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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 4th, 2010, 05:43 AM   #1
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what camera to use with my 7D?

hi,
after years of filming weddings and just about everything with my trust Sony PD170, i have taken the plunge into HD and bought a Canon 7D. i did a ton of research before buying and i have to say i'm very happy with the camera even though it can be tricky to use in certain situations.
anyway, to the point!
i'd like to start using the 7D for weddings officially as a B roll, but in reality as the principal camera. my problems are sound and duration of clips. i would like another camera that i can leave on a tripod to record the whole event. this camera would need to record the sound, be able to record upto 1 hour without stopping, have reasonably good low light capabilities and have an image that can be cut with the images of a 7D without the difference in quality jarring too much.
i don't really want to use my PD170 as the main camera recording sound and a general WS off the ceremony as the images are so different.
i am really planning on using the 7D's images in general but i know that the 12min recording restrictions, heating up etc means i need another camera to be sure of getting all the images and sound i need.
now i really don't want to spend very much on this camera and so i am looking at the possibility of using an HV20, HV30, HV40 type camcorder or equivalent. something that gives me HD that i can inter cut with the 7D in those key moments, speeches, vows etc
the sound wouldn't have to be stunning but certainly usable. i presently use the PD170īs standard mic and it is acceptable. i imagine i'll buy the Rode video mic.
i might be able to do some minor lighting in certain weddings but that won't always be the case.
my 7D kit is:
7D !
manfrotto monopod
50mm 1.8
28mm 2.8
and soon to buy a 17-50mm 2.8 zoom
LCDVF
cokin nd filters

any suggestions or experiences of a cheap camera that could do the job?
thanks
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #2
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I have also pondered this question as well. I chose to go with the canon HFS200. Very light, portable, cheap (899.00 right now) and tapleless! Not to mention it shoots in 24fps (NOT cinemode 60i like the HF series). My setup now can fit in one backpack which if you don't have an assistant, can be a godsend
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:48 AM   #3
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hi ian,
sounds interesting.
i shoot in 25p as i'm in Pal land and 24p isn't so important.
how does the camera perform in lowlight?
is it easy to set it up to leave as a fixed camera with the settings locked?
what is the sound like?

thanks again!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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I'm a doing this now and did one wedding so far with a Canon 7D and Canon Vixia HF20.

The quality doesn't match in dark situations but I use it for ceremony and backup. It looks fine to the untrained eye, but I fricken notice. I got some reception lighting so that the Vixia doesn't suffer from low lights situations.

It does the job.

The only other camera that I think can come close is the Sony EX1. I plan on going 7D and T2i and use my Zoom attached to a Wireless mic and the shotgun on the two cameras.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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Might look at the Sony CX550V, no progressive options (60i is it), but it's otherwise pretty impressive, and very good in low light.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #6
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The EX1 is a good match with the 7D or 5DMKII (if you have the cash)but without the same DOF, I shot this with EX1 & 5DMKII:-


Steve
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Old May 6th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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Not to hijack Andrew's thread, but that was one heck of a good edit Steve.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #8
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thanks for the replys.
the ex1, whilst perfect in so many ways, is way over budget!

i checked out the sony cx550v and whilst it looks good for it's low-light capabilities i believe you can't manually control the sound. this could be a problem.

i checked out a review comparing this sony with a panasonic tm700 and the canon hfs21. they all have thier good and bad points. the canon 550d (t2i ?) doesn't give me continuous recording so i'm counting it out.

are these newer camcorders significantly better than the older HV series, which i can get cheaply 2nd hand, to justify the extra cost. i want to spend as little as possible but if i chose a hv30 would i then need to invest in lighting thus making any saving on the camcorder irrelevant?
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Old May 7th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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If you're going to get into weddings, it's inevitable that one day you'll end up in a situation where you'll need a light unless you feel that cheesy green tinted night vision mode is acceptable.

The HV30, while doing a great job in decent light will struggle in most wedding environments if you're after grain free images. That being said, the grain pattern from that little camera is very pleasing, even at high gain settings.

From all I've seen and heard the Sony CX550V is a beast in low light for a little camera. If you're willing to deinterlace in post it might very well be worth it.

If all you're after is saving $$ then you can probably pick up a HV20 - 40 for cheap, and nap a cheap light to pair with it.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #10
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In short, if you use the low lux mode, the little cams with the EXMOR "R" are amazing in low light. And yes, they will pass the HV's up by a good margin. You should check one out and see for yourself - take your trustly 170 with you. My XR and CX500's see better than I do in low light.

I still have lights just in case (fill light is important sometimes), but I've got more margin to work with. I seem to get decent results rendering to 24p at the end of the edit, YMMV. You can't edit what you can't capture, and the little Sonys let you capture a clean, sharp, less noisy, and overall more usable image when the lighting is difficult. For a "safety" camera to cover the limitations of a DSLR-V, yet still keep your kit compact and easily portable, it's worth a look.

The Canon and Panasonic offerings are not bad either, but if the light's going to be dfficult, I'd rather have the Sony... in good light, any of them should do nicely and perhaps even "better" than the Sony. It's always been low light that has been a problem, the Sonys seem to have licked it.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #11
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Have you checked out the CX520v? Now that it is last years model, it is quite reasonable. No sound options of course, but it has more reach than the CX550v.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #12
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I use a 7D and was using the Canon A1 for the ceremony. I no longer use the A1 and use the T2i for the ceremony. The 12 minute clips are really no big deal because there are plenty of "Start/Stop" moments during a ceremony. For the MOH/Best Man's toast, I'll ask them earlier in the day how long their speeches will be. I'll Start/Stop between their speeches because rarely will either of them go longer than 12 minutes. If they do run longer than 12 minutes, the bride is usually pissed because that is cutting into her reception. I'll run my 7D and T2i for the toasts with the T2i on a tripod.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #13
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michael,
do you work alone?
how do you find managing the 2 cameras?
does the t2i have the same over heating problems?
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Old May 11th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Maclaurin View Post
michael,
do you work alone?
how do you find managing the 2 cameras?
does the t2i have the same over heating problems?
Hi Andrew. Yes, I work alone. I've always shot with 2 camera's. For the ceremony, I put the T2i on a tripod and the 7D for BRoll. The T2i is really light so it's easy to pick up the tripod and move the camera. I haven't had any overheating issues with the T2i but I have had many with the 7D. Although the 7D overheated, I didn't lose any footage as I had to keep the camera rolling bc it was 45 minutes worth of Best Man's toasts.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #15
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Here is a few still images using a Canon 7D with reception lighting. It makes a world of a difference.

http://i42.tinypic.com/2r5amg8.png

http://i42.tinypic.com/25u2ssy.png

The lights were super low that night at the Westin St Francis in SF.
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