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


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Old March 13th, 2010, 02:05 AM   #1
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Upgrade to HD

Well, it's finally time to take the plunge. I currently have a GL2 and an XL1s. I need to upgrade to HD. I've resisted these past few years, but I'm finding that brides are asking if I film in HD.

So, I've been looking around and wanted to get some opinions. I've looked at the Sony HVR-V1U, Sony HDR-FX7, and certainly the Canon XH-A1s.

One of the big reasons why I've resisted upgrading is because I've heard that these cameras do not perform well in low lighting situations. And, of course, price.

Are there any other models I should consider? Looking to get two cams.

Thanks in advance
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Old March 13th, 2010, 02:18 AM   #2
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HMC150

Great cam, performs better than all of those other ones in low-light, and you have the great pana-mojo. Solid state as well :). If you can hold out, I'd wait for Canon's official announcement at NAB for the XH-A1s replacement.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 02:26 AM   #3
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I agree, if you can wait Canon is expected to make an announcement about the XH-A1s replacement. They have already have shown a non-functional model at a show in Asia, and they announced some features (like the codec). There is an article right here on DVinfo if you want to check that out.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #4
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If you care about low-light, then you don't want either of the Sonys you mentioned (they're basically the same cam). Great outdoors in good light, not so much in the dark.

You might look at the Sony Z5 or NX5 -- both similar and excellent low light ability. Z5 is tape (and card with the MRC1k attached) while the NX5 is card only.

If you want to stay with Canon, waiting a few months is probably a good idea.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #5
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I'm in the same boat as you, with a GL1 and XL1s.

At first I was waiting for the HD-DVD/Blu-ray battle to be won. Check.

Now there is a new Canon camera expected to be announced in the coming weeks, so I'm waiting to see what they have to show before I make any decisions.

Of course, with that decision to go HD will mean buying a new computer system because mine is 5 years old.

Intel just announced their 6-core chip. Check.

Now, if Adobe would release CS5 with their new mercury playback engine, that would be fantastic to have all this happen in 2010.

I have not had any brides ask for HD videos yet.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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For me, I always thought, "Well, when I upgrade to HD, I'll charge more". And then we entered this recession, and couples have become really price conscience to the point that $50 can make or break a sale. Also, I've realized that a lot of couples can't really tell the difference between SD & HD. They just know if the footages looks good or not. I tell my clients that I shoot "16:9, 30P". And they say "okay". End of conversation.

So should I really invest about $15,000 in two new HD cameras and a new Apple FCP editing suite? At this point, I'm more focused on marketing and customer service. I rather invest my money in that. That will get me more jobs, than saying "We shoot HD".

Also, I still find that miniDV tapes are a valuable tool for client delivery. I shoot for a television station in the Bronx, and miniDV & DVCam are still the preferred format. Just because Panasonic, Sony, JVC, and Canon offer new products, doesn't mean we have to jump to adopt new formats every couple years. The quality of the story and production value are what matter most. And most important, everything now is COMPRESSED FOR THE WEB! Not too much difference between SD & HD on the web to warrant spending $15,000 every few years.
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Old March 13th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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Christopher said:

"Also, I've realized that a lot of couples can't really tell the difference between SD & HD. They just know if the footages looks good or not. I tell my clients that I shoot "16:9, 30P". And they say "okay". End of conversation."

Just playing the Devil's advocate here Christopher, but don't you agree that as an industry we should try to educate our clients rather than being deceptive by omission? I'm just sayin'...
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Old March 13th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #8
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Where's the deception? If a client ask me "Do you shoot in HD?", I say, "No, its 16:9 30P SD and it looks great". And then we proceed to watch an entire wedding video in that format, and they love it. I book the wedding and make the sale. So my point was, Why should I spend $15,000 upgrading to HD at this time when it's not going to be a deal breaker.

Do I intend on upgrading to HD? Absolutely. But at this time, based on the current financial situation we're in, it doesn't make sense if I have an SD production system that still makes clients value and love my work. I can't afford to stay in business if I'm always buying the latest technologies. I have to make a profit. I'm not in business to keep Panasonic in business.
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