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


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Old November 25th, 2009, 12:49 PM   #16
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Hi Bill,

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Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
I can't say enough good about the HF20 either - at least in daylight. It doesn't do well in low light, but in daylight that small little package delivers a huge punch. Every time I bring back footage from that cam I'm always just amazed. When I do get a steadicam I'm not sure it will even be the 7D that ends up on it... :)
I completely agree about the HV-20,30,40. I grab it all the time for family stuff because its fun to use and results are always rewarding. I use two along with two A1's during events and the footage never disappoints. For a nostalgic look I put a static 35mm lens adapter on a third hv30 that has been 'fliphacked' to flip the lcd image upside down. That goes on a DIY inverted bracket. The adapter, a used nikon lens and the fliphack totaled under $300. I do wish I didn't have to do a reverse telecine to use the 30's footage with the A1. The faux super 8 shots on this promo were done with the 30:

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Old November 25th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #17
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That's a great look Joel, and a very cool idea.

Bill, the HV/Hf's do fly way easier. Most notably - tilt viewfinder and autofocus. i've got a Century HD 0.5 WA adapter for mine that weighs far less than the Canon one which makes flying easier (because it's wider - No zoom thru though).
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Old November 25th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #18
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I really enjoyed reading your thoughts Joel, kind of a history of wedding videography.
What's interesting is that my work now stylistically most resembles the very first videos I did in the early 90's - cuts and fades, no slow motion, realistic coloring etc. They were done that way because it was the only way they could be done. I just wish they edited as fast as they did back then - two days and its out the door. The novelty of being on TV was the only expectation you had to fulfill. Anything more was seen as magic.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 11:13 PM   #19
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Just want to concur that stopping down a tad and maintaining a specific distance from your subject is all it takes to keep focus sharp. In a wedding setting this is much easier said than done. But it just takes practice. I recently picked up a 24 1.4 for steadicam stuff with the pilot. Due to the very shallow focus, and some shots will be unusable, but when you nail a shot it's brilliant. Having your subject separated from the background and seemingly rendered in 3D is an amazing look. I really don't think this should be called a gimmick. This is wedding videography catching up with film production. And I don't think a couple will complain about the out of focus shots they never see if the shots they do see are stunning.

Setting your focus for each shot is the key, in combination with knowing your lens. If you're shooting with a 24 1.4, and you are some distance from your subject, set the focus to 3 meters or slightly more. You can see on the lens' distance markings that setting focus here will keep everything over 3 meters in focus. For closer shots, do a quick estimate or focus while studying your LCD/monitor, and execute the shot. If you have time, stop recording, magnify to 10X and be bang on. The key is not to rush. Hopefully you aren't creating 2 hour wedding films, so do you really need 20 steadicam shots of the first dance? Plan 5 great shots and make them stick, and have your second shooter get coverage style footage from sticks.

It's challenging, but to say as one poster did that it's just not worth the effort, is short changing yourself as an artist.

Here's a video from November 21st with many 24 1.4 shots. Not perfect by any means but miles ahead of what we used to do on the XH-A1.

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Old November 28th, 2009, 01:21 AM   #20
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Hi Erik,

Your work is stellar, but (and this is just my personal preference) I'm being drawn out of the story by the narrow DoF and half-screen flashes. Narrow DoF a wonderful tool - I use an adapter for situations in which I have complete control - but for run-and-gun action/reaction and personal interest having to rack focus to be able to read the emotion on faces that aren't even a few feet apart seems to give up a lot of the possibility for storytelling and also poses a risk of missing a lot of fleeting moments. I'm really looking forward to the day that a compromise can be reached between DSLR's and video cameras - marrying the clarity and low-light sensitivity of the DSLR's with the form and function of a video camera.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #21
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Well, I am still waiting for Red Scarlet to come out. Maybe I'm too optimistic but I think this may be the point that the DSLR/camcorder roads will meet successfully. That is, if they release it in the current century. :)
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Old November 28th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #22
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Shallow DOF is just another tool that is great to have access to. The trick is to utilize it in telling the story. I personally love to single out a subject; to isolate it and make the viewer think about only that person or object.

Maybe we should refer to it not as shallow DOF but rather DOF control. Even if you don't plan on using it all the time, not having it at all is too limiting. I'm excited that 60p will be added to the 5D firmware, though I don't see myself using it much. Slomo will just be one more tool at my disposal.

Conventional cams like the EX1 are great, but to add two feet to the rig and necessitating a monster tripod with a DOF adapter is less than ideal.

And as far as video and HD SLR convergence, is it actually possible to have BOTH deep focus and high sensitivity (i.e. proper exposure with very low iso/gain) in low light?
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Old November 28th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #23
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I'm excited that 60p will be added to the 5D firmware, though I don't see myself using it much. Slomo will just be one more tool at my disposal.
Erik,

I've heard that 60fps was rumored to be included but it hadn't been confirmed. Would be incredible it it was.
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Old February 16th, 2017, 12:31 PM   #24
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Re: DSLR Focus on Steadicam/Glidecam during Weddings

And I'm resurrecting this thread because for years I've flown a Sony V1u and now a Canon XF300 at weddings. And the way I've approached zooming in and out is to take a Varizoom VZRock and attach it to the handle of my Pilot and now Scout. While this keeps my spinning to a minimum because I have a wire between my camera and sled, I can zoom and focus if I need to.

I'm wondering if there is a remote focus that I could attach the same way as the Varizoom, then I could do the same thing.

I wanted to comment on this, because it's an important subject. Now time to research remote focus systems.

I found this for Canon.https://www.manfrotto.us/clamp-on-el...r-canon-hdslrs
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Old March 16th, 2017, 03:18 PM   #25
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Re: DSLR Focus on Steadicam/Glidecam during Weddings

I suppose that the recent 'tap to focus' and 'dual pixel AF' don't help with maintaining focus?

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