Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 28th, 2014, 12:10 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Heres my setup -

A-cams - Canon 6D on monopod/tripod, Canon 550D on Flycam
B-Cam - Sony CX730

It seems to me that considering the 6D is so good in low light, it should be on the flycam for my first dance shots.

I like to have a camera for sole flycam use since re-attaching takes too long and too much adjustment - I need to use it on the fly as and when required.

The obvious suggestion is upgrade to a 5Dmk3 and move the 6D to the flycam. Keeping the 550D as my emergency camera.

But since I'm a solo shooter - does anyone thing my money could be better spent on a high end autofocus camera? I don't know much about whats on offer!

A shot from the back of the church is something i still don't do.

Can the 550D do continuous recording with Magic Lantern?

So many questions - sorry!
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 12:46 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 232
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Can the 550D do continuous recording with Magic Lantern?
Yeah it does, but with a 1 - 2 second or so gap in-between each 4GB file. I've always use it for when I use my 550D for long running events as a wider shot on a tripod.
Matt Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 12:55 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Cheers Matt, thats a good option to have then! Do you use your 550D unmanned?

I wonder how wide I could get the in-focus range? If i only used the angle very sparingly in edit - I could maybe get away with some noise - maybe f4.5 and ISO1200?

Whats the differences between 5D mk3 and other options I'm unfamiliar with like Sony EA50 or Canon C100? Sensor size? Quality? They are interchangeable lenses? Are they manual focus like DSLRs?
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 03:00 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

I hated the 550D above ISO800, but others may be happy with it. We used to run a 550D with ML in continuous mode (using the battery grip and two batteries) but I was never really happy with it.

The 5D3 is superb up to a point. It's excellent in low light and using it up to ISO6400 is pretty good if you're in a tight spot. 2000-3200 is fine most of the time. I haven't used the 6D but I'm assuming the 6D is similar, though the 5D3 doesn't have the moiré issues the 6D apparently has (though I've no personal experience of).

The EA50 is a good camera, but lacks ND filters (as do the DSLRs). I haven't played enough with one to be able to talk with any authority, so I'll leave that to others who have.

The C100 is truly awesome, especially in low light and there's an upgrade coming in Feb (at a cost) that will introduce continuous AF for at least the the centre of the frame using the majority of Canon EF / EF-S lenses. Just how useful that would be depends on how you place things in the frame ;) It also has the built in audio/XLRs and ND filters too.

The 'downside' of the C100 is I find I'm having a hard time matching it up with DSLRs in the same scenes because the C100 is so much sharper with more dynamic range so it stands out a mile every time. It's also not the small low profile run and gun of the DSLRs, though by the time out add audio recorders and microphones to a 5D3, the C100 doesn't look all that expensive or that large either.

It does have dual cards for auto backup recordings and the batteries last forever and 32GB cards last for hours ;)

Much depends on what budget you're looking to spend. Define the budget and perhaps we can point you in the right direction!
__________________
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 03:27 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 232
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

I do use the Canon 550D unmanned and tend to only use either maximum iso of 640 or 1250 (and have found the 1250 to be very useable, (was shooting to output to DVD though so perhaps the compression from HD to SD makes it look better).
Matt Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 04:12 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Cheers guys.

Dave, budget is a tricky one. I don't have the cash right now - but since I still work full time - I look at all my bookings as disposable income (minus tax).

So typically every year I look at my calendar and decide to invest after the cash comes in for the first few dates.

So... there's no fixed budget. I'll weigh up the benefits put forward versus the cost.

I also develop my business by upping my game, and then increasing prices when I start to feel current clients are getting a bargain. (I'm too much of a wimp to up my prices and then try to raise my game thereafter...)

Basically I really want better low light on the flycam for dancefloor. So buying a 5Dmk3 and relegating the 6D seems the obvious solution.

Other than that, I'm wanting to up my game during service and speeches. Since I'm a solo shooter - manual focus mult-cam shooting isn't possible (or at the least is risky).

I need maybe a zoom lens option - perhaps this is where I could use the 550D. I have no closeups (head and shoulders shots or reaction shots of guests as things stand.

Perhaps I could do with a shot from the back of the church too.

One specific extra question - are there video cameras that significantly beat the 5Dmk3/6D in low light for under 3k?
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
One specific extra question - are there video cameras that significantly beat the 5Dmk3/6D in low light for under 3k?
Not really, although lots of people love some of the new smaller handy cams and claim wonderful low light ability, in reality they are smearing the detail in order to achieve the low noise performance. Laws of physics mean you're unlikely to get great performance from a 1/3" sensor compared to even 1.6 crop cameras, though I do admit some of the newer 1/3" cameras have come a very long way. For 3K you could buy several ;)

If you're looking at zooms for flexibility and back of the church take a look at a couple of these:

1) Canon / Tamron / Sigma 24-70 f2.8. We used our Canon 24-70s a lot when we were shooting lots of DSLR and they provided great flexibility when mounting fixed cameras. Stopping down to f4 - f5.6 gives reasonable DOF, but even so, it's hard to get 'enough' DOF in some cases.

2) Sigma 18-35 f1.8 (crop cameras only). It's getting good reviews and provides excellent prime like low light performance without too much expense (£600ish).

3) For the back of the church, Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS II. This is a stunning lens when ever you use it, inside or out. Couple this with a variable ND and you have some stellar outside shallow DOF shots too. Be careful though, at 200mm f2.8 you'll get awesome back of the church shots but DOF could be as little as 6 or 7 inches!

4) Tokina 11-6 (crop only). It's an f2.8 with a great hyper focal distance, meaning you can set it to something like 2 or 3 feet and f8 and the entire world, including the B+G coming back down the isle are in focus. While some people like to get close ups of the B+G on their exit, having a wide shot showing the grandeur of the event can be just as effective. If you need full frame coverage then the Canon 14L (very expensive) has a hyper focal distance of 3 feet. I don't remember what the Samyang (manual focus only) lens is, but it's quite a decent lens, though it's only T3.5 whereas the others claim f2.8.

If you're looking for 'more' DOF (which I was always wanting in ceremonies with DSLR) then higher ISO stopped down is really the only solution That's partly why we went back to using regular video cameras in most ceremonies where light wasn't the limiting factor, and used the DSLRs for the other stuff. Having proper video cameras makes the unattended stuff a breeze and you get more DOF in to the bargain.

Of course, if you're trying to get that shallow DOF then DSLRs are the way to go, but just occasionally I'd have the FOB or MOB complain they were out of focus when we were concentrating on the B+G!

You may also want to look in to CamRanger. It provides remote monitoring, control and focusing of a DSLR using your iPhone or iPad and works with all the Canon DSLRs as far as I know. I've got one, played with it a little but not used it live at an event yet.
__________________
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 06:27 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

If you want to stay in the Canon DSLR family, I highly recommend the 70D with it's great live auto-focus. Have that on whatever you are actively handling yourself, like the processional or the dance floor - it's great. ISO isn't as good as the 6D/5d Mark II or III, but it's noticeably better than the 550D. I push it to 5000ISO when needed, in a dark, dark room.

I would use your 550D as your static, unmanned camera - whether it's from the back or not.

For instance, we usually use two cameras up front, off to the side, so we can get the bride and groom's faces during vows. That means having a 200mm lens most of the time, though on our 70D it can be a 135mm to get the same reach as our 5d Mark ii. I like the shallow DOF (f/4 is the best we can do for now, but would love f/2.8) during that moment, along with the compressed depth a long lens gets you.

For the early parts of the day, we've been considering adding the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 to our bag. That would be great on the 70D in a small room when they're getting ready, or for walking around the dance floor later.
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 28th, 2014, 11:59 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Luckey, OH
Posts: 192
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Clive, I am in the same boat as you. I am wanting to build my business and an upgrade is in the near future. I love the low light performance of the 6D, so I am also leaning toward the 5D3. I would rather have to manual focus and not use a light at the reception, so I have just about made up my mind. I have actually seen test footage of the 6D beating (not by much) both the 5D3 and C100 in low light performance (based on noise). It tempted me to just get another 6D; however, I also do photography and I am not impressed with the response of the 6D autofocus, thus I lean back to the 5D3. I have solely been a Nikon man for years, but am selling all that gear to get more canon lenses for video. A lot of people state how bad the moire is on the 6D, but I have yet to have any problem with it. I use it for weddings and corporate stuff and it is great. Of course I have seen footage of people "making" it look bad, but not once seen it in actual day to day work. I really think the 5D3 is the next step unless someone here makes a good argument against it for the same price.
Byron Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 03:13 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Great responses guys - really useful.

I use the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 on my 550D - great combo for flycam (but I'd love to use the 6D full frame to get proper wide flycam shots.

I use a Sigma 50mm 1.4 on my 6D as main cam during services. But having another camera with a zoom on a monopod would allow me to get some closer crops from time to time.

I wonder if a 70D would do as my other front corner un attended shot. Would the autofocus definately pick out the bride and groom rather than the guests in the church behind them? I assume you can set a spot focus point? But then if the B&G moved, you footage becomes useless.

Probably a good idea to keep the aperture as narrow as possible to minimise potential focus errors.

I could then use my CX730 camcorder as the shot from the back.
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 03:54 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Clive for locked off cameras you can't really beat your CX-730 - I have 2 of them locked off for church and speeches. The small sensor gives a nice deep DOF, which is exactly what you want for an unattended camera IMO, and they work really well in low light. In church I also have them on auto exposure as over an hour the light can change quite a lot - they work like a dream for me as B cams and the footage edits nicely with my Sony EA50 (I use the EA50 with metabones speedbooster and my EF lenses - 24-105mm in the church and 70-200mm for the speeches.)

For evening receptions it's the 5DIII no contest - I can film even in the darkest venues without having to resort to an on-camera light. I use the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 as it's pin sharp, is half the price of the canon and has IS - the canon does not

Pete

Last edited by Peter Rush; January 29th, 2014 at 04:43 AM.
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Thanks Peter, I wonder if I'm getting the best out of my CX730. Do you use manual settings quite a lot on it?

I also had some issues with the magic eyeball. I had some barely useable handheld footage from a wedding because as I moved around the room, the magic eyeball kept jumping'. Seemingly getting confused about what it should be locked onto.

I find it looks very poor when compared with my 6D footage, and it takes a fair bit of tweaking to make it look similar enough to switch between the two on timeline.

Also, as for evening reception - the 6D will handle just as well as the 5dmk3. It has moire issues, but these are irrelevant in low light scenarios. ISO ability on 6D is fantastic!

Is the EA50 not on a par with the 5Dmk3 in low light?
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 05:36 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

I've never really used the CX730 hand held as they are always locked off - They replaced my Panny TM900s and Sony CX700s and are way better. I'll have a play hand held and see if I have the same issue - I have on occasion grabbed one for an unexpected event popping up on the day and cannot recall an issue though. I like using little handycams for locked off cameras as, being a solo shooter, they are light to carry from venue to venue and are very quick to set up and take down - plus being light I can use light stands rather than tripods.

No the EA50 is not on par with the 5D for low light performance - I use the metabones speedbooster which lets me use my canon EF lenses and gains an extra stop - so my 24-105mm f4.0 goes down to f2.8 which is great for church and afternoon receptions but it's the 5DIII for evening receptions (I hate using a light) apart from first dance where I revert back to the EA50 with a light as I like to slow down the footage, which you can't do with the 5D in full HD as it's only 25p

Pete
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 06:04 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Belfast
Posts: 823
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Oh dear - when we bought out CX730s they were few and far between - now though they seem to be pretty non-existent.

There is the NX30 though which is memory serves me right is pretty much the same capture capability plus XLR audio and the stupid projector thing.

Any other competitors to the CX730?
Clive McLaughlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 29th, 2014, 06:09 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: Upgrade - but what? Solo shooter advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
The 'downside' of the C100 is I find I'm having a hard time matching it up with DSLRs in the same scenes because the C100 is so much sharper with more dynamic range so it stands out a mile every time. It's also not the small low profile run and gun of the DSLRs,
This was the reason that I sold my C300 as the image was just too good compared to the 5D2/5D3. The only real solution is to have matching models. In my case three C300s for shooting weddings would have been nuts but even three C100s couldn't be commercially justified for the prices we can charge. If you can adjust your shooting style to use just two cameras then two C100s might be affordable. I have spent far to much time in post fixing up & matching different cameras where the simple solution would be to use the same model.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:38 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network