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


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Old September 10th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #121
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Crop factor is 1.6 and I think you can get almost any lens adapter for the e mount. The real big drawback for me on older lenses is no stabilization. They look fantastic on a tripod but can be a bit shakey if hand held. Getting the stabilized 50mm 1.8 is highly recommended.

Yes you can see real time display on those items while recording. The really cool thing is all the menu screens are almost identical to the cx760 so no real learning curve. What I do really like is I can for example set a function (like shutter speed) and then go and change another function (like gain) without the first setting going back to automatic.

I really love my VG20 and I know it sometimes gets a bad rap but I personally will use this camera until it dies one day. Can say enough about the elegant shots I can get with it. Whole reason for the CX760 for me was to lock it down on a tripod and just use those as cutaways from the vg20.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #122
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Thx Dan, cropfactor is the same then as my 550d and stabilisation issues are a problem with the dslr also as the Samyangs are not stabilised, I"ll be watching the vg30 to see how it performs once the first user videos appear. Think the kit lens will do just fine for those stabilised shots with autofocus and have an option to attach fast prime lenzes on a tripod when necessary. I hope they don't increase the price too much on the vg30.

Can I ask how the viewfinder is, is it usable for focus checks?

I"ll probably will hang onto my xh-a1 if I need it for certain shoots but 95% of what I do at this moment I can do with my cx730's and my dslr's (as a solo shooter), the last weddings I did I left the xh-a1 at home, I was a bit nervous at first but now the cx730 are starting to become a second right hand :) I always have one camera attached to my belt when I"m operating the dslr's and have it ready for recording in seconds, with weddings you often have to react quickly if something unannounced happens, if I don't want to miss such a moment and get it right the first time, I prefer my cx730 instead of my dslr.

On tip I can give when using the cx760 fixed and unmanned on a tripod, set a AE shift a bit lower as the camera tends to overexpose if you leave exposure in automatic mode. Also try to avoid dynamic stabilisation unless you need the extended zoom, active steadyshot is also very good and at least you keep the widest angle and should have the best image quality (dynamic zooms in on the image so you loose some on the wide and eventhough I have not tested it yet, there should be some quality loss. And most important set the OIS to off when on a tripod, the OIS goes haywire when you zoom in a bit and then pan. This function can be assigned to a button on the lcd screen so it's fast to change when needed.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #123
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Yep, Already playing with the AE shift. the Viewfinder on the VG20 is VERY usable. in fact 90% of all my recording is done through the VF. as an example I find the CX760 VF a bit frustrating and not super great but works okay for when I need it. always seems like I am trying to tweak the doppler adjustment as it is just a little too small for my old eyes maybe? My VG is a whole different story and I really using the VF
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Old September 12th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #124
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

and a couple new flavors in the pot with the latest Sony announcements. VG30 is looking pretty sweet!
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Old September 12th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #125
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

yeah, it looks pretty much the same as the vg20 except for the lens, I"m sure there are some improvements to the camera as well but I"ll see what it looks like when the first user video's appear. I have been looking at a lot of wedding demo's on vimeo that where shot on the vg20 and somehow it seems to be difficult to get a good image out of it. Especially how the camera seems to deal with highlights. Often I also see quite some whitebalancing issues (maybe because they have it at auto?) and overexposure. Sometimes there is some dslr footage used as well and then it becomes even more obvious as you can pick out the vg20 footage easily.

I did find only a few good looking videos meaning they can get it right but the camera needs an experienced operator to get the most out of it, that's at least the impression I get when browsing through all those videos.

This one looks pretty sweet as well, a vg30 on steroids? :) (full frame so no cropping!)
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/digital-...rst-image.html
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Old October 10th, 2012, 06:37 AM   #126
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Ok, shot a wedding short time ago with my two Sony cx730's, a xr520 and my two Canon 550d's. I made a trailer which I feel does show the potential of those small handicams, only the steadicam shots are from a blackbird with a 14mm f2.8 lens, all the rest are my sony camera's (only 2 short shots with very shallow dof are with the dslr as well)

It might not seem that way but it was quite dark at the venue, my dslr was wide open at f2.8 and 1600 iso all the time and some zoomed in handheld shots I did during the speeches to catch reactions with the Sony camera it was at 24db gain and 1/25 shutter which explains the motion blur you will see in a few shots. At other times the camera was close to or at 21db gain. Same for the church, not that much light available.

It's also the first trailer I have where you hardly see any very shallow dof that DSLR's can provide but I"m not sure if that would have added anything, I actually prefer the very wide dof to show the large church and venue.

the Sony's where at 50p (except for the xr520 which was positioned on the church balcony was at 50I and the dslr was at 25p.) The very first slider shots in church where slowed down to 50%.

What do you guys think? I"m pretty satisfied with the images, especially the colour in a darker environment and while at 21 to 24db of gain and the fact they match quite well with my dslr. (have to say the Sony shots have been colour corrected with a bit more saturation and the blacks where crushed a bit as well.) and I used only available light, so no cameralight was used.

This was a solo shoot, which brings up another advantage of those small handicams as running 2 to 3 camera's simultaniously is possible since your gear is easier to carry alone (5 camera's in one backpack - 3 handicams and 2 dslr's) and as focus is not so critical as with dslr's you have much more usuable footage on your unmanned camera's.


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Old October 10th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #127
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Wow Noa - you and the photog are in soooo close to get them putting the rings on! - Here in the UK we'd get promptly ejected from the church if we tried to get that close - I'm jealous!
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Old October 10th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #128
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

That's pretty much standard position during the vows here, placing a camera left and right on a tripod, like one for a medium shot and one for close up would be a very big risc at ceremonies here, often the couple turns towards the priest and like in the above video the priest also comes up very close sometimes holding the mike or the page containing the vows for them to read from. This would render any camera's on the side useless showing you only the backsides of the couple.

The only safe position is always just behind the priest (never had a priest complain about that) and in this case I had to move in real close as the priest was almost sitting on the couples lap and he was holding the page in front of their hands which made it even worse :) I had the camera on my shoulder support with the beachtek and hoodloupe attached to the lcd screen like I showed in a video in this topic, that together with the great OIS gives very stable footage handheld, better then I could do handheld with my xh-a1.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #129
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Noa, I find the same as Peter, in any church here I'm sure I'd be ejected or at least reprimanded or even banned from future weddings by the vicar if I tried that sort of move in on the ceremony, even civils would not be too happy with that. That seems to be one of the thing that causes celebrants to set up rules and restrictions. Here it's strictly stay put. Another example how different societies as well as cultures have contrasting approaches and tolerances.

I spend much time in France and there churches have a more relaxed attitude to photo/video than here in UK.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #130
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

To be honest, I would very much prefer to stand on a fixed position with the photog and myself not coming near the altar, like I see in many videos here where the couple is facing eachother standing up and stay in that position. In that way you could have 3 camera's on a locked position and capture it all without blocking any guests view or without being in the frame of the photog and vice versa. Here it is the priests that are causing all the trouble by often letting the couple facing the altar all the time or by holding the sheet which they have to read from in front of the rings and holding the microphone for them right in front of their faces. Sometimes that leaves me with a very small window to get the ring exchange. I could stand on the other side but then I would be blocking the families view. I wish they made it a lot stricter and just have the couple facing eachother so I don't have to struggle to get my shot.

You should see how intrusive photogs can get here as they walk around all the time, also behind the altar while the priest is talking, I have had a few occasions over the past years where the priest stopped talking and eyeballed the photog because he was to much present but beside that they allow a lot here.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 03:18 AM   #131
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

I was filming a wedding a couple of weeks ago where the vicar called a halt & told the second photographer to stand in one place instead of prowling about up & down the aisles. He said that it was just too distracting & as it was a small church I could see his point.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #132
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

This post almost has 10k views so there seems to be some interest in small camera's :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
What do you guys think?
No reactions so far, that usually means it's bad and people don't want to offend you :D

It was a user on this forum but I don't recall who it was that said he had to move to dslr's from his regular videocamera's as he started to loose clients that wanted that specific look which his regular camera's couldn't provide. My video I posted a bit up does contain steadicam dslr footage but none of the footage does have that distinct dslr look, especially because there is hardly any shallow dof. In fact I think my cx730 on the blackbird could provide a better look as I would be able to nicely slow down 1080p 50p footage and not have to worry about setting the focus manually or about the 12 min recording limit. The lens only would be a little less wide but the image would be sharper. I think that at the wedding I have this Saturday I"ll give my cx730 a go on the steadicam and see what that gives.

I only wonder wether that very shallow dof and typical dslr look would make my video look better, or more professional or get me more clients or even allow me to charge more money? It took me some time to get over that "uncle sam has the same camera" kind of feeling but as I feel very pleased with what comes out of it, how do you perceive the video, does it have that handicam "video" kind of look or do the image of small handicams and the large dof make it look more amateuristic?
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Old October 16th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #133
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

A camera is a tool... use the one that does what you want it to do... small cameras have their place, DSLR (SLT) have their place. If the results "speak" for themselves, that's what matters.

And as always, it's the "nut" behind the lens that makes all the difference <wink>!
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Old October 18th, 2012, 05:23 AM   #134
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Noa,

I'm one of the lurkers of this thread (loved it from the beggining) and I have to say the CX730 should work perfectly on the blackbird, stabilization may give you problems or even make it better so I would like to know how it went if you make a test of it.

I think the clients are looking for shallow DOF but won't see the difference through all the shoot and definitely I would go for the use of more cameras.

Some beauty shots pre, post, and during the ceremony and that would be set. You're right in a lot of points; you can carry more cameras, breathe in more of the beauty of the church and enjoy the people and their reactions in the venue. Beautiful video.
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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #135
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Re: Shooting weddings with small handicams

Hi Ivan! Yes, I think the OIS on the cx730 will do some unwanted corrections but when I have time I"ll do some test runs at the venue, I"ll have to add my beachtek and shouldermount to it as well to add on some extra weight as the cx730 alone is too light for the blackbird.

In the video above I had an hour prep time in church before the couple arrived which gave me some time to set all up right (3 handicams) and to gather some beauty shots but usually it's nothing like that with often practically no set up time, but even then I can still manage to set up 2 camera's, put a zoom h1 on the altar, a iriver on the lectern (both with lavaliers, I just clip it onto the church microphone) and the groom has already been supplied with a yamaha c24 with lav mike when they leave to church.

That only leaves me with setting up my tascam dr40 at a loudspreaker as backup which I do when the ceremony already has begun. That can be very stressful but just the fact that I can carry 5 camera's in one go into church in my backpack (my tripods are on a small carry on cart that can fit 4 tripods that I fasten with straps) is one less worry that it might get stolen in the car. My backpack also contains 2 dslr's and lenses but that I never use during church.

When you shoot solo in these kind of stressfull situations your unmanned camera's need to be light, have a deep dof, can autofocus right and that have good autowhitebalance (on a sunny/cloudy day when sun appears and disappears all the time the Sony gives accurate colors)

A "advantage" is also when your gear gets damaged, imaging having a 7000 euro camera (just take a xf300 as an example) drop onto the floor (at crowded events that's not impossible) instead of a 840 euro camera (what I paid for my Sony)
Buying a new camera always hurts but my bank would survive a 840 euro hit, not a 7000 euro hit. :)
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