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


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Old June 26th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #61
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

What type of bags are you all using to store the smaller handicams/dslrs in?
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Old June 27th, 2012, 04:42 AM   #62
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Personal preference is for older M Rock slingbags for when being "self contained" is paramount, and one or more old Sony aluminum cases picked up on the cheap (used, sometimes like new), where I can drop "the box", and deploy from a secure or at least visible location. Old TRV900 boxes are prety good for the handycam size units, and something like the one for the old HC1/A1U is big enough to pack quite a lot of "toys", while still remaining compact.

I re-configure as needed for the particular situation, from small bags to multiple larger bags or cases.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #63
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I love these small cams. In the last thirty years I have used everything from 3/4 inch Umatic through to Sony XDCamEX. I still have an EX1, wonderful camera. Over the last 18 months I have shifted to using 2 TM900s and more recently added a GH2 for all wedding work. It started at my own sons wedding, 18 months ago, I thought I would give the TM900 an outing with the EX1, amazing results in our local church, which is the darkest I have worked in for 30 years. Today I use only the small cams. The one major problem was attatching microphones etc, so I came up with a simple alluminium frame to take all the accesories needed for a wedding shoot, it is simply a couple of alluminium bars and 2 lock on handlebar grips. I was fortunate enough to have all the tripod fitting and attatchment brackets in the spares box. The camera can be slipped on or off the bracket in seconds, as can the bracket from the tripod.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #64
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I re-configure as needed for the particular situation, from small bags to multiple larger bags or cases.
I do have a some older small camerabags that found a new home now :) but I"m looking for a easier solution to carry 2 small handicams on one not too big bag that I can keep on me most of the time. An alu case is a good idea to keep other gear in, I currently have a big camerabag, that looks professional but it's easy taken without anyone noticing. A bigger shiny alu case on the other had everyone sees you carrying outside :)

I"m also think getting 2 lightstands for the 2nd or 3rd small cam, I saw one that extends to 2 meter, weighs only 1,5 kg and is about 80 cm at it's smallest and it could carry 2,5kg. Seems perfect to get high angles and very easy to transport.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #65
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

That's a great setup you have Colin, that"s what I"d call a multifunctional rig and still compact enough. I"m looking at an even smaller set up as I need to be able to move quickly and take all my equipment in one go. The cage you have would be ideal in more controlled situations.

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I thought I would give the TM900 an outing with the EX1, amazing results in our local church, which is the darkest I have worked in for 30 years.
Since you have first hand experience, if you'd compare imagequality and lowlight (and how clean the image is at high gain values) of the tm900 to your EX1, is there a big difference in favor of the ex1? I"m not talking about shooting resolution chart or doing any scientific test but just your first impression when you watch your footage on a big HD screen.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #66
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Terrific difference in low light performance. The EX1 wipes the floor with most cams out there, but. I have never been a great worrier over low light conditions, never considered it a problem. At the reception 1 or 2 lights are used, as and when needed. TM900 mixed with EX1 here
All the shots, bar the main shots of B & G in the church are TM900, note the shot of the girl singing, she was in one of the darkest areas of the church. I deliver in file format, an mpeg2 1920X1080 50p for replay in a supplied media player, looks absolutely amazing, excellent on SD DVD as well. These small cams are way more than adequate.
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Last edited by Colin Rowe; June 27th, 2012 at 11:54 AM.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #67
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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The EX1 wipes the floor with most cams out there, but. I have never been a great worrier over low light conditions
Actually, that's one of the things I worry about the most, if you do weddings fulltime, camera's that perform well under lowlight are just essential. Most of the time I need to work with what I have and a big cameralight is also not an option, not if you want the guest to look away.

I was very surprised about the performance of my little cx730 in low light, it could even keep up with my f1.4 dslr lenzes at 1600 iso and that is remarkable, that's why I was curious to know how much better a ex1 would do, can't image it would be that much better, that would mean it would wipe the floor with a dslr combined with a f1.4 prime? Those small handicams would definitely have to use more gain to achieve the same as light sensitivity compared to a ex1 but I really like to see a side by side view of both camera's at comparable noise levels and very high gain values. I do know my cx730 can see better in the dark then a sony fx1000 and has less grain and more colour since I compared both, the fx1000 is no 1/2 inch chipper but is already considered a quite light sensitive camera.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #68
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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I deliver in file format, an mpeg2 1920X1080 50p
Where the parts in church filmed in 50P? I just ask because I see interlacing "artifacts" at 01:20 when you zoomed out and a bit later as well? I haven't tried the 50P option out yet as my NLE (an older edius version) does not support it. Have been using 50i untill now, if I find more time I will try the 25p option but I fear the camera might loose focus faster in that case. 50i however, for the 2 weddings I did so far with the cx730 looked very good, on dvd, blu-ray and web. I always make a project in 25p in edius 5.51 as a lot of my material is from the dslr that shoots in 25p, I edit all footage native and then export to a hqavi file that I use in tmpgenc authoringworks and going to blu-ray and dvd does not show any interlacing when viewed on a hd lcd screen. Once I upgrade to the new edius 6.5 soon I will try the 50p option out to see what gives the best overall results.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #69
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

The above clip was encoded for youtube from 1080i. It was shot last year, before I decided to go the full the 50p route.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #70
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Noa

Colin is 100% correct and no, you shouldn't be worrying so much about low light conditions. Our biggest fault withe weddings is to get over technical with the footage. You fellow videographer here might be able to spot where you have lost a bit of IQ but the client will not even notice it!! She is more concerned about how pretty the bridesmaids look and how beautiful the occasion was! We become way to obsessed with technical perfection instead of concentrating on telling the story...stunning image quality might impress the posters on DVInfo but the bride really couldn't care less. I have footage at some weddings that brides absolutely rave about and I'm horrified with the IQ result.

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Old June 27th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #71
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Well put Chris, I agree100% with your comments above
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Old June 28th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #72
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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you shouldn't be worrying so much about low light conditions.
The reason why I find a low light capable camera so important for weddings is that for the first time in years I have been able to capture footage I never could have done before, I always used a videolight with my xh-a1 as that was the only way to get usable footage but I never could get any footage from the guests at very dark venues without them squeezing their eyes or looking away and giving me an annoyed look.

When my first dslr arrived it was a blessing being able to capture candid footage of people acting naturally not even knowing I was there, so for me these low light capability is not a "technical" issue we videographers get too excited about, it's a function that I feel I can't do without anymore.

If I knew the panny would produce a sharper image then my sony but the sony was cleaner at high gain values being able to get better low light footage, I'd choose the sony without a second thought. A lot of weddings I do have very dark venues and being able to capture footage without adding light is essential to me in order to keep that atmosphere, to capture the footage as if you are there again, the cx730 at least has proven the last 2 weddings I did with it (as long as you keep the lens wide and don't zoom in, but for CU's I use my dslr anyway), it can perform under under these conditions and only when it gets really extremely dark, like with a first dance, where they kill all the lights and you only have candles on the table providing background light, only then I"l activate the build in videolight the sony has to get the footage I need, as I don't have another choice.

I have seen videos here where videographers add lights at the reception or at the venue to get better footage but that would be "not done" in my country, couples often want to have a "dark mood" and not a videographer that doesn't have the equipment that can't handle that situation. We have one venue here known for the fact that they only use candles to light the room, nothing else, imaging using a videolight or lights on a stand, you just can't and you, and the couple, will be very happy knowing you do have camera's that can cope in these circumstances.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #73
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Noa

Less stress about being able to ger pristine video in a dark cave and more shooting!!

What you consider grainy and not even worth putting on the timeline, brides will rave about!! I did a wedding a lot time back with my 1/6" chip cameras and an old halogen video light (20w) which died half way thru the dancing!! The groom (guys are normally more technical) raved about how awesome the dancing footage was despite the fact that I almost shot it in the dark!!!

I did speeches this year at a reception where the groom point blank refused to let me use the video light!! I called him over to show him the dark image on the camera...his comments ??? "Perfect..I love it"

I'm STILL however trying to establish a light that will NOT offend people ...This time I'm thinking maybe a boom light stand directly over the top of the lectern (all our speeches are done from one position) and then pop in a single CFL lamp and either bounce it on the ceiling or into an umbrella!!

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Old June 28th, 2012, 03:54 AM   #74
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

It seems you have a more forgiving audience then what I have to deal with :)
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Old June 28th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #75
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa, light is our friend, there are times when you will need to use light, regardless of the cameras you use. Ask yourself this, would you rather shoot on a nice bright day or, a drizzly, cloudy day, which resulting footage would you prefer to watch!! Last weekend I shot a reception in a large function room in an old manor house, not a window in the room, and very low lighting, The top table was positioned above the sunken dance floor, with the guests tables down on the dance floor. The only position I could get a decent shot of the speeches was from the stage at the other end of the room, about 100 feet from the table. I set up 2, Z96 lights (diffused) on stands, at an angle iether end of the top table. The result, a perfect shot, well exposed, perfect colour and no noise whatsoever. The same with the first dance, a light positioned in 2 corners of the dance floor, problem solved. Lights should be as high on the equipment list as mics, tripods etc. I shot for a while with DSLRs, even with fast lenses, I would always use a light to lift colours and to enable me to shoot at a lower ISO. Good, modern lights are small, easy and quick to set up. An absolute must for event work. In over 30 years I have never had a problem with any client regarding the use of lights, if they want to hear their voices I use radio mics, if they want a better shot in the dark, I use lights.
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