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


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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #16
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Jeff's right. Low-light capabilities are so crucial in weddings; they are most definitely a necessity. At this point, your 7D paired with a good, fast lens is your only option for low-light shooting, which may be good for some shots, but not to carry the entire load. Sony has great low-light video cams, look at the Z5's and Z7's. Or, you can definitely wait for the AG130.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:22 PM   #17
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey Daugherty View Post
... but to make it out to be so difficult is just silly.
It's relatively difficult. In his situation. It's just my opinion.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #18
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Ben, don't know when they are shipping, but November is what I've read. Panasonic cameras are generally user friendly and easy to use.

Concentrate on your videocameras first, IMO, they will be the pillars of your video business. You can shoot an entire wedding with two of those, and that is what you should focus on, learning how to shoot a basic, high quality wedding video. You need to learn the rhythm, how to anticipate the next shot, and that only comes from having done a bunch of them. When the couple does a devotion to Mary I am often at the statue before they are. Since I'm not Catholic, all of that stuff threw me off when I was new. You don't want to be looking around with a "What's going on?" expression on your face in the middle of the action, as you miss the shot.

The Canon 7D is great, and you can easily get by with a single high-quality lens at first. Use your kit lens for stunning outdoor shots, learn how to use it before buying a bunch of lenses. If you can buy a Sigma 50mm F/1.4 for Canon it is considered among the best third party lenses for the money. Not all Sigmas are created equal, and that especially goes for Tamrons, but the Sigma 50mm 1.4 for Canon has a stellar reputation.

Oh, and as Lindsey said, GH2 is great, but your 7D is a higher end pro camera, and you'll NEVER get photos with the GH2 like you will with the Canon. And I love high quality photos, I snap the entrance of the church, altar, flowers, gift table, all the detail shots and use them in place of moving video, and they add a really nice element to my videos, and it's so much quicker.

I also personally love photography, and your camera is a great still camera. I'd love to have one.

Good luck!
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; October 6th, 2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #19
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

One of the advantages of monitoring a wireless microphone is that the system will most likely fail BEFORE the ceremony starts, allowing you some time to fix the problem. The failure usually occurs when the groom goes around hugging people, possibly loosening the connector, or popping off the windscreen. My most recent problem happened when the groom picked up his young son before the ceremony started, and that movement popped the windscreen off and unmounted the mic clip, causing it to dangle. Since I heard everything, I was able to run to him and fix it in time.

The second advantage is that you can hear what is going on, so you know exactly when the ceremony will begin. Or if there is a delay, you'll know why by listening in. Last week, there was a delay in the ceremony. Everyone was wondering what was going on. As I was monitoring the minister and groom, I heard them mention that they were waiting for an important relative who got lost trying to find the ceremony site, but was very near. I passed the word on to the musicians, who were playing but wondering what was happening.

The biggest advantage of all is editing. Audio is always locked in sync, from beginning to end. No need to fuss at all, no matter how you cut up your main track!
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Old October 6th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #20
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Warren, thanks. I will probably stick to my current setup in the short term, but I'd agree, those are all advantages (things I wish I had during a shoot) that may be worth the investment into a wireless setup.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #21
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

I've been looking at the specs of the Panny 130. Definitely a great looking camera. I'm not sure if I can find room in the budget for 2 of them though. That's 8 grand without spending a nickel on all the other goodies we've been talking about. Oh well, it's only money. Fortunately for me, it's the relative slow season for weddings, so I should have the opportunity to get things in place, purchase at least one new camera, and be ready to go soon enough. Until the 130 is actually released, I can spend the time learning to use my 7D! And building a website. And having pamphlets printed. And attending bridal shows. And creating a facebook account, and... ;)

I very much appreciate all this feedback. Please keep it coming!
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Old October 6th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #22
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Ben, $6500 after you sell your JVC for $1500 :) The beauty of matching cameras cannot be overstated. Color balance is easier, editing is simpler, batteries can be shared by both, less crap to keep track of. There's no downside, and lots of upsides. You're right, today and the near future is a great time to play with your 7D and learn it. Make some fun home movies, shoot photos, etc while you can relax and enjoy it.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:18 PM   #23
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

I don't want to oversimplify, but it seems like if you're gonna do weddings, your cameras better be 1/3" sensors, or better. So that certainly takes my JVC Hm100u out of the picture. But since I have gotten used to using it, I now have to ask this question: what codec do you FCP users use to transcode AVCHD? Apple ProRes422? I realize that I will have to transcode footage from my 7D as well; if I were to go with the soon to be released Panasonic AC130, can I "batch" transcode all the footage from both of the above mentioned sources? Seems like it's gonna add a lot of time in post as compared to the JVC... makes SDE's kinda tough doesn't it? Just thinking out loud here, trying to get a handle on which direction I should go, as well as the workflow I can expect.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #24
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Ben, first of all see what codec the Panasonic uses, vs the JVC. Are they the same? Are you saying they are different?

If so then this should not be any different. Are you saying they use different codecs? I am thankful to say I don't use FCP, my NLE handles AVCHD natively, so sorry, I can't help you there.

I use HD link to convert all of my footage, and I do love it.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #25
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Ben, we shoot on Panasonic HMC150s and use FCP. I haven't read up on the new AC130s, but I'm guessing the workflow and codec are the same. We transcode everything to Apple Pro Res, and yes it does seem to be a bit time consuming...at first we did what you suggested, batch transcode everything and just let it run over night and boom, done. However, that takes up a tremendous amount of space.

Now, I sort through footage as I transcode. Realize that not everything you shoot is going to be useful, so why transcode it to Apple Pro Res [much much larger file size than the AVCHD] if you don't need it. I found that it cuts my hard drive space nearly in half when I weed out the garbage before I transcode. [Haha, what does that say about what I'm shooting?! all of it's not bad, but some of it I just know I won't use in the end!]

For me, I like watching everything I have to work with too, so I can plan the layout of the video before I even start editing. Transcoding is a little gimmicky though, not sure if it is a bug or what, but FCP does not like when you use the mouse a lot in the Log and Transfer window...learn keyboard shortcuts for it, they will be your biggest ally...and save often.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #26
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Katie, the New AG AC130 uses the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec, which I assume is the same as the HMC150's. I have always ingested everything into FCP and edited from there - but that's easy to do when you're using QT files and you don't need to transcode. It feels like a step backwards, but now I see myself going back to the methods I used when importing from tape: preview and only capture/import that which is needed or relevant. I know I keep whining about losing the convenience of the 'straight-to-timeline' capability of the JVC cams, but wow, what a time saver. I suppose I could always go with the JVC GY-HM710U... only $6,500 each! (Not exactly a run and gun cam, either).

Ah, decisions, decisions...
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #27
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Once you get a system down, transcoding goes pretty quickly...and there still are clips that you can batch import...like the full ceremony, speeches, first dances, things that are long durations that you know you will need most, if not all of.

But in the end, time is money...but so is quality video. It is a big decision. We bought our HMC150s this year, and absolutely love them. We also bought used, but if you're looking at a new unreleased model that isn't an option for you.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:52 AM   #28
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

Ben, I do up to three weddings a weekend and yet I convert all of my footage, and I have drives large enough to hold it all. Katie's idea of sorting through is nice, but I don't have time with my workload in season. 3TB drives are $100 when on sale now.

My time is too limited to sort through hundreds of clips. I convert it all overnight, and start to work the next day. It's not that big of a deal. I come from tape background, and it was much faster, straight to the timeline, after downloading, but you deal with it.

One wedding after converted turns into around .75TB, maybe more. Again, not a big deal, hard drives are cheap. I convert and back up everything to separate drives and edit away.

I skipped the XF100 because it was Mpeg 2. Mpeg 2 at the bit rates the camera records at end up breaking up an hours worth of footage into mulitple files, and if you have several cameras that is insane. For a wedding, you end up with hundreds of clips where there should be dozens. For example, you end up with 20 clips for an hours worth of footage where with AVCHD at a reasonable bit rate you end up with two or three.

AVCHD is pretty much the standard these days, it seems. But if you really think you prefer MPEG 2 get the Canon XF100 for $3000, it's great in low light. I only did not recommend it to you because it is MPEG 2, and I didn't realized you liked it.

I can see why you might like mpeg for short projects, but if you're getting into multiple camera for wedding work? I see it as a curse, not a help, but that is just me.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #29
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

There are two HMC150s for sale for $2100 each in the classifieds right now, now that you mention it Katie.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #30
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Re: Greetings from (yet another) newbie...

You're right Jeff, hard drives are cheap,and we have a ton of space. I think it's the obsessive side of me that likes to see everything and know exactly what I have to work with before I start :-)

Can I ask what your workflow is then? I mean you still have to go through the footage and mark what things are and note good/bad, etc...right?
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