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

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Old April 13th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #1
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T2i - "Newbie" Questions...

Got a couple of questions about shooting for a wedding. I recently purchased a T2i with kit lens (which seems to have been a mistake; but it's got me to grips with the camera, so not all is lost!). I've offered a local family friend a relatively cheap wedding-video service.

It's in a few months, so I have more than enough time to prepare. I'm having a few issues, however...

- I want to use some form of stabilizing method which isn't a tripod - something I can move around with, preferably, which is relatively discreet. I've looked through lots of alternatives, but can't seem to find one which suits my budget (100-200) - except for the Manfrotto Fig Rig?

- The whole "12 minute-at-a-time" thing. I'm a little worried about it running through an important part (such as the speeches and the like). I can't afford to buy a B camera yet (I will if I find this first attempt works well, however) - has anybody come up with any solutions regarding this?

- And of course, indoor shooting - which is more advisable, the f1.8 50mm or the f1.4 50mm? Of course, if I end up getting the 1.8 (cheaper), I can budget more into the other issues I'm having.

My budget is relatively low, as you can imagine. I know full well I can't expect perfect shots with the budget I'm on, but this is sort of a "test run". I'm sure these questions have been asked a million times, but since I've posted and had nothing but expert opinion from everyone, I'd really appreciate some personal advice.

Thanks very much in advance :)
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Old April 13th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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here is my 2 cents

Hi Sam,

First of all I am not no pro, how ever can advise a bit,
From what I have read about the Canon HDSLR's limitation and what not they are only as good as B cams, because of the type of event you will be covering, which for most part is unscripted you will have to be on your toes so you dont miss any crucial moments.

If you are on a tight budget I recommend you should look into renting an A cam which will be on a Tripod,
The canon HFs21 with 64GB or the HF s20 with 32GB built in flash should work as long as you are shooting MXF quality I advise if you take that cam shoot at the native 24p mode same with the T2i.
This camera can be used for the speeches and any lenghty stuff which the T2i might be questionable doing.

The T2i you can use for close up shots pre event post event, I think you should get the 1.4 as the apreture is bigger will let you let in more light, along with that you might also need to get an ND filter, to increse the shutter speed, not sure the details on that you should do some research.

as far as a stableizer Cinevate has something which might interest:

also see if you can rent lighting if you dont already own any.

M. T. Zaheeer "Shan"

Cinevate Inc.


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Old April 13th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #3
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If I use a DSLR for video, I would likely hook it onto my Manfrotto 561B Monopod. I use it for my XHA1 for events all the time and it's so easy to carry around. I can't imagine not using it anymore.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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Sam, a T2i by itself is likely going to be problematic if you're trying to shoot for more than just a highlights video. You really need to try and get your hands on a second camera that can record continuous. You could get a new camcorder for $500-800, or maybe pick up one used for even less (I just sold an HV30 bundle for $350 on here). Otherwise the 12min record limit could very well make life difficult for you in post. If you really just don't have the money then buy a cheap voice recorder ($100-200) and have it running during the ceremony. Then in post you could cut to a b-roll shot when you hit the 12min limit, but you won't have an audio break.

For stability you can pick up a cheap monopod for $100-150 brand new, or again you could go used and go even cheaper. I don't think the Fig Rig is a good idea because it's going to get heavy in the middle of a 20 minute ceremony. Keep in mind that with that device you're going to have to hold the camera out in front of you the entire time you're rolling. I'm guessing after about 5-6 minutes that is going to get old. I've gone 10 minutes straight with a handheld Steadicam and it's brutal. Get a monopod or a tripod.

I haven't used the T2i yet, but from what I've seen it has the basic image ability of the 7D. So I don't think you need the 1.4 lens. The 1.8 would be more than fine. We're using 2.8 and higher lenses and they work just fine. If anything, going with 1.4 and 1.8 could cause you problems with keeping things in focus since your DOF is going to be pretty shallow. You'll probably find yourself increasing the aperture to 4 or 5 or even higher to help you keep things in focus during action moments. You should take a look at the Canon 17-55 2.8 or the Canon 24-70 2.8. Both are nice lenses that give you some flexibility because you can adjust your zoom, and both are still pretty fast lenses. Shooting with a prime is a pretty big challenge if you aren't used to it and you're in a situation where you can't displace.
Black Label Films
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:08 PM   #5
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Thanks very much everyone that's replied, they've all been really useful :)

Travis; I feel a bit silly now, I went ahead and bought the f1.8 50mm for 70 (about $100); but I might end up buying a second lens for the ceremony after your advice. I have a kit lens (3.5-5.6 18-55mm), but I'm going to try and avoid using that altogether.

I'm going to look down the monopod route by the looks of things. Great help.

And the T2i alone is my only current budget option unfortunately...however, that voice recorder is a bloody excellent idea, I'll be investing in one of those for sure!

I suppose I'm really just testing the waters for weddings. I'm more worried than anything that I won't get clients after spending so much on the gear...ah well. Thanks ever so much Travis and everybody else :D
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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #6
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I'd like to say something about the kit lens. I think the reason people are so disappointed in it is because it really suffers in low light. But for an outdoor lens it would be ideal for those nice wide shots. Plus it has IS which can be very helpful at times. Are there better lenses out there than the kit lens? Yes... but I would say every shot requires a different lens. I shot this with the kit lens the first day i got it.... and it looks pretty good to me.

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Old April 14th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #7
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Okay...wow. That's changed my tune big style on the kit lens. I suppose most users pretty much just take the kit lens off and get straight in with their own pre-bought lenses, the kit lens isn't given a look in properly.

Excellent footage there Aaron! Can I ask what the tracking was done with? :)
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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Thanks Sam, It was done on an indeslider.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 05:32 PM   #9
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I've been using 7D for weddings and I totally agree with Aaron. IS is a big plus when shooting videos. Most lenses are built for photos, and Canon did not put IS feature on most lenses except extreme telephotos lenses and, oddly, stock zoom lenses. Here's the test I did with IS.

Of course, for low light indoors, variable aperture, as opposed to constant aperture, can be annoying and will put you in the situation where you have to boost your ISO really high. I've rented 28-70mm F2.8 L lens couple times, and as much as I loved the constant aperture, manual focus override, and picture quality, i also missed lightness and IS feature of the stock lens.

I think you did make a good choice for getting 50mm F1.8. F1.4 gives you the extra light, but it costs significantly more, so for a starter, 50mm F1.8 is a good place to start. You should also consider 28mm F1.8 which is about $450 but gives you more "normal" angle on cameras like T2i and 7D which has APS-C (x1.6 crop) sensor.
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