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


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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #136
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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And as always, it's the "nut" behind the lens that makes all the difference <wink>!
David Lynch shot Inland empire on some Sony pd150's and he definitely is a nut... :)
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Old November 30th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #137
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Just wanted to share my latest work with my 2 sony cx730 coupled with my 2 canon 550d's, there is not much movement in this thread anymore but maybe anyone interested in using small camera's might find it usefull.

I have been doing quite some events now with these camera's and eventhough they do have drawbacks, I still am very happy with what they can do, especially considering what I paid for them.

Is it all sunshine? No :) I noticed that the touch focus is quite unreliable on both my camera's so it's no bug, the touch focus on my cx520 is much faster and more accurate. Maybe it's because of the much wider lens or because of the improved stabilization, something has changed for sure and it's not for the better. I now assigned "manual" focus to a button on the lcd screen so if needed I can manually correct pressing buttons on the lcd screen, works quite well.

The lack of real controll can be frustrating, like I wanted to set the shutter at a fixed value because a lcd screen was flickering, that worked but I couldn't manually change the exposure at the same time, this meant the camera took over resulting in a underexposed image. Not sure if I should be complaining about this because it is a handycam , just the fact that there is a dedicated control wheel for different functions is already a luxury, but sometimes I need to rely on the auto features more then I want to.

Below film was filmed this Tuesday and is still a draft and there are some animation errors to be fixed, maybe a text to be changed or a song here and there but it's 95% ready, it's quite long, a short version will follow but it's easy to just skip through the longer interview parts.

The only dslr material in there is easily to recognize, it's either very shallow dof shots or steadicam (a blackbird) shots, all other ones done from a slider or tripod are from the cx730's. It's only during these business type of events I bring my homemade slider along, usually it stays at home at a wedding because then is too difficult to handle alone. At a business event I have much more time to get creative shots. I do love he fact that I can slow down my slider shots 50% and still get smooth motion.

The cx730 footage was 1080p 50p and the dslr 1080p 25p.

All sound you hear was recorded through a soundguys mixer with my tascam dr40 but the interviews starting at 06:52 where done with a shotgun mike connected to a beachtek (with a 3 meter xlr cable) that again was connected to the sony, these interviews where done handheld with my small shoulder mount and without use of extra light. It was quite dark, only candle light in the center but spotlights on the sides of the venue. The reason I didn't use the inbuild videolight from the Sony was because I noticed one interviewee had red dots in her eyes from the light, eventhough it was very dark the camera managed to do without light so I decided to leave the light off, I think during the handheld interviews the camera was between 18 to 21db of gain.

The shot at 02:57 and 03:37 was done handheld at 17x zoom! I had one camera on a tripod and the second one in my hands and supporting it on my legs (I was sitting down). The wide angle shot at 03:06 was also handheld. The 17x zoom is partly digital and there is a loss in resolution but after sharpening in post it holds up pretty good.

I love the color these camera's give me in lower light and even if it's not sony ex1 resolution the images turn out pretty sharp.

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Old November 30th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #138
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Beautiful camera movement and editing. Thanks for posting.

Last edited by Adrian Tan; December 1st, 2012 at 06:16 AM.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 05:08 AM   #139
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa, your work is outstanding. I was engrossed in your video and watched it entirely. Too many good things to comment on, I just like it. Well done!
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Old December 1st, 2012, 03:58 PM   #140
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

It's not me, it's the camera that's all doing this :D I don't know if you noticed but the live interviews done handheld at the end the interviewees where a bit soft, there did't seem to be enough light for the camera to automatically focus right as the background is a bit sharper. I do have to try the face detect function, or whatever it's called, as I read that it uses that to focus better on faces which is perfect for interviews but have not tried it yet. At least it doesn't hunt focus once it locks on.

About cameramovements, my homemade slider sucks and I have to do a lot of trial and error before I get it right, I ordered separate parts and assembled it myself for about 70 dollar but I would be much better of with one that had real bearings but as I use it only a few times a year it's hard to justify the cost. But I do get a kick from controlled motion and am always looking for that perfect move. I think it does give your video a bit more professional look.

I am looking at the panasonic ac90 now as it is real cheap, has a very sharp image and offers enough manual control to finally have a reason to place my xh-a1 on sale. I like the small formfactor and would be a perfect addition when I film dance performances with the 2 cx730 at fixed angles and the ac90 for following the action. The sony's don't keep focus well if you zoom in, lock focus and zoom back out again, something I found out the hard way last time I filmed a play. So I need something more reliable for that part.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:47 AM   #141
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Noa, your work is outstanding. I was engrossed in your video and watched it entirely. Too many good things to comment on, I just like it. Well done!
I agree, very nice work!!
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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:33 AM   #142
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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I am looking at the panasonic ac90 now as it is real cheap, has a very sharp image and offers enough manual control to finally have a reason to place my xh-a1 on sale.
Noa have you some experience yet of the AC-90? I am going to retire my Sony Z1/FX1 cameras for next season and have been looking at a couple of these - I've had the Sonys for so long and I love working with them but the lack of definition and poor low light compared with newer units has forced my hand.

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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:49 AM   #143
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Peter

I was seriously looking at the Sony EA50 for 2013 but for over $4K it's pales in comparison has no ND's whatsoever (the 90 has auto ND's in the camera) and the Sony at more than double the price seems to have unimpressive low light performance with the stock lens They give the camera a huge APS sensor and then bottleneck the whole thing with a slow F3.5 (at wide) lens.

The AC-90 is awesome value for money and the NR with gain applied is unbelieveable!!! 24db gain and the image just has no noise at all...it's also pin sharp up to 24db but softens just a little at 30db.

Chris
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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #144
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

That's good to know Chris - The Z1 is very noisy at 12db!!! Fortunately Neat video comes to the rescue for me!

My only concern is the price - my budget is about 3K per camera but I can get 2 AC-90 units for that price! surely too good to be true however if it outperforms the Z1 (which originally cost me 4K) then I'll probably go for it

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Old December 4th, 2012, 06:02 AM   #145
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Dragging this thread back to consumer camcorders I saw a Panasonic TM900 yesterday for the first time & was seriously impressed with the image quality so much so that I have been looking at the current models the X900M (32GB on board memory), the X900 (no onboard memory) & the X800 (dumbed down X900 with mostly auto everything). They all seem to share some of the same core specifications as the AC-90 e.g. 29.8mm Wide Angle to 12x zoom, 5-Axis Hybrid OIS, 3MOS sensor. Could be handy as C&D cams or even as a better quality alternative to a GoPro (the X800 is around the same price).
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Old December 4th, 2012, 06:31 AM   #146
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Nigel

My buddy Chip in the USA bought an X900 and said he was extremely disappointed with the image. He returned the camera after a week! I'm just wondering if the quality and end result is not anywhere near the normal TM900 ??? I have heard other reports on other forums also saying the X900 is not anywhere near the TM900 in IQ ...No idea why???

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Old December 4th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #147
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I have two of the TM900's and one of the TM700's (its predecessor). The image quality is excellent until the light gets very low (1st dance conditions). Whats more they are very intelligent in their use of autofocus and exposure compensation - using a function Panasonic call backlight compensation. They can be relied upon to work unattended, for example if the bride and groom are backlit by a large window and outside the sun is varying because of clouds they will cope fine with the changes. I have to resist the temptation to fiddle with the settings - not an easy thing to do if as a pro you are used to doing most stuff on manual.

I am not familiar with the X900 though, but I would be very surprised if the image quality were inferior. I would suspect user error.

All mine have internal drives (as well as SD card slots) but if I were buying again I'd get the versions that just have card slots. You can then use USB3 via a reader to download the card contents very quickly.

You can use Panasonic's free software to trim out unwanted footage with no impact on quality and no need to rerender.

These cams are also light enough to put in all sorts of unobstrusive places on brackets / window suckers etc. Biggest problem then is guests not seeing them and blocking shots.

But the wide end is nothing like the Gopro for field of view and can be somewhat restrictive. I have a cheap wide-angle convertor for emergency use.

Question re the new AC-90 - as it almost qualifies as a small handicam :- ) The spec looks very tempting but I think in f-stop and ISO terms; is it going to be a 5DIII killer in low light?

Pete
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #148
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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The spec looks very tempting but I think in f-stop and ISO terms; is it going to be a 5DIII killer in low light?
Absolutely not, the ac90 low light capabilities are "ok", but nothing more then that, A test I saw in another thread showed that at 30db gain the ac90 was comparable to 9db gain on a sony fx1000. This was not taking noise into account, just the exposure on the fx1000 was set to the ac90 at 30db to match and then the fx1000 was at 9db.

My cx730 at 21db gain can match the fx1000 when it is at 15db of gain but also up to 21db of gain on the fx1000, meaning 24db gain and 1/25 shutter on the cx730. then the fx1000 image has excessive grain while the cx730 still produces a usable image, not noise free, but way better then the fx1000.

I do think the ac90 is a very good "small" camera, especially for it's price but I do worry a bit about it's performance in harsh light conditions, it does have build in ND's but they seem not to be enough in bright sunlight. there was one video I found where you clearly saw the camera was having issues with very bright and shadow areas in one image. This I think is normal with very small sensor camera's but having the exposure spot on is, like with my cx730, essentials to get a good image. It's even better to have a bit underexposed then to over expose. If you overexpose colors look over saturated and you start to get this video look.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #149
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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But the wide end is nothing like the Gopro for field of view and can be somewhat restrictive.
It's 29,5mm I thought which is more or less standard on more professional camera's with a fixed lens as well which is a good wideangle for most conditions, only the 26,5mm I have on the cx730 is really awesome :) Helps a lot in tight spaces.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:40 AM   #150
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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It's 29,5mm I thought which is more or less standard on more professional camera's with a fixed lens as well which is a good wideangle for most conditions, only the 26,5mm I have on the cx730 is really awesome :) Helps a lot in tight spaces.
The TM900 & TM700 have a lens that is 35mm at widest so the 29.5mm lens on the newer models is quite an improvement. The fish-eyed super-wide of the GoPro is too much for me so I generally use it on Narrow (whatever the 35mm equivalent is).
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