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Old May 4th, 2014, 08:20 AM   #1
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Reception Interview Cam?

So I have some requests to have someone go around with a cam and interview guests. Basically ask them if they have anything they would like to say to the bride and groom.

My question becomes looking for a video cam that would look decent paired up with my 5D mark iii i use in the video, but yet good in low light and easy for my wife to operate. Also a decent priced one since I'm not sure how much this will be requested or how it will go. Thanks
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Old May 4th, 2014, 10:03 AM   #2
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

I'm not sure about your timeframe, but the Sony a7s is going to be an excellent lowlight performer with a lot of video functionality. Not realeased yet. Maybe a little cheaper than the Mark III.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #3
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

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Originally Posted by Michael Blumm View Post
So I have some requests to have someone go around with a cam and interview guests. Basically ask them if they have anything they would like to say to the bride and groom.
A camera is one thing but have you considered audio? You will be shooting in a loud environment so you will need the right microphone and a way to either feed the audio signal direct into the camera or sync in post.

Another thing, "easy" and "dslr" don't rhyme, how much experience does your wife have with a camera? If it's very limited give her a handicam like the Sony cx900.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

yea, I do NOT want a dslr for her.... something like a handy cam I would assume... I have a wireless sennheiser mic and the wireless system that I would like to maybe feed into the cam? could maybe even get a wire mic for it?
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Old May 4th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

And just so you know I completely understand it will not look at all DSLR quality I am just looking for something that I guess won't look like crap in low light yet easy enough for a newbie to use and something thats not gonna cost allot because this function may not work for me...
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Old May 4th, 2014, 04:17 PM   #6
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

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something thats not gonna cost allot.....
....means different things to different people. Can you be a little more specific about the budget you have in mind? Also, if it mixed reasonably well with the DSLR as a B cam would you be willing to spend more, or is this specifically just for interviews?
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Old May 4th, 2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

Buy a used Sony CX or PJ7xx series and feed it with a wireless mic for your audio (preferably a "stick" style mic, not a lav, if you want to be fancy, add a news channel style "card" to it for "style"). Or get a comparable Canon small camcorder with a 1/3" sensor - might better match your DSLR for look.

Add a small dimmable on cam LED light if you are worried about low light conditions - emphasis on DIMMABLE - you just want enough light for the camera to work, NOT blind the "talent"!

One trick is to draft an outgoing member of the wedding party or family to shoot "man on the street" style - it works better having someone NOT behind the camera doing "interviews" - think "as seen on TV". Seems to help most interviewees be more at ease.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

I've done these a few times and usually what i've done is compile them into a scene that viewers can select from the main menu of the DVD, up to now i've been using a Sony HXR-NX5E, with a light for fill mostly, on a tripod, I use a sennheiser radio mic on a mic stand, the stand is better than handing the mic to people as they can drop it or hold it incorrectly, with the stand you can adjust it to suit people most of the time, you'll always get some who will get as close to the mic as possible!!
if i ever sell the NX5 I'd use a small Sony PJ760 which will do the job equally well. My assistant usually does this and she just has to make sure that the framing and focus is correct and the cam is recording.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 02:58 AM   #9
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

I do these at every wedding as it's my "sorta trademark" so brides expect it. A wireless or handheld mic is really a pain I think ..I just use the shotgun on the EA-50 and shoot wide and up close so I get good audio in a noisy environment. At most weddings they always seem to have the pre-dinner drinks in the dingiest spot they can find (guess that's "intimate") so you need a decent low light performance so you only might need a tiny bit of extra light otherwise guests tend to make a fuss! I always do mine with an 18-35 F1.8 on the Sony and have no issues ..the light is already on the camera but seldom needed!

Maybe a DSLR just might work if you lock exposure to suit and use zone focus ...I find I can set the lens at 2.5' and 99% of the time I don't need to focus ..then again I do have focus peaking so if you have to focus manually in the half dark it won't be easy! The other secret is to zap the guests as they come in, the ambient noise is still low with 5 people in a room and most mics have no issues but when the ranks swell to 50 or more the ambient level gets really high.

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Old May 5th, 2014, 04:33 AM   #10
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

I have done interviews with my nex-ea50 almost next to a booming soundspeaker on the dancefloor with my Azden wireless which I bought second hand and it had a handmicrophone included, the shotgun sound was barely understandable while the handmicrophone picked up the voice clearly while blocking the very loud soundspeaker enough so it didn't interfere. You can get much closer with such a microphone to the mouth which makes a big difference in very loud environments.
Also, forget about a dslr in the hands of a less experienced person, a sony cx xxx type of camera, like my cx730/760 which you might find second hand will even in full auto give you very good footage, when the lens is wide open at 21db gain it matches 8000 iso at f2.8 on my sony rx10 and it has less noise, so a dimmable light, like has been suggested here, just to fill in a bit is more then sufficient to get good looking footage. It also has a ridiculously good stabilization, like tripod looking good when shooting wide, so if you want a almost fail-safe camera that would be one to get, also, don't think because it's a handicam it can't match your dslr, you won't have the shallow dof of your 5dIII at all but the footage will be sharper.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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Re: Reception Interview Cam?

Yep its hard to think of a worse tool for the job than a dSLR for on the fly grabbed interviews in noisy and dark environments with inexperienced and often unwilling targets.

An on-cam light is all well and good but it is far from flattering to the subject when perched just above the lens. Sometimes I use a pistol grip with a Z96 light on it instead and handhold that a couple of feet above the cam or even bounce it off a wall or ceiling. I use the P&C grip:

Photography and Cinema - Store Pistol Grip Camera Handle (1pc)

You can put a carabiner on one end of the grip and attach it to your belt.

The grips can also be used with audio recorders like the Zoom H1 obviously. You wouldn't use it with a shotgun type mic without a shock mount because of handling noise.

Pete
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