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


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Old June 3rd, 2005, 05:23 PM   #1
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Starting out - equipment questions

I'm just starting out doing event videography. I'll be doing small wedding, bar mitzvahs, and other moderately-sized events.

I'm probably going to buy a Panasonic DVC60 for starters. I have many questions though regarding other equipment i should get.

1) I could probably borrow a VX2000 to use as a second cam - how hard would it be to match the picture of two cams?

2) Lighting - Someone recommed I get a Lowel Tota-Light as a general all-purpose light that is good for smaller venues - should I get this light?

3) Should I also get an on-camera light for the DVC60? B & H sells the DVC60 with an Anton Bauer Ultralight 2 - is this a good (and necesary light) to have?

4) If I'm doing an event that has a seperate photographer who brings his own lighting, should I still bring mine?

Bear in mind that I'm on a budget of basically nothing, so I'm looking for the best equipment I can get at the lowest prices.

Thanks in advcance...
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 08:27 PM   #2
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Andrew,
Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of weddings and events.

as for the gear, well, anytime you have 2 different manufacturers of cameras there will be some work to do in post to match them. I would suggest that before you go out with the cameras to shoot a job you might spend some them with them to try to set them as close as possible. BTW don't use the LCD to do that. If you don't have a production monitor then hook up to a television. More representative of the true color you'll see in the finished product.


As for lighting, in my years of doing weddings and events I have never used any off camera lighting. I'm talking about run and gun events like weddings, mitzvahs and corporate social events. There is no way to use the light effectively or safely in a crowded wedding and I have NEVER in 22 years of wedding EVER been able to use a light at a ceremony. I do use them for things like talking heads interviews, corporate training videos and such but never at weddings and events.

The photographer will be using strobes so they would be of no value to you and frankly if any photogrpaher brought in filament lighting to a wedding he would probably be laughed out.

As for on camera lighting a resounding YES to getting one. Unless the reception is outside in nice daylight (cloudy or slightly overcast not bright and sunny) which they probably won't be, you'll almost for sure need a light. Which one depends on the capabilities of your camera, the room(s) you'll work in and your budget.
For my JVC5000 I use an Anton Bauer Ultralite with a 20W bilb and a piece of tough spun on it to soften it up. For my PD150s I use a Bescor 50W with a homemade diffuser/softbox that not only softens up the light but also knocks it down to about 20W with no discernable unwanted coloration. The Ultralite is very inexpensive but you need an AB battery and charger for it. The Bescor is inexpensive and you can use either a juice box which will power my light for about 75-90 minutes or a battery belt which powers my light for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Pays you money, takes your chioce.

BTW, if you get the Tota light and bring it to a wedding venue you will do a number of things. 1) probably pi** off the B/G because you're lighting up their dark and "romantic" reception 2) you will open yourself up to great liability because someone will most definately "trip" on the power cord and sue you and honestly with todays cameras you really don't need it.
Of course thats just my opinion thrown in at no extra charge.
Good luck to you,
Don B
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Old June 4th, 2005, 09:21 AM   #3
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Old June 4th, 2005, 10:38 AM   #4
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basically what don has said has hit thenail on teh head, jstu afew commetns on these..

1) I could probably borrow a VX2000 to use as a second cam - how hard would it be to match the picture of two cams?

((Pretty hard.. the CCD, pixel count, gamma, interlace algoythm etc etc carry from maker to maker. The VX will poo on the DVC in pratty much al aspects bar good lighting. Sorry to say it, but the make of teh VX is incredible for the price.. ))


2) Lighting - Someone recommed I get a Lowel Tota-Light as a general all-purpose light that is good for smaller venues - should I get this light?

((yeahs sure go fo it.. if u want to do ChromaKeying, matte/effet shots, Dance recitals, and anything else which requires 800w of Pure white diffused light.. by diffused i assume youd be using a Brella??

for weddings, they DO work.. brilliantly to i might add, however i have only used it ONCE at a wedding of 800 people (had it for the dancefloor) while the 2 cameras had onboard cam lights anythign between 20 and 35w
Ive also used it copious times

I wouldnt use it for any other purpose other than to light specific controlled environments. I WOULDNT use it for a weding again unless im left with a 50metre dancfloor with zero light


3) Should I also get an on-camera light for the DVC60? B & H sells the DVC60 with an Anton Bauer Ultralight 2 - is this a good (and necesary light) to have?

((save ur money, either get urself a sachler reporter75 (far more advanced and allows for focussing, diffusing and spotlighting, or u ccan go the cheap way and get urself a small unit and some spun.. Im using a Vitan video light which i got abotu 3 years ago.. cost me about 250 aus with a 12v battery. I only run 20w on it. I also have a Luxman/Bescor video light. Brilliant unit, 25 w and i can pretty much light up to abotu 15 metres without buring ppls corneas. I was on a budget back then but even now, i still liek these basic units, so im sticking with them))

4) If I'm doing an event that has a seperate photographer who brings his own lighting, should I still bring mine?

((depends on what they bring.. but u shoud have onboard lighting no matter what. Me i take EVERYTHING. When i determine what tools are required for teh job, i unpack whats necessary. Sometimes, its actaully more effective to run the camera light off the side, Usually if im using 2 cameras, ONE wil illuminate the shot, which the second cam feeds off that same light. THis way ur not runnign 2 lights and the dynamics of the variable shot come to the fore. ))
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Old June 4th, 2005, 09:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys...always the best advice!
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