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


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Old May 27th, 2014, 06:18 AM   #1
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Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

I was just looking at Sony's PXW - Z100 4K camera which is over $6K here but what is a bit scary for wedding videographers is the record time and cost of cards for the XAVC format!

Shucks if you are lucky you will get a whopping 15 minutes record time at 4K 50P with the camera running with a 150mbps bitrate so even with dual slots you would still have to do card changes on a Catholic ceremony as 2 x 64GB cards would be exhausted after 30 minutes.

Never mind the fact that for a ceremony alone one would need 4 cards alone but what is somewhat staggering seems to be that a Sony 64GB card on Amazon sells for $731.00 !! Assuming one would need 4 cards for the ceremony and 4 for the reception you have a media cost fast approaching the price of the camera!

Doesn't sound a very cost effect solution for weddings at all ... they can, of course shoot in AVCHD and 1920x1080 but doesn't that defeat the purpose of upgrading to 4K???

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Old May 27th, 2014, 06:27 AM   #2
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

I'm currently shooting with the GH4, at 100mbps bitrate, giving me approx 1 hour 15 mins on a 64gb card. I've shot some material at 4k, a recent Wedding at a brick mill, which usually goes all moire on me was perfect for it. Plus a couple of 1st Dances, 1 Ceremony and some stuff for a Marryoke. I'm still experimenting, but the ability to change from full image to a cropped image is a nice option in editing. Yes the image suffers and not as good when cropped down, but its still more than passable I feel and worth the benefits. So to answer your question, yep I'm seeing a future for 4k in Weddings for me.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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I was just looking at Sony's PXW - Z100 4K camera which is over $6K here
You better spend that money on a vacation with the family Chris and use your 2 nex-ea50 to make you even more money the next few years :)

I have mentioned it in another thread that for this year and my bookings for next year 4K is not even a necessity, 1080p delivery will be fine for another 2 wedding seasons but I"ll probably buy the gh4 soon to replace my g6, I"m not that satisfied with the output quality in 50p as that camera takes a noticeable resolution hit going from 25p to 50p and I need 50p on my steadicam.

Shooting 4k at this moment is more a question of whether I need it or want it, do I need 4K right now? No, will 4K get me more clients? No, Will 4k require me to upgrade my pc? Probably. So you see, there is nothing to gain financially, it will only cost me money.

Will 4K give me other benefits? From what I see right now the cropping factor seems like a great option to have and a sharper 1080p output though that will again cause issues with my other cameras if it becomes noticeable when mixing them.

The only reason why I am looking at the gh4 is because I want a camera that produces sharper 50p footage then my g6 and that can shoot at a higher iso (3200 iso max on the g6 vs 6400 iso on the gh4) I use the g6 now on the steadicam and shoot the first dance with it, they often kill almost all the light and 3200 iso is often just not enough but I could live with 6400 iso. 6400 iso on the gh4 is also much cleaner then on the gh3 and there I would see a bigger benefit shooting in 4k at very dark environments as once you downscale the noise should also become finer, having the option to reframe the first dance would also be interesting to use a wider and closer frame from one continuous shot.

The gh4 also has many small but important improvements like zebra's, higher rez viewvider and lcd but still is lacking a nd filter build in.

Currently a very interesting camera if you want to shoot at 4k and longer periods is the sony ax100, it only uses a 50mbs codec so that should give you plenty of recordingtime but you only need to consider that if you mix it's footage with your ea50 you will notice a resolution difference.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 07:40 AM   #4
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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Yes the image suffers and not as good when cropped down
If you compare a 4k image cropped to fit in a 1080p project or if you don't crop at all, do you see a difference? Are both easy to combine in one shot without noticing?
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Old May 27th, 2014, 07:57 AM   #5
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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If you compare a 4k image cropped to fit in a 1080p project or if you don't crop at all, do you see a difference? Are both easy to combine in one shot without noticing?
It reminds me of the quality when you select Ex Tele Conv, which I suppose is understandable. Slight difference in quality - softer, but I'm staring at my 22'' screen but half a metre from my face. Doubt a client would see it. Very useful in my last Wedding to grab very close up of the rings going on, when I was using the 12-35 lens. I'm not going to run a whole Ceremony on cropped, but those little shots, it does give you options I didn't have before.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

Probably not! from a financial point of view at present. But maybe in two, three years time the price of media and i guess cams will have hopefully decreased, remember when memory was pretty expensive a few years back compared to now.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

Thx, good to know, many have claimed there was no loss in quality but I"m sure if you see it I will as well. I have tested etc mode on my gh3 and eventhough you can use those shots I try to avoid using them alltogether, only just for those must have shots where content is more important.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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remember when memory was pretty expensive a few years back compared to now.
I remember getting a 16gb sdhc card not that many years back at the same price where I can buy a 64gb card for today.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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I remember getting a 16gb sdhc card not that many years back at the same price where I can buy a 64gb card for today.
You were a late comer then Noa! I remember paying more for a 256MB card than you can get a 64GB card for now!
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Old May 27th, 2014, 10:57 AM   #10
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

My first cards I got where for my canon 550d, before that I was shooting on tape with a canon xh-a1 :)
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Old May 27th, 2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

Are you shooting weddings that are going to be seen in a movie theater on a 30 foot wide screen? If not, 4k is utter overkill. It's a solution in search of a problem.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 01:11 PM   #12
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

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Are you shooting weddings that are going to be seen in a movie theater on a 30 foot wide screen? If not, 4k is utter overkill. It's a solution in search of a problem.
The ONE thing that interests me on 4K is the ability to crop when outputting HD or even DVD.

I just shot a dance recital and it would have been heaven to have all those pixels to play with since I'm only delivering on DVD! I could have had a single camera in the balcony and one to the side and got all my shots without having to move a muscle on the day trying to follow the dancers with a manned camera for closer shots.

For sure I can do some re-framing from HD, but 4K would have been even better since even HD doesn't give quite enough to capture and resize people at the back of the stage. Low light is still my main concern.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 02:36 PM   #13
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

With regard to cropping do bear in mind that wide angle lenses tend to be less than flattering to the human face whereas long lenses often make the face more appealing. This is a far bigger concern in stills portraiture for the obvious reason that a portrait is going to get stared at whereas a video is more transient. Most working photographers who specialise in human subjects are very much aware of this.

The human eye sees roughly the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a full frame sensor. Thats what we perceive as normal. If you start going down to 35mm 24mm etc you may get strong characterful images but they are far less likely to be pretty. Once you go to 85mm and beyond the enhancement afforded by "crushing" the perspective starts to kick in making for an altogether more flattering shot. Thats why many photographers like to use the long end of a 70-200mm for the bridal portraiture if space allows.

This has implications if you heavily crop a wide angle shot or clip. So the advantage of being able to crop a 4k clip may not always be as great as it first appears.

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Old May 27th, 2014, 02:58 PM   #14
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

Indeed, but when your wide camera is still zoomed in to fill the frame for just the stage width then it may not be such a problem....?
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Old May 27th, 2014, 03:08 PM   #15
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Re: Will 4K cameras be practical for weddings?

I was looking at the Sony AX100 last week. Hmm.. big bang for the buck Any opinions ??
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