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


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Old January 28th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #1
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Canon HV20

Anyone using this (or similar) HD cameras for wedding work?
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Old January 28th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #2
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I was thinking of adding as a compliment to my XH A1's....I heard that the HV20 is not so great in low light.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Moon View Post
I was thinking of adding as a compliment to my XH A1's....I heard that the HV20 is not so great in low light.
-John
Same Here
I was going to add one to supplement my A1 and let my wife use it to shoot
as well. She does a very credible Job behind the camera but the A1 is just to
much for her to handle weight & size wise. This will give us back our 2 videographer option in house as well. Yes low light is a concern but actually
its no worse and maybe even a tad better then the comparable Sony Offerings of similar cameras. If you are aware of its limitations you can generally work around them. Use at the reception is probably out because of the inherantly low lighting but during the ceremony and for outside work I think It would be a great supplement, I am not sure If I would want to make it a primary camera though unless you had a very good lighting solution.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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Whether shooting 60i, or 24p, use the Cine mode in sun lit out door shots. It seems to widen the latitude, bringing up shadow detail... Cine mode does shoot a flatter image, but having shot weddings in the past, I would have no problem shooting Cine mode totally, and then bring up the colors and other correction back in post as wanted.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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I'm using XH-A1 as the main cam and HV20 as second. Used to shoot both in 60i but I just can't stand the "home video" look. Now I'm shooting 30F in XH-A1 and PF24 in HV20 (with pulldown intact). Will buy HV30 so both shoot in 30F/30P mode.

HV20's low light is not as superior as XH-A1. But it is still an awesome camera. I have to add the WA lens, hood, flash bracket, shotgun mic, omnidirectional mic to gear it up so it won't look too much "consumer".
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I'm using XH-A1 as the main cam and HV20 as second. Used to shoot both in 60i but I just can't stand the "home video" look. Now I'm shooting 30F in XH-A1 and PF24 in HV20 (with pulldown intact). Will buy HV30 so both shoot in 30F/30P mode.
Someone posted a technique one time about using the HV20 (60i) in shutter priority mode with a shutter speed of 1/30th to give you 30p. Would this work similarly or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old January 30th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #7
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I'm using one alongside my XH-A1's and to be honest, I'm hoping to go for a third XH in the next 6 months. In low light it's too noticable. Not bad, just noticable which bugs me.

I will keep it for family stuff and probably still take it with me as compact back-up or for tight spaces static shots.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #8
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Here's the "bottom line", the small cameras can give you extra usable angles for low dough. using it on a tripod for cutaways or whatever is a great option, and as noted it can provide a light easy to use camera for those times it's warranted, or for a second op. Also a decent backup if something happens to your #1.

Main potential "issue" is "camera envy" - in theory, "bigger is better", but once you know the limitations and advantages of each camera and shoot accordingly, I'll venture that 99.99% of viewers wouldn't notice much difference between the latest crop of HD cameras. Seen plenty of stuff shot by good camera guys with small cams, and it looks great.

As gearheads, we tend to dissect each feature and nuance, looking for all the flaws... better to use the gear, find out how to get the most out of it, and remember that we are our own worst critics and you won't likely find anyone else nearly as critical! I look back at couple of weddings I shot with some pretty low end camcorders, and while they may not be quite as striking as what I can shoot now, they aren't bad, and I know the friends I shot them for when starting out still think they are the greatest... the content works for them!

As Taky noted, you can deck thesmall cams out to look impressive enough that they will pass as "pro" - most people don't know the difference once you add a mic and WA... I get good remarks when using a small cam decked out, and I'm more comfortable with a smaller discrete cam - I can book for less $, deliver 90-95% plus of the picture quality as I know what the small cams can do, and it's a good $/value proposition.

Still have a bigger cam, and you can tell the other tech types when it comes out - they ooh and ahh... but I feel more out of place having a bigger "rig", maybe that's just me. I prefer to be "invisible" while getting the shot since I'm there to capture the moment, not look like a hollywood production crew - officiants seem to appreciate this approach, and more often than not comment favorably!

If the HV20 makes "sense" $ wise (and they are available almost insanely cheap at the moment), add it to your kit and you'll find lots of uses for it. I myself prefer the small Sonys, but the HV20 has lots going for it, especially if you're #1 is a Canon.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #9
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I bought an HV20 a month or so ago just to see how these little cams stack up against my bigger guys.
If all I shot was outside weddings with plenty of light, the HV20 would be great, but once you get it indoors with low light it does suffer a whole lot. What do you expect for $700? It's a nice little camera to have around as a backup or extra angle, but I wouldn't do your grunt work with it. Right now mine logs most of it's hours as a tape deck and personal use camera. It'll get a pretty good wedding workout in about a month when my wife goes solo for a weekend and needs a much smaller camera on the Merlin. When I get around to editing that footage I can say more about it.
For the $$, it's a great little camera, but don't expect it to put your XHA1, Z1, V1, whatever out of work.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #10
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One good point is you get to use it for your playback/capture deck and save racking up hours on your XH-A1
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Old January 30th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #11
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A dedicated playback/record deck may be a more robust ingest solution, but how many decks can you also take out as a backup camera. I'd much rather burn through a HV20 per year for 3 or 4 years for the same price I could buy a deck for. In 4 years HDV will be toast anyway so your deck won't be worth much then. With the pace of technology these days, I think it's a good idea not to buy into long term solutions anyway. I'm not so sure there are any.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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Plus, the consumer Canon HD camcorders (HV10, HV20, HV30) are the only "decks" capable of playing back video recorded in 30F and 24F Frame mode with a Canon XH A1 / G1 or XL H1.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #13
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HV20 and 30F

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I'm using XH-A1 as the main cam and HV20 as second. Used to shoot both in 60i but I just can't stand the "home video" look. Now I'm shooting 30F in XH-A1 and PF24 in HV20 (with pulldown intact). Will buy HV30 so both shoot in 30F/30P mode.

HV20's low light is not as superior as XH-A1. But it is still an awesome camera. I have to add the WA lens, hood, flash bracket, shotgun mic, omnidirectional mic to gear it up so it won't look too much "consumer".
I've been searching for an answer to this question, but can't seem to track it down: Does the HV20 shoot 30F? I know it plays back 24F and 30F.

Like Taky, I prefer to shoot 30F with my XH-A1. I want to add an HV20 as a B camera but will there be problems mixing the footage in Final Cut?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #14
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No HV20 doesn't shoot in 30F. It can play back 30F footage. The HV30 has a new 30P shooting mode.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #15
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So, in proper light, can you tell the difference between the A1 and the HV20?
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