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


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Old July 16th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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On board led lighting at weddings

Ok, just curious how many of you use some type of on board lighting when filming a reception, or do you just film with the lighting at the reception?
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Old July 16th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #2
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In about 99% of the receptions I've done the lights are almost off and in some cases the only real lighting is from the DJs lights so for me if I'm inside I've got a light going. Currently I'm using the LPMicro and while it's not the perect light it works just fine for me. I use a PD170 and while the low light capability of the camera is exceptional it cannot see in the dark so "light on".
I know some use other lights and some don't use any at all but for me it just doesn't make sense not to use some sort of light. Is it a perfect solution? No but I've haven't had anyone complain about it (except for the occassional grinch) and especially when they view the finishedproduct and they are happy they can see the people who are partying.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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Almost all the reception that I worked on, I have to supply my own lights. I have tried several other lights such as Canon VL-10, LP Micro, SWIT. None of them is strong enough. Now I'm using Comer 1800 lights. They are very powerful and flexible. I'm quite happy with the result too.

You can take a look at this L.A. Color Blog it is from the Comer light before and after at a reception. The light has several mode. The picture showing is the spot light mode with the condenser filter. Without that, it will have a nice spread throw.

You can also take a look at these comparison video I put together showing 6 different on-camera lights.

YouTube - 6 On-Camera Video Lights Shootout - Test #1 Small Room

YouTube - 6 On-Camera Video Lights Shootout - Test #2 Medium Size Room
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Old July 16th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #4
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I recently filmed our first wedding, and I was using the MicroPro. The entire reception was dim. I went without a light for certain shots, but that was for effect. Otherwise it worked for me. I love it because it's light enough to be on the camera without extra battery packs and I didn't have to replace the batteries once. I'll be picking up the standard Micro for my second camera shortly.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #5
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yeah, the pro is rated at 55 watts when full on and the Micro is actually only 25 watts but I've been using it since it first came out and while there are times I wish it had a bit more power for the most part I've been very happy with it. AND it's been banged around and even dropped and it not only stayed together but continues to work.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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I bought my MP micro at $340. It was a rip off. It was all plastic and flimsy. The dial switch broke twice already. Batteries last about 45 min. The output is weak. After using the 1/4 gel to make it to be used indoor, it's about the same output as my Canon VL-10 light which is 10 watt.

Oh you can read about this here =)

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-hvr-...ml#post1162976
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Old July 16th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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mmm, no way that sounds right Taky. Yeah I can see the dial breaking but 45 minutes on batteries? C'mon man what are you using, used batteries? I get almost 2hours with alkaline and 4 to 4 1/2 with 2200 MaH rechargables-enough to get thru a reception. As for the constuction, yeah it's plastic. That's how they make it weight next to nothing, gotta give up something to gain something. As for output, again, I don't know what you measured it with or against but I can tell you from my experience that with the diffusion and 1/4 CTO the effective output is about 20W. How do I know? I measured it againt both a light meter AND by f/stop against my 20watt anton bauer light with and without a softbox. The AB did throw a bit farther without the softbox vs. the Micro without any filters but all in all it's really not as bad as you make it out to be. BTW, I got mine when they 1st came out and paid $299 rom Scott Cantrell.
Anyway, the light you use now looks pretty good but I think I'll stick to my Micro-maybe even get the MicroPro.
Just my thoughts
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Old July 16th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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I am using Sony 2400mah NiMH rechargable batteries with a Sony charger. In litePanels web site, it indicates it can be used continously up to 1.5 hours. So if you can get 2 hours, you must be using it on and off but not continously.

For me, I can get about 50 min (or up to an hour). Worst is, near the end of battery life, the light starting to flicker. The flickering is recorded to the video too. I got footage usable because of that. So I ended up have to carry 16 AA batteries so I can make it through the wedding and 4 hrs reception. It was messy too when I need to change battery. Imagine holding 4 batteries in one hand, holding the LP Micro in another. Try to swap out the 4 batteries in the light and replaced it with new ones. At the same time the battery compartment keep pushing the batteries out. You also cannot mix up the good/used batteries. So worst case scenerio, I have to do this 3 times in one night. While changing battery, the reception events is still going on in the background. They won't wait for you.. It was so messy.

I just saw it at LP web site, they just coe up a battery plate to ft to LP micro so you can use your camcorder batteries. That's great. However, I already sold my MP micro.

The light output is very weak. LP Micro is a good light to use it at filling in nearby object. It definitely not worth $300 ($340 my case). I don't have any light meter. But I did a comparison using 6 video lights that I have (Canon VL-3, VL10, LP Micro, SWIT, Comer 900, Comer 1800). That's also the sequence I rate them. LP micro is between Canon VL-10 and SWIT. If I apply the diffuser and the 1/4 CTO, the light output is even worst.

But hey, if the LP Micro works for you, and you are happy with it, that only matters! =)
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Old July 16th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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yeah it's not as strong as some and perhaps it's only 1.5 hours with akaline but I never use them anyway so I don't worry about having to change. As for the output, it sounds like you might have gotten a bad unit. When it first came out there were some that had low output and they were able to return them and get new ones.
All I know is that it works very well for me. Of course I'm one that gets in close at receptions I'm no fly on the wall, and as long as I'm within about 8 feet it covers nicely.
So just goes to show, different strokes for different folks.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:00 PM   #10
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I would say that the micro Pro is a lot better in quality. The comer lights are really interesting. they look like a clone of the Sony lights..
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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i've got the sony light HVL-lbp.

I should have bought the comer!! its the exact same thing for cheaper price.

and it says on the site that the comer 1800 is brighter than sony.

hmmm.. maybe get another one...
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:27 PM   #12
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Susanto, yeah they book look alike.. but the comer actually is brighter.

Sony is rated 1200 lux at 1 meter. Comer is 1800 lux at 1 meter.

Sony is 5600K day light balanced so you need to add the gel filter to be used indoor. Comer is 4500K by default. It's good enough to be used indoor without using any filter. Adding any filter will lower the brightness.

Sony can only use geniune sony battery. The light wont' work with third party battery. Comer lights can use any off brand NP-F970 or NP-F770 battery.

Sony's cold shoe mount is quite fragile. Sony charges $98 for the replacement if it broke. I can give you free.. But the comer shoe mount is stronger to begin with.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 01:03 AM   #13
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I bought a couple of Comer 1800 from Taky and used them at a wedding reception last weekend it worked a real treat. Highly recommended ;) You should get one Susanto if you are thinking of it. The good thing is it used the 3rd party NP970 batteries so that saved me quite a bit too.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:43 AM   #14
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MicroBeam LED light

I am using a couple of Microbeams and am very happy with them. Very solidy built out of an extruded aluminium section for the main body.

What I love is that they take the same batteries as my Canon XH-A1 and they do indeed last for hours on a single battery. Dimmable as well.

You can order battery mounts to suit your own rig/setup.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 11:06 AM   #15
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On Camera Light

I am using A micro light from Prompter People. I had mine configured for the Sony batteries.
It puts out a lot more light than the LP light & has very solid construction. It will not light an entire dance floor but will cover 3-4 couples. There is also plenty of light for toasts cake cutting etc. I did measure the output with a foot candle meter when I received the light, just don't remember the numbers at the moment. It does meet the publised spec. from Prompter People.

I shoot with an FX1 on a DV Multirig. I have designed & will manufacture a shoulder rest for the multirig similar to the cinevate shoulder rest, adjustable & padded.

For the ceremony the camera is mounted on a tripod but everything else is shot using the multirig. The light will run 2 hr. 5 min. on the small sony battery that comes with the camera.

Last edited by Bill Wilson; July 22nd, 2009 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Correct misspelling
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