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


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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Camera advice

First off as a newbie to the forum I gotta say this is an excellent resource.

So I'm looking to do an upgrade on a budget. I have been doing wedding videos with a Panasonic DVC7 which I have actually been very happy with, nice camera for the price as long as you use a camera light for the reception, and a JVC GR-HD1 that I bought when they first came out.

Thanks to this site I have picked up some tips on improving the HD1s quality through the use of filters, but I still like the DVC7 better, it has alot less of a "video" look to it.

So I am wanting to upgrade, we currently have never been asked if we offer HD so I'm not really concerned about that until next year when it will probably be more popular in my area. Should I buy a nice used 3ccd SD camera to get through the year or buy somthing like the Sony HD1000u? Budget is around $1500.

The ultimate goal is to get into something like the Canon XH-1A when I'm ready to start offering HD but thats not an option at this point.

So what would everyone recommend?
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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Gonna have a hard time finding a cam that will perform well enough in low-light on that budget. You might be able to find a deal on a Canon XL-1s or XL-2 for that price, but you'll be strapped for extras (batteries, etc.). I know you're not so concerned with HD at the moment, but you might consider the Canon HV-20 or HV-30 as well.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. So something like an XL1 would still give better performance than a cheaper HD cam?
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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I would definitely stay away from the HV20 or 30 or any similar cameras for use as a primary camera. They are great little cameras, but you'll get better faster if you're using a camera that gives you more control. Also, the demand for HD is still fairly slim from my experience, so there's no rush to upgrade (as I found out this past summer).

You might want to check out something like Craigslist for used gear, or maybe B&H.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 02:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Haro View Post
Thanks for the reply. So something like an XL1 would still give better performance than a cheaper HD cam?
Depends on what your criterion is. HD cams have issues with low light, although with on cam light they do fairly well... While the small HD cams are always a compromise to some degree as to how much manual control you've got, it's hard to argue with the image quality under most conditions.

Even picking up a used HV20 or 30 (or other small HD camera...) to get some experience with HD wouldn't be a bad idea to ease the transition. Problem is that once you shoot HD, you'll probably want to make the jump, even if there isn't any demand!
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Old January 16th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #6
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My problem exactly. Got all excited about HD and forgot about computing necessities. Now I'm stuck with an HD cam I can't really utilize to its fullest 'cause I can't turn projects around in good time with this ol' hunk o' junk!

Let the penny-pinching begin...
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #7
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I have used the Sony PD-170 and VX2100 to shoot many weddings before just now switching to HD. Those cams are AWESOME in low light. Much better than the XL's. It's to bad, I just sold mine the other day for $1400 with W/A, extra batteries and filters. I think you will be very impressed with those cameras. The PD-170 has the XLR inputs where as the VX2000-VX2100 does not.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #8
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I would buy the FX7 over the HD1000 there's only $ 500 difference in pricing. It gives you 3 CMOS compared to 1 CMOS for the HD1000. I have also used the DVC 7 in the past, posed no problem with me coz I light the reception. It has since died, I am currently using a vx2000.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #9
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I did an existing light test shoot last night with my DVX100, right after putting down my EX1. Looking at the footage from the two reminded me why the DVX was a game changer. If you don't NEED HD, and you have to shoot in low light, I cannot recommend that unit strongly enough. I wish their sub $10k HD cameras were as nice.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I might see if I can swing an FX7, looks like a decent camera. If not I think I'll search for a used DVX100 or PD170. If I can get a good enough deal I can use that through the season and than put money asside to upgrade to nice HD cams.

I have a fair amount of videos booked for this year and although the single chip cameras have done well for me I find I'm spending too much time in post doing clean-up, adjusting color etc...
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I did an existing light test shoot last night with my DVX100, right after putting down my EX1. Looking at the footage from the two reminded me why the DVX was a game changer. If you don't NEED HD, and you have to shoot in low light, I cannot recommend that unit strongly enough. I wish their sub $10k HD cameras were as nice.
Adam... I was in your shoes a few months ago when it came to buying a new camera. I originally wanted a PD170 or VX2100 for the low light capabilities. I ended up going with the DVX100B and have been BLOWN away by it's performance. Even in low light it performs well... Also with this cam you can record in 24p... Which to me looks a lot nicer then interlace, gives a more film look.
You can usually find a DVX100A or B on the market place... There are so many to choose from right in your price range. Highly recommend this camera.
good luck
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #12
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Advice for me too!

I echo Adam's kudos to this forum. I am a newbie here too, and was just about to post a message very similar to Adams.

I currently have a Sony TRV900 and want to buy a good used SD cam to use as a primary with the TRV as a second cam or backup.

What would you choose, to buy used for about $1000 or $1200:
-Canon GL2
-Panasonic DX100 (or 100b?)
-Sony VX2100

If you want to just pick one, i'd appreciate it. But if you have time to elaberate on why one is better than the other, then you are very very helpful and i won't forget it, my friend.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Haro View Post
First off as a newbie to the forum I gotta say this is an excellent resource.

So I'm looking to do an upgrade on a budget. I have been doing wedding videos with a Panasonic DVC7 which I have actually been very happy with, nice camera for the price as long as you use a camera light for the reception, and a JVC GR-HD1 that I bought when they first came out.

Thanks to this site I have picked up some tips on improving the HD1s quality through the use of filters, but I still like the DVC7 better, it has alot less of a "video" look to it.

So I am wanting to upgrade, we currently have never been asked if we offer HD so I'm not really concerned about that until next year when it will probably be more popular in my area. Should I buy a nice used 3ccd SD camera to get through the year or buy somthing like the Sony HD1000u? Budget is around $1500.

The ultimate goal is to get into something like the Canon XH-1A when I'm ready to start offering HD but thats not an option at this point.

So what would everyone recommend?
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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #13
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For $1500 you'll get VX2100 in great condition with some accessories. If you lucky then maybe PD170. Can't go wrong with those. I did 4 years on my VX2100 and want to upgrade just because I need HD cams for more film-like projects - not only weddings.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #14
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Read this:

EMediaLive.com: Shooting Stars

In short DVX100, better features, better audio, better sensors, real 24p mode, better glass, better handling. I suspect the VX2100 would have fared somewhat better, but I'd still take a DVX over two of any other DV cams including anything I could get at B&H today.

Now finding one used at $1000 or $1200 may be another matter...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou Raguse View Post
I echo Adam's kudos to this forum. I am a newbie here too, and was just about to post a message very similar to Adams.

I currently have a Sony TRV900 and want to buy a good used SD cam to use as a primary with the TRV as a second cam or backup.

What would you choose, to buy used for about $1000 or $1200:
-Canon GL2
-Panasonic DX100 (or 100b?)
-Sony VX2100

If you want to just pick one, i'd appreciate it. But if you have time to elaberate on why one is better than the other, then you are very very helpful and i won't forget it, my friend.

Thanks!
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Old January 17th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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How many hours of use on a used DVX100B would you consider too much to buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Read this:

EMediaLive.com: Shooting Stars

In short DVX100, better features, better audio, better sensors, real 24p mode, better glass, better handling. I suspect the VX2100 would have fared somewhat better, but I'd still take a DVX over two of any other DV cams including anything I could get at B&H today.

Now finding one used at $1000 or $1200 may be another matter...
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