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


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Old January 20th, 2013, 07:17 PM   #1
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FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Will i be disappointed with the Lux 4 low light of the FX7 when shooting weddings? I would be coming from the Lux rating of 1 with the VX2100. I use the Sony HVL video light during most receptions anyway, will this compensate enough?

Thanks all.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Hi Darryn

I use my Panasonics (1/4" chips) with a light and also my big sensor Sony also with a light...It's much better to get good footage and using a light for me is no big deal. Go for it!!

However I have found that the PowerLED lights are way better to use (I have a 6 and an 8 LED...Models 5010A and 5080) and on my Sony F770 batteries they last all night.

Chris
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

The FX7 sensors are 1/4", it's not much of a camera for wedding work. It's poor in low light and it's not even a native 16X9 sensor. You can certainly do better. I had one. Shot one wedding with it and got rid of mine at a loss, was happy to get rid of it. In a dark church you cannot use light and the camera stinks in low light.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #4
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Thanks Chris, great to hear. These powerLED lights give a broader light, is that why you like them? Just curious...
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

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The FX7 sensors are 1/4", it's not much of a camera for wedding work. It's poor in low light and it's not even a native 16X9 sensor. You can certainly do better. I had one. Shot one wedding with it and got rid of mine at a loss, was happy to get rid of it. In a dark church you cannot use light and the camera stinks in low light.
Any suggestions in the $1000 used range, I gotta get 2 and prefer Sony and tape
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Old January 20th, 2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

That's a fair point from Jeff!! Churches here are strict on lights!!!

Why still tape??? I has hesitant a few years back too and you will save a lot of money not having to buy tapes and have long capture times.

Stay away from the HC1500 and MC2000 ..they only have a single sensor and it's bad in low light!!

Under $1K for wedding cameras will be a tough call ... even used!!

Chris
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Old January 21st, 2013, 03:02 AM   #7
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

With such a tight budget you might consider a handicam, have a look at one of my videos, the first 01:30 is shot with 2 sony cx730 and one sony xr520 and starting from 02:55 the speeches where also done with 2 sony cx730's. Also the Indian ceremony was shot with 2 sony cx730 (all steadicam shots are with a dslr)

Those new Sony's are capable of providing you with a high quality image and they will blow away the fx7 in low light, they even rival my dslr with a f1.4 lens at 1600 iso as long as you don't zoom in because they ramp very quickly, but wide open they can see in the dark.

Password for the video is noa5
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Old January 21st, 2013, 05:01 AM   #8
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

We went from the VX2100 to the FX1 (very similar to the FX7) and it wasnt a problem at all. Dont forget that the VX2100 rating of 1 LUX is in the special low light mode which has a frame rate of 12fps so the chances are you never actually used its 1 lux capability.

You will be just fine. You might want to look at some light, even a 20watt will help you no end.

If you operate the camera in full manual and really understand it you will be amazed at the results you can achieve.

Heres the last thing we ever shot on the FX1 before moving to all DSLR. Password: fx1

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Old January 21st, 2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

I tend to support Noa. I moved from my FX1 to my NX5U partly because the little Sony cameras ( SR11 and XR500 at the time) made it look like the consumer camera. Secondly I shoot theatre ( always low light mixed with high contrast coloured lights ) and the AVCHD did a better job than HDV in lots of situations. The XR500 was noticeably sharper than the FX1 at a quarter of the price. The other nice thing moving away from tape was I can go to a show and not have to worry about tape changing or battery changing as all my cameras would happily record for more than 4 hours, the small ones closer to 6 hours. The other nice thing moving away from tape is the transfer to PC for editing. I can transfer the files from 4 cameras used in the show to the PC in about an hour. When I was all tape this was a days job !!!!! However moving away from tape means a solid backup routine. I use LTO3 data tape about close to your budget !!! However SD cards are close to tape in cost.

I use the little Sony's unattended most of the time and they do a great job in all sorts of situations. Like Noa says at wide angle they see in the dark.

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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

I think it's all a matter of preference, I have seen and used them all, the vx2100, the fx1, the fx1000 and if you want a level of controll and a camera of some size, then a second hand fx1 or even better a fx1000 (I you want to stay in the sony camp) will serve you very well. But with such a low budget then I think the fx1 would be the only option. The fx1 delivers a very nice image in good light with beautifull color but it suxs in low light. I think we have to be honest here that it is a first generation hdv camera and it is no match at all for today's generation of cameras in low light or even my little cx730.

Another thing to consider with buying such older camera's is warranty, because there isn't any, if there is a problem you might be quickly looking at repairing costs half the prize of what you have paid for it.

I have adapted very well now to shooting with handicams, I do use dslr's as well but the new small sony handicams are little wonders, they don't have the same resolution a ex1 can deliver and for that you might be better of buying a Panasonic but the clean image at very high gains, the very wide angle lens, the amazing stabilisation, the nice colour right out of the box and the very good auto controlls (if you would need them) have made me a fan.

I easily can carry several in a backpack, do multicam shots on my own and if one would get stolen or gets damaged I don't have to break the bank to get a new one. The video I posted is such a 3 cam example in the church with 2 camera's in full auto.
I did buy one small and very cheap shoulder support and a loupe to attach to the viewfinder for handheld work so I have a bit bigger size of camera to hold onto and I never could get that stable footage handheld with my xh-a1.

For me at least they have been the best small investment yet and certainly something to consider if you are buying on a budget.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Darryn, do you prefer tape simply because you haven't tried tapeless, or had much luck?

As Noa says, cameras like the Canon HF G10 blow away the FX7 and FX1. I had three VX2100s, the PD150, the FX7, the FX1 and and three FX1000s. I have shot with them all extensively.

The HF G10 blows all of the above cameras away, in my opinion, and there is the XA10 for more manual control and pro audio.

If you must stick with the tapes, I also suggest to go with the FX1 and you're at least getting 1/3" sensors. The FX1 is a fine camera, but compared to the VX2100 you will most definitely be disappointed, but it can't be helped. I went from the VX2100 to the FX1000 and was severely bummed out. The VX2100 is still the king of low light, it was the best camera, in my opinion, for wedding work. SO amazing in low light.

Eventually you do learn to work with the HD cameras, but it is a shock leaving behind the VX2100. Best of luck.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Dont forget that the VX2100 rating of 1 LUX is in the special low light mode which has a frame rate of 12fps so the chances are you never actually used its 1 lux capability.
This is certainly got my wheels spinning again, I did not know this and I do NOT shoot in low light mode! I know from experience what i can get away with when shooting the VX in low light and have been using this in my amateur-analysis when discounting models stating 3 or 4 lux. Is there a lux rating I do not know about when the VX is not in low light mode?

My VX has never used a light at a ceremony and has always provided great footage and I only add the light once they dim the lights at the reception. I just need a lateral move from the VX to HD, ideally in the Sony brand. If the VX had an HD button I would be all set :)
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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Darryn I think the fx7 would be a massive compromise for you. I would wait until your budget could handle getting the right camera for you rather than compromising. Especially if it is your livelihood.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Honestly, and I know it may not sound very professional, I would have a hard time using the smaller cams in the business of shooting weddings. It may even be a male thing, but the image of the bigger camera makes me "feel" like a pro even though I only scratch the surface of its capabilities. Last week I picked up a Vixia HF R300 for some different projects and I stared at it for hours thinking this could actually do the trick! While slightly embarrassing to admit, I only touch 2 buttons all day at weddings, start and zoom. I am in full auto mode, connect a beachtek adapter for my shotgun and lav mics for ceremony only, and that's it.

My biggest technical-spec requirement is the lux rating and I base that on my experience with the VX. I can get away with lack of XLR but just thought they would be convenient. Was sticking with sony since I have a gazzilion batteries. Sticking with tape due to my silly-workflow, but I am used to it. I like having 4 1-hour files when it comes to editing, I am not used to having the hundreds of files when importing digital files.

Sorry to ramble on, just had no idea that upgrading would be so taxing on the brain.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 10:14 AM   #15
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Re: FX7 Low Light? OK for weddings?

Well, I had that same feeling as I have been shooting with a Canon xh-a1 before and I know you don't have to show up on a corporate shoot with a handicam but you can at a wedding, that's why I showed you the trailer to see these camera's do perform and in my case outclass my xh-a1 in almost every aspect when it comes to image quality. My clients also choose me for what they see on my site or what I show them as demo at my place and what they hear from other people I worked for and not for what I shoot with, I have had not one client refusing me because of the camera's I use and for me it's a win win situation, low investment and high enough quality. If you have such a tight budget you better think twice before spending your money on a 5 to 7 year old camera.
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