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


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Old February 10th, 2015, 04:40 PM   #16
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

The XF200 does look interesting (I need to upgrade from a Canon Vixia HF G30). What codec, format, recording mode do you recommend on the XF200 for shooting weddings?
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Old February 28th, 2015, 11:25 PM   #17
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

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Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
@Rebecca: for this to be meaningful, a price range is needed. What you plan to use it for will also help. There's plenty of good cameras not mentioned this far.
I would like to keep the cost under $4k if possible. I use it for shooting weddings only.

Thank you so much everyone for the input!
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Old March 1st, 2015, 12:34 AM   #18
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

I still love my Sony EA-50's ... all the advantages of a video camera and DSLR style features if you need them and currently you can buy almost 2 for your budget!!
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Old March 1st, 2015, 02:58 AM   #19
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Rebecca doesn't want to go the dslr route and eventhough the ea50 is not a dslr in the sense that it's other main purpose is not to make pictures It's just a camera that's more difficult to handle then a real videocamera with a fixed lens.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 04:41 AM   #20
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

I think what Chris means is the EA-50 is a true video camera format, but with the DSLR features of interchangeable lenses and a large sensor.

It doesn't matter now anyway, I see they are discontinued.

Dave
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Old March 1st, 2015, 04:57 AM   #21
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

The ea50 is still available with the 18-105mm lens, at least over here it is, but like any interchangable lens camera, even if it has more videooriented functionality, like a c100, a videocamera with a fixed lens is still easier to shoot video with. Try do to nice controlled variable zoomspeeds with these camera's while at the same time have smooth iris control on the lens and be sure it stays in focus throughout it's zoomrange once you zoom in and lock the focus.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 05:43 AM   #22
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Hi Dave

The discontinued Sony model is actually the FS100 ..all they did with the EA-50 (as Noa says) is supply it with a shorter zoom and a new sensor ...Over here the new EA-50M is still a premininary product as it's only available in Europe and the USA so far ....technically yes, the EA-50H is discontinued and replaced with the EA-50M

Sorry Noa but with the stock power zoom lens, I found the EA-50 worked for me just like my Panasonic HMC cameras ... full auto including full autofocus, servo zoom and actually a lot more features than my HMC's had like touch screen focus ...even audio can be full auto. When I used them for the first year I used them just the same as my Pannys and had no issues ... it runs perfectly all on it's own in full auto on a tripod even unattended so it could hardly be called a DSLR ..there is no way you can put a DSLR on a tripod and hit record and leave it!!

Chris
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Old March 1st, 2015, 05:57 AM   #23
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

I had the camera as well and can't disagree more with you, you can't leave this camera in full auto and expect it to be alright, it won't, not when your lens is wide open and especially not when you even zoom in a little bit, your focus remains much more critical with large sensor camera's and if you leave it in auto you are essentially letting your camera guess where to focus on. Just a shiny surface like the paint on a oldtimer car at a wedding would confuse the autofocus of the stocklens on a ea50 completey and it refused to recover by it's own, that's how good the autofocus is on that lens.

The ea50 stock lens, even if I enjoyed using it in manual mode has a pretty bad build quality compared to a fixed lens like a canon xf200 would have, when zoomed in and when it extends you can move the front barrel and there will be some play on it, it jerks at the start or end of a zoom, it goes out of focus for a second when you start zooming, it's not parfocal, the motorised zoom is one constant speed only and not variable, the focus ring is fly by wire and difficult to nail focus with, adjusting exposure is more difficult with the small dial on the camera.

Using a real video camera with a fixed lens is a joy compared to a ea50, the only advantage you have on a ea50 is increased shallow dof and more focal range choices from fisheye to supertele.

Last edited by Noa Put; March 1st, 2015 at 08:57 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 06:55 AM   #24
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Hi Noa

That's what the forum is all about ..debate.. Over 2013 and part of 2014 I shot over 50 wedding ceremonies with two EA-50's and the A-Camera was on a tripod in the aisle (both indoor and outdoor) locked on the couple and priest/celebrant in full auto and virtually unattended apart from maybe swinging across to lecterns during Catholic ceremonies but completely static otherwise ...never had an AF issue at all in all that time and the only reason I went to manual lenses was low light issues in dark and dingy Churches.

Now take my previous Panasonic AC-130 cameras I had prior to the HMC's in 2012 ..same scenarios and they were fixed lens cameras and the AF was a disaster ..it would lock onto the couple and for no reason 10 minutes into the ceremony, would decide that the trees 100 m behind the couple were nicer to focus on so they would change focus leaving me with a fuzzy bride and groom and sharp background trees...that was 1/3" CMOS sensors and a 12X fixed zoom lens yet they were a total disaster and I sold them quickly 3 months later. The bottom line is NOT the camera sensor be it an APSC like the EA-50 or small CMOS chips but whether the AF is reliable or not ...the EA_50 was, the AC-130's were not. The only reason that you might get away with focus issues with a handy cam style of camera is that the chips are so small that the DOF is huge so even a slight miscalculation by the cameras AF system wouldn't show up as the handycam would be in focus from 2' to infinity anyway

Chris
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Old March 1st, 2015, 08:55 AM   #25
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

I do remember when you just had the camera you posted a video here wondering why the camera didn't stay in focus on an indoor shoot as it moved it's focus point behind the subject you where shooting. :) If you have a subject dead center in the image and if it fills the image enough and if there is sufficient light then it should not go off wandering by it's own but it's not a lens/camera combination which you can just leave unattended in autofocus and trust it will be alright, especially not once you start zooming in. I just feel that if you tell people that it's autofocus is that brilliant you will only disappoint them if they get the camera and I know from first hand experience.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 09:14 AM   #26
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Well I was wrong, it was not you who was wondering why the autofocus shifted, it was I who noticed it and you who said you needed to pay more attention now because it wasn't the same as with your small chip camera's which had a deep dof and therefore everything in focus, I found that particular thread back here: Raw Wedding Footage)
On the first video you showed you just zoomed in a bit at 01:13 on the weddingdress and you see the camera focussing on the dress first and then re-focussing on the background eventhough more of the dress was in frame.

I"m just trying to prove a point here, I would only rely on the autofocus capabilities of the ea50 when I would be shooting wide and when there was sufficient light but other then that, no way, the autofocus capabilities of that camera are unreliable to say the least, the circumstances need to be exactly right, this is not a "let it run in full auto and all will alright" kind of camera. The ea50 is just as difficult as any other dslr with a aps-c sensor to get the focus right.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 10:03 AM   #27
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca Curtis View Post
I would like to keep the cost under $4k if possible. I use it for shooting weddings only.

Thank you so much everyone for the input!
Rebecca, some of the newer cameras in the $2,000 - $2,500 price range will give you just as good of an image as many $3,500 - $4,000 cameras while only lacking some of the higher end features like SDI output, 3 manual rings, and some other features that may not be necessary for wedding videography. (Many of these features are great to have, but not always worth an extra $1,000-$1,500 unless you definitely need them).

I know most shooters on this forum use a second camera which remains static on a tripod, so if that's something that could help you out then you may want to look at a combination of a camera in the $2K - $2.5K price range as your A camera, and then find a consumer camera by the same company that's in the $1K - $1.5K price range to use as your B camera. This would keep you under your $4K budget and give you two cameras that will have a sharper image and better low light ability than your XH-A1.

One option would be the Canon XA20 and the Canon G30 as they have the same sensor but the XA20 adds XLR inputs for audio. These cameras would match perfectly, will allow you to shoot 24p or 30p, give better low light ability, and provide a sharper image than the XH-A1.

If you're able to go a couple hundred dollars over $4K then a good combination would be the Sony X70 and the Sony AX100. If you want to upgrade the X70 to 4K recording later on then you could always do that and your final product will be MUCH sharper than the XH-A1 or the other Canon's I mentioned because 4K will provide far more detail and sharpness.

The reason I suggest this route is that if you're shooting wedding alone (or even with another shooter) having a second static camera is a life saver in case you don't have a good angle for a shot, your exposure or focus is off momentarily, or if you just want to get another angle to make the video more interesting.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 08:24 PM   #28
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Thanks Noa

Wow that was a month or so after I bought the first EA-50 and was still using the Panny HMC82 as the main camera ..hadn't even bought the second one yet! Nowdays even with a small chip camera as a standalone I would now lock off the focus ...even with a huge DOF present on small handycams the focus could still shift with people moving around and changing position so regardless of the camera if it's on a tripod nowdays, focus is in manual ..end of story. I still think that the EA-50 does a very good job considering if you insist on using autofocus and certainly better than any DSLR camera that has "continuous focus" .. I had a GH1 for a while and that really sucked if you used it in autofocus!

I don't have any Sony lenses on either camera now ...they are all Nikon mount so I can share them with my Nikon DSLR bodies (those are for stills ONLY) and the advantage of having a decent range of lenses outweighs the disadvantage of having to manually focus. If I really feel lazy at weddings, I leave the 10-24 zoom on the camera, leave it at 10mm, preset focus to 2.5' and use it as a point and shoot camera as everything is in focus from 2' to infinity but that's normally just used on the stedicam.

Getting back on topic, I agree with Michael ... with a $4K budget, 2 x $2K cameras I think would be way more useful at weddings than just 1 x $4K one .... If my budget was under $4K I think I might look at Panasonic's AC-90's ..two of them of course!!


Chris
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Old March 1st, 2015, 08:59 PM   #29
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

What I find amusing about the question is, even a few years ago, it would never have been asked. Today, DSLR's are getting to be so popular we have to specify the form factor we are looking for to eliminate the "other" form. Some people only want DSLR's, while others (me) don't.

If I am reading between the lines, what you want is something that is easier to shoot with and which has a professional look to it when you do. I would be sure whatever camera I bought had ND filters built in as they are hard to change in a fast paced environment. Being able to change out lenses is great, but from my point of view, the question to ask there is, will I ever be able to afford qualify lenses, or will I be chasing the ever increasing "K" as an attempt to stay even with technology. At my income level, the new prime lenses are mutually exclusive with keeping up with the "k" factor.

I am looking at the x70, and thinking I will never upgrade because the capability of the 4k upgrade won't be worth the cost. As yet, we don't have those specs yet. By the time my market gets around to demanding 4K, and my budget to buy all the equipment necessary to support it, they will be selling 5 to 8 K cameras or a 4K cam with much better specs makes plunking down another significant investment a better bet.

I am a Sony guy, though. I seem to understand "sony" thinking in their cams. That leads me to the x70 as a lot more than I have now without all of the complicated problems DSLR's bring to the table.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 09:41 PM   #30
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Re: Non-DSLR camera recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca Curtis View Post
I would like to keep the cost under $4k if possible. I use it for shooting weddings only. ...
I had an XH-A1 and moved to a Sony EX1R years ago. I felt a fixed 3-ring lens, built-in ND filters and zoom motors were must haves. If you are skilled at using the A1 in manual mode, you'll probably still want a 3 ring camera. That narrows the field to a rational size. For your price range, you might score a good deal on a used one that is above your budget new. Only you can judge how important being on the latest technology is to you. Personally, I appreciate Sony's 1/2" chips for that little extra they give you vs the 1/3" chips in the others. For sure you'll love a solid state memory based workflow compared to tape. YMMV

I suggest going to bhphotovideo.com who sponsor this site and list their camcorders by price. You'll quickly see current cameras and what you can get for $4k. If you can filter out the arguments, you may find good information here on DVInfo (not DVdebate) with some searching. ;-)
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