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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:36 PM   #1
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Wide angle 2nd camera set-up!

I'm thinking about investing on a Canon HV30 to be used as wide-angle camera on a light stand at the church to get the "whole picture" from an Ariel view. I have few things to understand about this set-up as I never done this before. It will be great if those of you who are doing similar set-up could assist me.

1. Light stand adapter - what kind of light stand/quick release adapter you use to mount the camera on the light stand?

2. Framing - How do frame the shot when setting it up high on 10 feet light stand. Do you take a step ladder or some sort to get up to the camera and frame it or just have the LCD screen flipped down and move the light stand from underneath to achieve a good frame.

3. Recording - How do you record/pause the camera when it is 10 feet from the ground without affecting it's framing. I believe hv30 comes with a RF remote controller. If that's the case then this shouldn't be an issue.

4. Wide-angle adapter - can you recommend a good (cheap) wide angle adapter for HV30 to go with this set-up. I'm looking for a semi-fish eye look.

Thanks for your help.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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Why a light stand and adapter? Even a cheap $30 tripod from wallmart will be more secure and steady.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Obviously a light stand can get you far higher than a tripod, but you would have to make sure it doesn't get knocked. Any bumps, or thumps on the floor near by would make it wave around.

I know! I recently set an Zoom H2 10 foot up on light stand and found bumps destroyed that part of the audio. An H2 can be put in a shock mount but not so a camera.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 05:52 PM   #4
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thanks for the response guys.

Mike, as Renton mentioned, I want to put the camera on a light stand to achieve a higher angle shot looking over the guests. This camera will be set-up and unattended for the most part. Therefore I want to make sure that it is high enough so that if someone decide to move in front of the camera, it's not shooting back of their head for the whole time.

I know most churches have a balcony and that is where most of the videographers place their wide angle shot camera. I do mostly Indian weddings and they are mostly held at a banquet hall or temple which don't have balconies. So my only solution is to place the camera on a light stand (or some form of tripod which can give me about 10-feet vertical distance).

As for someone knocking over the light stand and potentially damaging the camera, I'm willing to take that risk. In my experience shooting weddings so far, I never had anyone knocking over my light stands (may be I'm just lucky). With proper counter weights at the bottom, I don't think this will be a big issue. In worst case scenario I'm only taking this risk with my $1K camera not the $5K one.

Only worried about people dumping into it and screwing up the framing. I guess a strategic placement and a periodic check up on the framing could minimize this.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #5
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Portable Balcony

Ram,

Here is my solution for not having a balcony

8 ft ladder
High hat tripod mount screwed to a small piece of wood and then bungee cord to the top of the ladder. (BH carries the high hat for 75mm heads that works great)

Black king size sheet and some cheap clamps to hold the sheet to the ladder.

The set up works great. Looks good once the ladder is wrapped with the sheet and allows you to make sure your shot is correct. Plus if you have a second person they can work that camera and still keep everyone out of their shot. You can probably get this setup for the cost of a good light stand.

I actually have this same set up but with two high hats on one piece of wood so I can film a wide angle shot and run the close up camera all from the same area without anyone getting in front of the shot. (mostly for school events that take place in a cafeteria setting).

Hope this helps

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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #6
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A tripod that will get over 6 feet (72-75 inches, the cam will add a couple more) should be enough, unless you've got an unusually tall crowd or they are standing quite a lot? Sunpak makes a 75" pod that's fairly cheap and sturdy - anything larger than that is going to be harder to prevent people tripping over - you start getting a large footprint even at that size.

I use a remote to control the cam, and just try to point it properly before the event starts.

Semi-fisheye may be a bit extreme - I used a Raynox HD6600 pro on my HV20 when I had it, was pretty decent, but only .6, sounds like you want more like a .5 or .4? Probably depends a lot on your venue.

Speaking of the venue, any chance there are posts or other archetechtural bits where you could clamp a camera? I've got a selection of small clamp type mounts in my kit and typically use them when there's just no room for a tripod. If you've got a post or a railing or whatnot (I've used this for a camera mounted to the arbor for a front angle cam shot!), this is worth considering as an option, and is CHEAP - let me know if you want a list of the clamp type things I've seen/used... they are handy bits!
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Schwartz View Post
Ram,

Here is my solution for not having a balcony

8 ft ladder
Are you serious? You bring a ladder to the ceremony?
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Old March 17th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #8
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Serious

Patrick,

Yes, We set it up in the back and drape it with a black cloth. I have finished ceremonies and the wedding coordinator comment that she did not even realize it was there.

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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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Jonathan,

All though your ladder idea sounds logical in terms of height, steadiness, and having instant access to the camera, it might be a little too obtrusive for my standards. I don't think I can get away with too many clients with a ladder placed their ceremony location (even though it is covered). Plus it will be a pain in the neck to carry a 8-foot ladder around.

Dave,

I like your idea of placing the camera on a tall tripod. I will look in to the tripod you mentioned.

Patrick,

I remember seeing a few ariel overview shots in some of your highlights videos where the ceremony was held outdoor. Unless your clamping the camera to a branch of a tree near by ;-), you are probably putting it on a set-up in discussion here. Do you mind sharing it with us. Btw, you need to update your location in your profile. You are a T dot man now :)
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 02:09 AM   #10
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hmmm, this is an interesting debate, I think a tall tripod is just as obtrusive as a large ladder with black cloth draped around it. When tripods get that high, their base is typically fairly large anyhow. Where did you guys setup the ladders/large tripods during the ceremony? Were you guys directly center (typically where the aisle is), or off to the right or left in the back?
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 05:29 AM   #11
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For what it's worth...at the very start, of the very first hymn, at my very first wedding shoot, I realised I needed to get above the heads of people to get clear unobstructed footage.

Because I thought the standard tripods I had were satisfactory (probably not deemed so by many members here, but that's ok, I'm happy), and because I was not about to go out and splurge on expensive new high ones, I devised, with a little Kiwi ingenuity, a very cheap adaption to my existing tripods which allows me to get my cameras up to around seven to eight feet (2.1m - 2.4m). I painted the additions black to look professional. I have very tidy plastic two step ladders which we can stand on and control the cameras from when they are set that high.

What it means is no more blocked views. Great.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 05:51 AM   #12
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I'm using an HV30 mounted on a Manfrotto tripod. With the center column extended it goes to 75" and higher with the ball head. It's good enough so not many people can block the camera.

The HV30 is a seceond cam in addition to XH-A1. I mounted the WD-H43 Wide angle lens to HV30. Since I have a WA lens adapter for the A1, the original A1 lens hood fit just right to WD-H43.

I taped the remote control to the tripod handle then wired a TOS optical cable to the front of the tripod. Now I can use the remote control as the LANC controller. Pretty cool.

Then use the BP-2L24 battery that last for 4 hrs in recording mode and LCD on. Since the HV30 is not manned it's good not to worry changing battery.

In the reception, I will mount the tripod to a cheap $40 dolly. The dolly is totally NOT for smooth rolling shot. It's just make the tripod even taller and less likely to tip over.

Then when you get home, the HV30 will become a playback deck to reduce wear for the A1. It plays back all modes 60i/30P/30F/24P/24F. Btw, I shot in 30F in A1 and 30P in HV30.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 12:48 PM   #13
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That was some great information Taky. Thanks for sharing with us.

One question, do mind telling what model of manfrotto tripod you use to mount the HV30?

Also, how do you position your HV30 at reception? Do you just cover the head table and the podium or do place it further back to get little bit of guests (heads). I guess if the house lights are dimmed they won't be enough exposure on guests considering the (lack of) low light capability of HV30.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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My tripod is manfrotto 3221. It's a bundle package with the ball head and a carrying bag all fromm Bogen for $3xx.

At reception, I will use the HV30 pointing at the head table, podium, or dance floor in the middle at wide angle. Then the XH-A1 on the side for close up. For lighting, I use three Canon VL-10 video lights. Two on the HV30, one on the A1. They work well.

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