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


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Old July 26th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #16
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Perfect point Don!!

I changed to HD for only one reason!! Bride's wanted 16:9 to suit their new LCD TV's BUT they couldn't care less about whether it was SD or HD (in fact most have absolutely no idea at all!!)

I looked locally for 16:9 cameras and the only ones available were PD170's or Sony's shoulder mount's which were out my price range for 16:9 units and I prefer shoulder mount cameras anyway!!

Funnily enough, my latest HMC's have been given a DV Mode too and I would MUCH rather shoot in SD and edit in SD ..way quicker!!! Seriously if the bride wants a DVD then why not shoot in SD if you can??

I currently shoot in AVCHD, transcode to HDV or Canopus HQAVI and then render out to SD MPEG2
What I should be doing is shooting in DV mode 576i or 576p and then render out to SD MPEG2!!! So even I am NOT using my tools correctly..while at least Don is doing the right thing!!!

OK, I going going the DSLR route either, I reckon the way to go is a bunch of GoPro Hero's strapped to your body and you are done!! one chest mount and one helmet mount and one wrist mount....now, if only they could shoot in SD !!!

Chris
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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:09 AM   #17
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

haha chris that's great, gopro's are the way to go for sure!

But seriously, I use a gopro and a contour for the ceremonies as "hidden cams" for angles I may miss due to movement restrictions or whatnot. I usually use my gopro in the balcony to capture a extreme wide of the church which always looks cool and I end up using it a couple times in my edit even if I dont have to, it's a bit grainy but with a boost in saturation, a tad of crushed blacks, and a good round of Neatvideo noise reduction it ends up looking pretty good. My contour on the other hand I rarely use unless I absolutely have to. It performs pretty badly and I can't monitor the shot like I can with my gopro LCDbackpack.

So phillip with his "proper" video cameras, and travis with his "fake" video cameras can suck a lemon because me and Chris are revolutionizing the wedding industry with helmet cams. Welcome to the future punks, good luck catching up to the revolution! ;)
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Old July 27th, 2011, 01:30 AM   #18
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Nice one David! Unfortunately a couple of months ago I wondered here when I'd have the balls to shoot a wedding with 20 Flip cameras, each on a gorillapod, each aimed on a specific place where the action would take place. Me? I'll be in the car park with my coffee flask!

And didn't someone suggest a gopro in the bouquet a while back?

Revolution? What revolution?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 05:38 AM   #19
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

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Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds View Post
No matter how many raves I read about using DSLRs for weddings, I'm just not seeing enough advantages over traditional video cameras. Am I just being an old fogey? Here's what worries me:
- no servo zoom, resulting in stiff on-camera zooming
- dismal audio capabilities. No XLRs, no headphone jack on many models, use of wireless audio recorders means you can't monitor audio
- simultaneous manual focus and zooming a real bitch

Are these legitimate concerns? The audio part alone makes me want to never go near a DSLR.
Bill, it makes you wonder why anyone would switch from "proper" video cams to DSLR, but they do. Now since they do, there must be some advantages..right?
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Old July 27th, 2011, 07:30 AM   #20
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

I bought a Flip Ultra HD for vacation videos, its a pain lugging a shoulder mounted camera. Have anyone tried to use Flip as a B-Cam? I was able to import the clips but can't output to DVD using Adobe Elements 8.

With regards to DSLR, I will be buying one (Bride prep, B-Roll, E-shoots) but will still use my hd1000U as main cam. If you noticed these are scenes where I have the option of getting a take 2.

My 2 cents
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Old July 27th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #21
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Because dslr's give you the future tech today. I'd love a red epic, and in 5-10 years that tech will trickle down so that we can use it in our workflows.

Dslr's are designed to mimic film. Film has a nostalgic feel that the vdslr user think will sell the best to the brides. It might not be the right thing to do, for the same reason shooting into the sun to create lens flares is technically not the right way to capture footage. But it makes things feel romantic. And when telling the most romantic story of a persons life, its, IMO the way to go.

If we are making films, rather than videos, it makes sense to adopt the visual language that has evolved from making movies in Hollywood. If you look at Hollywood movies, you will rarely see zooms. If you do, it is very subtle and very slow because it is communicating something. What it communicates is that what the person is saying, the viewer should be pulled into. Otherwise, a zoom communicates a jarring event.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #22
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds View Post
I'm just not seeing enough advantages over traditional video cameras.
There are many disadvantages using a dslr, that's why I never will sell my real videocamera and continue using it for important shots where I get one chance to have it right, or where I need good audio.

But still I bought two 550D bodies and some set of lenzes, why? I can shoot with a very wide angle lens (much wider then my videocamera) on my blackbird steadicam and hold it much longer then when I would put my videocamera on it since the combination is so light.
I can shoot in very dark receptions without extra light meaning I still can have colorfull images where my videocamera just gives very muddy and grainy footage.
I can shoot these nice images with a small dof without zooming in giving my footage a much nicer look.

I only use my dslr's when the environment is a bit more controlled which is usually starting at the reception of a wedding or when I have to cover an event. These small and cheap dslr's have given me footage that I never could have gotten with my videocamera so even if they are a pain to use, I couldn't imagine working without them but the same applies for my real videocamera.

For me at least their addition have been a very good investment considering what they cost and what result I can get out of them.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #23
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

All one has to do is view Pacific Pictures website or other similar studio to see why people are using DSLR. The footage these cameras produce is stunning, pure and simple. My camera has sensors that are nearly 1" in size. Find me a "proper" video camera with a 1" sensor please, that doesn't cost the price of a new car, and I'll buy it.

DSLR shooting is not an emerging trend, is already here, and has been used for a couple of years now by many major event studios. This is not a new thing folks.

Ardent criticizers and opponents of DSLR are simply expressing anxiety which is common when anything new appears, I've exhibited the same behavior many times myself. When one of us goes to lengths to discredit or diss something new, it speaks more to the state of mind of the person making the statements than it does to the subject at hand. Constructive discussion and questioning is one thing, but rejecting out of hand a useful new way of doing things without having tried it, is another.

This "trend" is the driving force behind many of the new developments in videocameras, such as the Sony with interchangeable lenses, and other large sensor cams that will undoubtedly be hitting streets.

I am shooting strictly GH2s and GH1s, and am finally acquiring footage I could only dream of in the past.

Someone mentioned cheap? Yes, we can achieve decent results cheaply, but it is also well known that the best results with these cameras come at great cost.

A fast (F/2.0) zoom for my Panasonic with very limited range costs $2500. You could outfit a single camera easily with $6K worth of glass and have only the basics covered. Someone somewhere around here used the figure of $10K recently, but I'm being conservative.

DSLR shooting is huge and a LOT of folks are going this route, some with better results than others. Some have tried it and given up, that's cool, they gave it a try. Others don't feel the need to try it, that's cool too. Some, like me, are stuggling and fighting the good fight. Still others are 30 years younger than me and are doing amazing things because they are learning much faster than I am able. It is those guys and gals I'm envious of.

This journey into a new way of shooting has been one of the most frustrating things I've ever done. I'm 56, and I'm running four of these damned things by myself. In the end, I feel confident it will work out. I don't normally back down from a challenge, but if I could get comparable images from a "proper" video camera, believe me I would. Unfortunately I don't have $20 or 30K to spend to do so.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 03:45 AM   #24
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Quote:
I'm 56, and I'm running four of these damned things by myself.
Really?? that's insane :) I already struggle with 2 dslr's
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Old July 28th, 2011, 03:50 AM   #25
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Very balance commentary there Jeff.

I'm someone who dipped a toe in but felt the water was too hot. You say that you are now finally acquiring the footage you've been after, my concern is what happens during the re-education period. Weddings are a one off and I don't feel comfortable trying out new techniques that are so far from the way I'm accustomed to working. I'd be so nervous of the missed opportunities whilst wrestling with the camera or shooting footage that is not up to the mark. The fact that some of what I get might be awesome is not enough for me to weigh the balance.

I know that if I was staring out in this area I'd be all over DSLRs, I have got one, and I can only admire your courage to tackle weddings on your own armed only with GH2s, but having made a great investment in "proper" video cameras (JVC HM700s) and all the ancillaries plus many years of honing my style of shooting, I'm not one who will be crossing the border to DSLR land. I don't have the urge or feel the need to make my wedding days any harder work or any more stressful.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 04:15 AM   #26
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

I must admit that Jeff does a pretty good job but I don't think I would like to wrestle 4 DSLR's and shoot with manual focus and manual exposure. I guess it comes down to the fact that I'm basically lazy so if a DSLR was in fact easier to use than a video camera then, by golly, I would be all over them!!

I have always shot documentary style so I don't need the DOF advantage of DSLR's and although a lot of people shudder at the thought that I shoot a lot of my weddings in full auto, it does mean that for me especially running DSLR's would require more work ...not my favorite word....if there is an easier way..I'll take it.

Now, if I was shooting a lot of commercial stuff where the environment is controlled and you can reshoot scenes then I would definately use DSLR ... I do like the fact that if the bride suddenly does something silly on the dance floor and indicates she wants it filmed, I can grab one camera and just hit record without any focus or exposure issues ... maybe you DSLR pros could do it as fast but certainly not me!!

I honestly admit that I would like a pro camera that doesn't need a crane to pick it up but I do a lot of handheld shots so by the time a DSLR was on a fancy rig with all the bits and pieces it would probably weigh as much as my current cameras. Surely Jeff, you are not doing handhelds with the tiny GH2's without some sort of support or are they that stable to use???

Chris
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Old July 28th, 2011, 04:19 AM   #27
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Really?? that's insane :) I already struggle with 2 dslr's
45 years old here and work 3 DSLRs for the ceremony by myself.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 04:22 AM   #28
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Noa, it is insane, as you can imagine! One of the hardest parts is choosing which lens goes where for a ceremony, I still am workng that out after a dozen weddings!
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Old July 28th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #29
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Those of you who primarily shoot weddings and have made the switch from video to stills cameras exclusively, what was the main reason for your decision to switch?

I know that most decisions are made after weighing a combination of reasons but if there was one over-riding reason was it:

Personal satisfaction: Seeing what you would be able to get you were prepared to put in the effort for your own benefit, which in turn you could pass on to customers?

Reaction: Customer driven in that your customers had seen examples and were asking for the 'look' and you felt you had to compete to keep/increase your bookings?

Proactive: Thinking that you could get an advantage in your market and drive customer expectations by demonstrating the production values achievable, making you stand out against your competition?

Like a challenge: Keeping abreast of the inevitable/relentless changes in technology that will happen anyway so "I'd better get on"?

Any of these?
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Old July 28th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #30
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Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

George, many of us thought we would give the whole dslr "trend" a try a year or two ago, were completely blown away, and haven't looked back since.

Too many of the other posters who are middle aged and don't want to deal with the hassles of a dslr, I'm younger and absolutely love having to work more to use my canon. I feel as if manual focus has made me such a better videographer and if I ever pick up a traditional camera again I will, one, be that much better, and two, likely still use manual focus. Also, I'm a gear junkie, when I had my vx2100's I pretty much ran out of accessories to get. With the dslr's, its really never ending.
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