you're asking -- what is the best tripod, lights, mics etc. for the Canon XH A1 -- are all very frequently asked around here, and it would be to your benefit to seek out those separate discussion topics, absorb them, and then post any replies directly to those specific threads.

For example, we have a *huge* discussion about tripod choices for the XH A1 here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=84267

For microphones, head to our All Things Audio forum:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=53

See our Photon Management board for lighting advice:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=41

And then anything specific to Canon XH A1 operation here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=138

This particular forum, Wedding / Event Videography Techniques, isn't really intended for discussions about hardware that are better left to their respective areas elsewhere on this site, but rather it's targeted more for discussions about the various creative techniques and methods for shooting events effectively... hopefully that difference is clear.

At any rate, please roll up your sleeves and use the Search function to explore the *entire* site, and you'll find a wealth of input has already been given which applies directly to the questions you're asking here. Hope this helps,
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:54 AM   #7
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Hi Suzanne,

Greetings from Ithaca. We're almost neighbors. :)

I think Chris did a good job of advising you of the best ways to use the site. I do want to add one thing and since it is about techniques of event videography, I'll post it here:

When you shoot the band be sure to record audio from the soundboard. A best case scenario would be to record the board as well as the room sound. In editing you'd want to rely mostly on the audio from the board but add just a bit of sound from the room recording to "warm it up" a bit. This is just an opinion but as a musician who has also shot thousands of hours of music I can say that you'll need audio from the board to get good vocals. Obviously, the audio is very important if shooting a band. Just my. 02. :)

Best of luck in getting things together. I've been doing pro video (broadcast and non-broadcast) for 15 years and I'm still learning every day. Start with the links Chris provided. You can learn a lot here.

-Don B.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:55 AM   #8
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Here's what I use if it's helpful to you. I like to pack as light as possible but also as professional as possible - sometimes those two things are at odds.

I have a Audio-Technica 897 shotgun mic for room audio and recording conversations and happenings between events. It works best when you're real close to the subject, but for room audio it's ok too.

I use a Sennheiser G2 wireless mic for audio off the groom during the ceremony.

My tripod is a Bogen-Manfrotto 755 with 501 head. I like the ball-leveling - speeds up setup by far - and is smaller and lightweight in comparison to some other legs.

I also use a fig-rig for conversations and any handheld work - I usually switch back and forth from my tripod to the fig-rig a lot. Can't say enough good things about it. People remember it too.

I can get my whole system into three packages - tripod, camera case, and mic case - plus the fig rig. I can carry it all at once fairly easily. This helps a lot, especially when you do one-person shoots.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Gioja View Post
I use a Sennheiser G2 wireless mic for audio off the groom during the ceremony.

My tripod is a Bogen-Manfrotto 755 with 501 head. I like the ball-leveling - speeds up setup by far - and is smaller and lightweight in comparison to some other legs.
I second the G2, great system. I've used it on many wedding, and it does a great job picking up everyone's audio crystal clear.

... But I have to recommend the 503 head over the 501 here. Although the 503 is not perfect, the 503 is better than the 501. I haven't used a 501 enough to give you a real good comparison (only used it once), but I went for the 503 based on info found on this site. You can get a 503 head and stick combo with a bowl level for around $500 or so from B&H.

I don't remember the sticks I have but they're very light and quick to setup/adjust. I want to say 745 but I could be wrong.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:13 PM   #10
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Thanks!!

Thanks so much you guys. I have to say, being new to this forum I wasn't sure where to post questions, but thanks Chris...much appreciated. And thanks for everyone's personal opinions, they were very helpful.
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