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


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Old April 19th, 2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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2 Cams Better Than 3?

I have an HV20, HV40 & a new 60D. I don't think they're gonna match in post in low light, which is what a wedding's gonna be. I've been testing out some low lit footage in FCP and can tweak the HV40 to somewhat match the 60D but it gets muddy and it's not exact. I'm so afraid to ditch having 3 cams to replace my 2 HV's with another 60D. Funds (well, okay taxes just came due) make it not feasible to spend any more money at this time. I think I can get enough money for my 2 HV's with all the extras I have to get another 60D.

What do you think? Should I ditch my familiar, beloved HV's (I really have loved working with these little workhorses) for another 60D? I have about a month to get familiar with working comfortably with the 60D before my next scheduled wedding. My husband would be my second shooter, so I'd have to set the settings and have him point and shoot. Or am I being foolish for thinking he can use a 60D instead of a HV40?

Or should I just stick with what I'm familiar with and spend hours in post trying to match with Color and FCP color effects?

Also, if 2 60D's is the way to go, I have my 70-200L IS for one 60D but which for the second: Tokina 11-16 or Vivitar 50mm 1.9 and where do I put my cams at the wedding? In the aisle for the 70-200 and facing the bride for the other? I also have a couple other vintage lenses but they're not fast lenses (4.0 macro and telephoto).

Thanks in advance for any advice. I can't believe I thought this would work! I'm so disappointed! : (
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Old April 19th, 2011, 11:41 PM   #2
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Lisa, for $400 you can pick up a GH1, for $329 you can get a f/1.7 20mm lens to got with it, throw in a card and battery, and you'd have a very nice came to set in the rear for your cover shot, very decent in low light.

Run in shutter priority, with ISO at 400 max, and you'd be set. Turn it on and it will record till the battery dies. For your reception, put it up high somewhere and you'd have an easy and effective second cam at your reception.

I ran with HV30s for a while and they were so useless in low light.

The GH2 would be better, of course, but for that kind of money you could just go for another 60d. But of course with the GH2/GH1 once you start recording you do not have to hit record again until you change batteries, and depending on your lens choices the footage would match pretty darn well.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #3
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

How well does GH2 footage match with Canon 60d/7d? It seems like the sharpness and colors are way off...
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:25 AM   #4
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Once your husband is using a 60D, its no longer point and shoot.. but more of a point, shoot and focus! And to maximize the use he may need to get familiar with ISO and aperture setting as well. But it's all learnable, he just need to be more attentive to the camera.

I'm not familiar with the Panny cameras, but its worth the consideration given that it supports autofocus (if I'm not mistaken).
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Old April 20th, 2011, 04:45 AM   #5
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

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Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
My husband would be my second shooter, so I'd have to set the settings and have him point and shoot. Or am I being foolish for thinking he can use a 60D instead of a HV40?
If I understand you right your husband has no experience in filming with a camera? If that's the case give him one of your HV's and set them to auto. A dslr requires a experienced operator to get it right and any mistake you make, even small ones will notice.

I also own one dslr and one "real" videocamera, I also shoot alone and based on my experience I can only advise not to get a second dslr if you don't have a 2nd operator that knows and understand how to shoot well with it. I also think you should avoid mixing footage between the hv's and the dslr, I would shoot well lit parts of the day, like maybe church with your hv's and shoot dark receptions entirely with the dslr, if there is a speech you might use a videolight on your HV camera's, then at least you got good exposure, color and better sound.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Yes, my husband has limited shooting experience. He's a computer project manager by "nature", and he loves "movie" making. He's teachable, but yeah, I wonder about giving him anything but autofocus...ugh.

I just want to do a good job for people who've entrusted me with their special day. Wow do I feel in over my head! I've only done a few weddings a couple years ago, and what a difference just one year made in film/cameras!

I'm working on a "Love Story" with one couple next week. At least that I can do with just my DSLR.

The GH1 I looked in to when I was buying the 60D. The lenses ended up being a concern, and doesn't it need some software to hack it? Plus, different batteries, adapters. Does it take the same cards as 60D? I do like the non-stop recording though...

Any more suggestions/thoughts out there?

Oh, and if I do get another 60D would the 50mm 1.9 Vivitar be sufficient for the ceremony along with the other having the 70-200L IS? I suppose I'd need another autofocus lens if my honey's gonna run it, huh? The Tokina would be way too wide, right? Has anyone out there blown up footage of a Tokina in post with proper results?

Last edited by Lisa Maxwell; April 20th, 2011 at 08:41 AM. Reason: add another question
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

IMO, the GH1 for you would be best used as a mostly unmanned camera. You use the 20mm f/1.7 lens, put the camera in the back, focus on the altar, set the settings, and you're done. Oh, and hit record.

Same at the reception. It's a fast lens, so you can put it in Shutter Priority, run auto ISO. Your biggest concern would be shooting modes, don't know what mode you shoot in, and if the GH1 would have a mode that would be compatible for you. I shoot in 720p with both the GH1 and GH2, and everything matches.

You can even run a wireless on it, as it has auto audio levels, which works perfectly with my GH1 and Sony wireless. Set it, forget it.

Here's a sample of the GH2 with the lens in question. I used NO additional lighting except for repair shot, and all shots were with the GH2. The GH1 would be comparable with same lens.

Yes, it uses same card I think, SD.

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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

GH1s and GH2s sold in Europe stop recording at 29 mins 59 seconds. Fine if it's a manned camera and you don't mind missing bits of the church service and speeches and re-syncing in post, but a pain otherwise.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Yes, that is unfortunate, Tom. Fortunately the US version has no such issue. I would go bonkers in that case.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:21 AM   #10
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa Maxwell View Post
Oh, and if I do get another 60D would the 50mm 1.9 Vivitar be sufficient for the ceremony along with the other having the 70-200L IS? I suppose I'd need another autofocus lens if my honey's gonna run it, huh? The Tokina would be way too wide, right? Has anyone out there blown up footage of a Tokina in post with proper results?
If you plan on using 2 dslr's only and if you want a prime lens I'd suggest to get a extra 20 or 28mm, 50mm is quite tight, I only use the 50mm (f1.4) with a variable nd filter for the fancy shots with very narrow DOF but for a ceremony I would rather use a zoom that covers from quite wide to a bit tele, even if it wasn't a fast lens. The tokina is too wide for a ceremony, good on a steadicam or for in tight spaces or to get a global image of the complete church. I also think if you plan on making the dlsr to your main equipment you should forget about the word "autofocus" :) Its not reliable enough, probably ok for wide shots and with an f-stop that gives wider dof but as soon you open up your iris or when you zoom in you must go manual.

If you mean with "blown up" footage zooming in on it in post with the Tokina you can forget about that, dslr's have less resolution then your HV's so that won't do your image any good, you could edit in a 720P timeline which gives you some reframing or zooming capabilities.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

Thanks Noa for the input. I appreciate you taking the time to help me understand all this. And all the rest who have replied.

OK, so forget about auto focus for my man...got it. Yes, I hear ya. I have faith in him and I think he can do a great job. He's very good with gadgets! ; )

Hmm, oh boy...lookin like I'm getting another 60D. Another lens too.

Double oh boy.

Man I'm an expensive wife! Ha! : D

But, come on...if the footage turns out good, doesn't that pretty much guarantee another booked wedding? Hence, pay for my toys...I mean, er, equipment. At least I'll have something to display in my portfolio that's recent. I watch my footage from two years ago and cringe. I desperately want to do much better!
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Old April 20th, 2011, 12:46 PM   #12
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Re: 2 Cams Better Than 3?

I"m no dslr expert like some users on this forum, I too got caught by the dslr mania to discover afterwards it was a real handful to operate, I also have a canon xh-a1 and for sure never will get rid of it or any replacement that will come in the future, with my xh-a1 I can nail every, once in a lifetime, shot, it feels like a second right hand :) But a dslr...

It took some time for me to figure out where exactly I should use it, as a single shooter I don't have any manned back up if things go wrong. Now I extensively use it on a blackbird steadicam with a canon 10-22 lens when I cover business events and during weddings I use it only during the fotoshoot (with the steadicam) and during the reception untill the end of the wedding but I have my xh-a1 standing by all the time. (for speeches etc) The beginning of the day and th echurch part is allways covered by my xh-a1 and a unmanned sony xr520 and that works well. I stopped mixing footage (with the dslr) as I saw it was too obvious to see when I switched.

I think you need to find out when to use it as well and for sure hang on to at least one "real" videcamera, only watch out a bit with having an unexperienced user deal with the DSLR, your husband is a computer project manager and you could compare that if he would take you with him on the job for a few weekends, it won't make you take over his job. Using and operating a DSLR right takes like any videocamera years of dedications and camera use, it's something you cannot teach over a weekend. I"m just saying because it can make things worse. That's why I suggested to have him operate the HV camera and get the basics right like framing, how to do good pans etc. It might sound silly but that alone can make your image look amateuristic or pro. A canon HV will be much more forgiving then a DSLR, especially if you don't have that much experience.

If you want someone to operate a DSLR they need to understand every aspect of the camera and what it will do with your image because if you don't know your image can turn out real bad, if you know what you are doing it can look great, but again, that's something you only learn by dedication.
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