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


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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
And with those thoughts in mind (i.e. that the Z5 will offer lots more very useful photographic goodies) I say avoid the XLR-less 1000 version.
Perhaps, if you were buying just one camera.

But it's different for live event folks that need multiple cameras. For instance, I use 3 and any camera without XLR inputs works well for me because I only need one that's XLR capable. Why pay an extra $3000 for something I'll never use? I'd just as soon take that dough and buy a fourth unit.

Again, no argument that the Z5 should be better than the FX1000 in other respects (It had better be). All I'm saying is that XLR inputs alone shouldn't be the reason to dismiss a camera and go immediately up to the next level. There are cheaper ways to skin *that* cat.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #17
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William,
I have a few thoughts not expressed here. I do a little work for local news and cable broadcast, and all of my work is required on tape in SD 4:3. I also benefit greatly from the XLRs on the A1. I came from years of using the VX2100, and I have to say one of my favorite things about the A1 is the built in convenience of the XLRs. I would say if you were looking to do weddings only, then the FX1000 or HMC150 would be good. But, I would say with any need for local broadcast, the A1 works very well for me. and, I don't find it's low-light performance limiting. I like its low-light picture much better than my old Sonys. In fact, I would probably not buy the FX1000 anyway because I become so enamored with the Canon picture vs. the sony. Anyway, good luck.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the responses.

I think it's down to the Canon XH-A1 and the Panasonic HMC 150. I love everything I've seen and read about the A1. The only reservation I have is that it's been out for a few years and I don't want to buy something that will be dated shortly after purchasing.

The HMC 150 is intriguing. I just need to figure out how to adjust to a tapeless workflow. And get my hands on it to check out it's "feel".
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #19
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William- what camera did you end up going with in the end? How has it turned out for you?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #20
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Yeah, and let me know if you need two Z1's. :)
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #21
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This point was touched on, but I'll bring it up again.... if you do legal videography you HAVE to have a tape. Lawyers and the legal process like the thing called the "master" copy. Those "things" can be put in envelopes and stored, subpoenaed, held up in court, etc. Not likely to be possible with the massively expensive SxS card.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #22
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This point was touched on, but I'll bring it up again.... if you do legal videography you HAVE to have a tape. Lawyers and the legal process like the thing called the "master" copy. Those "things" can be put in envelopes and stored, subpoenaed, held up in court, etc. Not likely to be possible with the massively expensive SxS card.
But certainly possible with SDHC. And don't underestimate the "legal process". Sometimes it may surprise you. I'm amazed by it every day!
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:17 PM   #23
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William- what camera did you end up going with in the end? How has it turned out for you?
Mike, I went with the Canon XH A1. I shot one wedding with it at the end of the season, and a couple of PSA's. So far, I'm very impressed with the results. Now, I just need that Brevis and Glidecam ;)
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 04:31 PM   #24
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I'm a bit biased as I have a very high end camera, but I do have my list of features I would be looking for if I were shopping for a camera to shoot weddings.

1. Good lowlight performance - It's not good enough that it can see in the dark. It has to be clean. Video noise is subjective but my tolerance is pretty tight. I've seen some cameras do pretty well up to 18db but they tend to cost more than many will be willing to spend. So you have to find your threshold for how much gain you are willing to accept before you need to add additional lighting to the scene. In other words, everyone's interpretation of this will be different. If you have a nice broad, soft light source that can fill out a shot really well, your needs may be different from those who have spotty lights that barely illuminate their subject, nevermind what's around their subject. So, it's the camera combined with your choice of lighting that will determine what is acceptable to you. This requires testing - not reading specs.

2. Ergonomics - how is the camera to hold? How does it work with tripods, glidecams, steadicams, etc? Is it too heavy, too light? Are controls accessible at your finger tips or do you have to go deep into menus? This is one thing that should not be underestimated. You should have as much manual overide as possible and it should be right there on the camera.

3. Lens - If the glass is poor, so will your images, in a variety of ways. Unwanted flares, poor color rendition, poor contrast, etc. This area has improved over the years and many of the entry level professional cameras have decent optics. But none-the-less, test out the various cameras to make sure the lens can hold focus through the zoom range, check the lens at various F-stops to see what the characteristics are like. When you've worked with great glass, the flaws in lower end zoom lenses become more obvious.

4. Frame rates, chip size, etc - I like the thought of a 1080P camera that can shoot true 24P for when you need it. I also like the bigger chip sizes. The EX-1 is a great example of a camera that is offering a bigger chip. This helps with achieving more filmic images if you are after that. But, CMOS chips like the ones the EX-1 uses have their own problems, for example with strobes. If you shoot with a lot of flash photography in your scenes, or you happen to also be a police videographer you'll see the ugly effect this can have on your footage. So, know the limitations of the CMOS cameras.

5. Record formats - I am not the biggest fan of HDV, but I understand its place in the market, and for the most part it holds up, especially if you get it into a more rugged format in post. As storage capacities increase in the future I would prefer to see cameras recording with smart codecs such as what's offered by Cineform and most recently by Red. Throwing away information is an artform. But if we want to expand what is possible on the lower end, the technology will need to move towards smart codecs that allow as much of that information to survive so it can be manipulated a lot more in postproduction. Hopefully, we will also see these cameras have more dynamic range, and better S/N ratios.

So, back to the question at hand - which camera should you buy? The answer to that is the one that works best for you when you actually go out and shoot tests with it. Does it do everything you need it to do, does it produce an image that is up to the standards of the videos you produce or intend to produce? I have found that often I am disappointed with a product if I buy it only based on reviews or tech specs. Had I only tested it I would have realized that it had some features that didn't really work for my style of shooting.

For what it's worth I did see the HMC150 in action recently, and it is a cool camera. But I would have to play around with it, dig into the menus to see if I could tweak it to look better than what I saw. There seems to be a lot of noise. The camera owner said they were having problems with chroma noise on some of the cameras but it was being dealt with. Anyway, that's all I got on that topic.

Best of luck with your purchase!
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 06:10 PM   #25
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The FX1000 will indeed be good in low light, but without XLR inputs I'd say forget it for the wedding and pro work.
Not True. I am starting to move away from camera XLR sound, it's just no good, instead I want to go with the Edirol R44 recorder. I would rather buy a cheaper camera without any XLR inputs and get my audio from a professional source. In most cases during a wedding you need audio all over the place shooting video and monitoring audio is very hard as you probably know by now, my solution is cheaper camera better audio equipment.

I have two XHA1's and they are by all means best value for the quality you get, it's almost a steal!! The JVC and Z1 is really old tech, I would stay away from them!
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Old February 4th, 2009, 01:57 AM   #26
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The JVC and Z1 is really old tech, I would stay away from them!
Delivery, not process. Person, not camera. Experience not money.
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