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


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Old August 18th, 2005, 09:47 PM   #16
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in all honesty, if your starting out, go find yourself a second hand DV camera like a dvx100 or pd150 and LEARN how to use the bloody thing.

forget HD and HDV. WHy?? put it this way.. the only way your client can watch this as it was recorded is as a DivX or WMV.. now the time it takes to process this depends on your computer specs, but in the ned, youll be making more work for yourself. Also most players scale this HD/DiVx, so its still all up in the air.
Until BlueRay and HD-DVD is released, commercially, and until at least 50% of my clients have one of these players THATS when to start worrying about HD delivery..

Ive been in this game long enough to see whats happening and to tell you the truth, i wouldnt bother with it jsut yet. sure native 16:9.. wooptydoo.. i can do that with a DVX and an anamorphic lense... or if i felt cheap i can just crop in post and still retain full res while only loosing my top/bottom frame area (ie im NOT losing resolution as people seem to think.. im only DISCARDING that area)

In all seriousness, get a good camera (DV, HDV it doesnt matter so long as the colour gradation is accurate and your compfrtable with it), learn how to use it. Get a good Lav mic (Senny G2 or something) learn how to use it. GEt a good camera light, and learn how (and when) to use it. Get an NLE that works for you and learn how to use it. Get a good collection of music and and afew styles together and learn how to SELL them.
Hell even if you do ONE wedding, you can edit it in a number of ways. When consulting a client, ask them their style and then show them the edit you have closest to their choice.

Forget the fluff.. In your situation, starting out... it will do you no good to concentrate on what could be, as opposed to what should be.. once youve got some cash in your pocket, go and get a HD cam if thats what you want.. But at least this way youll still end up with a backup, or better yet, the ability to service 2 camera jobs..

Work smarter not harder..
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Old August 18th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
sure native 16:9.. wooptydoo.. i can do that with a DVX and an anamorphic lense... or if i felt cheap i can just crop in post and still retain full res while only loosing my top/bottom frame area (ie im NOT losing resolution as people seem to think.. im only DISCARDING that area)
One could just as easily argue that the true widescreen nature of HDV cameras is one of their best features, and clearly preferable to anamorphic lenses or cropping 4:3 video to 16:9 if you want widescreen output. Cropping in particular is a terrible way to get widescreen output if someone might view it on a widescreen HDTV, where they would enlarge it to fill the screen and see how bad it looks compared to real widescreen video.

I like your suggestion to buy inexpensive used cameras for getting started, and that's better than paying full price for DV cameras at the beginning of the HD/HDV revolution. Your other suggestions would obviously apply to anyone shooting in any format, and have no bearing on whether or not to consider shooting HDV.

To each their own on when to start thinking about the inevitable shift to HD video production. Maybe it's still early in the game to worry about that, but if you're going to spend any real money on equipment better give it some thought.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 12:42 AM   #18
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actually cropping and in cam squeeze modes give the same resolution, all thats happening is that the image is being cropped top and bottom and then stretched vertically. Aspect is converted during final processing, There is no actual loss in resolution, only a manipulation of resolution and aspect. There is no zooming involved if done properly.
In the past this was the only way to get 16:9 (even with an anamorphic lens, youd still need to manipualte aspect ratio in post, and back then it was fine.. nothing has changed since then apart from the release of cheap native 16:9 ccds' )

as for HD displays, ANY sd footage will look a lil crappy on it unless its interpolated during the resolution scaling. Which is where full res progressive scan comes into play, but thats for another thread. Personally full res progressive 576p scaled up to 720p, to my eye, looks better than 1080i... but thats a matter of opinion.
ALso if acquiring HD, youre stil limited to delivering to SD DVD at this time, so your back to sqaure one.. albeit with a different colour compression ratio.. but again, thats another subject for another thread..

My point here is that with any method of shooting, there are ways to achieve the same or similar results.
For weddings, the previous statement is far more prevalent than for corporate work.

I shoot HDV with Z1's for all my corporate stuff. WHy, because theyre paying me for it. Not becuase its HDV, or that its a "sony" or that its a spanky new format..
Hell, I didnt spend more than what was necessary when starting out.
For me, the fact that most of this HDV stuff is going out to DigiBeta SD or DVCPro50 is probably the only reason i use these cameras.
There are hundreds of reasons why i dont particularly like these cameras (well, the lenses actually and subpar image manipulation within the camera itself... gimme XL2 or DVX tweakability anyday... then there are my gripes with HDV compression in general), but the fact that the colour sampling is on par with DigiBeta, it suits me for now.
The comment on waiting for the next Gen of cameras is a good one...

Dont get me wrong, HD is the way of the future, but right now, theres no point in jumpin on the wagon (for weddings at least) unless it can improve your work, your workflow, your delivery and your final product.

In the end, there are many choies to make.. jsut make sure the choices you make are the right ones for you and your work
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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #19
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Sony Z1, Sony PD 170, or Canon XL2?

I have the money. Which one is best for weddings? How often is there low light at weddings and receptions?

Ryan: You have the XL2, how is it in low light?


Everyone, do all these cameras compare in picture? If you all had the money for one of these cameras which one would you buy? Also, In Final Cut Pro 5 can't you shoot in DV and edit it up to HD?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Stoll
I have the money. Which one is best for weddings? How often is there low light at weddings and receptions?

Ryan: You have the XL2, how is it in low light?


Everyone, do all these cameras compare in picture? If you all had the money for one of these cameras which one would you buy? Also, In Final Cut Pro 5 can't you shoot in DV and edit it up to HD?
Tony, I've said this before and I will say it again. Receptions are VERY dark. Unless YOU add light. If you don't mind adding light, get whatever you want. However, you will be seen as a "wedding videographer with the bright light that everyone is looking at". As much as I think the XL2 has a beautiful image, if you are shooting ceremonies and receptions, I would say PD170. You are going to get the most genuine shots of the guests this way. Otherwise be prepared to have people looking at your camera with dismay as they enjoy their evening.

I would encourage you to rent all of the cameras you are thinking about and test them. That is the only true way to find out which one you will be comfortable with.

Jonathan
www.lumierebridal.com
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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Stoll
Everyone, do all these cameras compare in picture? If you all had the money for one of these cameras which one would you buy? Also, In Final Cut Pro 5 can't you shoot in DV and edit it up to HD?
No, All of them are VERY different in picture. If I were to shoot a short film I would go with something very different than if I were to shoot an event. Some say that low light performance is overrated. I say, if we are all here to serve the B&G, they want their guest's to be as comfortable as possible. Nobody likes to be on camera, and if you have to light a reception, there is no way you will be able to get the shot you want without the guest's feeling uncomfortable.

Jonathan
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:14 AM   #22
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Jonathan, Have you shot with the Sony Z1? If you have, does it shoot as well as the PD 170? What do you shoot with? What lense accessories would you recommed?

Also what case, tripod, and light for camera? Is the mic on the camera good or should I get a different one? Which one? Thanks for your advice and help
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Old August 19th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #23
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Jonathan, You said earlier to get 2 mini disc recorders. Is that the same as IRiver's? Did I already ask you about a wide angle lense for either the PD 170 or the Z1? If not, what would you recommend? What is Super 8?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 07:28 AM   #24
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There's a lot of duplicate discussion on the topic of the Z1/FZ1 in low light situations. Take a look at this thread which specifically compares the VX-2000 and FX1 in low light situations:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=49518

Tony: the Z1 and PD-170 use different sized wide angle lenses. Sony makes them for both cameras; I have theirs for my VX-2000 and it's very good although there are no front threads for filters. Unless things have changed, Sony used to bundle this lens along with the PD-170 and I think B&H still sells it that way. I haven't used a wide angle yet on my Z1, but have read good things about the Sony. Century Optics also makes excellent lenses for both cameras but they're a little more expensive:

http://www.centuryoptics.com/

Do you want to shoot in 16:9 widescreen? If that's important to you then realize that the PD-170 does a very poor job of that. I have a VX-2000 and a Z1 (the VX-2000 has pretty much the same image as the PD-170). I know everyone has their own preferences, and these have been very well articulated above. But personally I feel the Z1 is far, far better than the PD and VX series. It's a much newer design with much nicer physical manual controls, far more picture adjustment options, and higher resolution - even if you never use it in HDV mode. It will also shoot PAL DV if you ever need that. Of course it costs something like $1,800 more than the PD-170 though...
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Old August 19th, 2005, 08:37 AM   #25
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"It's a much newer design with much nicer physical manual controls, far more picture adjustment options, and higher resolution - even if you never use it in HDV mode. It will also shoot PAL DV if you ever need that. Of course it costs something like $1,800 more than the PD-170 though..."

Most definately Boyd, i agree 100% with this. Also balance of the cameras has been weighted out evenly as oppsed to the PD/VX front end heaviness... and DV straight out of the camera is probabaly some of the best interlaced imagery youre going to get at this range... hell, i sold a DSR570 to get 2 Z1's and in decent light the image is comparable, albeit with a slight inferior lens.
One thing i still despise, is the fat assed hand grip.. ive got big hands and i still ahve to stretch out ot bugger to get comfortable.. my wife cant use the camera handheld at all..
But when the technology evolves, theyll release a Z2 with a smaller lighter form factor and afew new tweaks.. theyll need to compete with JVC on this one... and the HD100 is an absolute kick ass machine so theyve got their work cut out for them..
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Old August 19th, 2005, 12:11 PM   #26
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Peter and Boyd: I take it that you like the Z1? It is very good in low light? Does the Z1 do better in low light than the Canon XL2?
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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
personally I feel the Z1 is far, far better than the PD and VX series. It's a much newer design with much nicer physical manual controls, far more picture adjustment options, and higher resolution - even if you never use it in HDV mode. It will also shoot PAL DV if you ever need that. Of course it costs something like $1,800 more than the PD-170 though...
But then again, the PD170 and the FX1 are basically the same price now, so that's an easier choice. (Add an XLR adapter for $200 if you need that capability.)
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Old August 19th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #28
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I would definitely agree with the above posts. The Z1 is a VERY nicely built camera. It feels like a tank. I love the placement of the iris controls compared to the PD/VX series of cameras. It seems like the LCD is always in the way. However, it is bigger, more expensive and it will get a few more looks. Personally I don't want looks. Those bad when you are shooting events. One main reason I don't shoot with XL series of cameras.

I have shot many many weddings with the VX2000 and the PD-150. I use the PD for audio and the VX as B cam. For the bang for the buck, I would recommend those cameras. There is no worse feeling then being in a reception or at a ceremony (candle lit) and realizing you do not have enough light. If you find yourself in that situation, it won't matter if you are shooting 16x9 or HD. You're sunk!

In the way of accessories, I personally like century's .65 zoom through wide angle. It has some slight chromatic aberrations, but it's the best wide on the market. The zoom through is a very nice feature. I keep it mounted to my PD. Expect to pay $400 for it.

Yes, MiniDisc will give you the same result as an iriver. MD's are just a bit more of a pain to get into the computer. I'm thinking of getting a few irivers myself.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
actually cropping and in cam squeeze modes give the same resolution, all thats happening is that the image is being cropped top and bottom and then stretched vertically. Aspect is converted during final processing, There is no actual loss in resolution, only a manipulation of resolution and aspect. There is no zooming involved if done properly.
My brother and I recently tested the in-camera widescreen mode on my Canon GL2 and saw a noticeable drop in image quality compared to shooting in 4:3 on the same camera -- and the Canons are supposedly better than other DV cameras for this purpose. If you think about it this makes sense, because both squeeze mode and cropping are compromising something to generate 16:9 output. Either you're simply throwing away the top and bottom of the image to end up with 720x405 pixels per frame, or you're trying to trick a 4:3 sensor into generating anamorphic DV footage with 480 lines of vertical information. Neither approach yields as good a result as HDV footage downsampled to anamorphic SD video with 720x480 "real" pixels of information, generated from 1440x1080 pixels per frame in the source image. This is both logical and easily confirmed by trying it. Only a true widescreen DV camera could possibly hope to compete for generating widescreen SD output, and there are only a handful of those.

P.S. HDV also gives you a wider field of view than squeezed or cropped SD video. The only way to get the equivalent on most DV cameras is with an anamorphic lens adapter, which adds a lot to the price and lowers image quality by adding more glass. Might as well buy an HDV camera...

Last edited by Kevin Shaw; August 19th, 2005 at 08:48 PM.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #30
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It is totally untrue that you cannot distribute high definition video. An HD-VHS deck sells for $300 and you can easily bundle this with the wedding package.
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