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

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Old August 7th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #1
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$100 Lighting/Audio Question

Iíve ordered all the equipment I can afford and should start taking delivery this week. I had a $3,000 budget and I spent most of it on:

Sony VX2100 Camera
Sony VCT-870RM tripod
Two iRiver 799 with Giant Squids
Extra camera Batteries
Audio Cables (a good mix of XLR, 1/4s, Minis, RCA)

I already own a GL1, a Whirlwind EDB1, a Beach DXA-4p, Rode Video Mic, old tripod, some headphones, a scanner, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro 3.

Iím looking forward to testing the new gear as much as possible using the limitations of my living room.

BIGGEST WORRY: Hey, I realize Iím never ever going to have enough toys. I feel fairly confident that I now have the minimum tools required to do my first wedding and begin making demos. HoweverÖ

Iím nagged by Interview Audio and Reception Lighting worries.

I wanted the PagLight C6 with MiniRover to help me feel confident at any poorly lit reception.

I wanted a mic for use with Bride/Groom and Attendant/parent interviews before the ceremony.

Lighting Question:
I bought the Sony VX2100 because I heard it would be good for low light. I know all reception/lighting/situations are unique. But in general, will I be able to get away with using this camera without a light until I can afford to buy the Pag C6, or do I seriously need to consider some kind of cheap substitute?

Audio/Interview Question:
Seeing as how I already spent my budget. What kind of options do I have for getting ďdecentĒ interview audio?

I will use the iRivers/Squid for interviews at the bride/groom home, but what about at the church? I would like to use some kind of mic that can easily be passed around while recording either to the camera or an iRiver. Keep in mind, my Beach doesnít have phanom power.

Any advice or words of wisdom on these two questions?

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Old August 7th, 2005, 10:59 AM   #2
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i'm an xl1 convert. initially, we tested the waters in a mixed wedding environment of xl1 / vx2100 / panny. the vx won in low light, hands down. got rid of the panny (don't even remember the model), but i still have the xl1. the canon takes great images when set up properly, but it was useless in low light.

we now shoot with 3 vx2100s exclusively. i love the warmer hues you can get with an xl1, but the drawbacks were too great, and i will never want to color correct to 3 different camera brands ever again.

for lighting, i use a frezzi mini fill, but i have not had to use it in a reception in a very long time. you should be fine for awhile, but it's nice to know that you have a light in the event that you need to use it.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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To get bye for now you can go down to you local K-Mart or target or Wal-mart and get a cheap Karokee Microphone for $15 that you can use to do interviews its not the best but it works.
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Old August 7th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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Karioke Mic

And what would you suggest I do with the Karioke Mic, XLR connect it to the Beach or could it be connected to the iRiver?
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Old August 7th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #5
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Hello everybody,

I suggest getting a mic with the miniplug and jack it in directly to the camera. Using the iriver would mean another portion of the wedding to sync.

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Old August 8th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #6
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In my experience, you will run into a few receptions where you will need lighting or the video quality will be very poor. The percentage of receptions that are like this, in my experience, are very few or maybe 5-10%. I got by withou alight for quiet some time, but I think I also got lucky. Maybe consider the sony 10/20 as a cheap option until you get something. Even doing some research to mak a half decent shop light with softbox for next to nothing provides the option of having something if all else fails. Some of those home made designs out there actually work well and look not too bad.

As for interview audio, we have done shoots in our home/office, turned everything off and got by with the on cam mic. That is the VX2K1 too. As you have the irivers, you can go buy a small powered karaoke mic for cheap and plug it into the iriver. I would suggest having a wireless mic for the vows myself, and using that for interviews with a handheld mic plugged into it.As that probably doens't fit the budget right now, you should also consider offering packages that fit within your level of equipment. Many people don't offer reception interviews. You could limit yourself to only doing them in quiet places that are well lit. It's tough, ut you can't offer everything when yo have limited equipment like you do.

Out of curiousity, I use two irivers myself but have never used them without the wireless mic as my primary source for the ceremony. Is anybody using only irivers and getting good audio from a bride who is five feet away talking in a quiet voice? I know some people are, how does the audio from the further people come out compared?
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #7
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For the interviews audio you can solve that problem by not doing interviews. Focus on your shots and acquiring great natural sound and you can use that as your audio source throughout the video.

Ben Lynn
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Old August 15th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #8
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A Rode VideoMic on a VX2000 sounds a whole lot better than the stock mic that comes with the PD150 or 170. Of course you can buy a better mic for a 150. Anyway, for close talking head type interviews, the VideoMic works beautifully.
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