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


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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post
Travis, do you think the outside temperature will affect these camera's for a half hour ceremony? I have my first outdoor rooftop ceremony tomorrow on the beach (I use the 7D and T2i) but it's still cool here in NJ.
I honestly don't know. We filmed a wedding in the Bahamas a month ago and during the bride preps the camera was fine, but it overheated during groom preps (both were indoor and it wasn't all that warm). The ceremony was outside in the sun in the afternoon .. yet no overheating problems even though we didn't use white cloths or anything.

Last weekend we had an overheating incident again during preps, and it wasn't THAT warm in the room (maybe 75-80 max). But later on while filming outside we had no issues.

This past winter I ran a test where I started the camera rolling inside (temperature was 70F), and kept it recording to see how long it could go. At around 30 minutes the temp symbol came up but I kept recording. The camera was able to keep recording with no issues for the next hour and I eventually stopped it because the battery was running out.

So honestly, I don't quite understand the overheating issue as it seems to present itself somewhat randomly. There IS an update out now from Canon that makes the temp warning less sensitive, meaning it takes more to activate the warning. This doesn't actually solve the issue, though.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
So far I haven't used my GH1 at a wedding but I'm getting close to being ready to.

I think all-DSLR weddings would work magnificently for larger productions (eg 3 vid guys + sound op). With a crew like that you can afford to miss your focus pull once or twice. With a production like that you can get away with a 12 minute limit as long as the camera operators are staggering their recodings at pre-decided intervals. Plus the bigger budget of those companies means they could probably have a few spare bodies in case overheating pops up.

Where DLSR-only won't work so well is for one man weddings. In those situations you need to have your sound on your main camera rig (whether it's your onboard audio or an extra recorder mounted to your rails) so you can monitor audio. You need to have one camera that you can leave unnattended for up to an hour. You need one lens that can cover everything from the Bride walking past you down the Isle (sometimes only 1-2 feet away) to an extreme close up of the rings or the kiss from the back of the church. Plus you need a good form factor (I can't work without a top-handle) and the reliability of a smooth zoom rocker.

It will be interesting to see how the AF100, with all the additional bells and whistles of a video camera, changes how people use DSLR's/shallow DoF/interchangable lenses at weddings.
I don't know what the fuss is all about. I did just fine with my DSLR on my first wedding. I added a Rhode mic on my camera and it works great to record all audio. For speeches and ceremony I hook up the my H4N and wirless to the house system or to the dj and it's sounds great. Like everyone is saying, it's more work, but not even the EX1r can shoot this *&%$@!^ good in low light.

I have had brides pee their pants because the footage looks so good. I kid you not, they say, "It really looks like a movie."

Don't shoot with DLSR.

More business for us.
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Old May 15th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #63
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Kelly, what type of video do you produce? Is it a cinematic highlights only? Or full ceremony and reception? Do you shoot with only 1 DSLR? How many crew do you have, and do you have a backup camera at all?

I cannot imagine trying to shoot an entire wedding with a single camera, let alone a single DSLR. Yes, you can get great results most of the time, but it really is not worth the risk. You can get great quality b-camera's for under $500, so it's just not worth the risk of not having a backup camera. This applies to all wedding videographers, not just those using DSLRs, but I believe with the low-cost, high quality technology we have today, there is no excuse for not having a back-up, unmanned angle recording the entire ceremony (not just the first 12 minutes until it stops recording). I think a similar principle applies to all-DSLR videographers. It's too risky (even if you have 2-3 DSLRs) not to have a single, constant, back-up video source.

Yes, people are succeeding and I applaud them on their ingenuity and persistance but to have only DSLRs, is, in my opinion, playing with fire.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Kelly Langerak View Post
...Don't shoot with DLSR.

More business for us.
Now this is totally untrue. I understand the excitement of using DSLR's for weddings and events. I shot a Quinceanera this past weekend using only my DSLR. I would never say this quote as it is untrue. I read a thread on a forum where someone filmed a wedding using a red one. Had sample pictures and everything. The extracted images looked a whole lot better than most wedding videos I've seen here and vimeo but the guy did not say such a careless statement. When I get married the videographer who will be shooting my wedding is over $5,000 and guess what he'll be shooting it with. That's right not a DSLR. I'm hiring the person behind the camera and not the camera itself. I understand the excitement but it is a careless and untrue statement to make. Sorry

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Old May 26th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #65
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A "Flash" of worry.

Some of the posts about flash card issues are starting to get me a little nervous ;)

I'm curious, for those of you who've had these issues... could you trace these issues to anything other then random error... such as you were using a budget brand card.. or perhaps should of done a routine full format before hand... or perhaps even using certain model/class cards within a certain brand?

I'm mainly interested in know what brands and models people trust the most (SanDisk is a given, but even then.. which models) and which ones should be avoided at all costs.. particularly if they seem misleadingly trustable. As event videographers this is of course extremely important because the luxury of "reshoot" isn't there and I think as wedding/event videographers you might have better insight due to the level of continuous use that is present and likely a instigating factor when it comes to card issues.

I certainly agree with the feeling of having a level of trust in tape and it's archive friendly characteristics... but for many projects/workflows... particularly an A cam where your recording off and on constantly.... flash/HDD capture is a whole new world of convenience and time saving.
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Old May 31st, 2010, 06:21 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
Kelly, what type of video do you produce? Is it a cinematic highlights only? Or full ceremony and reception? Do you shoot with only 1 DSLR? How many crew do you have, and do you have a backup camera at all?

I cannot imagine trying to shoot an entire wedding with a single camera, let alone a single DSLR. Yes, you can get great results most of the time, but it really is not worth the risk. You can get great quality b-camera's for under $500, so it's just not worth the risk of not having a backup camera. This applies to all wedding videographers, not just those using DSLRs, but I believe with the low-cost, high quality technology we have today, there is no excuse for not having a back-up, unmanned angle recording the entire ceremony (not just the first 12 minutes until it stops recording). I think a similar principle applies to all-DSLR videographers. It's too risky (even if you have 2-3 DSLRs) not to have a single, constant, back-up video source.

Yes, people are succeeding and I applaud them on their ingenuity and persistance but to have only DSLRs, is, in my opinion, playing with fire.
Why do you need to record every second of the ceremony? The 12 minute clip is really a non-issue during a Catholic ceremony. The only time I worry about the 12 minute clip is during the toast and they rarely last longer than 12 minutes.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 07:52 PM   #67
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I have not read every response here but will give my recent conclusion.
Pro's : Great glass, less gear to carry

Con's : Focus, if they are moving and you are at a shallow DOF, you get some unusable footage while it tries to focus. HEAT, these things get hot, and can't help but wonder what the long term effect is going to be. Matching other footage is more difficult IMO.

I just did not like it, too many things to have to have just right, I like having the video camera do what its made to do, and I will continue to use the DSLR for fun stuff when I have time.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #68
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I've considered selling an HV40 and replacing it with a T2i (once they're not on back-order!). Does anyone have any experience with the exFAT-based sdxc cards yet? From what I understand, the file size limit on sdxc cards is so high that right now we would never have to worry about it. I noticed you can buy a 64gb Sandisk card on bhphotovideo for about the same price as two 16gb sdhc Sandisk cards. I wondered about heating issues, whether anyone has actually recorded for 30+ minutes on one.

And a separate question. (And I know I'm going to catch a beating for mentioning auto-focus...) How does auto-focus work on a dSLR? More problematic in low-light? Any dof still present?
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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #69
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exFAT-based sdxc cards... the file size limit on sdxc cards is so high that right now we would never have to worry about it.
Sorry, but that's incorrect. The recording limit is a function of the camera, not the card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Clark View Post
64gb Sandisk card... anyone has actually recorded for 30+ minutes on one.
You can record up to 30 minutes in one take *in standard definition* with a 4GB card if it's fast enough (Class 6 or better). While a 64GB card will hold a total of three hours of HD video, the longest single clip you can record in HD would be appx. 12 minutes no matter what card you use, because the recording limit is a function of the camera -- not the card.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #70
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Thanks for the clarification. Does it require the operator to hit the Record button after each 12 minute increment, or does it just automatically start a new file? That wouldn't be such a big deal, if so...
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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #71
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It does *not* automatically start a new file. Upon reaching the 4GB clip length limit (which is appx. 30 minutes in SD mode or 12 minutes in HD mode), the camera stops recording and does nothing else until the camera operator makes an input.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 03:48 PM   #72
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You should also note that the camera will not alert you or notify you that recording has stopped. You have to keep a careful watch on the recording time.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 09:16 PM   #73
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I want to see one - ONE - wedding highlights clip from DSLR shooters that doesn't include several shots going from out-of-focus to in-focus. I also want to see a DSLR clip that follows a bride up the isle perfectly in focus with shallow DOF, (which is the whole reason to use this technology, right?) as she moves (and I mean really crisp, not just close) from the far end of the room to right up next to the camera without an edit. I want someone to show me it can be done, because I'm very skeptical, I'll admit it.

What I see all the time is shots going from out of focus to in-focus, and edits to cover up the messes. I'm absolutely sick of seeing out of focus stuff from these cameras. It's unprofessional, no matter how "stylistic" it looks at the moment - because it's not really being done stylistically in the vast majority of clips I've seen - it's done to cover up lousy focus.

Why am I skeptical? Because I've worked extensively with DSLRs and different lenses. I know that the Canon lenses have extremely sensitive and limited control - they weren't meant for video follow focus. Congratulations to those who have learned to handle them well - but it's still not how they were meant to be used. Again, I want to see a long isle shot with shallow DOF that stays in focus the entire length of the walk with no edits.

I LOVE my DSLR. It does what it does VERY well, and gives great beautiful shots. But I do get sick of seeing bad focus being disguised as style, and it's becoming a rampant disease with these cameras!!
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Old June 7th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #74
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I need to say first that I think my post was a bit harsh, so I'd like to apologize. I do not mean to sound like a hater or curmudgeon. I'm not anti-DSLR, really I'm not. I'm just not impressed much with a lot of the stuff I'm seeing in clips from people who are using them.

I'm not talking about zoom - I'm just talking about keeping a subject in focus as they move from far away to close to the camera. To me you have two choices - set a small aperture that will keep the subject in focus throughout (which most any videocamera already does easily), or you can keep a larger aperture and get that shallow DOF that DSLRs are known for, but in the tradeoff you lose the ability to keep the subject in focus unless you have mastered on-the-fly focus. With some situations and lenses a small aperture is not going to be practical.

To me it's just a really risky proposition to rely on DSLRs exclusively to get great-focused crucial material, for lots of reasons. But keeping a bride in-focus perfectly throughout a walk toward you from the back of the room down the isle is just one example. I'm bringing this up because I've had to deal with this issue personally more than a couple of times - in fact I just did a wedding where 10 bridesmaids came down the isle one-by-one, and I was up behind the officiant and having to keep them in focus throughout with my DSLR. Given the lens I had on the camera, the aperture I was stuck with due to lighting constraints, and other factors, it was very difficult to keep them in-focus as each one walked down the isle. I did pretty well, but some of my shots were not usable. A video cam with decent auto-focus would have made this much easier - not even an issue, usually. In this case I'm not sure I was doing myself or the bride any favors by getting hit/miss focus with the DSLR, and I do feel like I'm at least somewhat practiced and experienced working the DSLR focus. Woe to someone who isn't.

I think these are very valid things to bring up when discussing the pros and cons of DSLRs for weddings. Are we really doing the best job for a bride by trying to use these cameras exclusively on wedding shoots, given how many variables can make for bad focus so easily? I'm not so sure. For some shots it's not a problem at all, and I totally agree that they have their place - a big place - in the toolkit. But exclusive use for weddings? I'm not sold, by a longshot.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 01:40 AM   #75
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Bill, I feel you. When the first DSLR wedding footage came out and it was in and out of focus and had the micro-shakes and jello-effect and whatnot, I was on the side that called it out. I had people come back at me and say that the micro-shakes were part of the 'organic' look that they were going for. I didn't buy it then and I don't buy it now. Sloppy focus and all sorts of other things seem to get looked past and it's not right just because 'some' of the imagery looks good.

And Bill, you're also right that trying to ride the focus and follow a bride perfectly down the aisle is not likely to happen with DSLR's. But for how we shoot and edit, it's not an issue. We use multiple cameras (and plan on adding even more) so that we have preferred 'shot fields' if you will. In other words, for certain parts of the day we have a specific plan on where a particular camera is supposed to have critical focus. So for the bride coming down the aisle, we may plan out to use the wide shot initially, then cut to a medium shot of the groom waiting for her, then cut to a medium shot of her walking down the aisle (from behind), then cut to a close-up of her and dad from the front, then a wide as her and dad approach the end of the aisle, then a medium profile shot to show the hand-off of the bride to the groom. With this kind of detailed approach you can plan around the issues of filming with shallow DOF and instead make it work FOR you.

I won't lie, it's more work and more stress. d;-)
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