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


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Old May 22nd, 2013, 07:30 PM   #1
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Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

Hey guys, hope you all are doing fine. I am starting a wedding videography business here in my country beside my regular video production where we mainly do documentaries and music videos etc. The plan is to start small and grow bigger as time goes by since i don't have too much of an investment to put in initially.
Right now i am in the middle of finalizing my equipment list and would like your suggestions on it. Keeping the budget of office space and all other things aside i am left with around $5000 for acquiring new video equipment and following is what i am looking into buying.

2 x Canon T4i
1 x Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 VC
2 x Rode Videomic pro
2 x Switronix TorchLED Bolt
1 x Manfrotto 561 Monopod
1 x Libec tripod
1 x Lowepro bag
4 x Canon batteries
4 x Sandisk Memory 32Gb
2 x Battery grip, UV filters etc.

Things i already have with me.

1 x Canon T2i
1 x Tokina 11-16mm 2.8
1 x Rokinon 35mm 1.4
1 x Zoom H4n
1 x Azden Shotgun mic
1 x Carryspeed Viewfinder
1 x Glidecam HD4000
1 x Dolly system
... and many other basic things

The decision to go for the Tamron 24-70 is cause of its excellent VC feature and it being full frame which will be needed when i shift to the 5D MK3 by end of the year. The other option could be to get the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 VC which is for crop sensors and buy a Zeiss 50mm 1.4 as well. I have many other things lined up as well but those are to be purchased down the road and for now i am making sure i have all the must have equipment with me.

I would really appreciate if you could post your remarks and suggestions. Thanks :)
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

I have owned both the Tammy 17-50VC and the new 24-70VC. There is no comparison, the 24-70 is far superior. Also, as you state, it will grow with you to FF in the future. It took me a few weeks to choke down the thought of the price of the 24-70. Once it got here, like most quality gear, the price is now an afterthought. The quality shines through and is proving to be well worth every penny that it cost.

The sticks, IMO, you are overspending there. If you never used the 561, you are in for a treat !!! That is my favorite weapon of choice !!!

The advice I would give you, DO NOT buy anything UNTIL it is going to make you money RIGHT NOW! Too many fledgling entrepreneurs have gone out of business because they had too much gear that they will use "some day" and not enough working capital that they need TODAY.

Good luck !!!!
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 12:27 AM   #3
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
I have owned both the Tammy 17-50VC and the new 24-70VC. There is no comparison, the 24-70 is far superior. Also, as you state, it will grow with you to FF in the future. It took me a few weeks to choke down the thought of the price of the 24-70. Once it got here, like most quality gear, the price is now an afterthought. The quality shines through and is proving to be well worth every penny that it cost.

The sticks, IMO, you are overspending there. If you never used the 561, you are in for a treat !!! That is my favorite weapon of choice !!!

The advice I would give you, DO NOT buy anything UNTIL it is going to make you money RIGHT NOW! Too many fledgling entrepreneurs have gone out of business because they had too much gear that they will use "some day" and not enough working capital that they need TODAY.

Good luck !!!!
Have to echo on the above. Many people become addicted to accumulating all sorts of gear without rarely using it.

Only you know your market. And whether or not you have enough business lined up to put it all to use ...

The list you have so far looks good to me. I wouldn't bother upgrading to the 5D MK3 ... what's the point? will it enable you to deliver a better story to your clients? ultimately that's what they're looking for. A good story ... your ability to the capture the day.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:04 AM   #4
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

"Many people become addicted to accumulating all sorts of gear but rarely use it".

Like me! I own a Philip Bloom VBag. I don't know why I own a Philip Bloom VBag. I've never used it. And I think the name "VBag" sounds weird. It's gathering dust next to my Digital Juice LowRider, my SnapTrack Cinerails, my Cinetics Cinesquid, my Aviator Travel Jib, my 35mm Redrock M2 adapter, my Rode NTG9, etc.

That said, I'd add some sort of lapel microphone to your list if you don't already have one. Sennheiser or Sony wireless, or something like Tram TR50 plus Roland R-05 to place in a groom's pocket. It's not cheap cheap, but it's worth it.

Would also add something like a Shure SM58 dynamic microphone for placing up against speakers. (This one is cheap cheap, and very worth it.)
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:11 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

Quote:
I wouldn't bother upgrading to the 5D MK3 ... what's the point?
Being able to shoot at above 10.000 iso would be one, the t4i gets too noisy at 3200 iso and I often have wished I could crank the iso up more without being punished with excessive noise. You can use a light, sure, but shooting a candlelight table the way you see it instead of flooding it with a on camera light makes all the difference if you want to show the "mood". The absence of moire and aliasing is a second one, it looks like the 5dIII gets a soft image as result of whatever technique is used to reduce any artifacts but that you can sharpen up in post, aliasing and moire on a t4i however can get very nasty and you need to shoot around that. Full frame is nice on the 5d as well but for me not worth the 4 times higher price compared to a t4i, but if you have a cropfactor camerabody and get a full frame body as well you get a extra set of focal lengths with all your lenses.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Being able to shoot at above 10.000 iso would be one, the t4i gets too noisy at 3200 iso and I often have wished I could crank the iso up more without being punished with excessive noise. You can use a light, sure, but shooting a candlelight table the way you see it instead of flooding it with a on camera light makes all the difference if you want to show the "mood". The absence of moire and aliasing is a second one, it looks like the 5dIII gets a soft image as result of whatever technique is used to reduce any artifacts but that you can sharpen up in post, aliasing and moire on a t4i however can get very nasty and you need to shoot around that. Full frame is nice on the 5d as well but for me not worth the 4 times higher price compared to a t4i, but if you have a cropfactor camerabody and get a full frame body as well you get a extra set of focal lengths with all your lenses.
That's what I actually meant. It's not worth the extra ...

I am assuming Shahzad will be filming muslim weddings in Pakistan. In halls / venues with lots of colours. I doubt he will ever need to film at such high ISO levels, if anything I would buy some hot head lights to carry around in your car.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:53 AM   #7
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

Personally I think there is a lot of point to the 5D3 if you can afford it. Noa has already the highlighted major advantages for video (extraordinary low light performance, total absence moire & aliasing, full frame look) but we shoot stills too & the 5D3 is the best stills camera on the market for a wedding photographer.

You will need a load more batteries than just four. Reckon on one batter for one hour shooting to be on the safe side. Then have spares.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:46 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
I am assuming Shahzad will be filming muslim weddings in Pakistan. In halls / venues with lots of colours. I doubt he will ever need to film at such high ISO levels, if anything I would buy some hot head lights to carry around in your car.
If you have the luxury of only shooting weddings where they flood the room with lights, then yes, you wouldn't need a camera that can do high iso's but about every wedding I do I need a camera that can handle high iso, any professional video/cinematographer will say; use video lights but I think we have come in a time where technology has given us the opportunity to do without at weddings, I know guests absolutely hate it when you point a high output video light at them and the darker it gets, the brighter your light will appear, you can also add some lights which you place high on a lightstand so you won't blind people (which I had been thinking about to light up a dancefloor during the first dance) but if the couple has choosen a candlelight only venue and you add big lights of your own you ruin that "mood" the couple chose the venue in the first place for. If I would have the money now I would get myself a extra 5dIII without much thought and don't buy any extra lights but unfortunately my budget has been blown on a nex-ea50 :)
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 03:52 AM   #9
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
If you have the luxury of only shooting weddings where they flood the room with lights, then yes, you wouldn't need a camera that can do high iso's but about every wedding I do I need a camera that can handle high iso, any professional video/cinematographer will say; use video lights but I think we have come in a time where technology has given us the opportunity to do without at weddings, I know guests absolutely hate it when you point a high output video light at them and the darker it gets, the brighter your light will appear, you can also add some lights which you place high on a lightstand so you won't blind people (which I had been thinking about to light up a dancefloor during the first dance) but if the couple has choosen a candlelight only venue and you add big lights of your own you ruin that "mood" the couple chose the venue in the first place for. If I would have the money now I would get myself a extra 5dIII without much thought and don't buy any extra lights but unfortunately my budget has been blown on a nex-ea50 :)
I've also blown my budget on my EA50. I was tempted by the 5D MK3.

But i've bought my EA50 for all the right reasons ... it does what I need it to do, and has a serious look that people pay for.

When some ones parting with 1000+ to hire you for the day, they not only expect a good video but for you to look the part. And turning up with DSLR's just doesn't look that great.

And this guy resides in pakistan, families in Asia always try and show off their wealth i.e. how much money they've spent sending their children off in to married life. They always like to send off their children in style (explains all the expensive gold & hired cars you see in asian weddings here in London) ... which is probably even more reason to not waste any money in the 5D3. If anything, buy yourself a Sony FS100 if you really want to upgrade.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:33 AM   #10
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

I got the ea50 because I wanted a "proper" videocamera which to me is a better allround videocamera then a 5DIII, but I didn't get it for it looks or to look more professional, I agree that if you shoot a corporate film then looks do count more but at a wedding with a 5dIII you will look equally professional as the photog who is using the same equipment you have.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:01 AM   #11
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

I wouldn't take hot lights to a wedding. There are bad enough when it's a controlled environment but the idea of guests knocking over redheads or tripping on the wires is just awful
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:51 AM   #12
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

Echo Nigel's comment above - I use these when I need more light than my hot shoe LED

http://www.amazon.co.uk/NP-F570-Batt...ed+video+light

And even then I use standbags on my lightstands in case anyone bumps into them
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 06:14 AM   #13
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I wouldn't take hot lights to a wedding.
You don't need to, there are enough cheap led lights out there that don't run so hot and are battery operated and which can be remotely controlled to switch on/of or to dim. You only need to secure the lightstand feet to the ground with tape or place it nearby the dj's equipment.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 06:44 AM   #14
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

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Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
Echo Nigel's comment above - I use these when I need more light than my hot shoe LED

LED 5080 Video Light + NP-F570 Battery + Charger For DV: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

And even then I use standbags on my lightstands in case anyone bumps into them
Those look like the 8 LED version of the 6 LED 5010As that we use (thanks to the tip from Chris Harding). The 5010As are much brighter than the 160 LED lights also available at around the same price so I guess that these would be really bright. They run for a good hour or so on clone Sony camcorder batteries.

I only mentioned hot lights because I thought that James recommended the OP get them.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 06:50 AM   #15
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Re: Suggestions on Equipment for a start up

You can also rent gear as you need it. Especially when you are first starting out and may not have the income from weddings to support purchasing gear. It also gives you the option to try out gear without destroying your budget.
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