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


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Old January 22nd, 2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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Wife has approved new gear!!

My wife, while on the ride to work finally gave in letting me buy all new gear.

What I have now: Canon Vixia HF20 : Single Wireless G2 Mic/Receiver : Birns & Sawyer Shoulder Mount : Micro LitePanels Onboard Light

My camera of choice is the Sony EX1r and record to SDHD cards.

Wireless Mics:
Now, I like my wireless mic but it's only a single channel. I'm looking for excellent quality dual channel like Azden 325ULT, but I have no experience with this mic setup. Would you go with something better? I would use these to mic the groom and priest.

Shotgun Mic:
I need a shotgun that is really up there in picking up sound during ceremony and receptions. If I point that camera at a group of people 4-5 feet away I need to get great sound. Models I've looked at Rode NTG-2, NTG-3 w/ Blimp Cover, Rode Video Directional Mic and the Audio Technica AT-897 Kit.

Onboard Camera Light:
I've failed 3 times buying onboard lights. My go to is the classic Canon VL-10i but it has no dimmer or softbox control. It's bright for really dark scenes but no control on it's brightness. I also own the LitePanels Micro and think it's a piece of junk.
I need a light that can be battery operated or hooked up to the camera that has a dimmer
function, that is very bright and has a softbox or filter option. I've considered the IDX and BeBob, but there was one that started with a "C" that looks similar to the IDX, but I can't think of it's name.

Wide Angle Lens Adapter:
A wide angle that has no blurred or black around the edges, if possible.

Bag and Tripod (not needed yet)

Shoulder Mount: I will continue to use the Birns an Sawyer unit.

Now for the little things:
Do you guys have anything extra that you find very useful when shooting weddings with the Sony EX1/r
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if you feel you MUST have a wirelesss mic solution, but if not you should take a look at digital voice recorders like the Olympus DS30 and their other models. We use these devices exclusively in place of a wireless system and have been doing so for years with excellent results.

Just do a search on the forums here and you'll find several threads discussing their use.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 06:43 PM   #3
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Don't forget to add the cost of a nice dinner out, or a new dress, or weekend away as a thankyou for your wife.... (It will also work well for your future wish list) ;)
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Listen to Brian man :) I just booked a mexican vacation for my wife and 8 month old baby girl to make up for all the weekends i was gone shooting weddings..she is very excited!
happy wife, happy life :)
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 07:22 PM   #5
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I purchased a Westcott Micro Apollo Light Modifier mini soft box for my VL-10i. It works well (with the halogen bulb) in limited time spurts, otherwise the softbox gets too hot. but it does the job of diffusing the light.

Then my friend made a plug in LED replacement which works wonders! I broke 3 bulbs trying to use the halogens that the light is made for. now I can drop it and nothing breaks!
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:00 PM   #6
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Kelly,
While I agree that there are times a wireless might not be the best solution, I have to be frank and say that in the last 15 years I've had problems only a couple of times and they proved to be non fatal even in gaggles of TV news cameras/wireless units.
I will say though that even though I did in fact use Azden units they were the 500U units and worked quite well but I know a couple of guys that used the unit you're asking about and have had nothing but trouble with them.
If in fact you're looking for a dual channel wireless kit then look at either LectroSR which will set you back a whole lot of cash or the Audio Technica 1821 receiver. I have been using it for about 2 years now and it has performed flawlessly. I had one time when I had some intererence but it was entirely my fault. The unit has 2 body paks or 2 plugins or 1 of each. I have the 2 body paks and 1 plugin and I have been extremely pleased with the performance of the unit.
Price is right also, but if you got the cash look at the LectroSR.
Remember each piece of gear has it's place in the toolbox.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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I will second the vote for the 1821 system. I have it and it works wonderfully, though was quite spendy. It will outlast my GL2s for sure. I was sure to buy one in the "safe" spectrum, so it will still be legal for a long time.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 09:04 PM   #8
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As far as the audio, I came across these negative reviews on them about "Floor Noise" and the units compander being loud. Is this obsessive or would a Bride and Groom hear this stuff? The ATW is within price range, but I don't want to have to buy another wireless kit for 5+ years. This is for weddings and not for broadcast so would you guys agree that it is does the job.

I looked at the Lectrosonics SR Dual and the receiver alone was $2K, is that right? I couldn't find the bodypacks / mics to go with it.


Also, how about shotguns, onboard lights and wide angles? Any thoughts?
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 09:23 PM   #9
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The Lectros can use the 200 digital hybrid transmitters which will add quite a bit to the cost.
As to the "noise" issue of the 18XX series units, all I can do is ask, "compared to what" a Lectro or Traxcom that cost up to 4 times the money?
As I said before I've been using the system for about 2 years and is there some floor noise?Yes. Is it objectionable? Not to me or the over 100 brides and grooms whos weddings I've done using it or the numerous corporate clients I shot using the system. So, yes, there is some noise. Can it be fixed in post? Yes, in about 2 seconds. Would I compare it to a LectroSR or Traxcom. No but then you wouldn't compare a Bentley to a Chevy either even though both get you from here to there.
Both the AT and Lectro will do the job, it's a matter of what's in budget and how long will it take to pay itself off.
If you can afford the Lectro great, go for it. You won't be sorry, but if you need to watch the bucks and want a quality piece of gear that used properly will do the job in a more than adequet way then the AT is the way to go BUT change the mics. Do not use the stock mics that come with the unit.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 09:49 PM   #10
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Kelly,

I guess this is the time to ask the question... (that is before you purchase) If you buy the EX1r, you undoubtedly have a very nice camera - but you only have one camera. Presuming you are looking to shoot weddings - would you be better served to to spend the money on something like a 7d and some real nice L glass. And then picking up a complimentary HDV cam to go along with it. You won't have to worry about onboard lighting, and if you do as Travis suggests, you're recording dual system audio anyway.

I was probably the last hold out to shoot 1-camera weddings. If you were looking to do more corporate type work, then the EX1r would be a great 'go to' camera.

Just thought I'd put it out there before, rather than after, you bought the cam.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 11:32 PM   #11
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My question would be - why EX1r??? Why not to get 2x AX2000?

My wife also accepted new purchases - I'm getting 2nd FX1000 :-)
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:36 AM   #12
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Kelley,

Consider something like a Zoom or Edirol to record directly from the venues' sound system, to give yourself one more option on audio. It shouldn't be the prime source, but would given you great audio for any vocalist / musicians who is using the house mics, as well as for the officiant / readers. Consider it for mixing into your other audio, to round yourself out with as pristine audio as you can get.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #13
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Thanks guys for all your comments.

I'm now looking at the HXR-NX5 from Sony, but I can't find a release date. The AX2000 is just out of the question.

The main reason I want the E1r is for the size sensors and that "over cranking" can now be done on the SDHC cards if I heard correctly, plus many other reasons.

Secondly, all my videographer helpers own EX1 or EX3, so the quality has to match.

I'm waiting on some clips from the NX5 to see how it performs.

Also, I saw these cards coming out in spring of 2010. Anyone know if they would work on a EX camera? TOSHIBA TO LAUNCH WORLD'S FIRST 64GB SDXC CARD

I did pick up a Digital Voice Recorder and will start using that!
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