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


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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:53 AM   #16
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

+1 on the IGUS slider. Forget the indislidermini (I had it and about to ditch it now).. it will be a waste of $200 later down the road. Get a mate who could help you build a DIY IGUS, or buy/read instructions from ZazaSlider Products .. improvise yourself too.. re the pistol head, dont worry, there's plenty of second hand tripod head in the market that would work the job

+1 on the monopod.. it steadies itself to a ground, which doesn't move at all (unless earthquake occurs!). Shoulder rig stabilizes to your body.. which moves everytime even as you're breathing. I personally know a lot of wedding videographers who won't recommend a shoulder rig.

+1 on the cards and batteries. never let yourself run out of memory or batteries. Even a million dollar camera won't work without these essentials. You can score cheap knock off batteries in eBay.. if you can't buy much cards atleast prepare yourself to constantly backup your files to a computer on the wedding day so you can format it and re-use

If you can score a secondhand iRiver 7xx/8xx series, they would make the cheapest decent voice recorder. H1 would work, but I agree that it is quite bulky. I would definitely suggest lav up the groom atleast and invest in RODE for the onboard camera mic.

Lastly.. consider using your T2i mostly for the highlights clip.. use a proper video camera to document the complete ceremony/reception.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 04:17 AM   #17
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Since there are no low light issues you can skip the lenses for now or you may just get a used manual focus 50mm f1.4 or f1.7 for those shallow DOF shots. It's the cheapest lens you can find and probably the most usefull.
Then you are left with $400-450 for the rest.
Since you already have an SX20 for back-up you may be fine but a small pocket cam like the TA1 or the Flip mino can serve in many ways. On a tall light stand Adorama 13' Chrome, Air-Cushion Lightstand, 4 Section - eBay (item 330494523191 end time Mar-08-11 18:39:56 PST) for a bird's eye view or on a short lightstand STUDIO LIGHTSTAND 3.5' Dual Mount Metal Lightstand New - eBay (item 370467248966 end time Mar-16-11 11:36:43 PDT) that you can move around and get alternative views, like the audience clapping while you and the SX20 are both shooting the bride coming down the aisle or a low angle shot of the ring exchange while you film their expressions and so on.

For a viewfinder this 3" CARRY SPEED VFINDER 3:2 FOR T2i 60D LCDVF Z FINDER - eBay (item 120687993289 end time Mar-22-11 21:55:25 PDT) is quite affortable

And another option for a slider may be this Camera Skater Slider Dual Dolly RS (tm) with 3' TRACK! - eBay (item 180632764098 end time Mar-02-11 11:39:26 PST)

If you plan on using the H1 with a lav mic on the groom you may be better off with the used iRiver which is smaller and cheaper. The H1 is still usefull though.

Last edited by Spiros Zaharakis; February 28th, 2011 at 05:00 AM.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #18
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

On Monopod: Okay, you guys are swaying me away from the shoulder strap idea seeing as how many people are plugging the Monopod. I'd have to get one $100 or under, though, to fit budget. Suggestions?

On Slider: The ZazaSlider parts mentioned above are costly. The feet alone are over the cost of the whole IndiSlidermini Package. As for getting a friend to build one...well, my buddies are just as construction inept as I am and if parts are going to cost the same or over then an IndiSlider I'd just as soon go that route. Of course, then there's THIS idea: YouTube - Build a DIY Slider for $20 : Backyard FX. Again, I am certainly open to suggestions on the Slider end of things but I have two criteria:
1) An easy cost effective build if I DIY
2) It must have feet to put on surfaces as I will be using it at a later date
3) Cost under $200

On Sound: Hunting around for IRivers on an initial search at Canadian retail stores has found none. Do they still sell these? Holding an H1 yesterday they didn't seem to be that bulky. I put one in my pocket and walked around and was alright. Are you guys suggesting that it is better to lav mic up the Groom to record the priest/bride as well as opposed to my idea of sticking the H1 between them on a tripod?

On Memory and Batteries: I have two batteries for the Canon. As for Memory I have a 16gig card and an 8gig card at the moment but plan on purchasing either another 16gig or a 35gig. Also Note, I am bringing my laptop up with external harddrive and one person on my crew will be transfering files onto it when the card is full. What struck me last night, though, is how long will it take to transfer 16gig of HD footage onto a laptop?

Viewfinder: So, and correct me if I am wrong, but this just makes the view of the LCD bigger and helps steady the shot? I thought the Canon screen was quite large. If I were to have the camera on tripods/monopods how necessary is this purchase?
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #19
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Hi Robert,

Welcome to the forum. I'm also new to the wedding business, about 1.5 years now. I started just like you and was on a huge limited budget. One of the main things I would suggest is to get enough cards and batteries. You dont want to be down because you dont have power or your card hasn't finished transferring to your laptop. There's no retakes at weddings especially in the ceremony so you want to cover your tail on downtimes. The next best thing is to buy the best tripod you can afford. I wish I had done more research on this philosophy because my cheapo tripod in my first gig didn't do justice. I find it very hard to watch a video with jerky panning. The very first thing I bought right after my first gig was a professional tripod. Someone suggested renting gear and in starting out, I think that's a great idea. My assumption is that you dont have much experience in a lot of gear so it would be the best way to try them out through renting. Also, I understand your pretty much set on the slider and they do give that cinematic feel. I would really look at the zazaslider. However, since you are new I would probably ditch the slider and focus on refining your skills at dslr work because DSLR work is its own beast to master and a hard one at that.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #20
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

get out now before it's too late. Or, if you are hard headed, get DSLRs so you can start doing still photography as well, thats where the money is.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #21
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert James View Post

On Sound: Hunting around for IRivers on an initial search at Canadian retail stores has found none. Do they still sell these? Holding an H1 yesterday they didn't seem to be that bulky. I put one in my pocket and walked around and was alright. Are you guys suggesting that it is better to lav mic up the Groom to record the priest/bride as well as opposed to my idea of sticking the H1 between them on a tripod?
I found this ad on Kijiji, might want to look into it if the unit is still available

For Sale iRiver iFP-790 (Red) MP3 player - Kitchener / Waterloo Phones, PDAs, iPods For Sale - Kijiji Kitchener / Waterloo Canada.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #22
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Rob,
Just went through this in the last year. If this is your first wedding then I would keep it simple, worry about the slider down the road. Try to up your footage each wedding you do, each look takes a bit of skill to master and is also a potential failure. You have to know how to get your slider onto your tripod, and if you end up loosing a screw or some other failure, have a backup in place. If you are not experienced with the pace of a wedding dealing with problems (which can eat up 30 minutes easily) will cause problems. First figure out what you want to be your deliverable. My first wedding, all I delivered was a highlight reel. This was a freebie for a couple that didn't even want video. Maybe find someone that you can offer something like that to, so you get used to the pace and you can learn how to work around the main photographer (staying out of each others shots). Second wedding I offered, highlight, and short film, third I added documentary footage. Go to vimeo and search for stillmotions canon caravan and study them. For a budget of $500, rent a good video tripod, don't go cheap on this. That with a 70-200 rental can get you some beautiful footage and covers the reception.

At that budget you might want to consider not even dealing with audio and just doing a highlights clip to music (if you can score another gig before your sisters). Then once you've gotten used the the camera and pulling focus add audio to your sisters event. I would download and study magic lantern on the t2i. This unlocks the 12minut limitation (good for ceremony), gives you white balance, and gives you more iso options (there is tremendous value is in this hack for someone working on a budget). Somethings you want to practice before, whitebalance, stabilization and audio monitoring (practice as in, capture the footage/audio and review it on your computer before the event). You can't just handhold the t2i, it shows micro-jitters. The way around this is using a support "Cullmann CUTP 3090 Travelpod" and staying under 75mm on a crop. If you shoot loose then you can deal with it a little in post, but that cost more money. So I think the best recommendation is to get the video monopod per everyone's recommendation for an initial investment (not a photography monopod, it has to be the one listed). White balance (easy to dismiss even with the pace and stress of the day), you need to nail in camera, fixing in post will give you a lot of headaches. Audio monitoring on magic lantern for t2i is really great. Get the mic below and you can see your levels on the lcd screen and get fantastic audio in camera. I would use this for your ambient, and then get a TASCAM DR07 with a radio shack lapel mic for vows. In post, mix the ambient from the t2i with the audio for the TASCAM. For the reception stick the TASCAM near the DJ speaker to pick up the speeches. Make sure you have the concert limiter on so that you don't blow out the sound, and that you have spare batteries and memory to cover the amount of time you need. Also, spend time configuring and playing around with the audio recorder ahead of time, don't do it at the wedding. For the t2i set the picture profile to sharpness 0, contrast -2, saturation -1, color 1. Canons image out of camera is too contrasty to deal with in post, color deals with typical canon red color bias.

Sennheiser_MKE_400_MKE_400_Compact_Video

If you don't have low light glass then I guess I would rent that. You have to get something below 2.8.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #23
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

I agree wth Johannes about the indislider. I wasted $200 bucks..a few months later I bought the DPSlider for $800. So in other words, I spend $1,000 on the DP Slider.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:26 PM   #24
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

iRiver 700's and 800's have been out of production for a while, but can be had fairly reasonable used (sometimes in the DVi classifieds!), there are also other small digital recorders that others have used with good results.

Really good FAST glass doesn't come "cheap", I've collected some old Minolta glass for my Alpha mounts and saved a lot, but the general situation is that you're going to end up putting some serious money into lenses over time as you learn more about what various lenses do - that's the "joy" of interchangeable glass, as well as the curse.

You might take a look around DVi for DIY shoulder mounts - there's a recent thread where the poster built a pretty nice one for his VG10 from plumbing parts, and you'd be looking at less than $50 even if you have to buy a hacksaw and make a few mistakes... I've used the same design as the "cowboy" shoulder mount, and had too much "breathing" from the chest pad contact. I DO use a shoulder mount though for video cameras, I'm not sure yet for shooting a SLR... still working on that!

If the 561 Bogen is too much, you might take a look at the 560b - same fluid cartridge base, simpler head, but still effective. The 561 is BETTER, but as you've noted, pricey. Don't discount those little feet, they work wonders... expensive but worth the price of entry IMO. The 561 has the advantage of MASS, which will help with some of the "tricks" below.

Here's the trick with the monopod - it's mobile (faster than a tripod), adds stability to the ground or other steady object when needed, BUT, with a ball or swivel head, swing the shaft back and over your shoulder, and voila, a crude but effective "shoulder support"... OR get a belt pocket (or use your pocket, or use 2 of the feet on one of those Bogens into your belt loops!) and voila, a steady stick sort of arrangement (support, but without the chest pod "breathing"), plus you can get some height, for faked crane shots. Flip it over, you've got a "doggie cam" (flip the resulting video in post) that will be pretty close to a low mode steadicam once you get the hang of it. Learn how to balance the rig, and you can fake steadicam shots within reason (the monopod adds a counterweight to help take shakes and wobbles out), If you learn to hold the rig and glide/walk, you can even fake a slider shot to some degree... That's just a start of what the simple "dumb" monopod can do for you, it's not 100% of any of the fancier gear, but it's a good 80-90% from a single piece of equipment, thus why you see people swearing by it, and specifically the 560/561, although I've got some nice cheap monopods I've collected that come in handy too.

The "pocket cam" is a cheap way to have a 2nd/3rd/cutaway angle for your video in case of a battery/card/clip change, and while it's not much, you've got SOME backup in case your camera decides to take a proverbial dump on you mid-wedding (this is why everyone who is "pro" has redundant EVERYTHING). Some of the tiny P&S cameras are getting pretty good footage, for cheap cheap prices!


I'll just issue a bit of a warning on buying memory and batteries as a long time buyer of stuff on eBay... be VERY careful about buying stuff this way to stretch your budget, as it's VERY easy to get burned with "fake" stuff that won't work as expected, memory particularly. If you're trying to stretch your money, this isn't the way to do it, unless you know how NOT to get fake/counterfeit/bogus merchandise!


While you've set a budget, keep in mind that some things will be used for a LONG time relatively, and also hold their value in case you decide you don't want to do weddings down the road! Cheap and trendy stuff doesn't hold it's value, good gear DOES. If you aren't a DIY'er where you can build your own "rigs", you're going to have to spend more, better to spend it right.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #25
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

I am not into autofocus, so this Takumar lens has turned out to be a neat walk around lens for my 5D. I also use in on my T2i for some pretty nice images.

takumar 28-80 items - Get great deals on Cameras Photo, Zoom items on eBay.com!

Example of adapter here: lens adapter Pentax PK to Canon EOS EF 500D 50D 7D 5D - eBay (item 220632596438 end time Mar-02-11 01:55:15 PST)

At 28-80m on the T2i, it won't provide much wide angle coverage but it is equivalet of about 45 to 125, It also has a macro on the telephoto end that will come in handy for ring shots, and other close ups. For around $ 50, plus cost of Pentax K to eos adapter, it provides you with pretty decent glass.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #26
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Again, a big thanks to the folks in this forum for the bevy of replies. I've posted similar questions in other forums to get ziltch of an answer. A few additional things:

SOUND: In looking at what the iRiver does compared to the H1 Handy Record, seems like the H1 is a better option if I'm only not going that route due to it being bulky in a pocket. I can rig up some sort of clip for it if need be. See below about my idea on used electronics.
-Has anyone had any experience with the H1 Recorder vs the Rode Video Mic. Again, from what I have seen the sound is comparable and the H1 gives you more mobility and is cheaper so seemed like the better choice. The only dif, of course, was the RODE lets me sync sound.

ON USED/EBAY: I am not too keen on getting things off Ebay used...especially electronics. I've been burned a few times and have lost a bit of cash on bad transactions. Things like monopods/tripods maybe but electonrics I prefer to get something that I can at least return if it bums out or has some sort of limited warrenty. With iRivers being so hard to come by new, I'd probably shy away from that option unless somebody can convince me otherwise that it would be a much better option then the H1 which, from what I have heard, sounds great.

On additional cards: Trust me, I'll purchase these new.

Monopod: Wow...I never thought about all those options you get out of one...especially the StediCam ideas. Thanks Dave for the amazing suggestion.

Slider: I am starting to think myself out of one of these after I was so gun-ho on the IndiSliderMini. Basically, I can afford $200ish for one of these and would prefer the have feet for outside shooting though I suppose this isn't a be all end all if I cart along a few cheapy woodblocks or even solid books.
-Anyone have any experience with the MotionSlider 24 or Micro? 24PHD- Motion Slider 24 Camera Slider
Micro Motion Slider Camera Slider
That looks a bit sturdier on the top end then the IndiSLidermini andin my budget.

* * *

Perhaps a simplier question for the forum would be:
I have $500 / some memory cards / and a Canon T2i - What is essential to add for a wedding shoot without going over? :p
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Old February 28th, 2011, 04:29 PM   #27
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Hi Michael,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes Soetandi View Post
+1 on the IGUS slider. Forget the indislidermini (I had it and about to ditch it now).. it will be a waste of $200 later down the road.
I agree wth Johannes about the indislider. I wasted $200 bucks..a few months later I bought the DPSlider for $800. So in other words, I spend $1,000 on the DP Slider.
I use an indislider but didn't have good results until I realized the camera has to have its center of gravity directly over the center of the glide carriage rails. If its not it tends to stick or stutter because the weight is on the edge rather than the middle. I have a macro focusing rail that allows the camera to move forward and backwards depending on the lens I'm using. For $100 it does what its supposed to do.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #28
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

I'm also debating sliders...but the Pocket Dolly Signature Series keeps selling out.

So in the meantime need something cheap to hold me over.

What are your guys thoughts on the Zazaslider w/ Zaza feet vs. Motion Slider vs. Motion Slider HD vs. Glidetrak SD vs. Glidetrak Hybrid?

I still can't figure out the difference between Motion Slider and the HD version.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:19 PM   #29
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Glidetrack and Zaza both uses IGUS bearing system. So it is quite comparable between the two. The Zazaslider standard is only $280. I reckon its worth the extra dollars.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #30
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Re: New to weddings - On a Budget - Thoughts and Suggestions needed

Thanks!

So the Glidetrack SD, HD, XD lines just carry different camera payloads? But then there's the Hybrid model in the HD line, which says it uses both sliding AND roller bearings. I'm assuming the SD line only uses one of them, but which one?

How much better is the hybrid system?

And how does the Motion Slider 36 compare to the IGUS systems (non hybrid IGUS). And what in the world is the Motion Slider HD - from the description, it seems identical to the Motion Slider 36, but the HD is way more expensive.
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