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


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Old July 25th, 2011, 03:50 PM   #16
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
it will become easier, and I will grow as a shooter, but in the meantime I am not enjoying the experience much. I find the DSLR thing has taken the fun out of shooting for me. It is now like work, and tedious work at that.
Same experience for me, a weddingday feels like a marathon to me now while in the past it was more a walk in the park.

However the result I get out of it is worth all the extra effort it requires, as a single shooter I can't use a dslr all day, only the church I do with real videocamera's, no way I'd be that crazy to shoot it with a dslr :). I run two camera's and several wireless audio recorders that I have to set-up in 5 minutes max.

I mainly start using my 2 dslr's (550d's) from the reception on (also during preparation in the morning) but for speeches I use my main videocamera again with a videolight, I find it a pain getting good audio with my dslr.

I also always film the weddingdance with my dslr but absolutely hate it when the dj changes the light intensity, sometimes they make it darker or brighter during the dance and because I always film in manual that means sudden over- or under exposure and making any exposure changes is something you clearly see in the footage.

Currently it's about 50% real camera and 50% dslr and it took at least a half year for me to find the right workflow during the day and especially when to use my dslr and when not. At this moment I still use a xh-a1 when light is good and when I need good sound and for me my dslr's support in area's where my xh-a1 doesn't perform well like low light, filming in tight area's or when using on a steadicam (blackbird) because it's so light.

I don't intent to change that combination for the next 2 years as it works for me but often I think back to those fun day's when I started out with just one camera and a cheap tripod. :)
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Old July 25th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #17
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

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Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
snipped
Then last night I had the opportunity to remind myself exactly why I went to DSLR.

Five years of shooting this band and five years of every shot of the lead singer in the spotlight and she's always coming out as Casperette the Friendly Ghostette !!

snipped
Chip, with huge respect I fail to see anything in your clip which couldn't have been shot with any video camera I've used in the last 30 years which has a manual iris/exposure mode.

If that's so your post really amounts to a testimony to spot metering, but the "spotlight" settings I've had in so-called prosumer cameras since the PD150 until the Z1 (I have EX1R now and although they have the facility it's rightly made almost useless and inaccessible) could have achieved the same effect.

I don't mean to sound critical but coming from a background where iris and exposure were always manual,it's hard to get overly excited at someone who beats (as you clearly have) the inadequacies of auto-systems.

Last edited by Philip Howells; July 26th, 2011 at 02:49 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 11:23 AM   #18
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

5D and 60D, althoiugh my preference is 5D. I'm absolutely enamored by the images they produce.

I sold my last EX3 a couple of months ago.

It's harder to use DSLR. You have to plan your shots more and have your mind in the game. But it's worth it.

That said, I should also say I made the decision not to do events anymoore, unless I'm just getting b-roll and art shots.

My remaining days are going to be doing documentaries exclusively. And I like what these cameras do for that purpose.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 01:30 PM   #19
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

I encourage all of my competitors to continue using "proper cameras" as long as possible. I'll keep using my DSLRs and we will all be happier. :)
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Old July 31st, 2011, 04:13 PM   #20
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

I refuse to use DSLR's. I can get the same look from my NX5U in post as a DSLR so I'm not using one of those alien looking contraptions I see DSLR shooters using.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:02 PM   #21
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

While on a family outing "doon the watter" yesterday and carrying my steam powered tape based Canon HV-40, a chappie came up to me an introduced himself as a fellow recent HV-40 owner looking for some advice on accessories (I had a Rode Videomic Pro, lenshood and circular polariser as well as a monopod fitted).

Halfway through the conversation, when I had got a bit technical and felt I had to explain a bit, he surprised me by saying he worked as a cameraman for the BBC who needed a hassle free solution to filming family occasions and wanted reliable "point, shoot, stick in a cupboard, take it out in a few years and it still works" solution. When I the conversation turned to the use of card based acquisition and DSLRs in particular, he was quite vehement on the bad experiences his colleagues had had at work on using these, with particular reference to the problems encountered with compression down the line in editing and preparing footage to broadcast standards and unreliability of storage. He knew a lot more about it that me obviously, but the severity of the technical problems he was relating surprised me. I felt less of a dinosaur for still using tape after the encounter with him.

He told me that the cameras that he would be using in the near future would be disc (rather than card) based as a result of the trials that the BBC had been conducting.

Now I didn't exactly ask to see his union card to verify his story, but he seemed genuine enough and the reaction of his family as we talked techie was all too familiar to me :-) so I think he was who he claimed to be.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 03:51 AM   #22
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

The BBC have approved DSLRS but only for shooting very small parts. Yes, the compression for them will be a nightmare as I can see things being compressed down the various lines until its dead and for DSLR, already compressed footage thats going to kill it.

Ive also seen the cost of the cameras the BBC approve... not in my budget.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 04:13 AM   #23
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

My understanding is that the minimum the BBC requires is 35mb/s so EX1/3 is OK, though they'd prefer 50mb/s. In reality they have been known to use HDV eg Z1s but don't ask for that in writing. We're talking here mainline programming, not covert journalists etc.

This is a wedding forum, not broadcast documentary and the fact remains that DSLR output is sufficient for DVD and most people here seem to regard us people giving BD as part of our standard package as oddities anyway. If your clients accept moire, anti-aliasing etc then they'll not be worrying about compression.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 10:43 AM   #24
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

My clients have the option of purchasing a package where I film with a "proper video camera" or a DSLR.
In my consultations, I show them samples of both and I charge more for the DSLR. I haven't booked a "proper video camera" package since 2009.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 11:55 AM   #25
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

The argument for and against DSLR is somewhat perplexing, not in that folk will always resist change, etc., that's to be expected.

But when you view quality DSLR footage vs the conventional cameras, how can anyone argue against them?

Would we believe that many if not most of the top names in event video have moved to DSLR because they are idiots? Because they have nothing better to do then fiddle with primes that cost $2K? Because it's "trendy"? You've got to be kidding me.

If the same "effect" could be acheived in post with a 1/3" chip camera (it cannot), you still cannot compare a one inch sized sensor with a 1/3". It doesn't even make sense, at least in the physical world. You cannot, in post, duplicate the low light capabilties of a DSLR. If this was possible, why wouldn't we use cheap 1/4" cameras and just fix it up in post?

The reason boutique studios, and now we smaller guys are using this technology is because of the sensors, people, pure and simple. I don't know how large the sensor is in the Canon 5D, but's it's way over 1". And we compare this to a 1/3" sensor? If this is a joke, please hurry up with the punchline, someone.

No one is trying to force those that want no part of the DSLR "craze" to use it, but for us to sit around slamming something that clearly produces stunning results just seems, I don't know, small-minded. Yes it has it's drawbacks, the most ardent supporters don't deny it. So what? Doesn't everything? 1/3" videocameras have drawbacks as well, like the fact that the the sensors are 1/3", but they have their use, and still get the job done for most guys.

I'm using the damned GH2 and as I've said if you can show me a "proper" video camera with even a 3/4" chip that costs less than $4000, I'll ditch my cameras and buy it.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 12:20 PM   #26
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
The argument for and against DSLR is somewhat perplexing, not in that folk will always resist change, etc., that's to be expected.

But when you view quality DSLR footage vs the conventional cameras, how can anyone argue against them?

Would we believe that many if not most of the top names in event video have moved to DSLR because they are idiots? Because they have nothing better to do then fiddle with primes that cost $2K? Because it's "trendy"? You've got to be kidding me.

If the same "effect" could be acheived in post with a 1/3" chip camera (it cannot), you still cannot compare a one inch sized sensor with a 1/3". It doesn't even make sense, at least in the physical world. You cannot, in post, duplicate the low light capabilties of a DSLR. If this was possible, why wouldn't we use cheap 1/4" cameras and just fix it up in post?

The reason boutique studios, and now we smaller guys are using this technology is because of the sensors, people, pure and simple. I don't know how large the sensor is in the Canon 5D, but's it's way over 1". And we compare this to a 1/3" sensor? If this is a joke, please hurry up with the punchline, someone.

No one is trying to force those that want no part of the DSLR "craze" to use it, but for us to sit around slamming something that clearly produces stunning results just seems, I don't know, small-minded. Yes it has it's drawbacks, the most ardent supporters don't deny it. So what? Doesn't everything? 1/3" videocameras have drawbacks as well, like the fact that the the sensors are 1/3", but they have their use, and still get the job done for most guys.

I'm using the damned GH2 and as I've said if you can show me a "proper" video camera with even a 3/4" chip that costs less than $4000, I'll ditch my cameras and buy it.
Well, I've seen some used AF-100's going for $3700 on the classifieds here or the 'other' forum. I've got an FS-100 and it was a bit more than $4000.
Well worth it to get around the drawbacks of the DSLR's in my opinion.
The big sensor 'proper videocameras' are now here, and they are just going to keep getting better in my opinion. If people want to keep using still cameras to shoot video, my guess is that the main driver for this,....is cost savings over proper video cameras. You have a choice of 2 different
large chip video cameras for under 6 grand. If that is too much, and you
want the large chip 'look' that you will have to stay with DSLR's for a little longer.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 01:11 PM   #27
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

The point is DSLR is characterized as a "trend" in an attempt at reverse snobbery. What I stated are facts, the high end folks lead the way, and are doing so, and if many of the smartest guys are using it, wouldn't one think there is something to it besides a "trend"?

Gabe, you are mistaken. The AF100 isn't DSLR. Most folks that purchased them dont even know how to turn them on, had no idea what they were buying.

DSLRs are T3i, 5d, 7D d60, 60d and so on. Go find them used for sale, they go for close to new prices even used. Please give me the model numbers of the large chipped cameras you refer to.

The Sony large sensor camera sucks, and is not a proper videocamera, it uses interchangeable lenses, and the kit lens sucks for event work. We viewed it here and it's not even close to prime time.

What's the other you refer to?
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Old August 1st, 2011, 01:45 PM   #28
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

Jeff,

Yeah that's what I said/meant. The AF-100 is a PROPER video camera (in other words NOT a DSLR) and yet you can get them used for less than 4 grand (this in reference to your comment to show you a big chip proper video camera that costs less than 4 grand and you will ditch your DSLR's and buy it.)

Furthermore, I have viewed video from every DSLR that exists. I have to strongly disagree with you, as I feel the video from the Sony FS-100 is better in EVERY way than video from the ANY DSLR that I have seen. (Ok the 5D has shallower depth of field, but the FS-100 is plenty shallow and better in every other way).

Not sure why you say it is not a proper video camera. It has everything a proper video camera has.....XLR audio, zebras, manual control of iris, white balance, black balance, shutter speed, gain, frame rates, peaking, focus assist, picture profiles with control over gamma curves, black levels, slow and quick motion recording (over and undercranking), much more control than a DSLR. And then there is the fact that you do NOT get any aliasing, moire, or line skipping, as you do from the DSLR's. It's a super 35mm sized sensor so fairly good sized (about 40% larger than your GH2 chip if you look at the part of the chip used in 16x9 mode). Plus it's better in low light than a DSLR. As it's not trying to fit 21 million pixels on the sensor for still capture and instead uses about 3.5 million pixels, each pixel is much larger and thus, gathers more light, making it better in low light.

The AF-100 plus the FS-100 equals two large sensor VIDEO cameras as opposed to DSLR's which compromises motion picture capture because it is made to be a STILL camera first.)

But hey, if you think video from DSLR's is better, by all means, keep using them!

Last edited by Gabe Strong; August 1st, 2011 at 03:37 PM.
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Old August 1st, 2011, 02:51 PM   #29
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

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The AF100 isn't DSLR. Most folks that purchased them dont even know how to turn them on, had no idea what they were buying. The Sony large sensor camera sucks, and is not a proper videocamera, it uses interchangeable lenses, and the kit lens sucks for event work.
Are you saying a GH2 is better for event work than an AF100? How so?
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Old August 1st, 2011, 04:38 PM   #30
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Re: Anyone given up on the DSLR for event?

Warren, I thought I said that AF100 was a camera many bought and had no idea what they were getting into, no one's knocking it. it was not what many purchasers expected, that's all, at least that's what I gather from the large number of people who sold them with zero hours on them. Outstanding piece of gear, love to have one. Well, not really, it's too pricey. I get the same sensor, or even a bit newer, with the GH2, so for a poor man on a budget the GH2 is fine for me. I would look much more professional holding an AF100 than a GH2. These things are non unlike a toy, they are so tiny.

Gabe, the AF100 is not a proper video camera or DSLR it is a mirrorless design like the GH2. It is not unlike your sony, it's a hybrid of sorts; it uses interchangeable lenses, and has many of the drawbacks of DSLR. The AF100 It is basically a GH2 in a videocamera body. A super fine piece of equipment, easier to use than our dinky little GH2s, I'm sure.

Gabe didn't realize the model I was knocking was yours, sorry. I had forgotten the model number/name just remembered the camera, I wanted it before it came out.

But when I previewed it the kit zoom lens which was a nice lens really, it was just too slow for wedding work. And the cost of outfitting the camera with lenses faster than F/2.8 and better seemed ridiculous. The zoom lens was what, f/3.5- 5.5, or somethng and the features of the camera were hidden away in a menu. Of course my camera has menu issues as well, but at $899 I am learning to live with it.

Sony is a fine camera, but when some of us here looked at it was not, in our eyes, quite where it needed to be.

The GH2 has all of the features you describe but XLR, as most dslrs do. The list of controls you list are available on ALL dslrs, you dont' really think they don't have full manual control and white balance? Control over shutter speed? Histogram? I don't have zebra, but something almost identical. And moire, is a non issue with the GH2 as well, but even with the T3i or 5D which may have some of it, who cares? Don't shoot pan across chain link fences and you'll be fine.

As far as low light the Sony sensor may be superior, so as long as your outfitting with with fast lenses other than the kit lens, you'll be golden. A larger sensor with a slow lens is still slow.

I was hot for your camera at one time, believe me, and I'm sure you're getting outstanding performance from it.

What lenses are you using?

I have to say I just saw a friend's Canon 50d, my god, it is so much more substantial than my camera. I used to have a 40d and I had forgotten what a nice size they were.

I do not recommend the GH2 over any camera. It is a complete pain to use, but the images are great. I wouldn't wish the damned things on anyone, too much work. But for $899, you still cannot find the same quality in low light for under $4000, or even $5000, unless there is something new out. The new Canon videocameras are quite nice, and I'd acutally love to have one of those. For a one third inch sensor, that is a pretty nice darned camera, and amazing in low light.
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