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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 4th, 2012, 07:09 AM   #1
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New found respect for DSLR users

Hi Guys

I shot my first wedding of the season today (we have just emerged from Winter) and during the photogs photo session I had nothing to do so I followed him around with my GH1 and shot some fun video of the bridal party.

You guys must have an unseen talent!! I really don't know how you do it...a small camera in your hands, having to focus all the time ( I cheated and used the shutter button to lock in focus) and then came a nice slow zoom...it was close to impossible for me ..hold the camera steady and twist the ring and focus too!!!

The footage looked very nice as the mega-OIS helped a lot but it certainly is a lot harder to control than a shoulder mount camcorder and a LOT more work too!!! How on earth do you pan/zoom and hold focus and keep the camera steady too??? I think I'll still use my big cams mainly at weddings but I certainly have a lot more respect and insight into using DSLR's handheld for shooting weddings!

Chris
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Old August 4th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

What I'm more used to seeing from users who like yourself still prefer traditional video cameras over dslrs, is more opinions thinking its plain irresponsible to use a dslr. So from one avid dslr shooter: thanks. I think the gh1/2 with the 14-140 is definitely gonna feel the most like a traditional video camera and also similar in reliability to "get the shot," considering its zoom range and generally deeper DOF compared to a lot of other lenses where bigger apertures are desired and more employed. Therefore, having the 14-140 on your B Camera is a must in my book. My A camera will generally always be a 50mm prime. In short, my B camera tends to be more concerned with the Full Length edit while my A camera shoots for the highlight reel.

I appreciate your thoughts, sometimes we gotta ask ourselves, "Am I simply resisting change out of fear, and am I missing out because of it?"
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Old August 4th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

The 14-140mm is slower than a $2K XA10 videocamera. I personally don't see the point at a wedding of using a 14-140mm lens. I sold mine within a week of buying it. Great lens, but much too slow, IMO, for most wedding work. Just my opinion.

I use the 45mm F/1.8, 12mm F/2.0, and 25mm F/1.4 on two GH2s for a variety of shots, and I use videocameras as main cams during ceremony. I am not close to being a great creative shooter, so my methods are certainly only mine, but they do work wonders as 3rd and 4th cameras.
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Old August 4th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

Yeah I just meant for its range and dof it's most similar to a more traditional video camera. Keyword: most. Plus, since the sensor is larger than the ones in the XA10, it makes up for some of the slowness of the lens itself. But I dislike the lens as much as anyone, I don't like the colors, and of course, the speed. But again, it's "get the shot" factor is super high for many, but not all, wedding ceremonies.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #5
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
The footage looked very nice as the mega-OIS helped a lot but it certainly is a lot harder to control than a shoulder mount camcorder and a LOT more work too!!! How on earth do you pan/zoom and hold focus and keep the camera steady too??? I think I'll still use my big cams mainly at weddings but I certainly have a lot more respect and insight into using DSLR's handheld for shooting weddings!
Chris
I actually don't know anyone who tries to shoot DSLR weddings pretty much handheld -- usually tripod, monopod, steadicam, slider, jib... Shoulder mount? Haven't actually seen it for weddings for some reason (does anyone here do it?). Purely handheld sans rig? You'd have to be a little nuts, I think, though a Z-finder wedged against your eye plus IS on a lens does make the results smoother than one might think. But, yeah, camera shake is definitely a problem with smaller cameras.

How to keep a steady zoom? In my own case, the answer is: (1) do multiple takes of slow zooms; or (2) do a fast zoom... though I don't know how good this looks in wedding videos; (3) conceal a zoom in another movement, like a pan. The still lenses aren't designed to zoom nicely, and there's of course no motorised zoom to help you (unless you buy some sort of accessory), so I think that's one technique that's absent from many DSLR users' shot vocabulary, both within and without a wedding context...

How to hold focus all the time? Just becomes a headache you learn to live with I guess -- second nature to worry about it every time you frame a shot. But presumably, unless one is relying on autofocus, the same is true with any camera...
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Old October 7th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #6
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

Hi Adrian

Thanks for the insight..I use my GH1 now for shooting stills only and it does a good job...I was reared on video cameras and feel comfortable with them and doing camera movements with them.

I cannot see myself ever using DSLR's for weddings to be honest ... I can't really see any point in doing a huge rig build when my normal cams so the same job.

Nevertheless I still have great respect for thye guys that do use them!!

Chris
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Old October 8th, 2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

That's why when you shoot DSLR you have more than one people. 2 is okay but 3 is prefer. So, so many problems. First you have to check your white balance, exposure, and most important is that your shot in focus. If you're dealing with first generation of Canon DSLR then you have the 12 minute recording limit. The footage is just just so prettay though. That's why wedding videographers deal with it. And in some packages, it's just highlights so 12 minute may not be that big of a problem.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: New found respect for DSLR users

I shoot with cannon (t2i and t3i) DSLRs and GH2. The focusing just becomes second nature, obviously an autofucus would make life easier. I also don't zoom while shooting or if I do it's not in the final edit.

I used a shoulder rig for one wedding and liked it, but that was before I got a monopod. The monopod is much easier to run around with.

Magic Lantern on the canon cameras is a life saver too. It will automatically rerecord, so when you get to that 12 minute limit it will automatically restart. I usually have three cameras at the ceremony and two during the reception (one is a wide shot and one is a close up.)
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