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

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Old September 22nd, 2009, 07:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
All of these brides-to-be have weddings planned for '09-10, and were already booked with us before the 5DMII came out.

However, for my style of shooting weddings (lots of slow-mo, creep zooms, and dissolve transitions) and after talking with these brides, I may just stick to using my EX-1 for now.
and there lies the rub.

a bride that books you and enjoys that style would look at something we do, as an example, not find as much in it. if you show one of our brides your films, they too would come up with a list. you need to match the tools and style to the demographic your trying to reach. for the traditional wedding video style (bw, slow motion, slow zooms, dissolves) you don't need to add in shallow depth of field, tonality from a full frame sensor and L-glass, nor the extra latitude gained.

this sounds a little misguided. imagine me showing my couples samples from a new camera that does slow motion and black and white. they certainly wouldn't be encouraging.

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Old September 22nd, 2009, 08:46 PM   #17
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Patrick, that's a good point that I would like to add to. In several posts in the past, I have commented that these cameras are great tools to extend the capabilities of a videographer. There are things that can be done with them that can't be done very well with "standard" video cameras. When skillfully used, they can add a HUGE amount of production value. BUT, there are a couple of problems that I have noticed. One is overuse of shallow DOF. There are a number of shots that I have seen where the use of shallow depth of field would be very nice if the aperture were closed down somewhat so that the shallowness is not so extreme. It isn't usually flattering to see an angle closeup of a bride prep where one of the bride's eyes is in focus and the other not. Maybe it should have been an f3.5 shot, not an f1.4 shot - or whatever. A master artist knows how to use their "paint brushes" and his or her work is a pleasure to see. But Michelangelo didn't run around crowing that he painted the entire Sistine Chapel with a "#9 slather blade" or whatever artists call specialized brushes. You don't often see a golfer bragging that he won the tournament using only his putter. But there are a few videographers who are throwing away all of their "clubs" except for their newest one.

The other problem that I have seen quite often is wandering focus. Part of this is lack of practice with a new camera. That's reasonable but don't inflict it on a paying customer until AFTER the use is mastered. Until then, maybe it's better to shoot that ceremony at f8 or f11 except for those FEW special shots where the aperture can be opened for those carefully calculated shots where shallow DOF of field adds that special touch that adds so much to the finished production.
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Old September 22nd, 2009, 09:02 PM   #18
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Jim, your club analogy is right on. There will be those that argue that the 5D or 7D eliminates the need for multiple "clubs" but I disagree. If, for no other reason, you won't have a consistent timeline recorded of anything that runs longer than 12 minutes (unless you run two 5D's offsetting each other, but that is still not a consistent timeline from one cam.)

These DSLRs make really pretty pictures - they are like still photos with motion. But, too often in the hands of zealous shooters they are like drinking syrup - on top of some good pancakes syrup is great, but I don't want to drink it like a beverage. Ugh.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 04:18 AM   #19
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I like the latest offerings from Canon. The video it produces is certainly out of this world and probably we'll go for a MKII soon (we'd prefer it over 7D due to the full-frame sensor, although converting 24p to 25 will be surely disturbing). But to use it as a main camera it should be downright wrong, at least for our way of work. Surely the decision has to do with the style of shooting and editing as Patrick said, but it also has to do with the ease of use. 5D and 7D are perfect on a tripod or steadicam or flowpod for example, but in handheld (for those that, like me, want the handheld shots from time to time) you can create serious problems to your footage.

Sure, I can live without handheld (wedding is not a Bourne movie after all) but also the need to overcome DOF issues in low F shootings, as well as the need to exchange between lenses to have the desired result (unless you have some 7Ds hanging around, which is not that convenient) is an extra problem. If you add the lack of serious mic options and the 12 minutes limit, we can see that the average videographer will have some important things to think about in a live event like the wedding.

My point of view about it in a few words is that the use has certainly to do with the personal style each videographer wants to give, but also with the abilities of each one to overcome and master certain technical difficulties. It was never an easy job in my opinion, but it certainly doesn't get any easier with these offerings. It surely gets prettier though. :)

I will admit though that for jobs like a Next Day Shooting or productions other than the weddings (like the creation of a documentary or a music video) it may be an ideal solution. But of course, opinions are subject to change, and nobody knows the equipment he'll be working with next summer! :)
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Old December 16th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #20
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why big companies won't release something really good

One thing naive consumers may not understand is that corporate collusion and what would be considered blatant anti-trust violations in the US may be biz-as-usual in Japan.
This seems still better strategy for the consumer in the long run that the 90 day profit horizon of US companies. ( Witness Prius vs. GM Bailout.)

it's obvious Canon could bring out a killer modular video camera with a big sensor, removable lenses, and even- gasp!- a replaceable Digic xxx processor board.
How about an EXPANSION SLOT for custom boards, like a regular computer, tapped into the main buss,
where people could put third party or optional codec boards for their preferred codec.

I'm not even an engineer and it's obvious how they could do it.

They have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, and that's not because they give the consumer the best deal every time.

That's Red's only advantage-- they're tiny, but they're trying to actually make the things upgradable.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #21
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Just two posts above that, I proved to myself that people's minds change fast, because there are two things I wrote there that I took back the last couple of weeks. First (and less important), I said that wedding is not a Bourne movie, and yet we uploaded a wedding trailer which reminds exactly that! :) Second and most important, is that we finally decided we will go DSLR. Not 100%, but preparations, photoshoot and other stuff will be a 7D's job very soon. Well, a Chinese philosopher was saying that "Only wise people and fools don't change". Well, I definitely am not the first and I sure hope I am not the second, so changing point of view after just three months seems justified by the quote! :)

What happened and I changed my mind? I saw the DSLR's output in full HD glory and was totally sold. Simple as that.
"A successful wedding videographer is the one that offers for viewing some excellent videos and some boring videos, and gets positive reviews for both".
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Old December 18th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #22
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Amen Demitris. I use the 5D at receptions with a 2.8 lens at 3200ISO so that I get a decent shot in the cave receptions I shoot. If my clients have been happy with the muddy, noisy picture of the A1 for 18 months, then I think I'll be able to pass off this not so good 5D stuff :) I do still use the A1s for the ceremony (mainly for audio continuity), but my main goal is convenience, and the 5D allows me to shoot receptions with very little light and have alot less work in post.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #23
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Bill, can you get good exposure at the typical reception at F8 using 3200ISO?

Or, what is is the smallest aperture you can use (to get a good DOF of everybody) and still get enough light?

I believe the crop sensor on the 7D will make it a lot easier to get wide DOF video shots over the 5D. So therefore the 7D would be better if I need low light ability with wide DOF. Does this sound correct?

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Old December 18th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #24
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I don't sweat a high aperture. Usually I'm at 2.8-4.0 Seems to work fine. I'm not a sticklar for very technical details. I got the highest compliment from one of my brides on their 5D footage, She said it looked like a beer commercial. I thought that was pretty cool. It seems that in this argument, the people trying to justify NOT buying one of these cameras are arguing with the people that DID buy one. It is a moot point, just get out and shoot. No doubt that this camera is difficult to shoot with. But, my A1 is difficult to watch in low-light, so I balance the 2...
Cinema Couture
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Old December 18th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #25
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Well tomorrow I am doing the proverbial "good friends" barmitzvah celebration. The temple does not allow filming during the ceremony itself, or any "work" during the daylight hours, but that ends at sundown with the celebration.

I have done an occasional family wedding, with my standard def camera or the FX1, but I am back and forth between my FX1 and the 5D for this affair. I will be a one man show. My feeling is that I can get a lot of cool clips with the 5D, but that the FX1 will shoot straight up an clean for the speeches and testomonials and traditional dancing from a documenting perspective. Because of that, and just to keep it simple I am leaning the FX1 direction.... Comments?
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old December 18th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #26
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FX1 on a tripod, for wide cutaway if needed, and shoot the DSLR for detail/artistic shots.

I for one can't say I've got a DSLR-V, but I have no doubt there will be one in the equipment locker in the future... it has a place, I just hope Sony finally decides to get to the party so I can use my vintage Minolta glass, maybe they will also leave off the file size cap, although their consumer cams didn't.

I have only had a brief few moments with a buddy's D90, but I could quickly see where I would use a DSLR-V. Only reason I haven't jumped is I don't want to rebuy all the dang accessories/lenses!
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Old December 24th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #27
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After the shoot:

The FX1 was still the mainstay in this shoot. Given this was a party type event, and because the shallow depth of field was just too much to deal with in a lot of situations, to get most coverage, I had to stick with the deeper depth of field provided by the FX1. Now if I had two shooters, I would have no problem with shooting two DSLR, properly equiped with LCD magnifiers, and perhaps even one steady rig like the Blackbird....
Chris J. Barcellos
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