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

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Old May 11th, 2012, 04:41 AM   #106
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

Hey Paul

I would be tempted if you were in Perth!! Nope the video light probably has raised maybe one or two comments over a period of quite a few years..those sort of wags would more than likely make some other comment anyway!! I have had one groom who insisted on ambient lighting for the speeches..I showed him the LCD ( and purposely closed the iris a bit!!) and he said "that's perfect" ) The whole issue of lighting depends on the ambient light level in the venue..if the venue is REALLY dark then any light looks blinding!! What I do is during speeches and those sort of events, I ask the venue to raise the house lights just for the event and then lighting can be dimmed and becomes unobtrusive!!

My overall issue is that I don't only do weddings..I do a pile of rental home condition reports during the week which involves me having to film doors, walls, floors and ceilings of every room and wrap it up inside an hour!! For that I need auto focus that's fast and auto exposure...sorta clip the radio mic on my belt and push the record button and go, doing a running commentary as I film....it's purely a record and post production is dumping the clips on a DVD with a preset menu so it's fast and furious!!! Now if I used DSLR for that I would need it to keep focus and exposure for me ...I do a room complete in around 3 minutes and a kitchen (including all the cupboards) in maybe 6 minutes. There is seriously no time to adjust any settings ..the only changes I make to the cam is kick in the ND filters when I get to windows and then off again as I continue!!! Audio too must be pre-synced and not like a Zoom setup..that's a time waster...I do sometimes 4 houses in a day !!!

Reckon a GH1 could handle that kind of scenario???? You already know I'm a Panasonic man (since 1985!!!)

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Old May 11th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #107
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

As long as the tool you use does the job and you're happy with the aesthetics, then it doesn't matter what sort of camera you use.

Personally, I fell in love with the dslr look from the very start that wasn't achievable with hdv cameras without a 35mm adapter. The transition wasn't too bad, since when I filmed with my Sony fx1, I shot in full manual also, guess this is influenced from film school.

If you have doubt about setting up a shot with a dslr as compared to a video camera on full auto, it's not that hard. After a while, it will be second nature. When you dial in the shutter speed and aperture to expose correctly, it's just a movement of the thumb and index finger.

Manual focus smoothly so that you're not hunting the focus point. I'll move back to video cameras when they have interchangeable lenses for a decent price. C100?
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:49 AM   #108
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

I think no dslr user would deny nor ignore the challenges of working with them. I guess it all comes down to our own priorities. To me, the quality I get is worth all the effort and money I invest. My goal is to always try to impress my clients and give them the feeling that they are getting more than they paid for. By making that my goal, I try not to let budget and effort get too much in my way.

Obviously, I try to be reasonable and not overdo things too much but I think that at the end of the day, the clients will be able to make the difference between a guy who only does the job and the one who always tries to push the limits. That's how you will slowly allow people to see the value in your work.

I remember the first few weddings I did, I charged less than $1000 and had a team of 2-3 camera operators, all dslrs, a full cinematic feature film that I would spend months editing, sometimes even including a same day edit in my packages. I didn't make any money. I think I even lost money a few times. And guess what? A lot of people still didn't want to hire me because they didn't see the value in it.

The second year, I started to get a lot of referrals from past clients who loved the experience and as my portfolio started showing better work, I also started to increase my rates. Even then, I was still charging not more than $2000 for all that work.

Today, I'm only at my third year into the business and my rates are sitting around $3000-8000 with most bookings in the $4000-5000 range. It's not cheap, maybe still not the most profitable business either, but at least it's starting to get somewhere.

Sometimes, you just have to make some sacrifices to get where you want. You can't just sit there and wait for people to pay you more if you've never given them a reason to. If you always go out of your way to try impressing people time after time and by giving them an exceptional work, people are going to start noticing and talking about you sooner or later. And you will eventually be able to start increasing your prices too.

But again, I think this only answers the question about dslr vs effort and money. But I think that the biggest thing that will influence one's value is documentary vs storytelling. It just seems to be common that people would assume that dslr = storytelling and traditional video camera = documentary.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:59 AM   #109
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

okay - let's have a look

For that I need auto focus that's fast and auto exposure - yep, the lumix lenses have continuous auto focus you can set auto exposure and even auto iso

Now if I used DSLR for that I would need it to keep focus and exposure for me - No

.the only changes I make to the cam is kick in the ND filters - that could be a problem, no ND filters

Audio too must be pre-synced and not like a Zoom setup. - just plug your radio mike into the camera, the GH2 has a level indicator

so really the only thing you can't do is the ND filters - when you go to the window are you just looking at the condition of the window or wanting to see the view through the window?

the only other question is how steady the GH1 or 2 would be compared to your camcorder - why don't your give me a link to an example and I'll repeat the same kind of thing here with the GH1? - just as a test
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #110
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

Hi Paul

Steady doesn't come into the equation at all!! The camera is moving all the time and set at wide angle anyway so it's purely a record of what condition the walls are, whether there is a hole in the back of the bedroom door etc etc. Action is pretty much fast pans..I would probably "scan" an entire door in under 2 seconds!!

The issues with my current AC-130 cameras is I will be moving over a wall at say F4 and all is well until I get to a big window and the camera then closes the iris as it encounters the extra light, but a closed iris is not enough to stop gross over-exposure so you need to switch in ND filters (The cameras have 3 built-in filters on a rotary switch) It's actually a PIB!! My older HMC80's had automatic ND filter systems that came in on their own....so with the GH1 or GH2 if you are using it as a point and shoot video camera...what happens if you are shooting inside the house and you walk outside into brilliant sunshine??? Will the camera change shutter speed automatically if the iris cannot handle the extra light??? or do you have to change the shutter speed manually??

I will actually get into gear and make up a sample inspection report video!!

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Old May 13th, 2012, 03:58 AM   #111
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Do you use your ex1 and the dslr on the same shoots and if you do, how do they match? the resolution diference between the 2 must be obvious, no?
Noa, I usually don't mix the two, there is a noticeable difference. I use DSLR's for creative work in my case make-up, preparations, photo shoot. The DSLR's does magic to skin tones. For wide establishing shots I go with the EX1 on a custom profile that closely match the DSLR look, high contrast, saturated look. For ceremony & reception I go with the EX1 basically because it's so much easier to handle any highly demanding situation and get great results. With DSLR's if you don't have two back-up angles it's easy to screw up and that's a chance I don't like taking any more especially as a two man team, I'd choose DSLR if I had a four man team. I've had out of focus footage before of important shots I can't risk that.

I've actually found my EX1 to be amazing is low light, the same shot on my DSLR & EX1 and the EX1 usually kicks ass on the dance floor. I also don't like shallow DOF on guest tables, I want to get as many guests in focus as possible, it annoys me to get the one family member in focus and the next out. It's my personal style but I personally want to see my family & friends.

I feel that if you don't embrace DSLR's you are shooting yourself in the foot, they produce amazing images at incredible prices but there is no reason you should drop video camera in favour of DSLR's, they all serve a purpose.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 09:56 AM   #112
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Re: DSLR vs. Video Camera

That is the key - the DSLR/SLT is just another TOOL in the kit. It is a very exciting tool, and all, but it is still a tool.

Having just reviewed a bit of test footage from the Sony A65, I'll say I'm very impressed with the overall image quality, beginning to suspect that manual focus is probably wise (even though the SLT is supposed to auto focus, it can "hunt" and not pick the correct target... thank goodness for peaking), and becomming convinced I'll be using this more as the "main" camera, with a mix of other cams for additional angles. This wasn't a "video" shoot, so stills were the main thing, but there was the chance to let the second cam free run, and "test" - results are promising, and the next "photo" shoot, I'll probably be pressing the "movie" button and pulling stills from the 24p (or 60p) footage.

IMO, it's not a question of "one OR the other", but rather a "how does one most effectively use the tools available"? For me the DSLR actually "feels" very comfortable, aside from having to get the manual adjustments down to where I don't have to "think" - just a matter of time using the tool of choice... and I'll still be running video cameras for cutaway and backup, just because that's ALWAYS made sense!
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