Camcorder part 2. The Look. at

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

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Old March 25th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #1
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Location: New York, NY
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Camcorder part 2. The Look.

Few days ago I started a topic about choosing a camcorder for weddings. I was in between SONY DSR-PD170 and DSR-250. It appears like the quality of both is the same. Even PD170 is better for low light conditions. But...

I went to B&H the day before yesterday to check how they look like. It's absolutely no comparencing. PD170 is very small and light camera. DSR-250 is huge and heavy.

Now the main question. Is it really important for the person who begins wedding business to have a camera which looks professional? I understand that for somebody who has thousands of referrals it's not really important but if somebody hires me for the 2K-4K wedding they would expect me to come with professional equipment. And even though two cameras give the same quality of video, PD170 looks like small home-video $300 camera. I think it could scare some (if not all) potential customers.

What do you think? Is it really important how the camera looks for someone who's just started?
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Old March 25th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #2
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For some, corporate and consumer clients alike, size matters.

You are however measured on the quality of the deliverable. You're the expert and your client will realize this when they view your demo reel. Once they are sold on that basis, your craft is your craft and your tools are yours.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #3
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My clients don't see my gear until I show up the day of the wedding. The content of my work sells me not the "size" of my cams.

Keep in mind most high end videographers shoot with non-shoulder mounted cams and still command prices well over 5k.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 06:45 AM   #4
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As long as the result is fine it generally doesnt matter but if either the customer is not happy with the result or the customer is one of the ones (you know ..) then it comes into play.

A good example is what we have with still photography

We sell prits printed on dye sub printers. Two of these printers are the Kodak and the Olympus. Kodaks paper says Kodak professional on the back and Olympus says Olympus.

People equate Olympus with 'i can do that at home on my inkjet' type thing but the Kodak Professional logo 'makes the grade' even though the two prints will be totally indestinguishable.

And of course uncle bob who wants to show you 'his camera' can get a little annoying too ...
Michael Salzlechner
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Old March 26th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #5
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For purposes of videotaping weddings, I'd say that being inobtrusive is arguably more important than lugging around a big camera to look professional. If you think the big camera delivers better results that's a different story, but I wouldn't pick one just to look impressive.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #6
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Depending on your shooting style, having a big camera can actually DECREASE the quality of your work.

You may tire yourself out on those long hand held shoots. You'll have a hard time holding the camera over your head when the crowd gets thick and tall.

Also for the price difference between the 170 and 250, you can add a few more tools to your kit that will actually INCREASE the quality of your work.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 10:16 PM   #7
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good question, and i think most of us have considered it at one time or another..

u know, those people using DSR200/250's IMO should sell them off and get a PD170... seriosuly the CCD and chipset is virtuall identailca to teh 170 and it will save them busting their backs..

anywyas to the point..

I persoanly fail to see the need for a camera which is large and cumbersome. the lack of mobility caused by these units arent ideal for live run and gun situations.. ive tried it with a 570 and wedding jstu dotn work well when u have to constantly manage something so big. Mind u the image quality is impeccable, but for a real world situation, use somethign like a 170, dvx100 or z1

yeah people are very concious about the gear and for most clients its "wow factor" which they want.. but for me, wow factor comes in the qualoty of teh footage and the simple and effective editing, so i only show them cameras when thy ask for it.. (i use 2x dvx100's for weddings)
and when they do, i tell them that these cameras are usd ot procude tv shows like pizza (a comedy show here in oz, Oprah when shes on the road, and quite afew others like mtv)
but in the end, its the finished product which should sell the service, not the equipemtn u use..

oh as for shoulder mounts, i fail to see the point in larger ENG type cams for weddings as the only real advantage u have is a lerger ccd (as in the JVC DV5000 series and the Sony DSr 300's and above.. the DVC200 from pana is also a good cam, but all the fetaures of it apart from the size of the CCD can be foudn on the DVX100.. that and the glass..

me im waiting for JVC to kill Canon with the removable lens HDV unit ;)
small enough to be discrete, yet flexible enough to work on any type of project..
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