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


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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #151
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Noa have you some experience yet of the AC-90?
No, was interested in one. Here's a store that sells it for 1880 euro which is the same price as a canon xa10 and even 400 euro cheaper then a sony nx30. Just the fact that is has 3 rings on the lens makes it a much better camera in terms of controll because that is what I mainly miss on my cx730. I often don't like it when I have to let the camera decide what to do.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 08:45 AM   #152
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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The TM900 & TM700 have a lens that is 35mm at widest so the 29.5mm lens on the newer models is quite an improvement.
I have a Sony xr520 as well and that is a 35mm lens I think which is very restricting, don't like that narrow fov at all, 29,5mm hits the "sweet spot" in terms of usability.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #153
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Today I noticed one thing on my cx730 which made my heart skip a beat, last wedding they where blowing bubbles when the couple came out of church, one of these bubbles touched my lens and left some soap spots.

So today I noticed that and tried to clean the lens, The lens itself is very well protected when the camera is not in use as some kind of metal shutter instantly closes if the camera is powered down but it also makes it a bit more difficult to reach the lens because when the protection is open the lens sits a bit deeper.

I was not sure whether to leave the ois on or off, the lens is in a round ball that can move around in it's housing, if you disable to ois the lens stops moving so I figured that would be the safest way to carefully clean the lens. Then I noticed the lens ball is still loose in it's case which made it difficult to clean when I was rubbing the front of the lens with a soft piece of cloth as th elens kept moving the whole time and I was not able to block it from moving.

And then it happened, I hardly applied any force to the lens, was very carefull, but when I turned the camera back on I got a error message and saw that the lens ball was leaning towards one side and it didn't react to setting the ois on or off. I tried gently pushing the ball inside it's housing to different directions and turning the camera and ois on and off and it took a minute untill I heared that the ois mechanisme grabbed the lens and pulled it back into position. Now it does work again but it shows how fragile that new OIS thing is.

I think next time I will leave the OIS on, once the camera"s ois responded again I cleaned the lens a bit more with ois on and that seem to do the trick, that's not very reassuring as I need the camera tomorrow at a wedding. Good that I have 2 more of these small camera's.

One advantage of having such small handicams is that they are usually cheap enough so you can buy 2 or 3 to cover for one that might not work when you have to shoot, a disadvantage is that they are not as well build as the larger (semi-)pro camera that are designed to take a bit of a beating.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #154
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Please can anyone recommend me Sony vegas project and rendering settings? I was filming with Sony CX730 in 50p and I want to make DVD in high quality as possible. Not blu-ray.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #155
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I edit in Edius but maybe you can try it as well, after a lot of trial and error I finally settled for a 1080p 25p project setting to edit my 25p and 50p footage in (Use both formats in one project), I export to a 1080p 25p file and then import that into tmpgenc authoring works as a 1080p 25p file and then just export to dvd as interlaced and the endresult looks great on dvd.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #156
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Thanks for your reply Noa, but it will be better if someone could give instructions on Sony Vegas and later DVD Architect for making SD DVD's. I have created one DVD and I can see the loss of quality when objects are moving.
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Old December 18th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #157
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Edgar -
First off, set project settings to match the source files - you may have to tweak them to match depending on Vegas version.

I render an HD version - you can go up to approx 18Mbps and burn it to a DVD and it will be readable with some BR players. BR can handle higher bitrates. Watch the bitrates with SD output as well - the lower the bitrate, the less data, and the lower the quality.

That's a "general description" of what you're after, I'm not in "editing mode" right now, too much else to do with the holidays and year end, and I don't recall my tweaked/saved settings offhand, but it'll get you pointed in the right direction.

If you're still stumped, you might poke around the dedicated Vegas portion of DVi. There you should find intricate details of all those settings in Vegas and what they do (I'll admit Vegas leaves me feeling a tad lost within the complexity sometimes!).

Hope that helps get you better results. Unfortunately, it's hard to get "SD" output to keep up with the expectations that HD creates... AND stuff it onto a DVD. Quality and detail are at least in part a function of bitrate and compression considerations, and data rapidly expands to fill and exceed the space available...
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Old February 12th, 2013, 01:32 PM   #158
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

apologies for digging up an old thread but i'm looking for info from anyone that has experience of small cams for weddings and events.
Until recently i was operating a Sony HXR-NX5 and HXR-MC2000 as a B cam, I've sold off the MC2000, i didn't like the tiny LCD screen and the camera wasn't really up to the level i was expecting. The form factor was ok and it looked good but it unfortunately it didn't perform to expectations.

So i was thinking of adding another cam something along the lines of one of the Sony prosumer cams, the CX730 or the new CX410V (this has great stability and good reach & very affordable)

I had considered the HXR-NX30 but this works out around 1000 dearer than the CX410V, all i'd get for that is XLR capability and a shotgun.
My partner works the B cam, apart from framing a shot, she knows little about cameras etc. so just points it in the right direction, so manual controls and all that would be extras that are not a great advantage.

What are people's opinions of either the Sony CX730E or the CX410V to meet my needs here?
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Old February 12th, 2013, 02:01 PM   #159
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I have posted below video before but just to show you what a Sony cx730 is capable of, only the steadicam shots are done with a dslr, all the rest (slider, tripod and handheld shots) with 2 sony cx730. (only in the church there was a 3rd sony xr520 on the balcony)
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Old February 12th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #160
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

thanks for that Noa the footage is excellent, i'm leaning towards the CX410V it's cheap enough that if it doesn't work out i can sell it on at a reasonable price, it's not available til next month.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #161
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Rob -
Before you jump, check the sensor specs - I'm pretty sure that ONLY the 7xx cameras have a 1/3" sensor, and any of the rest of the line has a 1/4" (roughly of course). This may or may not translate into performance issues (low light particulaly).

I picked up a GW77 cheap, and it performs OK, especially considering what I paid for it and the size... but it is not in the same league as one of the 7xx class top end "Handycams"... though most people probably wouldn't notice most of the time!

You may want to put hands on one of those CX4xx cameras before you decide, it may be "adequate", but I'd also suggest if it doesn't have the BOSS OIS, you might want to step up to a model that does, especially if the cam will be handheld a lot. The "magic eyeball" is pretty amazing...
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Old February 12th, 2013, 07:52 PM   #162
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I've only just found this thread and read it from the beginning. It interests me especially, as I have used small cams for my wedding filming for probably 10 years. Having been shooting weddings for over 27 years, from U-matic, S-VHS, Hi8 etc, I loved the freedom that the earlier 3chip minidv cams gave me and have stuck with them ever since my first ones. I have also stayed with Panasonic as I like the colour rendition and low light performance and currently have 3 SD700s which are very similar to the newer 900. I also prefer the SD card cameras rather than the HD models as I can save the card at the end of the day and put in a new one if I have a wedding the next day.

I find the manual controls easy to use and the ability to control basic parameters like focus, exposure etc from the lens ring if required is also very useful. As I shoot quite a lot of 3D work, I use the Pannys on a 12" slide rail as a twin rig with space to use my JVC GS-TD1 for closer 3d shots. For normal 2d wedding work, I can still use two Pannys on the rail for different framing of the same shots, or put one on a separate tripod if required for a locked off shot. I also sometimes reverse the screen on the locked off shot so that if it is reasonably close, I can vary the telephoto with a remote while watching the screen. The rail also gives me space to mount an LED light and mic if required.

Interestingly, with regards to taking video and stills as a solo operator, I take the opposite approach to others here. My main sell is the video, but those clients that book video can also book an optional photographic add on. I carry a DSLR which I can mount on the rail, but generally sling over my shoulder. As I consider that posed shots are the domain of the photographer and less important to the video, I will set up groups and poses from a photographic point of view, and let the video run while taking the stills. Also throughout the day I will take reportage style shots as I feel appopriate. What I have found is that the SD700s take excellent stills in good light, if you use the still shot facility. As I use an extension on my IR remote to mount it on the tripod handle, I can press the stills button at any time even while the camera is filming. It will take 12mp stills during filming and 14mp when paused.

I have made a number of photo albums just from the video camera stills, and the addition of the DSLR has expanded this considerably. I don't sell the service as replacing a dedicated high level wedding photographer, but as an unobtrusive alternative with posed shots available as required. As my video service is also extremely unobtrusive, I find that many couples feel that photographers can take over the day and that although family groups are still important, much of the work traditionally carried out by the photographer is becoming less popular.

Since starting offering the photography service early last year, about 20% of my new bookings are with photography. At wedding shows, I have found that couples looking at the photo side have also become interested in the video and vice versa. Rather than finding video a dirty word, I have found that both together in one package has been a real attraction and for me is definitely the way to go. This year I have also found couples seeking out the video specifically at shows for the first time and also far fewer video companies:-)

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Old February 13th, 2013, 02:36 AM   #163
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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This may or may not translate into performance issues (low light particulaly).
Yes, without knowing that newer model that still has to come out, I"d be careful about how it performs because I know that existing lower end models handicams today don't have the same performance as Sony's flagship and when you plan to do weddings that will make a difference.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #164
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

As near as I can tell Sony released exactly ONE "flagship" model (a SINGLE "PJ" model as opposed to 3 cams for the last few years, CX and PJ model mix) with this years' drastically cut back Handycam line ("the smart phone ate my camera/videocam"). It's got that "attractive" wart containing a supposedly better mic set up. I am pretty sure that the next model down uses BOSS, BUT it has a smaller sensor.

Both the Handycam and Cybershot releases this year indicate that the market has shifted, and (likely due to the aforementioned smart phones), there is a LOT less selection, at least from Sony, who is losing money in this area from what it seems. From my rough estimates, "selection" eliminated about 2/3 of the model offerings, with some Cybershot "lines" disappearing entirely (TX & HX)! Unless Sony makes some late cycle introductions, it's pretty slim pickin's...

Not sure what Canon and Panasonic are doing, but it is beginning to look like the "consumer" is NOT buying small cameras, of either the video or still variety, in favor of shooting with smart phones. Looked at a new smart phone myself, will be upgrading shortly, and it has 1080 HD video and 5Mp still that at first glance looked pretty good, has HDR and other advanced features... times and technology are changing!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 02:10 PM   #165
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

yes, that seems to be the case, my cx730 has had some large price fluctuations over a very short period with prizes between 1020 euro and 820 euro in the same shop, in another large videostore you can't buy it anymore which could indicate they have a hard time selling it.
The cx730 might be the last of the mohicans, I better hold on to it tight, might be a collectors item soon :)
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