Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 28th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 7,865
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

George, I will tell you why I switched. But first some background.

Let's start this story at about 18 months ago, in my living room. Normally when I would show my work to a prospect, I would get lots of really nice reactions as they viewed my weddings shot with the FX1000.

I gave my prospects the names of competitors, and told them to shop around before deciding and to watch my competitors work before they made a decision, and this worked out fine for me. I almost always got the job, and was chosen over my competitors 9 times out of 10.

Fast forward to 6 months ago, and I lost 4 or 5 jobs IN A ROW this same way. Two customers told me point blank my images were not so great as they sat in my living room, which was a new occurence for me, and very unpleasant.

When I follow up with a customer, if they book someone else, I always ask who they hired instead, so I know what is happening in the marketplace. DSLR shooters got all of the above jobs, at twice my price and more.

As the above scenario played out, it was booking season, and I was losing jobs. I depend on deposits during off-season. This experience was psychologically and financially painful.

I was being told by customers that there was a problem. I had to decide what to do about it. I decided to fight. I sold my gear, almost all of it, and started from scratch. To say it was scary, and that it still is, is not over-stating things.

Mostly what is now happening is that people are spoiled now by 1080 images on Network television and cable.

Cincinnati couples who are shopping for video almost all have 42-52" inch hi-def televisions, and many now have plasmas. A portion of the current crop of couples looking for video services are higher end clients that, in the past, would have shopped excuslively with higher end vendors, but due to the shift in the economy, are now sitting in my living room trying to save money. These customers are more sophisticated than my previous prosepects were, and they expect better quality images. They will go elsewhere if they must for better quality, but if I can provide it they'll buy from me. Otherwise, no amount of price-slashing or deal-making will save me or pay the rent.

Now, mind you, all my customers don't get bluray, but many are, and I'm giving it away in some cases, because it's free advertising. I edit 720p footage on my timeline, and can go either way when it's time to render for either bluray or DVD. This is a huge advantage of 720p, by the way, as it doesn't need resized in post for SD DVD.

Anyway, as you can see from my story, the assessment by some that those of us shooting using DSLR as being caught up in a "trend" are mistaken. In some markets, like mine, it's a matter of survival.

I have described my customer, as far as what they are looking for. This doesn't apply to everyone even in my own market. I have a friend/competitor whom I refer to often when I tell anecdotes about the video market here, and he is largely shooting with the VX2100, which blows me away still. He keeps a staff of over 30 shooters busy all season long, and has several full time editors.

He bought two of my FX1000s, and uses them for select weddings, and some of his shooters use newer cameras, but overall his business is extremely good, and he is doing fine, thank you very much.

So what you or the next guy does or needs to do to survive and thrive will vary, as the customer bases are as varied and as segmented as the equipment we use, even within a large market.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #32
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands UK
Posts: 637
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Very interesting read Jeff.

Can I just pick out one thing you said regarding 720P not having to be resized for SD DVD, how's that?
I shoot in 720P but still have to encode at 576 for DVD (I'm in PAL land).
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #33
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 7,865
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Luke, what you say about the middle aged guys being unwilling/unable to try DSLR will likely offend a few sensitive souls, but you speak the truth of course.

I was dragged into it, didn't want to go there, but here I am. You "youngsters" are at the forefront of the whole thing, and are leading the way for the rest of us. We are at the beginning of shift away from SD to HD/Bluray and to wherever else it will lead. Things will never go back to the way they were, as much as some of us wish they would.

Middle/old age is characterized often times by inflexibility and laziness, and a desire to rest on our laurels. It has alway been this way, and will always be so. The DSLR thing has helped me to become more flexible in my thinking, which is absolutley necessary for happiness in life anyway.

So keep it up Luke. Thanks for doing your part to help push the oldsters like me into the new millennium!
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 08:11 AM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands UK
Posts: 637
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Very interesting read Jeff.

Can I just pick out one thing you said regarding 720P not having to be resized for SD DVD, how's that?
I shoot in 720P but still have to encode at 576 for DVD (I'm in PAL land).

History repeats itself. When I started shooting with VHS the then 'old brigade' using wide-tape formats or even film, said it'd never catch on. Subsequently small tape formats expanded the market for video production and even carved out entirely new markets.
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 08:16 AM   #35
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 7,865
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

George, I know nothng about pal, so I dont know. I do know that from Vegas the process of rendering out to SD widescreen or choosing to go bluray is extremely simple, though it was a bit of a pain figuring it out, and I got a lot of help learning.

The dimensions of 720p are so like 480 that you can simply change project properties as needed, do a very slight crop (optional) of the footage using "aspect ratio" script, and you're good to go. And the DVD footage is progressive, which is always nice. So if you choose to crop the footage, which is not really necessary, for SD widescreen, the crop is so minor that it looks fantastic on DVD.

Regarding 1080, it might work out just fine the same way, I don't know, I've only done it once and never saw the final product, but I do know 720 footage works great when converted to SD!

Technically I guess there is some resizing going on (can you tell I'm not technically inclined?) but it is minimal at worst.

Good analogy George. The more things change, the more they stay the same. As the years and my experience accumulate, this becomes truer with each passing day. There really is "nothing new under the sun", espeically regarding people and our patterns.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; July 28th, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 4,897
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Hi George

I've heard too that a 1280x 720 images resizes better to SD BUT no-one has ever said whether it's an NSTC or PAL resize ... We are talking here about a progressive image of 1280 x 720 and a theoretical image (due to the non square pixels) of 1024x576 (PAL) Both have an aspect of 1.7777 so they should resize without any distortion BUT 1920x1080 also has an aspect of 1.7777 so I'm lost!!!

The actual PAL image is only 720x576 but the PAR is different (pixels are not square) Since both 720 and 1080 both have the same aspect I have never fathomed how it makes a difference.

An explanation why 720 downsizes better would be nice from someone who knows????

I actually posted a topic on the Sony Vegas forum to see if anyone knows there...what I do know is that HDV interlaced (1440x1080) and SD have closer aspect ratios (1.333 and 1.365) so they might resize "cleaner" but that doesn't explain why 720 does a better resize!!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #37
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 560
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Gates View Post
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.
I'm sure there is some truth to what you say, but I'm 42 (I guess that counts as middle age), and I'm a complete gear junkie. I love new equipment and was very eager to test out the DSLR revolution. But I found that, for me, there are severe limitations to audio especially. I do hold to the adage that good audio is more important than good video, and DSLRs don't hold a candle to traditional camcorders (at this point). Sure,you can add a Beachtek XLR adapter (not crazy about the sound quality of those). I like to zoom and focus simultaneously. I appreciate the benefits of auto exposure on occasion. I like manual audio control. I like a nice smooth servo zoom. I am eager for the day that DSLRs catch up in that respect (I'm sure they will), but until then I don't see them as being right for me.
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #38
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Midlands UK
Posts: 637
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Chris.
I too can't workout the downsizing conundrum. I had been shooting 720x50p as it's the native format of my camera chip and had heard that it was better for resizing for DVD, however I had (and still do have) a problem with progressive DVD and have changed to interlaced MPEGs for DVD. I now shoot at 1080x1920 50i and I can't see a great deal of difference on a 42" screen. I had shot some 720p on my GH2 and whilst I see the difference in the original files, I don't see that much in the DVD. I guess that everything should stay in HD. I'm tempted not to offer DVD any more just Blu-ray or a HD media file on a drive.
George Kilroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 7,865
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Bill, you can always run a videocamera strictly for the audio. Or a GH2. The GH2 has adjustable levels, and I use it for excellent sound for my wireless. You cannot monitor live, but I don't care. I never monitored my audio anyway, never had to. If the sound levels indicate a stong signal that is not red-lining, I'm happy.


For the reception you lower the levels to 2, adjust the gain on the shotgun. With the GH2 I put on a mini shotgun like a Rode or Sennheiser (I have both) and audio is acceptable. For the best sound, I use a HV30 with a shotgun, and all is well, and I run it continuously.


If you're running multiple cameras, the sound issue is spurious, non-existent, except in our minds. A bit inconvenient perhaps. As to audio being more important, that may or may not be true, and is open to debate. If I were to have to choose the loss of either audio or video I'm sure I would choose to lose audio, I can at least set video to music. With no video I have nothing. And since I'm hired as a videographer, I'm thinkiing video is of the highest priority for me.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,138
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Quote:
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.
Many will see the lack of zoom as a positive advantage nothing screams 'cheesy amateur video' like live zooming. Just use the zoom lens as a variable prime. Generally decent DSLR zoom lenses only have a 3X range in any case.

Of course you can monitor audio just plug your headphones into the digital audio recorder that has the XLR inputs (Zoom H4n, Tascam DR-100 etc)
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 01:06 PM   #41
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Interesting that even when we used 'proper' video cameras we never relied on those cameras for our audio, yet that does seem to be a major hangup for many concerning DSLRs. Also, we never incorporated zoom movements into our shots when we shot with 'proper' video cameras, so again this hasn't been an issue for us with DSLRs. Each to their own, though.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 01:41 PM   #42
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 7,865
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

I miss the zoom of a videocamera. There is nothing to equal a creeping, steady zoom from a balcony, especially a zoom out, as it exposes the entire sanctuary of a cathedral.

Zoom shots are a hallmark of shooting large and important events. Zooms were used in the royal wedding, for god's sake, and they were stunning, I might add. They were actually almost beyond belief, what powerful cameras they had.

If zoom cameras are good enough for a zillion dollar shoot produced by the most talented of crews, they are good enough for me, especially when done right.

The ability to frame shots from a distance with a 20x zoom was fantastic. I don't how anyone could not miss a zoom like that.

I had pretty much mastered slow zooms and they made for the closest thing I could acheive to a breathtaking shot similar to the big boys.

I understand that cheesy zooms as exhibited by amateurs and even some pros are tacky, but zooms are not bad just because they are misused by some. Just my two cents.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #43
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 4,222
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Interesting that even when we used 'proper' video cameras we never relied on those cameras for our audio,
That is one of the reasons why I don't use a dslr for an important event like the church, I"m very happy with my "proper" videocamera 2 xlr inputs and I always use them both for my audio and always monitor it during recording. Eventough I work with unmonitored devices like a zoom h1, h4 and 2 irivers as well I hate the fact that I don't know what is happening, that's why the audio from the most important persons are connected to my xlr inputs.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #44
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 560
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

A real amateur question here: do you put on a protective UV filter when you use a DSLR? Whenever I've looked at photogs, they never seem to use one.

Also, I seem to recall a few people mentioning an add-on for traditional video cameras that lend a shallower DOF? True?
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #45
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: KLD, South Africa
Posts: 955
Re: DSLRs: am I just being paranoid?

Let me add that I've been filming with DSLRs since the 5DII came out, it's a great tool but I recently bought another Sony EX1 over additional DSLRs & lenses. Although I still almost exclusively use DSLRs for the make-up and pre-ceremony preparations I now opt to film the ceremony and reception with traditional cameras like the EX1 for their ease of use and reliability. I'm tired of out of focus moments and noisy images, the general idea that DSLRs ars better in low light to say an EX1 is relative, I get much cleaner images out of my EX1 than I do with DSLRs. The up side to DSLRs is that they do the colour grading in camera so your footages looks great out of the box while the EX1 needs to be setup and graded in post to get the same results. Shooting 720P on the DSLRs produces rather embarrassing results sometimes that looks like a webcam, the current line of Canons really suck when you compare HD resolutions. So why do I still use DSLRs? Cost - its one of the cheapest HD solutions, Depth of Field, skin tones are brilliant and of course it's a tiny little camera, you can get away with filming in restricted areas if you have to. It's been said content is king and different situations call for different tools, at the end of the day you have to ask yourself if the amount of work going into a production is worth the price you're getting paid.
Nicholas de Kock is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 




Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:48 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2014 The Digital Video Information Network