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

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Old December 31st, 2009, 02:59 PM   #16
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In general, my experience is that if you have a large shoulder mounted camera, everyone tends to stay out of your way because they know you're the professional. With smaller cameras, people forget you're the professional and tend to get in the way more frequently.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:34 PM   #17
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It's amazing how true that is. The shoulder mounted cameras have the most "influence" for sure. You're still OK with anything that isn't smaller than an FX-7 especially if you have a good tripod and other equipment. If it's smaller than that, you're just one of the guests.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 03:55 PM   #18
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It's sad but true that more than half of all business is marketing, and this is even more true of TV. It's not by accident that Sony lists one of the top attributes of the HD1000 as "professional appearance"... they're not stupid and they know you aren't either, but they also know that your clients want that pro look because they don't know any better.

It doesn't matter that you're a pro who could get great video out of a Flip Ultra because you know what you're doing. When the client sees you with the same camcorder that Uncle Harry bought at Wal-Mart, all they will ever think is, "I'm paying how much for this?"
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
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Old December 31st, 2009, 10:53 PM   #19
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I get the "where is the video dude" question all the time with DSLRs.. In Asia, the bigger is better mentality still exists strongly. I'm lucky that my clients have been more impressed than surprised when the see the full rig in action.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #20
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I've lost so many shots with the HV30 on news, documentary, and event assignments that I've reached a point where I would never use one as the A cam on such assignments again (even though it's my only camera).

I need to be able to manually push in, focus, pull out, set exposure, frame up, and maybe white balance... all in 5 seconds (10 if including a quick and dirty white balance or practice pan), and all while recording. On an HV30, that's going to be 20 to 45 seconds, by which time I've probably lost the shot.

I did a 30-minute documentary short on the HV30 for the state of Connecticut that was all ENG-style shooting and with most of the interviews being hurried and impromptu. Lighting conditions were drastically varied and constantly changing, so manual exposure was necessary, and I was constantly having to re-white. The environment was noisy, so manually control of gain levels was necessary. There were a lot of people moving in and out of frame, so manual focus was necessary. This is all very cumbersome on an HVxx. Never mind that there is no LANC. Needless to say, I was very frustrated.

I was on an event shoot where the company president saw the HV30 and said, "You're going to shoot with that thing? I thought that was your practice camera." I was reassuring, and bragged about the image quality that he would receive. Well, I was asked to take the audio feed of the speaker's podium mic from the sound system, which I did. I monitored the audio through the AV/headphone jack, and played back the tape. Everything thing sounded fine. Then I was asked to output my video live to a projector to be screened live behind the speaker. I was no longer able to monitor my audio because I had to dedicate the shared AV/headphone jack to the video feed. I thought it would be no problem because I had checked the audio previously and could still watch gain levels on the LCD.

It was a disaster. A ground loop had been created with the two systems (external audio input and video projector) being hooked up to the HV30. It probably goes without saying that the audio was ruined (Soundtrack couldn't fix it.). My big mistake was not having played back tape of a test of the whole setup, but once I was rolling I had no way to check or monitor it.

Never again.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #21
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Hey Ethan I have a XHA1 for sale as of Jan 18 if you need a bigger camera ^_^
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Old January 4th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #22
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I have the XLH1 and an HV30, and while I like the HV30 for some things - most of them have to do with it being very small and easy to carry. With the HVxx, you have to become very skilled with it to get in and out of those menus in a hurry. You pay a lot of extra money for all those dials and buttons on the H1- but they are so worth it for ENG style work.

The H1 is a bit of a tank at 10 pounds but you don't have to worry about people not being impressed by it.
C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #23
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Well Ken, somewhere between the XL H1 and the HV30 is the camera for me. The HV30 controls are (as Philip Bloom might say) fiddly.

I'm still a college student (abeit a 56-year-old one) but have managed to get the opportunity to do a couple of solo documentary projects, which turned out usable to the clients. Obviously I haven't made all of the mistakes yet, but have rolled about 80 hours of tape on assignment, enough hopefully to not butcher the next product.

I'm getting ready to do some grant writing for a project and hope to budget about $3,0004,000 for a camera, but this won't be for at least 69 months, by which time there may be more choices. I like the hybrids but they are also fiddly. I'd like to do sports too, so would be looking for a "proper" video camera (another Bloomism).

You have to appreciate the smallness factor of the HV30 in tight or intimate settings though, or where you're trying to minimize your presence in the environment.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #24
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I'm 54 just starting out in the business after taking an early retirement. I went with a used XH-A1 and love it. Have a shoulder mount coming for it tomorrow or the next day. I have a couple of HV-30s too. XH-A1 isn't that great for handheld, even on a monopod, it's not comfortable after a few minutes. The shoulder mount might help. I ordered a counterbalance weight to go on the back of it.

HV-30 works well for handheld on a HEAVY Bogen monopod. The heavy monopod moves the center of gravity to below the camera, making the shots much more stable. Extending and shortening the monopod moves the center of gravity up or down, just hold the rig by the center of gravity. Gives a lot of the benefit of a stabilizer rig for much less money. Extending the monopod gives you the ability to get some overhead shots, but may have to use a software stablizer like Mercalli or DeShaker in post.

My HV30s have an Irv Focus Ring, Step-up Ring, Lens Hood, and Rode Videomic attached. Sometimes other gizmos attached as well. Wearing headphones with everything on the monopod seems to pass most people's visual inspection, especially when they've seen the A1 all decked out too.

I highly recommend a used A1. I love the layout of the controls, the 3 rings, etc.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #25
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That's what she said.... ROTFL. Literally. Sorry couldn't resist. I use a HF S10 and XH-A1. So my XH-A1 helps me "look" professional with the shotgun/dead cat attached and the wireless receiver on top. I do think that it is important to create a professional image in the eyes of the clients and the congregation there. I want people to know that I am the professional videographer and not just uncle bob with a handy cam. This way I might get booked for another wedding/event just for being there and looking professional.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:24 AM   #26
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If you are having the problem of clients thinking your camera is too small you should cover that base before the wedding. Explain to them that electronic equipment is getting smaller and video capture is no different. Better quality less space consuming. Heck, less back breaking.
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