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


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Old January 12th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #1
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Stepping Out Of The Shadows

Hello all. I would like to introduce myself, and thank you all for the great advice and information that you are giving freely here. I have been lurking for a while, soaking up information, and planning my attack so to speak. I have little to nothing to offer as of yet, but will certainly contribute as I am able. I have little experience other than a long-time love for rear end of the camera. I have done three weddings for friends over the last few years, with this last summer's a full-out attempt at a complete production, but using only consumer equipment (other than my Presonus Firestudio for multi-track audio recording).

And now, I am digging in and planning a staged entry into doing this for a living.

My current plans are to start with an EX1 for a main cam. I know I could start off with a cheaper camera, but given what I have found here and from some other sources, I am leaning strongly towards that cam. My B-camera for this year will very likley be an HV30. I have budgeted for a 3rd camera for next year, but am undecided on what that will be. I'll see in the fall after some time with these cameras.

Anyhow, I wanted to introduce myself before posting my first question (which I will do separately).

Thanks,

Mike
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Old January 12th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Good luck to you mike. I know how you feel about the EX1, but based on price and performance you might want to take a look at the XH A1. You can buy two for the price of the EX1 and it wont be as hard to match up in post with the hv30. Just my .02. I was a noob not long ago and here looking for answers just like you are. Don't be afraid to ask anything because I'm pretty sure someone on this forum can answer. Once again, good luck.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks Shaun. The XH-A1 is the other main contender on my list, and I agree with your comments. One thing on the EX1 is is it's lower light capabilithy, and I have this notion of setting my goals high and trying to learn this camera in case I can branch into other areas of camera work. I will look very hard at this, and welcome any opinions on the matter.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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Mike, I think you should definitely get an EX-1, and then I think you should let me borrow it from time to time. :)

-Kevin
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Old January 12th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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I don't know how the market is right now in your area. The EX-1 is a really good camera but consider this, you also need to purchase sxs cards ( at least 6-16g cards) which could easily run you a few thousand bucks. If you are charging $ 1000 per wedding, you need at least 9 weddings for you to recover your investment.

I am migrating to HD this year (hopefully with enough bookings), I am setting my sight on the FX7 ( $ 2000), 3 weddings and I have recovered my investment. But that's just me.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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Well, this surely will be a hard decision. I see some great results with the A1 here, but you all are way more skilled than I (which of course I aim to fix).
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Old January 12th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Petrucco View Post
...I have done three weddings for friends over the last few years, with this last summer's a full-out attempt at a complete production, but using only consumer equipment (other than my Presonus Firestudio for multi-track audio recording).

And now, I am digging in and planning a staged entry into doing this for a living.

My current plans are to start with an EX1 for a main cam. I know I could start off with a cheaper camera, but given what I have found here and from some other sources, I am leaning strongly towards that cam. My B-camera for this year will very likley be an HV30. I have budgeted for a 3rd camera for next year, but am undecided on what that will be...

Mike
Hi Mike,

No doubt the EX-1 is a great camera and many have already brought up some questions about it being the right choice for you, given the information you shared with us. In the end it's your decision, but I would like to throw out some ideas.

Since you are planning on doing this for a living, it is critical to watch your expenses. If the EX1 will let you charge twice as much as you could charge by shooting with the other HD cameras, then it may be the right choice, or if it will allow you to get jobs that you could not with non EX1 cameras, then it may be a good investment.

Another thing to consider for weddings is the importance of having quality backup gear. If your b camera is the HV30 it will not match very well in low light conditions, but even more importantly, if something happened to the EX1 during the wedding, the HV30 is not a suitable replacement. A brand new camera should not fail, but things happen. Accidents happen. The wedding will not wait while you get a replacement camera.

If you do get an EX1, perhaps you could rent an EX1 for your second camera instead of buying the HV30. Then not only would you have a matching camera, but you would have a suitable backup camera.

If the EX1 does not add up to good business sense there are good alternatives out there, which are very cost effective. I personally would give consideration to the Sony Z5 and the Panasonic HMC150. Both cameras are better in low light than the Canon XH A1. You can buy two Panasonic HMC150s for the price of one EX1, or if a local rental house rents either either the Z5 or HMC150, just buy one camera and rent the second until you have enough business to justify the expense.

All of this is based on doing video for a living. If it's just a hobby, then you don't have to closely watch how much you spend on gear. If the EX1 will allow you to make a bigger profit, then go for it.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #8
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You are right on Mark, and that is tough to sort out because I am in business start-up mode, still in my day job and so am transitioning from hobby to business. I have a hard time not drooling over the higher end.

I am planning to use FCP (I use a mac), and am concerned about the ineffeciency of working with ACVHD, with extra transoding & file storage requirements there. I would rather go HDV or XDCAM for that reason. Maybe that will be an issue solved in the coming year.

Am I out to lunch on that one?

The idea of two A1s for the price of an EX1 is pretty tempting. You've all got me thinking there.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike Petrucco View Post

...I am planning to use FCP (I use a mac), and am concerned about the ineffeciency of working with ACVHD, with extra transoding & file storage requirements there. I would rather go HDV or XDCAM for that reason. Maybe that will be an issue solved in the coming year.

Am I out to lunch on that one?...

Hi Mike,

Just last month I trained a company in New York. They were using FCP with the EX1. I'm not a FCP user, so I don't know exactly what the terms of the process are, but they could not edit the EX1 files straight from the card. They had to go through some type of an encoding process.

I edit on Edius, and with Edius I just opened the Sony clip browser and dragged the clips into the Edius bin window and the clips were ready to edit. It was much faster than FCP. Additionally, I was using a single little Lacie external usb drive. He was using a dual G Tech drive going through firewire 800. I had much better real time performance on a slower laptop.

So after looking at the workflow with the EX1 and FCP, I don't know that it would be much different with FCP and the HMC150...but I don't have experience with using FCP and AVCHD.

I do have experience with the Canon XH A1 and the Panasonic HMC150 is significantly better in low light than the Canon. I do not have experience with the Z5, but I have heard the low light performace is better than the Canon.

The Z5 uses CMOS, the HMC150 does not, so the HMC150 does not suffer from the rolling shutter with camera flashes, which happens a lot at weddings. It's just my opinion, but rolling shutter flashes, especially in slow motion are unactractive.

Bottom line...the Z5 gives you the ability to record to both tape and CF card, but that option takes the price to about $4900. The HMC150 does not have the tape option, but it's only about $3300.

So many choices to consider, but that is a good thing. When I was looking at going HD two years ago my choices were limited to the Sony FX1, Z1 and Canon XH A1. I bought one of each and ended up going with two Z1s and an FX1. You have much better options today than I did two years ago. Have fun in your selection process.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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re

here is what i did

take a 6 grand loan
purchase a sony HVr v1 ( great color)
Purchase mac pro and final cut 2 , new graphix card and more ram
Sit every night and every weekend in front of it and learn all about 25p 50i , compressor, codecs, perfecting touches, color grading, effects, transitions, movement, mise en scene dvd studio, soundtrack pro. I think i have done every tutorial there is. Now my standard definition DVDS look amazing on my 42 after 6 months hard work and patience.

spend your money wisely. Hard drives are easy to miss out, and if like me you do all pro res 422 u need big ones. My play back deck alone cost 1400. Its easy to think all about the camera but there are many elements. Wireless mics and so on, merlin steadicam ( hard to master but great)

I am now looking at the xh a1 as i dont have a b camera, encase i have problems to my v1 it will be more suited for the evening filming. Once color graded u cant tell the difference between the the 2.

The ex 1 does look tasty though. mmmmmmm
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