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

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Old July 13th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #31
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,816
One thing for weddings, unless you're doing them for free (good idea there - see if you even want to do them, it's not for everyone), you need a backup camera. But you can probably learn a lot with one camera and "free" shots <wink>. I started with one cam, a second borrowed one, and a couple tripods (crappy cameras too!). The end results make me cringe, yet still move the friends I shot/edited for... you have to start somewhere, and I guess it didn't suck so much that it ended my "career".

For the XR500, you can get any screw on 37MM lens hood, there are a couple cheap import versions - there was a thread on DVi sister site "HDMOM" on this exact topic. Perhaps more practical, you can also get a WA lens - one of the older HG0737 series or the current HGA07. A WA is handy in close quarters, and you want to get a GOOD one, not one of the cheap ones - there is a difference.

My current rig is 3-4 of the XR500s, mid size batteries, with a backup/2nd battery always handy for each, did I mention I don't have to worry about TAPEs anymore? I've got WA's for each camera, a couple of shotguns, a couple of the Sony bluetooth wireless mics (backed up by iRivers on the groom and elsewhere - this actually is my primary audio for the altar "hot zone"). Decent tall tripods (lousy heads on a couple, but they don't need to move once set...). There's a 8G MS Duo in each for stills and in case of a HDD failure, I can record to the stick.

I've given up on truly "flying" cameras, just too touchy for setup, doesn't fit my style. I've however got some nice shoulder type rigs with a monopod support/belt socket, and the little Sony LANC controller (with optional light standoffs with the "20LX" Sima LED lights for fill at least when needed). With the super OIS of the XR, thinking through the shot, and a little practice "gliding" instead of stomping about, I can duplicate a flying shot fairly nicely, and I'm 100% mobile when I need to be.

For photos, we shoot a couple midline Alphas, with an assortment of vintage Minolta glass and some newer lenses. Hoping they will release a new Alpha series with video which could double on stills/video sometimes... meanwhile, playing with the Sony HX1 superzoom which does both, just to get some ideas - it's not a great cam, but has some interesting capabilities - the potential is there, but not realized as well as I'd like in the HX1...

I'm planning on integrating "something" into the hardware fleet, but I don't know if it will be a bigger video camera or a DSLR-V... I just know that nothing fits what I'm looking for (hope this makes you feel a bit less lost!).

For the moment it appears you're doing the most important thing, having fun shooting with the family and making memories! Whether you end up going "pro" or not, that's probably the most important shooting you can do! If you get a good higher end consumer camera, whatever one you go with, you'll have a small cam for family stuff (priceless, as the commercials say), and a "B" cam when you finally get something larger.
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