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


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Old April 29th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #16
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Another vote for the FX1000.

The AVCHD footage from the HMC-40 will require alot more horsepower to edit than the HDV cameras.

The FX1000 will completely outshine the HMC-40 in lowlight situations, and it's controls are a bit easier to access. It's got a really great lens that starts fairly wide and has a 20x zoom range.

Remember the other essesntials:

- a DECENT tripod; check out the Libec TH-650 as the absolute bare minimum
- XLR adaptor; either a Juicedlink or Beachtec
- A shotgun mic
- Wireless lavalier mics (a cheaper but less convenient option is an external audio recorder and a wired lav mic. With this you will need to sync the audio while editing)
- An external light for receptions.
- Plenty of spare batteries.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #17
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I've been reading a lot of great things about the FX1000 after everyone pretty much voted for it. Sadly its a little out of my budget at this point. I think I'll stick with the same family though and go for the Sony FX1. I know its been around for a while, but with an external XLR Box, HD Resolution, 3CCDs, and for the price, I think it'll be great to get me started. And I would love to upgrade to the FX1000 or even better cam once I get my feet wet.

Thanks everyone...and if I'm making the wrong choice, I guess I will have to live and learn through my mistakes. I appreciate everyone's input.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #18
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Aw shucks...just realized, the FX1 is a Tape Only Camcorder. No Memory Slot compatibility!!! Darn, I was all set to buy this. I don't want to be limited to Only Tapes.

If only the FX1000 would come down in price a lil
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #19
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Sorry to keep bugging everyone.

Anyone have experience with the Sony HDR-FX7?

Seems like a great buy for the price and the capabilites of this camcorder.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 04:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Razi Ahmed View Post
Aw shucks...just realized, the FX1 is a Tape Only Camcorder. No Memory Slot compatibility!
In this regard it is identical to the FX1000. Both will take an external card or HDD recorder via FW -- you mount it to the accessory shoe in either case.
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Originally Posted by Raji Ahmed View Post
Anyone have experience with the Sony HDR-FX7?

Seems like a great buy for the price and the capabilites of this camcorder.
It's a fine cam and quite possibly the best value for features vs. price out there. But it isn't great in low light, if that's important to you. May not be the best choice for weddings -- better suited to outdoor sports due to its very long tele lens. Otherwise, a very good performer.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #21
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Raji, if you're feeling adventurous and self-confident you can also try the DSLR route. I still prefer to have DSLR for specific things, but many people seem to prefer the DSLR only solution. Maybe the Canon 550D along with a couple of lenses, mics and tripod is a good solution. Quality-wise it blows every same priced camcorder out of the water. But it's much harder to work with than with a normal camcorder.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
In this regard it is identical to the FX1000. Both will take an external card or HDD recorder via FW -- you mount it to the accessory shoe in either case.It's a fine cam and quite possibly the best value for features vs. price out there. But it isn't great in low light, if that's important to you. May not be the best choice for weddings -- better suited to outdoor sports due to its very long tele lens. Otherwise, a very good performer.
As much as the HDD recorders cost, I might as well buy the FX1000. That seems to be the perfect camera for what I'm looking for.

In my price range, the FX7 is not good in low light. The HMC40 might be too much of a horse for editing. The FX1 is Tape Only which I don't like. The A1U is small and looks amatuer. Sony HVR-HD1000U , kind of heavy from what I hear. Sony HVR-A1U?? Geez, whats a girl to do?

:-)
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Old April 29th, 2010, 11:35 PM   #23
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The FX1 is Tape Only which I don't like.
Again, every Sony you've mentioned is Tape Only, natively. All could take an external recorder in exactly the same way. So I don't see how that disqualifies the FX1 and not the others.

But I agree the FX1000 is the best choice if you can afford it. But again, it is a tape cam that would need to have the external recorder (extra $$) mounted on the accessory shoe, just as with the others. The FX1000 does not include the card or disk recorder and it does not integrate seamlessly with the unit (as it does with the Z5 and Z7 [Z5 optional, Z7 included]).

If you want to go completely tapeless, you should be looking at the AX2000 or NX5.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #24
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Keep in mind you also will need a reasonable BACKUP camera if you're charging $$ for your services (not to mention the advantage of having a second cutaway angle from that second cam). SO your budget just doubled, sorry...

I'll be the total heretic here and suggest that for your first couple jobs (which probably should be freebies or low cost, to get yourself some experience/demo reel material), you may want to consider seriously looking at a couple of high end consumer models, like the Sony CX550V (which apparently will be sold in a "tricked out" "pro" version - not much info on it other than a "euro" model shown at NAB, but looks like it will replace the A1U). Panasonic and Canon have some similarly excellent tapeless cameras this year. If you're really trying to stretch the budget, you can buy last years (or a year or two earlier) models used...

The small cams aren't going to "look" impressive, but you can add a few accessories that will help, and these cameras will give you a great image, albeit with limited manual control. You'll still be spending a couple grand by the time you add audio and all the extras you will HAVE to have for a complete kit (extra batteries, lights, filters, tripod, monopod, wireless mic or digital recorder, etc...) so in theory you'll have more "kit" than "uncle Bob" can muster up.

You'll find many guys here using these small cams for extra angle cams for those who shoot multcam, so it would give you a nice start... get some good footage and decide whether you REALLY want to do this crazy gig. If you do, you'll have a show reel and can book a couple jobs and go buy a "big cam" like an AX2000 or NX5, or HMC150, or whatever, if you find you really need it.

Frankly you have to spend an awful lot to get any noticeable improvement in image quality over the current crop of top of the line consumer cams, and for the sort of "artistic" shooting that usually would benefit from a bigger camera, I think you could add in a Canon T2i... My next "big cam" will likely be whatever Sony Alpha body with video finally shows up on the market - if I didn't have all the accessories/lenses, I'd prolly go with the T2i.

Perhaps this might be a good combo: buy a T2i, and a top end "consumer" video cam, learn what they can and can't do image wise, and worst case you decide you hate doing this, you've got good "family cameras". I think it's safe to say you'd be able to effectively acquire images that will impress most people with a kit like that - then it's down to your "eye" and your camera skills (OK, editing is important too), which are more important than what camera you're shooting approximately 100% of the time.

Remember... it's not the camera, it's the nut behind the LCD/viewfinder. While we discuss cameras here, it's pretty much the same way a woodworker would talk table saws (personally I like my Ryobi 10"). In the end it comes down to skills, creativity, and talent of the "operator" more than some inherent shortcoming or another of a particular piece of equipment. A knowledgeable operator can probably overcome most if not all "shortcomings" of the equipment once they know the way a camera operates.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #25
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You'll regret getting the FX7

I used to shoot on an FX7, in daylight, or a VERY well lit room, its pretty darn good, as soon as its slightly dark, its bad, VERY bad.

I Upgraded from the FX7 to the Z5 with card unit,

BEST

DECISION

I

EVER

MADE


Sold my FX7 and bought a 7D, if memory serves the 7D is a similar price to the FX7, in that case 7D wins hands down. Sure, its got its limitations and you'll eventually spend more on lenses, but 7D>FX7 any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

So If you can afford the FX1000, def get it.

If you can only afford the FX7, seriously consider the 7d

I woudnt spend money on the FX1 either, its slightly better than the FX7 in low light, and is slightly bigger, but PQ terms, not much in it. FX1 is old model too, but doesnt suffer from rolling shutter (which the FX7, etc do, but its no big deal, not to me anyway)

my 2 pennies
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Old April 30th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #26
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I'd have to agree with Dave that a consumer camera may be the way to go. Something like the Panasonic TM-300 or Canon HFS11 would be suitable. The imporatant thing if you decide to go this route is to ensure you find a camera that will integrate with standard accessories. I don't like the Sony's for this reason - they mostly only work with propriety mics and media.

Once you have chosen your camera, spend the rest of the budget on GOOD accessories. XLR adaptors, good mics, a solid tripod, etc will all work with the next camera you get and are just as critical as the camera to getting good quality overall.

If you decide you like it and start earning some money then you can get an FX1000 or something similar and still use all your accessories. Then the smaller cam can be used as your b-camera/backup.

All the Sony camera's you've mentioned are tape only unless you buy the extra recorder. Also it should be mentioned that any camera in your price range that isn't natively tape-only will be AVCHD which will probably require a computer upgrade for editing.

Make no mistake, Digital Video is an expensive hobby, and an even more expensive profession. I often find myself looking at photographers and wishing I too only needed to invest in 2 bodies, some decent glass (which holds it's value well, unlike video cameras) and a Core 2 Duo laptop for editing.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #27
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HF-S11 and TM300 are last years models, meaning maybe available on closeout if you shop... but...

The new TM700 actually looks to be quite an upgrade, and the HF-S21 has a few nice touches like LANC. This year the Sony XR550 and CX550 actually added compatibility with SDHC media, and they've got the standard 1/8" stereo mic input (as do Canon and Panasonic). The top of the line models this year are probably closer on performance and features than ever before. I doubt you could go too far wrong with any of the three brands.

The main reason I lean toward the Sony is the low light performance of the "R" CMOS, and the excellent stabilization when handheld - Canon and Panasonic have made some good improvements so they may be a bit closer this year, but in those two respects Sony is hard to beat. Plus the "look" might match up better if an FX1000 or other Sony camera was the "future" upgrade.

EVERY manufacturer is proprietary to some extent (batteries), and as long as you've got 1/8" mic inputs, that's universal, you can always add an adapter or bracket for a shoe mount. Tripods will fit anything, and beyond that, lenses and such will be cam specific. Sony has stuck to a 37mm thread for a long time, so their accessories often will pass between generations.

The CX550 has 64G flash built in, should be enough for most shoots (Indian weddings might hit the wall on that, from what I've heard?), and SDHC or MS Duo memory is cheap enough to add on. I noticed Sony had it on special for $1050 yesterday on their site, so it's a decent deal.right now.

To be "comfortable" editing AVCHD, you will want to have a reasonably current computer, but i3/i5/i7 quad core CPU machines are becoming pretty reasonable - main thing is that ALL the hardware should be fairly current, and "video" optimized.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 12:24 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
Again, every Sony you've mentioned is Tape Only, natively. All could take an external recorder in exactly the same way. So I don't see how that disqualifies the FX1 and not the others.

But I agree the FX1000 is the best choice if you can afford it. But again, it is a tape cam that would need to have the external recorder (extra $$) mounted on the accessory shoe, just as with the others. The FX1000 does not include the card or disk recorder and it does not integrate seamlessly with the unit (as it does with the Z5 and Z7 [Z5 optional, Z7 included]).

If you want to go completely tapeless, you should be looking at the AX2000 or NX5.
Sorry Adam, maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I'm looking at the bhphotvideo.com and the specs say that the FX7 does have a Memory Stick Pro Slot; and the FX1000 and the A1U say that it has the Memory Stick Duo Slot.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it does seem to have the memory stick slot and not just tape.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 12:30 PM   #29
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The memory stick slots on the fx7, fx1000 etc are only for taking stills and storing pic profiles, you cant record video to them.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 12:43 PM   #30
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Wow, thats amazing. I was just reading that on the Sony Website. So anyone recording events with some of the above mentioned cameras, unless they use an external hd or recorder, they just record to Tape?

So what I would need is a camera that has a Compact Flash slot as well? The Panasonic HMC40 does record directly to flash cards. I see the Z5u rsays it has a Compact Flash for Video Recording, Requires Optional Addon. Anyone know what kind of Add-On they mean?
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