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


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Old February 13th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #1
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12 min record?

Ok, so admittedly, the dslr route is kind of peaking my interest after a few weeks of reading, youtubing, and so on. I would have posted this in the dslr section, but my question is more geared for the event I guess. In my last thread, the 60d seemed to have some edge over lack of overheating and so on. But the panasonic gh2 has the longer record time. I'm just curious as to how you are making sure to get every important piece when you are constrained by a 12 minute record time? Just makes me nervous. Are you finding that this is a pain?
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Old February 13th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #2
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I ran a pair of GH1s out in one focus group / research shoot for one hour and 15 minutes with one un-needed break to switch out half filled cards. We could have run straight through with the 16gb cards we had. Being the first time out at this time length, we switched just to make sure we had room. A 12 minute time limit would have rendered the cams useless in this situation. We would have lost too much, as the cams had to be primarily unattended to not draw the group's attention away from the presentation and toward us and them.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #3
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Hi Amanda.

As a video and a video only person. not having come from a stills POV (which DSLR is) I would think you have to find out what you feel comfortable with - only you can do that.

Personally, I think DSLR is a marketing exploitation by manufacturers of STILLS cameras to broaden their market - but, hey, that's just my POV.

The video camcorder is designed to be a video camera recorder. The DSLR is a stills camera "adapted" (with other add-ons) to be a camera to record video.

In the hands of the right person, each can be a great tool. But you have to understand and manage the shortcomings of one to fit the other's market.

The 12 minute issue is just one hurdle. Some have adapted their shooting to handle this. For me, it's a real issue and one which exposes the shortcomings of the DSLR path. And there are others.

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Last edited by Claire Buckley; February 14th, 2011 at 12:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old February 13th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Having finally broken down and gotten a SLT-A33, I think I see "some" of the attractiveness of the HDSLR - with the RIGHT lenses, and some practice, you can get very "artistic" results, with nice Depth of focus, and a "feel" that is more comparable to a high end cinema camera. Pretty much exactly what I was expecting to add to the equation.

That said, even with the auto focus of the SLT design, I found myself switching to manual focus rather quickly, to control EXACTLY what I wanted in focus. The amount of lens noise makes the audio less than useful, and making changes to a zoom lens induces more "jiggles" than I'd be willing to accept in a production. I'm sure based upon the heating issues, 12 minute clips would actually be on the long side with the A33... at least with the OIS on.

BUT, with the RIGHT lens(es), you definitely get capabilities that a run of the mill video camera is not going to match.

Is it a "marketing exploitation"? (good description!) Sort of... but it also adds additional "tools" to a professional shooter's kit that you wouldn't otherwise have for anywhere near the price.

While there are definite drawbacks, and I decided rather quickly that I had newfound appreciation for what my small video cameras WILL do, I'm looking forward to further experimentation and using the SLT camera for what if CAN do, with limitations and all. It won't REPLACE a video camera for my shooting style (darn!), but it will add other possibilites when shooting, and looks to take some excellent stills TOO.

Hope that will add a "new user" insight - although I've been planning on the aquisition for some time.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Hi Amanda

I'm also with Claire here..I like to shoot video with a video camera..then again if I want to shoot awesome stills I will go out and buy a Canon 5D II because a video camera isn't designed for stills.

You were asking about the Panasonic cams on your original post and I have just switched to the HMC82's and they are absolutely awesome. (Over in the US it will be the HMC80 as ours are PAL!!)

Well worth a look I would say and it has heaps of great features that the 70's never had!!

Chris
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Old February 13th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Duncan View Post
Ok, so admittedly, the dslr route is kind of peaking my interest after a few weeks of reading, youtubing, and so on. I would have posted this in the dslr section, but my question is more geared for the event I guess. In my last thread, the 60d seemed to have some edge over lack of overheating and so on. But the panasonic gh2 has the longer record time. I'm just curious as to how you are making sure to get every important piece when you are constrained by a 12 minute record time? Just makes me nervous. Are you finding that this is a pain?
Amanda, what is so important that it last longer than 12 minutes? I can't think of anything at a wedding that lasts more than 12 minutes..unless it's one long Best Man's toast.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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I am always running multiple cameras (3 in some cases).. So I never had issues with the 12 minutes time limit. If one camera has to stop recording briefly, the other cameras would cover it from another angle.

If audio is your concerns, most DSLR users use voice recorders to capture the main audio (not directly to the camera). You will need to sync it in post editing though.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Buckley View Post
Personally, I think DSLR is a marketing exploitation by manufacturer's of STILLS cameras to broaden their market - but, hey, that's just my POV.

The video camcorder is designed to be a video camera recorder. The DSLR is a stills camera "adapted" (with other add-ons) to be a camera to record video.
:)
Claire,

I have one very expensive video camera gathering dust because of the Canon 5d2. You soon learn the when you shoot with one of these (at least IMHO), that the positives outweigh the negatives.

But that is just my POV...

In Amanda's case, she is starting from scratch, so doesn't have to relearn a work-flow,or re-adapt from shoulder mount cameras, etc.

I happen to run both (traditional & DSLR) when I shoot the wedding ceremony, but after that, the DSLR (5d2) is absolutely my camera of choice.

For more and more of my other work (corporate and real estate), the 5D2 is my go to camera. In fact, my file numbering system just rolled over at 10,000 clips.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #9
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I don't think I have ever read a more concise, precise and persuasive exposition of the DSLR situation than Claire's - absolutely spot on.

Michael, I'm sure you write as you find, but for serious documentary video programme makers 12 minutes maximum duration is a joke.

Johannes describes how he uses three DSLR cameras to capture a long contiguous piece. We use three cameras too, not only to capture three angles in a continuous action which can easily last up to an hour but six channels of microphone also. At the reception for example, each camera will record a mic from one of the three principal speakers (and a short gun for ambiance). If I stop a camera to change battery or cards I lose that speaker's mic too. The camera may not even be taking pictures of the speaker whose mic is on that camera.

Finally, DSLR enthusiasts, please don't regard this as a total denunciation of your equipment; it produces beautiful pictures of which I am envious; it just doesn't make documentary programmes which I seem to recall is what Amanda aspires to do.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #10
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You're absolutely right Phillip, I don't think DSLR will work as main cameras in events like you explained. My instantaneous reply was because I thought Amanda was referring to wedding type of event.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 01:49 AM   #11
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Hi Michael

Gosh!! You must have short ceremonies over there...I think I have had just one under 12 mins!! The ceremony I did a few weeks ago ran for 43 mins!!! Ok, speeches can be under the Canon limit BUT you never know do you...I have had brides who threaten the speakers if they exceed 6 minutes but once you are on a roll who is counting... my record was 37 minutes!!!! (never want that again either)

For me shooting with a 12 min limit is the same as me saying "I have 12 mins left on my SDHC card so I SHOULD be OK" ... When my speech shoot begins I make sure I have at least a hour or more space...the only way I can see DSLR's working here (assuming Canon) is to run tandem cameras and start the 2nd cam 11 minutes in...seems an awfully cumbersome way to do it though!!! (and expensive!!)

I still agree with both Claire and Philip!! By all means use a DSLR to get creative footage during the photoshoot but a video camera is still my choice for the events.

Chris
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Old February 14th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #12
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C'mon guys, she can always get the Pannasonic GH2 and get over the 12min limit. And still be DSLR.

Why everyone assumes that DSLR means Canon and 12min limit?

Amanda, if you like the DSLR concept just go for the GH2, it's the better video camera among DSLRs and once you find your way around the handling issues of a DSLR you will be fine.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 05:03 AM   #13
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We shoot weddings and we shoot them on nothing but DSLR's. They have their short comings, so do video cameras. For some the shortcoming of ugly video footage isnt an issue, for others it is.

12 minute limit is no where near as major as people think.

The sound capture quality of the DSLR's is poor so you must record into a seperate device like a Zoom. This gives you continuous audio. We film all long parts of the day with multiple cameras so stagger recording, no problem with gaps. Speeches arnt an issue, typically most speakers will go for no more than 10 minutes before you have some clapping. Its at this point we stop and start our next 12 min section.

If your editing style is to give them every last second of the ceremony or speeches in a blow by blow 2 disk epic then DSLrs may not be for you. If your prefer a more creative edit then DSLR's can be a great ally.

Some here will tell you that weddings must use Broadcast quality huge shoulder mount cameras with the biggest fluffy mic you can find. Others will tell you to get the smallest DSLR you can find. Some will tell you to go all primes, some will tell you to go all long lens.

What Im trying to say is dont listen to any one, none of us. We all have our own opinions and those opinions are based on OUR style and OUR tastes. Some will try to put over their argument like its the word of god and you would be a fool to ignore them, But thats just what works for them.

We liked the DSLR look, we could easily fit their limitations into our style and in many ways adapted our style for the better
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Old February 14th, 2011, 07:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Michael

Gosh!! You must have short ceremonies over there...I think I have had just one under 12 mins!! The ceremony I did a few weeks ago ran for 43 mins!!! Chris
Chris, I simply click the start/stop button when there is a moment in the ceremony when nothing is happening. During a church ceremony, there are plenty of times where nothing is happening. It's the shorter ceremonies (13-20 minutes) where the 12 minute limit can be difficult. These shorter ceremonies don't have the downtime that a Catholic Mass has. Seriously, does the bride really need to watch in her wedding video, the Readers walk from their pew up to the Alter to do the reading? Do you camcorder videographers really leave this in the final edit??? The vows only last 3 minutes, nothing is happening before the vows. The Priest is directing the bride and groom where to stand. Do you really leave this in the final edit also??
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Old February 14th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Spiros Zaharakis View Post
...she can always get the Panasonic GH2 and get over the 12min limit. And still be DSLR.
Actually, no. Not really. The GH2 is not a DSLR because it lacks three things
a DSLR must have in order to qualify as a DSLR: a mirror, a penta-prism and
an optical viewfinder.

"SLR" stands for Single Lens Reflex. Single lens as opposed to Twin Lens (TLR,
a popular camera type before the SLR was introduced). The SLR was a design
improvement over the TLR since it replaced the second lens that was required
for the optical viewfinder with a mirror and a penta-prism.

The GH series and similar camera types, since they lack an optical viewfinder,
mirror and penta-prism are therefore not SLRs by any stretch of the imagination.
Instead they are much more accurately described as Electronic Viewfinder -
Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) cameras.

These designations may seem trivial -- but they're not. It's important to know the
rudiments of how these things work, kind of like knowing whether the engine in
your car is gasoline or diesel. The Panasonic GH series cameras are not single-
lens reflex cameras therefore they shouldn't be referred to as such.
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