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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #1
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Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Oh wow, just previewed this; please forgive the length!

I need help with deciding which works best with my HV20 & HV40, please. I will be using for weddings, music videos, video biographies, elementary school concerts, promotional product work. But, mostly I am looking for my wedding shoots. I'm fine with using my HV's for the other stuff for now.

Or, should I just sell my HV20?

I want a minimum of 2 cams for my wedding shoots (of course 3 is better if going with DSLR). I've only done a few weddings. Used the XHA1 with my HV20 before and a Sennheiser G2 wireless lav, which I will be renting again; I have no problem renting this from ATS and not investing for now.

My husband does the audio and is my second shooter, but will not be able to do much more than pan and make sure the cam is on.

I am a noobie with all this information, but have been studying and researching for days on end and need to make final decisions now. I am VERY excited to learn how to use this stuff and creating some beautiful footage.

Here's what I have (very limited, I know):
HV20
HV40
Zoom H2
Modosteady-I hate this thing! I want a Glidecam! Anyone want it for $50 + shipping(I paid over $100)?
Raynox .66 Wide 52mm
Lens Hood
Dynex Tripod
Mac OSX 10.6.6, 2x2.26 GHz Quad-Core
RAID 4TB
FCP 7-LOVE this suite! I LOVE editing!

Here is my list of potential equipment:

CAMERAS:
HMC150-is it ridiculous for me to think I can add lenses and an adapter for DOF shots to this and be able to use it with stabilizer/slider?
Canon 60D-I like the 30 minute record time, good quality, low price, ability to add fast Canon L IS lenses
Panasonic GH2-But I haven't found that you can use decent fast lenses for video
t2i-kinda worried about the overheating issues I keep reading about and no rotating viewfinder
5D Mk. II-this sounds like it would be way overkill for me, am I wrong? Is the low light performance THAT much better?
XA10: seems silly compared to the others
XHA1: old I know, also needs adapter to get DOF, huge then

SUPPORT:
Manfrotto 561B monopod

SLIDER/STABILIZER: Please advice here appreciated! From what I've read the Atlas seems to win out.
Cinevate Atlas 10
Glidetrack HD Hybrid
DP Slider
Glidecam (are there other better options? this one seems the best from what I've researched)


LENSES:
OK, I really need your advice here for lenses based on which camera is best. Mainly used for weddings. From what I'm reading it looks like the 70-200mm Canon L IS (because I read Travis & Candice's advice and LOVE their work!) is the best choice? But then again, Still Motion seems to prefer 135mm F2.0 L. What other lenses are recommended? I've researched and researched but I'm still confused. Please help!

TRAINING:
Mark & Trisha Von Lanken-any new DVD's?
Lynda.com
Randy Stubbs-old but I love his ideas!
stillmotion's guide to lenses for weddings and events // a cinema caravan tutorial
What else?

I plan on buying what I need and practicing, practicing, practicing. I am a mom who owns a small business and my kids are getting older so I am able to do more and more each year with my business. For now, I can take it slow. BUT, I have a paid wedding shoot coming up in June and more possible in the pipeline.

Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to answer. This site is GREAT!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Of the DSLRs you listed the GH2 has the most bang for the buck. The 5d will blow it away on image, but looses it on the record time limitations. The rest of the Canon DSLR lineup, I have yet to read a review that says for video, that any of them beats a GH2. The problem right now though is the limited availability of the GH2 as Panny seems to not know how to distribute product.

Your thoughts of going to Canon L glass, IMO, is serious overkill. Most are using some old manual lenses and getting away for a fraction of L glass prices. Whichever DSLR you pick, you should be able to buy adapters to mount up just about any lens that has been made in the last 30-40 years.

The Manfrotto 561B, I have it and love it, love it, LOVE IT! I did use it with a DVX100B and that wasn't a real happy situation. IMO that camera made the whole affair top heavy and I didn't ever feel comfortable using it. Now that I am back to small cams (DSLR), I love it, love it, LOVE IT!

IMO, I think you want what others are calling "focal porn" in other words, the shallow depth of field. You can achieve this, somewhat, with most anything, but a DSLR is made to give you this readily.

If I were you, and we are close in this gearing up phase, I'd pick the camera and then get a few lenses to start with. Get some auto focus and some manual, and play around and see what you like the most. Good brand name lenses are always resell-able, so if you don't like one you should be able to resell it and move on to another. What surprised me was reading that one of the sharpest lenses made is the Nikon 50mm f1.8. That puppy is a whooping $130 from Amazon and elsewhere !!! What I am slowly learning is price or name alone doesn't indicate if a lens really is "good". I also am finding I am spending tons more time researching lenses, than I needed to for cameras.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #3
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
Here's what I have (very limited, I know):
HV20
HV40
Zoom H2
Modosteady-I hate this thing! I want a Glidecam! Anyone want it for $50 + shipping(I paid over $100)?
Raynox .66 Wide 52mm
Lens Hood
Dynex Tripod
Mac OSX 10.6.6, 2x2.26 GHz Quad-Core
RAID 4TB
FCP 7-LOVE this suite! I LOVE editing!
You may keep everything except the Modosteady. The HV 20 and HV 40 can serve as 3rd and 4th cameras. They will be fine as long as there is good light but they are kind of o.k. even when light levels go low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
Here is my list of potential equipment:

CAMERAS:
HMC150-is it ridiculous for me to think I can add lenses and an adapter for DOF shots to this and be able to use it with stabilizer/slider?
Canon 60D-I like the 30 minute record time, good quality, low price, ability to add fast Canon L IS lenses
Panasonic GH2-But I haven't found that you can use decent fast lenses for video
t2i-kinda worried about the overheating issues I keep reading about and no rotating viewfinder
5D Mk. II-this sounds like it would be way overkill for me, am I wrong? Is the low light performance THAT much better?
XA10: seems silly compared to the others
XHA1: old I know, also needs adapter to get DOF, huge then
DOF adapters are way too outdated. Not recommended.
Canon cameras have 29.59 min rec limit when they record in SD resolution. In HD they record up to the 4GB limit, i.e. ~12min before you need to press rec again.
Panasonic GH2 records up to the cards limit unless you live in Europe.
You can buy third party lenses for the GH2. There is an even greater selection than with the Canon if you don't mind going for older MF vintage glass. Look at this forum for other posts regarding that.
GH2 also has AF during video with Panasonic Lenses.
If you are worried about overheating issues then the Canon 60D and the Panasonic GH2 are the ones to look for and maybe the new T3i.
5D IMHO is an overkill especialy compared to the GH2
XA10 is not bad at all but you will get the very same IQ with the HF-M400 at 1/3 of the price. Good choice if you want to sell your HVs and replace them with M400s
XHA1, Naaah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
SUPPORT:
Manfrotto 561B monopod
Great choice. This is the best tool for the job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
SLIDER/STABILIZER: Please advice here appreciated! From what I've read the Atlas seems to win out.
Cinevate Atlas 10
Glidetrack HD Hybrid
DP Slider
Glidecam (are there other better options? this one seems the best from what I've researched)
You may want to check this too 50KG Tele lens Camera Camcord slider dolly track 5d2 7d - eBay (item 120681679457 end time Mar-08-11 17:07:24 PST) best VFM by far and a very good slider indeed
I also agree about the Glidecam. DON'T get the large one. Glidecam just like all stabilizers works best when fully loaded and even better a bit overloaded so just get a smaller one and overload it. The large ones were designed for the older heavier shoulder mount cameras. I would get the HD 1000 unless you want to fly it with a cage, external mics, heavy lenses etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
LENSES:
OK, I really need your advice here for lenses based on which camera is best. Mainly used for weddings. From what I'm reading it looks like the 70-200mm Canon L IS (because I read Travis & Candice's advice and LOVE their work!) is the best choice? But then again, Still Motion seems to prefer 135mm F2.0 L. What other lenses are recommended? I've researched and researched but I'm still confused. Please help!
The 70-200 IS is a better choice IMHO because of the IS
If you go the GH2 route a much cheaper Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f3.5 will do just fine and you can buy one more GH2 with the change.
Other lenses to consider:
For Canon:
Tokina 11-16 Must Have
A17-50 f2.8 with stabilizer. You have three options here, Canon 17-55 IS, Sigma 17-50 OS and Tamron 17-50 VC, in that order.
Sigma 30 f1.4
Used old MF f1.4 lens. Plenty of choices, Olympus OM and Pentax Takumar are my favorite. Both much better than Canon 50 f1.4 because of the better focussing ring.
Samyang 85 f1.4. Low cost but very sharp MF lens. Canon 85 f1.8 is also nice and cheap but for video the samy is preferable for the same reason as with the 50mm lens.
For Panasonic:
Panasonic 14mm f2.5
Panasonic 20mm f1.7
Panasonic 14-140 f4-5.8
Voigtlander 25 f0.95 AWSOME but rare lens
Some Vintage preferably Canon FD mount (cheaper, do not work with Canon EOS) or any of the ones mentioned for the Canon

Keep in mind that the Canon has a multiplying factor of 1.6 while the GH2 2X (actualy a little less in 16:9 video, something closer to 1.8X if i remember well)
Also the GH2 has a Crop mode that adds more magnification with the press of a button (to say it in a few words). A similar feature is also offered now in the new Canon T3i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
TRAINING:
Mark & Trisha Von Lanken-any new DVD's?
Lynda.com
Randy Stubbs-old but I love his ideas!
stillmotion's guide to lenses for weddings and events // a cinema caravan tutorial
What else?
Training and education is very important so just get everything you can find. And just like you said, practice, practice practice, and then practice some more
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Old March 8th, 2011, 12:54 PM   #4
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Lisa - first I'll echo the comment on the 561b. Get it. It will be one of the most useful tools you'll ever own. You should also have a decent tripod. I always like to have at least one "locked down" camera for the ceremony, first dance, etc. while our second shooter can move around on the monopod. I use this
BH (Links)
which is very light and almost as easy to move around as my monopod. Camera is a big decision. It's the one piece of gear that will cost you the most and will be obsolete the fastest (at least the body). I shot with the XH-A1/HV20 combo for three years then switched to the 5DII last year. I still love my A1 and HV20. In good light, they are awesome but once you see what you can do with a DSLR and a fast lens, it's hard to look back. You might also want to look at the new T3i. It has a 10X digital zoom that could get you some good mileage from a few inexpensive prime lenses. I started with a 24-70 2.8 which I got with the cam. Then my first two lens purchases were a Nikon 50 1.4 and an 85 1.8 I got for dirt cheap - and they are great. I enventually invested in a 70-200 2.8 which is probably my favorite lens. Whatever you buy, I would stick with something 2.8 or better. A 4.0 doesn't quite cut it in low light. I own a Glidetrack. It's ok but find it sticks a little which really bugs me. They have a new carraige design now with real bearings that might work better. Also look into some of the DIY options out there. A slider will definately up your production value but you may not want to spend too much of your budget on this. I also own a Merlin and love it. Training - I'm not familiar with any of these titles but I can tell you I learned a ton from the pros on this board. Study others work, then develop you own style and then practice practice practice..... good luck

Art
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Old March 8th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

You guys (yes, I am a Great White Nort' girl) are so wonderful for answering in such educated depth! I REALLY appreciate you taking the time as I know time is a very valuable asset.

Keep 'em comin people! You wouldn't believe the number of other people who read these and get valuable information from reading your expert answers!

I am still unsure about that GH2...I read that it doesn't take good lenses that will leave out moire, vignetting and the "wobbles"(IS), but you guys say it will take the good Canon L series lenses, well the 70-200 L with the image stabilization (IS) and others and NOT have vignetting or moire?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
I am still unsure about that GH2...I read that it doesn't take good lenses that will leave out moire, vignetting and the "wobbles"(IS), but you guys say it will take the good Canon L series lenses, well the 70-200 L with the image stabilization (IS) and others and NOT have vignetting or moire?
Panny has it's own OIS lenses that work fantastic for that. As for as the moire, the reason they don't take it out, GH2s don't have moire. That is a Canon thing now, Panasonic fixed it in the GH2s.

Last night I was playing with my new GF2 and tried out all my lenses on it. After playing around and then finding out my Zeiss was set to f2.8 instead of wide open like the others, I noticed what manual control of lenses is really about. This was my first real experience of understanding the difference between fully automatic and manually controlled, and now I think I see why so many go full manual. Seriously don't go "whole hog" into lenses right off the bat, get your feet wet and see what you like. After last night I am rethinking my lens situation, and will bet it changes form where my thinking was before.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
Panny has it's own OIS lenses that work fantastic for that. As for as the moire, the reason they don't take it out, GH2s don't have moire. That is a Canon thing now, Panasonic fixed it in the GH2s.

Last night I was playing with my new GF2 and tried out all my lenses on it. After playing around and then finding out my Zeiss was set to f2.8 instead of wide open like the others, I noticed what manual control of lenses is really about. This was my first real experience of understanding the difference between fully automatic and manually controlled, and now I think I see why so many go full manual. Seriously don't go "whole hog" into lenses right off the bat, get your feet wet and see what you like. After last night I am rethinking my lens situation, and will bet it changes form where my thinking was before.
Ahh, I see. Cool they got rid of it then. Hmm, wonder when you can get your hands on one then. My patience may not last as long as they take to make it available.

Yes, I definitely need to play around with lenses before going "whole hog". And too funny about the "focal porn" statement. But yes, I admit, my name is Lisa and I am into "focal porn".

One other concern is being able to actually function quickly, get the shot before the moment's gone without having to change too many settings, especially with my inexperience. June is gonna come really fast! So, that was another reason I thought the L series with IS by Canon was a good choice because it makes things focus quicker, but I may be misunderstanding what things mean in this new photography world?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

I think you got some things mixed up Lisa,
There is nothing in Canon that makes things focus quicker in video. Especialy IS which stands for "Image Stabilizer".
Canon doesn't do AF in video mode (not a useable one anyway), Panasonic does.
Canon can take every Canon EF lens available plus a few older or third party ones either directly mounted or via adaptors.
Panasonic can take every lens the Canon can take and then some more that the canon will not accept like old Canon FD lenses and even C mount lenses and low cost tilt/shift adapters.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

I think where everyone who hasn't shot stills misses the point with the large sensor interchangeable lens cameras is the LENSES.

The sensor/processing IS important (thus why things like moire problems, clip length, etc. are an issue, and how the BODY handles), but it's the stinkin' GLASS (meaning lenses) that counts. It may be cheap, obscure glass, or insanely expensive glass, but the lens controls so much of the image!!!


When shooting an interchangeable lens "system" (I use that term in deference to the fact that there are many different possible combinations of body and lens, not necessarily restricted by brand or mount), you definitely have to take into consideration the image quality and capabilities of the body/sensor/processor, and how long term the particular mount will be supported... or if adapters are available!

But you also have to dive into all the lens possibilites, options, specs and capabilities! This is a virtually ENDLESS pool you dive into! LENSES are what opens up all the "focal and image porn" possibilities...

You don't get to open that can of worms (or visual Whoop -a**!) if you go down and buy a camera with a kit lens... The kit lens may not "suck", but I know when I fired up the Sony SLT-A33, the kit lens was singularly unimpressive, an old Minolta 24-105 lens was stunning... a Konica 1.7 50mm prime was almost dreamy... and there are lots of other compatible "A mount" lenses before I go and look around for adapters (which I don't plan to do, as I'm happy with current lenses). Stock out of the box, meh.... with the right lens, mmmmmm.


The other thing I think is underestimated (I guess when enjoying "focal porn" the "plot" isn't as important, right?) is the changes in workflow and skill set required to shoot what basically is a MANUAL camera system...

I've shot stills for a LOOOOONG time, I know and understand how to tweak the camera to get what I want out of it, but as has been stated elsewhere on DVi, it's WORK to shoot a DLSR for video. Not saying it's not worth doing or the results aren't pretty impressive (they ARE), but it's a big jump if you don't have the photographic background to help with the transition.


@Lisa -

You've got two passable video cameras already, I'd keep them for 2&3 camera angles (just have good tall stable tripods for them - for your "second op" to keep an eye on!), and think about what you want to "step up" to, even if it's not much more than getting a newer camera similar to the HV's, but with newer tech and improved performance. I'm a big fan of small cams, and they get better every year in performance and price. Adding a interchangeable lens system ups the ante on the possible visual quality, and might well be the superior choice, IF you're prepared to take the time to learn how to get the most out of it.

I'm adding SLR/SLT cameras with video, simply because they are an overdue step up for stills, the video is just bonus points. BIG bonus points, but I wouldn't shoot an event or wedding with ONLY the SLRs... IOW my relatively current, with great performance, small video cameras won't be leaving the corral anytime soon!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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Re: Noobie Equipment List: HELP PLEASE!

Hi Lisa,

Check out the Konova Slider. I am thinking of ordering one myself and free shipping right now helps. Just trying to figure out if my Velbon c-500 will hold that thing: 50KG Tele lens Camera Camcord slider dolly track 5d2 7d
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