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

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 12:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 991
shot my first HD wedding...

Rented two XL H1s for today wedding. Came away very dissapointed.

1) The camera was waaayy too heavy. I use the tripod as little as possible so for my style, the extra weight and the ENG/shoulder mount shooting style was a hinder.

2) The viewfinder sucked! I had the eyecup flipped so the VF was small and didn't have enough resolution. Image in the viewfinder was very smeary, even with shutter at 1/48. As a result, while shooting outdoor dance activities, it was diffcult to judge focus on a fast moving subject. I know peaking is suppose to make it easier to focus but it seemed to me everything had peaked edges, I couldn't tell which edges were in focus. <- I think this also had to do with the low res VF..

3) The ND filter design is poor. When zooming & manual focusing with the lens barrel rings at the same time, I found myself inadverdently engaging ND on many occasions. Also why do we need to turn the ring so much to engage the various ND levels? A simple lever with small range of movement would be best.

4) The lens is not wide enough. This coming from a person who usually shoot weddings with the DVX.

5) Servo-only zoom felt very awkward. Having gotten used to the manual zoom on the DVX(which I use 99.9% of the time), the servo zoom on the XL H1 felt like molases - even on the highest speed. As a result, I couldn't do any snap zooms as a shooting style or for focus check.

So it seemed to me the XLH1 is not very "event coverage" friendly. I want to upgrade to HD next year so the XLH1 will defintely not be considered. Does the XHA1 have big improvements over the XLH1 on the aforementioned points?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 144
I had no experience with XL-H1, I'm using XH-A1. Instead of using peaking, why not try magnify. I prefer to use that though. I have no issue with the ND thingy.
XL-H1 is more suitable to be used on tripod or on Steadicam, given the heavy weight, it will give smooth dolly shot.
I think the issue here is you had chosen the wrong equipment for your usage. A1 is more suitable for wedding especially when you are always on the move.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 09:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 991
Yeah, I've already reached the conclusion that the H1 is not a friendly camera for run n' gun videographers.

I guess my key questions are:

1) Is the LCD on the XHA1 much better than the XLH1? Does it leave motion trail/smear like it does on the XLH1? My DVX100's LCD exhibited no smearing whatsoever and the image on the LCD was a very close representation of the actual video.

2) I assume the XHA1 has the same type of servo zoom as on the XLH1. Is it identical in response speed?
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