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


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Old July 1st, 2012, 07:29 AM   #91
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa, how about this sort of thing:

PHOTOGRAPHYattic - Vivitar Medium Format Camera Flash Grip Flash accessory for sale

I have the Sony grip for the CX550 which is a single handle that sits under the camera it is handy in that it has rec/stop and zoom but I find it awkward to use, the buttons don't seem to be in the right place for my hands, I find it easier to use the screen controls with my left hand. I doesn't have a tripod scre so you have to take it off to attach it to a tripod although the grip itself does double as a table tripod, good for very low floor level shots.

This one:
Sony GP-AVT1 Support system - shooting grip / mini tripod
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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:15 AM   #92
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

yes, the vivitar flash grip is something I"m going to try to find localy, just something very basic to get a more solid grip on the camera, at this stage I"m just worried that soon or later the camera will hit the ground.

This one also looks very interesting: DSLR Mini Shoulder Pad Rig Mount Rails with Handles For Sony T3i T2i GH2 D60 D90 | eBay
Maybe just to leave the left handle off and point the right handle upwards and move it a bit backward so you can still reach the zoom while filming and get a solid grip, seems very small and compact and a good price. With a bit of modification that just might work.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:21 AM   #93
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Originally Posted by Rickey Brillantes View Post
The rig you showed me is almost the price of the Genus rig that I have
The Genus product I can find back are very expensive? Like 600 dollar just for the mattebox.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 01:11 PM   #94
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I should be editing today but I"m too tired after doing 2 weddings in a row :) so I just imported all footage from yesterday's wedding and had a look and took out some parts to show cx730 footage I used as main cam again and why I like the camera so much. I did not include too much footage as I don't have permission but I"m sure the couple won't mind me posting a hidden link on youtube and using it for educational purposes :D

So it's just some random shots, quickly done and because of that handheld, for those shots I didn't have the time to set up a tripod, you"ll also see I really love low angle shots :) This was also for a part to emphasize the size of the church but it's a coincidence that I mainly choose those shots (just found them nice), I mainly shoot from tripods but just shoot those b-roll shots to have some inserts I can use.

I did notice some very fine aliasing in the castle near the end (footage was shot in 50i), it doesn't show on a big lcd HD screen but it does when downconverting for youtube, I do have a bit more time on my hands the following 3 weeks and will be doing some 50p tests but need to get edius 6.5 for that, since I"ll be getting a second cx730 I can do full progressive recordings (50p together with 25p on my dslr's and shouldn't have any issues anymore.)

One thing I have noticed and that is I really need to check up on my focus more using my hoodloupe, in auto mode the camera does an excellent job setting focus, even in dim light but I often switch to manual if I zoom in, 2 times I forgot to switch it back to auto resulting in 2 slightly blurred shots. Not the camera's fault but I need to look better at the info on the screen as a small thumbnail did show I was in manual. Even though the lcd has excellent resolution it's hard to tell from a distance if I"m spot on, if I use my hoodloupe I can see out of focus immediately.

All footage in this short trailer is handheld (except the shot at 00:12) and unaltered. Just check the last zoom shot, that was handheld and the camera was in full auto, considering it was getting dark the camera did cope very well keeping focus, like to see that done on a panasonic ag ac130/160 ;) I also really, really, really like the wide angle :) It makes all the difference for me being able to shoot in tight spaces or just to show a big space like this church.

Don't mind the audio as it sounds a bit distorted, it's also directly from the camera, I do use external audio recorders for all my critical audio but with last wedding I noticed distortion on loud sounds in camera, must be a setting that I need to look into.

http://youtu.be/gEXKZMWAw8s

Last edited by Noa Put; July 1st, 2012 at 04:16 PM. Reason: wrong link
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Old July 8th, 2012, 05:27 PM   #95
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

My second cx730 has been ordered, should arrive next week and I will be custom building a small handle next week as well to have some extra grip taking the camera in and out the bag. With prizes around 150 to 300 euro for some very simple rigs on Ebay I decided to custom build and make it small enough so it still fits in a small bag.

With the wedding last Saturday I left the xh-a1 at home again and used a xr520 as second camera, heavy rain moved a ceremony from out- to inside, a very small and dark place but what a joy again using the camera, The camera did not loose it's autofocus once and touch focus did a great job as well, though I check with a hoodloupe everytime I use that function. I'm getting pretty fast now riding the exposure with the small wheel on front and setting the autofocus to manual whenever I zoom in and then use spotfocus to direct the focus to where I want, it's also quickly back to autofocus which is so good you would be an idiot not ot use it when the lens is wide.

Below I did a very short comparison with my 550d and a 35mm f1.4 lens at night with just one reading light on the right, the footage is brighter then what I could see. The cx730 in low lux mode is pretty close to 3200 iso on the 550d, the cx730 does records at a shutter of 1/25th in low lux but that footage is perfectly usable as long as you don't film sports. With low lux mode off it's 1/50 shutter and then it's just a bit darker then the 550d at 1600 iso. Seeing them side by side the cx730 does have a little bit more noise then the 550d but with compression to the internet or dvd that dissappeares.

cx730 and 550d low light comparison
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 06:18 PM   #96
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

So I finally got all my accesoires in this morning and just rigged up my little sony cx730, I got myself a 86 dollar rig from ebay DSLR Mini Shoulder Pad Rig Mount Rails with Handles For Sony T3i T2i GH2 D60 D90 | eBay and a 50 pound viewfinder GGS DSLR 3x LCD Viewfinder Loupe for Canon 5D MKII 7D | eBay that flips open.

This is how it looks (just click on the photo's to browse)https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...98582212428482

I plan on using this setup only for interviews on a tripod with a wireless handmicrophone or during "run and gun" interviews but then shouldermount, since the camera has a good build in videolight I don't need to attach this as well. The whole set up like on the photo (including camera) weighs only 2,2kg.

I had to do some modification to get the tripod plate mounted and to get my azden wireless setup attached, the azden is quite bulky but decided to not to buy a small sony wireless system for the time being, my azden is very good and since I had it already I decided to put it to use.

The hoodloupe is pretty cool, flips open so I can look at the viewfinder from a distance but also touch the screen to access controlls and when I want to check focus I just close it, for shoulder mount use its also quite good as I can look through the hooddloupe and can still access the small wheel on front of teh camera to controll exposure and the knob on top to zoom while I"m filming.

I Only need to find a better way to attach it to the screen, on the photo is stuck onto the viewfinder but then I can't close the lcd screen, so I will be looking into a way to easily attach and detach the hoodloupe. Something like this here maybe: Hoodman HoodLoupe 3.0 Camcorder Mount Strap - UK | eBay

I really like the fact that I can easily go from a full option rig that lets me record wireless audio, film shoulder mount and back to a very small handsize camera by just detaching it from the beachtek. That's the kind of swiss knive I was llooking for :) I still need to do quite some fine tuning on the rig but I"m quite happy with the result so far, especially considering that the camera, the beachtek, the rig and the hoodloupe together are still 750 dollar cheaper then what i have to pay for a canon xa10. And since I can use the beachtek with my dslr's as well it's a good investment too.

I also didn't buy a mattebox as this would make the rig even bigger and I wanted to keep it within "normal size", I plan to look into nd filters that I can just screw onto the lens, in run and gun I don't have time to deal with placing separate filters but in controlled shoots that might be an option.
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Old August 20th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #97
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa Put, first of all allow me to congratulate you for the wedding video you posted on the first page of this thread, I just watched it and it almost made me shed some man tears. Really good work. What did you use to record the sound outside for the exchange of the rings? I could clearly see wind and could also hear it but just barely, so I'm guessing you had something to reduce wind noise. I'm using a Rode VideoMic Pro which doesn't do a good job in windy conditions, I'm considering buying a Micover Slipover for it.

To answer your initial question, I also use a small camera for weddings. I did 3 weddings so far with my Panasonic TM900 and I really like everything about it, except for the low light performance (which is probably better on your Sony that has a slightly bigger sensor). Looking forward to read the entire thread :)
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Old August 20th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #98
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
....This is how it looks (just click on the photo's to browse)https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...98582212428482
...
Wow Noa, with all the accessories you can't even see the camera.... :-)

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Old August 20th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #99
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Wow Noa, with all the accessories you can't even see the camera.... :-)
Well, the photo's are a bit misleading so I just removed them, just check out below video and you"ll see how small it is in it's more basic setup, I actually lost the handles as they where to bulky but will use just one in the front only when doing run and gun interviews.

It's also the azden receiver that makes it too big and that should be replaced by a smaller one but it works, gives great audio quality when needed (allowing me to use my wireless handmicrophone) and it's still a very light set up. It's also very comfortable as a shoulder rig, you hardly feel it on your shoulder and very stable when using one handle in front, this still allows me to control the exposure in realtime. The hoodloupe is a different version then I originally bhought as I still need to find a better way to attach it onto the lcd screen but this older one I had lying around does an ok job for the time being.

I have been using it in this set up the last weddings (without the azden receiver) and it works a treat. My second cx730 stays without accessories. It also makes me feel less "naked" when I have to shoot handheld in front of a large crowd, then I just lay it on my shoulder, press the beachtek against the side of my head, I slide my right hand in the camera side strap (so I have zoom control) and I controll the exposure with my left hand, I then look through the hoodloupe viewfinder and imagine having an overpriced F3 on my shoulder. ;)

http://youtu.be/Fb16mWkw4Do

Last edited by Noa Put; August 20th, 2012 at 04:58 PM. Reason: link didn't work, it does now
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Old August 20th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #100
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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Originally Posted by Luc Spencer View Post
What did you use to record the sound outside for the exchange of the rings? I could clearly see wind and could also hear it but just barely, so I'm guessing you had something to reduce wind noise
Actually I got a bit lucky, there was plenty of wind noise, only not in that part I used in the demo. :D I don't have any specific wind reducers, if it's a wedding outside and if they use a wireless microphone I try to connect my zoom h4 to the dj's table or to the back of a soundspeaker, some do have xlr out connections. or what I also do is attach my yamaha c24 to the microphones handle and I put a second yamaha c24 inside the grooms vest with a lav attached to his vest. That's about it.

Quote:
allow me to congratulate you for the wedding video you posted
Nah, it's not "that" good, but thx for the compliment anyway :) Now that I have done more weddings with my small sony's I"m getting much better at using them right. The right exposure is key for good images, overexpose a bit and the colors look washed out and faces get blown out highlights that look plain ugly but get the exposure right, or even a bit underexposed (which is easy to correct in post) and I end up with a great image.

Below a trailer from a wedding where I used one cx730, one xr520 (I didn't had my second cx730 at that time) and a t2i, all shots on the steadicam are from the t2i including every static shot with a shallow dof. All the rest is from the small sony's (the footage f.i. in church or persons doing speaches is also all sony). You have to skip though the first 50 seconds of the video to see the first sony shot. I have shot in quite demanding situations, with the sunlight almost directly into the lens up to very dark places and the camera held up beautifull. The lantern shot outside was done at night at 24db gain and on a big screen it looks great.

http://youtu.be/7SDJi1rznzw

Last edited by Noa Put; August 20th, 2012 at 04:54 PM. Reason: link didn't work, it does now
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Old August 30th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #101
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa - Your videos are really good. I currently use a VG20, FX1000 & Nex5n to do weddings. Your posts have intrigued me enough to try out one of the small Sony Handycams. I picked up a CX580V and was impresses with it on many aspects. It will cut very well with my other Sony cameras.

The problem I have (and I was not seeing in your sample videos) is ALOT of grain in low light conditions. so far just a few quick shots in auto mode. I assume this cam is close enough to the ones you are using so if you can give any hints or tips on settings you use it would be appreciated. how do you limit how much gain it uses? I also have neat video so I can clean up the noise pretty good but I would rather have clean video to start with.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #102
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

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The problem I have (and I was not seeing in your sample videos) is ALOT of grain in low light conditions.
Not sure about this but it could be that the 580 is about the same as the xr520 that I also have, I can say about the 520 that the lowlight at the highest gain values is the same but it produces a lot more visible grain when that's the case. This is where my 730 shines, I have seen tests here between a canon xa10 and a cx760 at 15db gain and the canon was even a bit brighter, when I asked the maker of the video why he didn't go any higher then 15db he said it was unusable at those gain levels.

Well, I can say that at 24db of gain on my cx730 I have less visible grain then 6db gain on my xh-a1, ofcourse there is grain but it's a very fine grain that in most cases you hardly notice. Until now I have not been using any plugins to remove grain. I can imagine if you do high end commercials or corporate you need a absolutely clean image but then you aren't working with a handycam.

I find gain values up to 24db usable when doing weddings without using something like neatvideo. Only thing you need to consider that at 24db gain only the shutter lowers to 1/25 but that's also usable as long as your subjects don't move too much. I only go that high if I really need to, in most other situations during a wedding I don't need to.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #103
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Well from what I can tell so far with the cx580 is it does not show what the gain level is. So maybe I need to try out the CX760 ( that's the unit here)

Can you easily set your gain with the CX730? Or is it buried in menus 9 layers deep? Can you limit the automatic gain and set value to not exceed?
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Old August 30th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #104
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

on my 730 I can view all camera data only in playback modus, a silly limitation build in by Sony but I guess you can't have it all.

The most important functions you can assign to the front wheel but it's only one function at the time, I have "exposure" assigned to that wheel and leave it at that, there I control the exposure manually all the time.
You can also assign 3 other functions to touchscreen buttons, there I have whitebalance, Ois and focus assigned so I can change those values as well on the fly but only by using the touchscreen, takes some getting used to but works pretty well.

About autogain I know you can set low light on or off, in off mode it goes to 21db max, when on it goes to 24db and shutter 1/25
When lowlight is off you don't have to worry about high gains, the camera handles them just fine up to 21db, if you don't want it to exceed a certain value you have to controll it manually but during recording you can never see what value it's at, only when you playback.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 01:03 PM   #105
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa, in reference to a user you mentioned who said his XA10 is not usable above 15db, gain, that is strange of them to say that.

I have found it there is no visible grain at up to 18db with the XA10, it is remarkable. It is also VERY usable up to 21db.

Others on the XA10 forum will confirm this. With the next model down from the XA10, this is not true, even though the cameras seem identical in most every way. But for the XA10, graininess is a non issue for me.
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