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Old February 15th, 2014, 10:41 AM   #1
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Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

Hi All,

I'm just entering into the world of Wedding Videography (at a friend's wedding to begin with). I have a GH3, an EM 5 and a Panasonic X800. My preferred shoot would be with two GH3s, but I don't see that happening in the near future, as I'd prefer to support my gear for now. I already have a Manfrotto Videopod and will be shooting largely with the GH3 for delivery of a 4 minute video. Although I do plan on multicamming the actual wedding ceremony. The bride is not interested in audio, and just wants the song by James Morrison, 'You Make it Real' over some great footage.

Therefore, I'd like to spend 1000 on a slider + tripod solution. I've identified the Cinevate Duzi Slider as my preferred slider, but would like advice with regards to what video tripod could go with the Duzi.

I like the Duzi for its size/performance and affordability, whilst it refrains from being poorly constructed.

I've looked at getting a Benro tripod with S6 head, as that seems to be widely regarded as one of the best heads with a set of sticks for under 500. I'm flirting with the idea of getting two of them, so I can be locked down for the ceremony, but would really like to keep in the Manfrotto family if people suggest that there's a good alternative.

My question is: Would the Cinevate Duzi Slider mount to an S6 head? And also, would anyone recommend a 500 tripod/head solution that would beat the Benro S6 set, which comes in at 244? I don't mind if it's 200 extra.

Thank you for your help, I look forward to embedding myself into this site!

Appreciate any and all support,

Kind regards,

Craig
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Old February 15th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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I'm just entering into the world of Wedding Videography
Quote:
The bride is not interested in audio
She might not be interested but all your future clients will, if you want my honest opinion, leave the slider for the time being and get a decent fluid head tripod and a basic set of audiogear. A slider, steradicam, crane and all that other fancy stuff you can still add later on but for weddings you need to get your basics right first.

You have got your cameraneeds covered, your x800 can serve as a locked down camera for static wide or tele shots, the em5 is perfect for those creative run and gun shots because of it's build in stabilizer, just get a Oly 25mm or 45mm 1.8 lens if you are on budget and you are all set for the bride prep shooting handheld or any other creative shallow dof shot that you need to take quickly.
the x800/gh3 combo will be great for any other situation you run into, depending on which other zoom lenses you have for your gh3, like running 2 camera's at the ceremony or when shooting speeches if you want 2 angles covered.

Your audio is your second most important investment, I use a yamaha c24 with a clipon mic for the groom and a zoom h1 is also a great little recorder, then you also need a zoom h4 or a tascam dr40 to get the audio feed from the dj which will dramatically improve your audio quality compared to just recording sound in front of a soundspeaker or even worse directly with the inbuild microphones from your camera.

Then your tripod is the 3rd most important investment, the fluid head tripods are more expensive but worth the investment, I have a sachtler ace which is considering what you get very low prized but can give you very smooth pans even at full tele on your camera.

That's all you need to start making compelling weddingvideos, multiple camera angles, clear sound and stable footage. I f you manage to get the focus and whitebalance right throughout your footage your brides won't miss any slider or steadicam moves. Those will enhance your footage but I believe it is not the first investment you should make.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

Hi Craig,

Welcome to the forum.

Noa gave you some great advice there. While the Bride thinks she's not bothered about audio now, if you could deliver a film that actually has some audio from the vows and rings you could well end up getting a much more (positive) emotional response than a slider will ever get you. I'm not saying don't buy the slider / tripod, but audio kit is an absolute must.

Don't rely on "on-camera" audio in a church or even in a civil venue - especially if it's a manned camera with all the associated handling noise you'll get. On camera audio is generally junk with lots of noise picked up from all around instead of being able to isolate the Bride & Groom (and Vicar / Registrar). People can put up with a little shake here and there in the video, but bad audio will totally destroy a film.

So, a big +1 from me on getting some good audio during the ceremony and speeches if possible. You could even consider getting the Rode Smart Lav if you or the Groom has an iPhone. It could be the best 35 you even spend if you don't have other good audio solutions.

Even if you don't use audio for her film, you could use it later as your own practice material while you learn/practice to put together stories instead of just a sequence of shots strung together to the beat of some music. The difference in production value is huge.

I can't comment on the Benro system as I've never even seen one let alone used it.

As Noa said, the Sachtler Ace is a great tripod/head system for the price. There are others too, though at that price there's few to match the Ace in terms of the quality of heads etc. I don't own one myself, but if I were looking in that budget range I'd certainly be looking at it very hard.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

We like the Velbon DV7000 legs with a manfrotto 501 head.

100 for the Velbon and 150 for the head. The Velbon does come with a fluid head but it's no good for general usage. However, it makes a perfect head to go on top of your duzi.

We like the Velbon legs because they are 1kg lighter than the manfrotto equivalent, has a mid level spreader and can be cranked higher when needed. Was great one time to get my shots over the top of Brian Mays hair.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
We like the Velbon DV7000 legs with a manfrotto 501 head.

100 for the Velbon and 150 for the head. The Velbon does come with a fluid head but it's no good for general usage. However, it makes a perfect head to go on top of your duzi.

We like the Velbon legs because they are 1kg lighter than the manfrotto equivalent, has a mid level spreader and can be cranked higher when needed. Was great one time to get my shots over the top of Brian Mays hair.
LOL. I'd typed an entire paragraph on the Velbon DV-7000 legs (throw away the Velbon head) + Manfrotto head (we have 4 sets with 503HDV heads) but deleted as I thought it would not be seen as helpful. Glad you brought it up Danny :)
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Old February 15th, 2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

Before I got a slider, I'd make sure I had everything in my arsenal to get good audio. It's much more important than sliding shots, which are only eye candy and can't be used much in an actual video.

Also, personally I'd go with a solid tripod in the $500 range.

I got my first Bogen 3251/501 head combo 14 years ago for about $500 and it is still working fantastic to this day, having seen over 400 gigs. Pay for the quality up front and take care of your stuff and it will last a long time.

I just got a slider last year and while I do love the shots I can get with it, when doing solo, I never bring it because there is never time to set it up and get those shots during the day. Only use it on gigs where I have another person shooting, and even then, sometimes I don't.

Anyways, I'd emphasize getting audio (I use a combination of Senneheiser G3 system and also Tascam DR04 and DR05 in the venue to get music and speeches etc)
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Old February 15th, 2014, 07:21 PM   #7
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
She might not be interested but all your future clients will, if you want my honest opinion, leave the slider for the time being and get a decent fluid head tripod and a basic set of audiogear. A slider, steradicam, crane and all that other fancy stuff you can still add later on but for weddings you need to get your basics right first.

You have got your cameraneeds covered, your x800 can serve as a locked down camera for static wide or tele shots, the em5 is perfect for those creative run and gun shots because of it's build in stabilizer, just get a Oly 25mm or 45mm 1.8 lens if you are on budget and you are all set for the bride prep shooting handheld or any other creative shallow dof shot that you need to take quickly.
the x800/gh3 combo will be great for any other situation you run into, depending on which other zoom lenses you have for your gh3, like running 2 camera's at the ceremony or when shooting speeches if you want 2 angles covered.

Your audio is your second most important investment, I use a yamaha c24 with a clipon mic for the groom and a zoom h1 is also a great little recorder, then you also need a zoom h4 or a tascam dr40 to get the audio feed from the dj which will dramatically improve your audio quality compared to just recording sound in front of a soundspeaker or even worse directly with the inbuild microphones from your camera.

Then your tripod is the 3rd most important investment, the fluid head tripods are more expensive but worth the investment, I have a sachtler ace which is considering what you get very low prized but can give you very smooth pans even at full tele on your camera.

That's all you need to start making compelling weddingvideos, multiple camera angles, clear sound and stable footage. I f you manage to get the focus and whitebalance right throughout your footage your brides won't miss any slider or steadicam moves. Those will enhance your footage but I believe it is not the first investment you should make.
Hi Noa,

Love your movies, thank you for commenting.

I agree totally. A little background about me: I'm a teacher, who lives at home and invests heavily in photographic equipment as a hobby. It's grown into a passion of mine, and I constantly spend all my free time learning on CreativeLive. Most recently, I've been through two workshops about Wedding Cinematography by Rob Adams and his wife Vanessa, as well as another by Ray Roman. Loved them both and feel that I've learnt a lot from watching them. As I live at home (with my parents), I've had the chance to travel and have fallen in love with photography. I started with a Canon 1000D about 8 years ago, and have progressed to owning the Micro Four Thirds kits, as well as the X800. I have the following lenses: Olympus 12 f2, Panasonic 25mm f1.4, Olympus 45mm f1.8 and the Olympus 75mm f1.8. I'm hoping my primes enable me to shoot in low light, which I know is a big help in Wedding Photography. I initially just decided to go the prime route for the supposed, better IQ. I'm looking for resources to learn film theory, as well as storytelling... so if you have any ideas, I'm all ears! There's one or two about filmmaking and storytelling on CreativeLive, so I'm thinking of getting those. I think I understand a bit of theory from the aforementioned training courses that I've watched, but definitely want to know as much as possible. I know that gear is only a small part of filmmaking, and I'll be editing using a MacBook Pro with Final Cut Pro X. I have both and have used Final Cut a reasonable amount to know my way around. My background (degree) is in Computer Science.

As I live at home, and fund what I hope to be my future career through my wages, I have the enviable position to know that my income is steady and I can invest without worry of having future clients. That said, in two years, I hope to make this something more. So please don't write me off as an enthusiast and stop helping me, I know that I'm an amateur to begin with, but have to start somewhere.

Given that I have no future clients as of right now, and the fact that she's stressed no microphones whatsoever in the wedding ceremony, I feel that a proposed slider would actually be something that she would appreciate, and something that would separate my footage and help with setting the scene. I'd also like to shoot the venue with a timelapse too. Anyways, I just figured that I could invest in audio after the wedding, but with the time running down now (April) and with only so much funds left, I just wanted to make the best buy for this, my only foreseeable wedding! After this summary, do you still think I'm stupid? It's okay if so!!! :)

I'm definitely with you on the decent tripod/fluid head though! I just looked up the Sachtler ACE and will definitely put that on my list to buy. Would this be lightyears ahead of the Benro with S6 head and any Manfrotto counterpart? Thank you for solving my tripod needs. Absolute headache.

I've looked into the Zoom H4n... I would definitely like to hook that up... I just don't know if the speeches will come through a mic and if I'll get a muddy feed? The Groom would like the speeches recorded... given the no mic policy of the bride, is the only way around this the H4n to hook into the board? Or is there a table alternative?

I am definitely going to strive to get the right exposures, white balance and focus points... that was one of the positives to invest in the GH3... love its button layout. The image quality is amazing too.

The only other question I have for you, is should I shoot 24p given that the EM-5 can't???

Thanks Noa!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
Hi Craig,

Welcome to the forum.

Noa gave you some great advice there. While the Bride thinks she's not bothered about audio now, if you could deliver a film that actually has some audio from the vows and rings you could well end up getting a much more (positive) emotional response than a slider will ever get you. I'm not saying don't buy the slider / tripod, but audio kit is an absolute must.

Don't rely on "on-camera" audio in a church or even in a civil venue - especially if it's a manned camera with all the associated handling noise you'll get. On camera audio is generally junk with lots of noise picked up from all around instead of being able to isolate the Bride & Groom (and Vicar / Registrar). People can put up with a little shake here and there in the video, but bad audio will totally destroy a film.

So, a big +1 from me on getting some good audio during the ceremony and speeches if possible. You could even consider getting the Rode Smart Lav if you or the Groom has an iPhone. It could be the best 35 you even spend if you don't have other good audio solutions.

Even if you don't use audio for her film, you could use it later as your own practice material while you learn/practice to put together stories instead of just a sequence of shots strung together to the beat of some music. The difference in production value is huge.

I can't comment on the Benro system as I've never even seen one let alone used it.

As Noa said, the Sachtler Ace is a great tripod/head system for the price. There are others too, though at that price there's few to match the Ace in terms of the quality of heads etc. I don't own one myself, but if I were looking in that budget range I'd certainly be looking at it very hard.
Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

I agree totally about audio... Rob Adams drilled it as much as he could in his training sessions. I know that audio would set this apart... but the Bride wishes for a video with "You Make it Real by James Morrison". They also have a band that's going to be playing there... this is like a 20k wedding I think... I really think she should be thinking about audio, but she's not interested and it's her wedding, so I'm happy and thankful that she wishes for me to shoot it and will aim to deliver what she wants as much as I can.

And yeah, I even showed them the Rodes! Shame.

Thanks for all your help Dave!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
We like the Velbon DV7000 legs with a manfrotto 501 head.

100 for the Velbon and 150 for the head. The Velbon does come with a fluid head but it's no good for general usage. However, it makes a perfect head to go on top of your duzi.

We like the Velbon legs because they are 1kg lighter than the manfrotto equivalent, has a mid level spreader and can be cranked higher when needed. Was great one time to get my shots over the top of Brian Mays hair.
Thanks for this Danny! Sounds like another one to consider... but would you consider the Sachtler over it if you could start out again now?

Thanks for your input.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 02:45 AM   #8
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Sounds like another one to consider... but would you consider the Sachtler over it if you could start out again now?
I'll let Danny answer as well, but for my part, I'll probably take the Sachter over the Velbon/Manfrotto head every time, subject to weight, portability, easy up/down etc and you're ability to get everything compatible from day 1. If you plan on using monopods then you're likely to be going with Manfrotto, so somewhere along the lines you'll have a camera with a Sachtler mounting plate and a monopod that only takes Manfrotto. Nightmare when you're in a hurry. Then you start getting in to what adapters you can buy to make everything compatible again.

The Manfrotto heads really don't last that long if you work them hard. If you're kind to them they will last longer. The Velbon legs have been good overall, for their price but I won't be buying more. With heavier cameras they can have a little bit of a twist and recoil at the end of pans. It's not there every time (not by a long way), and it's not very much, but it's something we're always aware of.

A tripod / head kit is something you really don't want to be buying again and again. Our next set of sticks/head are likely to be Miller, but not for weddings, there's too much running about.

When I'm in a hurry EVERYTHING needs to match. All the cameras have the same quick release plate on so any camera can go on any tripod / slider / monopod etc. I lost count of the number of times I'd have the wrong camera / head combo and have to go find another piece of kit.
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Old February 16th, 2014, 03:18 AM   #9
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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this is like a 20k wedding I think...
It's really not hard to spent 20K on a wedding and up to a couple of years ago many people were doing just that. Since the recession we've noticed budgets have come down quite a bit.

Remember, your bride is spending 20K and still didn't have a video booked. Most people don't.

When you consider how much Rob charges, they'll need to be spending a lot more than 20K before they even consider Rob's kind of budget. So, while Creative Live is interesting (I've watched a few too), realise that's not where the vast majority of brides and weddings are in the UK. Creative Live definitely caters to the higher end USA market place.

If you were hoping for $10K (video fee) per wedding in Liverpool then the jobs are going to be few and far between, so it's important to get expectations right. In the UK there's always the guy down the street offering all day for 500 ;)

Get decent kit to start with so you only have to buy once.

Sorry, I've got to run to a job - back later.....;)
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Old February 16th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Sorry, I've got to run to a job - back later.....;)
And I have just got back from one :) Been shooting a school's play on a stage with my lovely sony cx730's and used the sachtler ace for the first time in a challenging environment, was standing way back so had to zoom in completely to get a decent close up of the action on the floor, my second tripod, one that has a manfrotto 501hdv head was for the locked of wide shot.

Quote:
Would this be lightyears ahead of the Benro with S6 head and any Manfrotto counterpart?
I can't speak for any other tripod as the manfrotto 501hdv was my first "serious" tripod and has served me very well over the years but the Sachtler is way better, I was able to make some very smooth pans with the cx730 zoomed in completely, would have been much more difficult with the 501hdv head. It also has several adjustments in friction for pan and tilt movements.

Originally I was planning to get a Miller ds10 or ds20 but both where twice the price, I"m sure they are better but not twice as good.

Quote:
I just don't know if the speeches will come through a mic and if I'll get a muddy feed?
I use a Tascam dr40 to get my sound from the dj's mixer, has always been much better then the onboard mike, used it also today to capture the sound at the school's play and that quality is very good, I have a 10 meter xlr cable that I use to get the DR40 to where I"m standing so I can monitor teh sound with my headphones and watch the levels on the recorder as well. Incase I"m not able to get a clear signal I just tape my Yamaha c24 onto the microphone with some velcrotape.

I also got a tascam dr100 which should be able to send sound directly into a camera that has no xlr so I don't have to sync in post anymore, I only need to find some time to test it before it's put to use.

There are many other option to capture your audio and I"m sure others will chime in as well with suggestions, for me the yamaha c24, the zoom h1 and the tascam dr40 are a good combo for most my audio needs during a wedding.

Quote:
I have the following lenses...
You have the same lenses I have, except for the 45mm, I use the 75mm to get headshots at a reception, the 25mm for my artsy fartsy shots, the 12mm for my steadicam and a 12-35mm f2.8 for general run and gun, as much as you might love primes, you need to get a fast zoomlens as well, with primes the frame you are after dictates the position from the object you are shooting, that's ok for controlled shoots but at wedding you need something with a zoomrange as you will be moving around and won't be able to stand where you like.

Quote:
should I shoot 24p given that the EM-5 can't
As you are in pal land using 30p mixed with 25 or 50p from your gh3 might cause issues, most mentioned is that the shutterspeed would cause issues with lights that could flicker but since you can adjust that I first would need to see how that works out in real life, there has been discussions here that a Premiere can easily mix and match framerates but what I have seen as a result in a demo was visible stuttering on pan movements, not the kind of stuttering you would get when you shoot 25p and pan too fast but it looked like missing frames to me.

My concern would be how audio from 30p camera in a 25p project would sound like if you try to sync it with a external recorder, just recently I remembered I could test myself as I have a sony rx10 which is pal/ntsc switchable so I"m going to run some shooting and editing tests to see if it can be matched easily, if that is the case the Olympus em1 might be next on my list, I"d love to just slap on the 75mm f1.8 and shoot handheld without any jitter in the image. I had a look at the gh4 where 4k could be beneficial in cropping in post but I"m going to wait a few months to see how it performs, currently I have sufficient gear to get through another year of weddings. :)
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Old February 16th, 2014, 12:32 PM   #11
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

First, you need to be shooting all the same frame rates on all cameras. If you don't you could have a real problem mixing audio and even some multi cam shots unless you're going to chop it up manually and I guarantee you'll see some quality drop if you start mixing different frame rates on the same timeline. Given the excellent multi cam features in FCPX it would be a shames not to use it. Naturally, you'll take the time to test all this before the day ;)

I don't see any reason to shoot 24p in the UK. Set everything to 25p or 50p.

Don't rely on a feed from the mic/house/DJ. If you can get it, great, but even then if could be too weak, over driven (distorted) or just sound plain crap. Make sure you have headphones ready to listen to the feed as soon as the speeches get underway if at all possible. If you get a good feed, smile, your life will be much easier. If you're relying on it and it doesn't work out then you're screwed. Also, when editing a feed, make sure you add some ambient sound so when they say something witty you can also hear the audience reactions.

We've been to venues that have a great feeds one time and bad the next, venues that don't ever have a feed (which usually makes it easier in my book), venues that 'did' and now don't etc. We've had feeds that were perfect at the start then suddenly cut off when some bright spark played with the mixer during the speech, or it's gone quiet without reason, or the volume increased to overload, or the venue's mic cut out and they decided to shout instead. Not everyone will use the mic that the venue provided either. You just can't "rely" on anything from the house/DJ feed. Always always always have a plan B & C for audio.

Worst case, get a recorder on a light stand pointed at one of the loud speakers and naturally, make sure it's not overloading AND that it's actually recording (double & triple check this, I'm not kidding!).

Cheapish table top mics/recorders that are good are the Zoom H1. You can get a couple of those for the price of one H4n, though you won't get the XLR or 1/4" inputs. We have a couple of H4n units, a couple of H1, a Tascam DR-60D and of course lots of XLRs inputs to our cameras that get wireless feeds from our Sennheiser kits, usually placed on the table in front of the people speaking if we don't directly mic them (which we prefer to do). If you decide to go the wireless route make sure you have a backup plan (e.g. the H1) in case the wireless fails.

Also, make sure the best man/men isn't/aren't going to walk about or go to another place in the room to make their speech, i.e. to a computer to run a slide show. If they do (and it can happen without warning if you didn't see them setting it up before hand) you'll need to be able to capture their sound in that location instead. Of course, don't forget to film the slide show in case you can't get the original copy.

Not too long ago we had a situation where there were 6 (six!) best men spread around the room each chipping in a few sentences here and there,seemingly randomly, for what turned out to be more than an hour of speech. That was a tough one to cover for both audio and video. Not knowing who was going to speak next drove me nuts!

Alternatively, coming back to a more standard audio setup, if you're on a budget, a Shure SM58 mic (70 each?) feeding the inputs on a single H4n from one end of a top table (best man) with the H4n built in mics capturing the middle (father and groom) can work well. If you go this route don't forget some gaffers tape to secure the cable so no one trips up and sues you.

Oh, and that brings up the point about insurance. You do have public liability insurance right? You may get away without it if you're doing it for free and can claim to be a "guest", but if you're not then the venue will consider you a contractor and may want to see your insurance certificate before letting you film!

Sorry, this got a bit sidetracked from your tripod question, but others could be reading this who are just starting out too.....

So, back on topic, have you considered attending BVE on the 25th - 27th in London? Lots of companies going to be there but not sure how it works out with school time...
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Last edited by Dave Partington; February 16th, 2014 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Wow - typos. Need to key a new keyboard!
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Old February 16th, 2014, 02:44 PM   #12
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

Craig, funny you ask that question. As we've just launched a new studio which inherited a lot of our gear, we had the chance to buy our dream kit. New slider, zoom h6 and for the tripods... More velbon and manfrottos. The new 502 this time.

We're totally happy with the stability and as I said, lighter than a set of manfrotto legs. Unless you go for carbon which is then crazy expensive. I've tried a lot of tripods and I keep coming back to the cheap and cheerful velbon. The crank is also soooo useful.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
I'll let Danny answer as well, but for my part, I'll probably take the Sachter over the Velbon/Manfrotto head every time, subject to weight, portability, easy up/down etc and you're ability to get everything compatible from day 1. If you plan on using monopods then you're likely to be going with Manfrotto, so somewhere along the lines you'll have a camera with a Sachtler mounting plate and a monopod that only takes Manfrotto. Nightmare when you're in a hurry. Then you start getting in to what adapters you can buy to make everything compatible again.

The Manfrotto heads really don't last that long if you work them hard. If you're kind to them they will last longer. The Velbon legs have been good overall, for their price but I won't be buying more. With heavier cameras they can have a little bit of a twist and recoil at the end of pans. It's not there every time (not by a long way), and it's not very much, but it's something we're always aware of.

A tripod / head kit is something you really don't want to be buying again and again. Our next set of sticks/head are likely to be Miller, but not for weddings, there's too much running about.

When I'm in a hurry EVERYTHING needs to match. All the cameras have the same quick release plate on so any camera can go on any tripod / slider / monopod etc. I lost count of the number of times I'd have the wrong camera / head combo and have to go find another piece of kit.
Ugh. So is there a Manfrotto to Sachter adaptor, or vice versa? Which way round would you recommend?

So will the Sachter legs/head outlast the Manfrotto by some way?

That does sound like a nightmare. I'll definitely sort that out eventually. I'd like to be shooting with 3 GH3s if I do a good job and decide to pursue this. But for the time being, I'm going to use the EM 5 + X800 with the GH3 as the main.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
It's really not hard to spent 20K on a wedding and up to a couple of years ago many people were doing just that. Since the recession we've noticed budgets have come down quite a bit.

Remember, your bride is spending 20K and still didn't have a video booked. Most people don't.

When you consider how much Rob charges, they'll need to be spending a lot more than 20K before they even consider Rob's kind of budget. So, while Creative Live is interesting (I've watched a few too), realise that's not where the vast majority of brides and weddings are in the UK. Creative Live definitely caters to the higher end USA market place.

If you were hoping for $10K (video fee) per wedding in Liverpool then the jobs are going to be few and far between, so it's important to get expectations right. In the UK there's always the guy down the street offering all day for 500 ;)

Get decent kit to start with so you only have to buy once.

Sorry, I've got to run to a job - back later.....;)
Very true. I guess I just see 20K as a massive amount and want to do their memories of the day as well as I can.

Yeah... By the way, how does the guy down the street make a living with charging 500??? Truly baffles me when you consider journey time, equipment etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
And I have just got back from one :) Been shooting a school's play on a stage with my lovely sony cx730's and used the sachtler ace for the first time in a challenging environment, was standing way back so had to zoom in completely to get a decent close up of the action on the floor, my second tripod, one that has a manfrotto 501hdv head was for the locked of wide shot.

I can't speak for any other tripod as the manfrotto 501hdv was my first "serious" tripod and has served me very well over the years but the Sachtler is way better, I was able to make some very smooth pans with the cx730 zoomed in completely, would have been much more difficult with the 501hdv head. It also has several adjustments in friction for pan and tilt movements.

Originally I was planning to get a Miller ds10 or ds20 but both where twice the price, I"m sure they are better but not twice as good.

I use a Tascam dr40 to get my sound from the dj's mixer, has always been much better then the onboard mike, used it also today to capture the sound at the school's play and that quality is very good, I have a 10 meter xlr cable that I use to get the DR40 to where I"m standing so I can monitor teh sound with my headphones and watch the levels on the recorder as well. Incase I"m not able to get a clear signal I just tape my Yamaha c24 onto the microphone with some velcrotape.

I also got a tascam dr100 which should be able to send sound directly into a camera that has no xlr so I don't have to sync in post anymore, I only need to find some time to test it before it's put to use.

There are many other option to capture your audio and I"m sure others will chime in as well with suggestions, for me the yamaha c24, the zoom h1 and the tascam dr40 are a good combo for most my audio needs during a wedding.

You have the same lenses I have, except for the 45mm, I use the 75mm to get headshots at a reception, the 25mm for my artsy fartsy shots, the 12mm for my steadicam and a 12-35mm f2.8 for general run and gun, as much as you might love primes, you need to get a fast zoomlens as well, with primes the frame you are after dictates the position from the object you are shooting, that's ok for controlled shoots but at wedding you need something with a zoomrange as you will be moving around and won't be able to stand where you like.

As you are in pal land using 30p mixed with 25 or 50p from your gh3 might cause issues, most mentioned is that the shutterspeed would cause issues with lights that could flicker but since you can adjust that I first would need to see how that works out in real life, there has been discussions here that a Premiere can easily mix and match framerates but what I have seen as a result in a demo was visible stuttering on pan movements, not the kind of stuttering you would get when you shoot 25p and pan too fast but it looked like missing frames to me.

My concern would be how audio from 30p camera in a 25p project would sound like if you try to sync it with a external recorder, just recently I remembered I could test myself as I have a sony rx10 which is pal/ntsc switchable so I"m going to run some shooting and editing tests to see if it can be matched easily, if that is the case the Olympus em1 might be next on my list, I"d love to just slap on the 75mm f1.8 and shoot handheld without any jitter in the image. I had a look at the gh4 where 4k could be beneficial in cropping in post but I"m going to wait a few months to see how it performs, currently I have sufficient gear to get through another year of weddings. :)
Sachtler sounds amazing, thanks for the recommendation. Glad it served you well.

Thanks for all the recorder nominations, I'll definitely take a look.

Is 2.8 fast enough? Or do you have your own lighting? Out of interest, what ISO will you take your GH3 up to? Don't know if i can afford a 12-35 for this wedding... Doubt the 12-50 Oly will serve me well either? :/

Sounds good, the EM 1 does look amazing... I would wait for 4k as well considering that would cripple most editing setup right now, even though cropping to 1080 sounds great.

How are the Olympus codecs for video? And with my set up (X800, EM 5 & GH3) should I shoot 30p on all (if that's even possible, I'm away on a course & can't check), or given that there will be no audio, should I chance 24 as I will mainly use GH3 for most, except for the ceremony?

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Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
First, you need to be shooting all the same frame rates on all cameras. If you don't you could have a real problem mixing audio and even some multi cam shots unless you're going to chop it up manually and I guarantee you'll see some quality drop if you start mixing different frame rates on the same timeline. Given the excellent multi cam features in FCPX it would be a shames not to use it. Naturally, you'll take the time to test all this before the day ;)

I don't see any reason to shoot 24p in the UK. Set everything to 25p or 50p.

Don't rely on a feed from the mic/house/DJ. If you can get it, great, but even then if could be too weak, over driven (distorted) or just sound plain crap. Make sure you have headphones ready to listen to the feed as soon as the speeches get underway if at all possible. If you get a good feed, smile, your life will be much easier. If you're relying on it and it doesn't work out then you're screwed. Also, when editing a feed, make sure you add some ambient sound so when they say something witty you can also hear the audience reactions.

We've been to venues that have a great feeds one time and bad the next, venues that don't ever have a feed (which usually makes it easier in my book), venues that 'did' and now don't etc. We've had feeds that were perfect at the start then suddenly cut off when some bright spark played with the mixer during the speech, or it's gone quiet without reason, or the volume increased to overload, or the venue's mic cut out and they decided to shout instead. Not everyone will use the mic that the venue provided either. You just can't "rely" on anything from the house/DJ feed. Always always always have a plan B & C for audio.

Worst case, get a recorder on a light stand pointed at one of the loud speakers and naturally, make sure it's not overloading AND that it's actually recording (double & triple check this, I'm not kidding!).

Cheapish table top mics/recorders that are good are the Zoom H1. You can get a couple of those for the price of one H4n, though you won't get the XLR or 1/4" inputs. We have a couple of H4n units, a couple of H1, a Tascam DR-60D and of course lots of XLRs inputs to our cameras that get wireless feeds from our Sennheiser kits, usually placed on the table in front of the people speaking if we don't directly mic them (which we prefer to do). If you decide to go the wireless route make sure you have a backup plan (e.g. the H1) in case the wireless fails.

Also, make sure the best man/men isn't/aren't going to walk about or go to another place in the room to make their speech, i.e. to a computer to run a slide show. If they do (and it can happen without warning if you didn't see them setting it up before hand) you'll need to be able to capture their sound in that location instead. Of course, don't forget to film the slide show in case you can't get the original copy.

Not too long ago we had a situation where there were 6 (six!) best men spread around the room each chipping in a few sentences here and there,seemingly randomly, for what turned out to be more than an hour of speech. That was a tough one to cover for both audio and video. Not knowing who was going to speak next drove me nuts!

Alternatively, coming back to a more standard audio setup, if you're on a budget, a Shure SM58 mic (70 each?) feeding the inputs on a single H4n from one end of a top table (best man) with the H4n built in mics capturing the middle (father and groom) can work well. If you go this route don't forget some gaffers tape to secure the cable so no one trips up and sues you.

Oh, and that brings up the point about insurance. You do have public liability insurance right? You may get away without it if you're doing it for free and can claim to be a "guest", but if you're not then the venue will consider you a contractor and may want to see your insurance certificate before letting you film!

Sorry, this got a bit sidetracked from your tripod question, but others could be reading this who are just starting out too.....

So, back on topic, have you considered attending BVE on the 25th - 27th in London? Lots of companies going to be there but not sure how it works out with school time...
Naturally :) I am shooting my niece's christening as a practice, a week earlier. Should be good to have a tinker. Although Parallels seems to be a good programme for syncing shots too?

Do GH3s even shoot 25p? I might be able to do 50 on all... Love the look of 24p though!!! :( lol.

Thanks for the tips with the audio. A lot to consider there, and a while before my audio kit matches yours. How do you get the presentations? Do you mean if they're videos, or saving the PPT/Keynote for example? I'll be sure to record it, thanks.

That's insane @ the 6.... :/ Don't envy you there.

Thanks for the standard setup, I'll check that out.

Ahhhh :/ well, I am doing it for free, do you think I should get insurance? Is it possible to get insured for the day?

I hadn't considered it, but checked the dates and I'm teaching then. What will the conference cover? Sounds interesting!

@Danny (can't quote you for some reason), thanks for your tips... I'll check out the Velbron, butt he Sachtler sounds good too. Glad you've got your best kit now! And thanks to everyone for your help!
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Old February 17th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #14
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Ugh. So is there a Manfrotto to Sachter adaptor, or vice versa? Which way round would you recommend?
You can buy Manfrotto quick release (QR) plate bases that you'd screw to the Sachtler QR plate. I've used these for my other gear, e.g. telepromter, to make it easier to mount a camera quickly.

Example: 577 Rapid Connect Adapter w Sliding Mounting Plate 501PL for Manfrotto HEAD HDV | eBay

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
By the way, how does the guy down the street make a living with charging 500??? Truly baffles me when you consider journey time, equipment etc.
Generally they don't. There's an amazing number of people about who come and go but are doing this on the side for fun and never make it to full time status (absolutely nothing wrong with doing it part time, as long as you're giving a great service).

They typically spend just a few hundred on consumer gear and think "I'll do a couple of weddings for 500 and it will pay for all the gear, then if I do another one it's all profit". They don't get insurance, they don't pay the music royalties, don't count the travel costs, they don't count their time properly, they just see pound notes and think it's awesome.

Unfortunately most of the time their videos pretty much match the price but it really screws with the local market for those that 'are' full time or those who are doing it part time but still offer a great service and a great product. OTOH, they are perhaps servicing a segment of the market that simply doesn't care about quality and just want a cheap video ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Naturally :) I am shooting my niece's christening as a practice, a week earlier. Should be good to have a tinker. Although Parallels seems to be a good programme for syncing shots too?
You don't have to wait for the live event to practice the multi cam stuff. Set all your cameras up in your garden, park, road, anywhere really. Get them all running, all recording audio then import them and see how well they sync.

Haven't used parallels for sync. I've used PluralEyes with FCP7 and Premiere Pro but now I use FCPX's own internal sync and it's worked about 99.999% of the time perfectly well and doesn't have the side effects of creating ghost files/sequences within the app like PluralEyes did.

There's a definite knack to FCPX sync, and the very first thing to do is name your camera angles (in the info panel) for each clip (you can do all from the same camera in a single operation). Once you've done that the sync just works. If you don't do that then it's all up for grabs. Once you have them sync'd (as a multi cam) editing the multiple angles is trivial. If you haven't done it before check out the plethora of free videos on YouTube or get the training from Ripple.com or LarryJordan.com or one or two others out there. It will save you hours of just mousing around and not being sure what's going on.
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Old February 17th, 2014, 03:37 PM   #15
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Re: Cinevate Duzi slider and a tripod under 500 to go with it?

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Do GH3s even shoot 25p?
Now I"m confused, you live in PAL land and you have a gh3 and you are asking if it shoots 25p?
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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
How are the Olympus codecs for video?
Same here, you have a em5 and you are asking me how their codecs are? I don't own a Olympus so wouldn't now. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Is 2.8 fast enough? Or do you have your own lighting? Out of interest, what ISO will you take your GH3 up to?
I use 3200 iso a lot at darker receptions and 6400 if I really need to. 6400 iso still looks better then what 3200 iso did look like on my 550d.

f2.8 is fast enough for most situations but it can be a problem incase of a candlelit venue. the 12-50 Oly would be a better/cheaper solution for you since you have a Olympus em5 so you don't need to pay the high premium prize for a stabilized lens.

Quote:
And with my set up (X800, EM 5 & GH3) should I shoot 30p on all (if that's even possible, I'm away on a course & can't check)
If you live in pal land you shouldn't, shoot 25 or 50p, mix in the 30p from your em5 in a 25 or 50p project.
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