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


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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #16
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
Oh come on Steve, if you know as much about cinematography as you purport to do (and yes I am returning your sarky criticism in kind!) you'd know shutter speed defaults are grounded in history as much as anything.

There is an awful lot of over-engineering goes on in wedding video production. Viewed from a distance it often looks like an indulgence by closet hobbyists and has little to do with emotional content.

Its all relative anyway. How much of your kit of which you are so proud meets the current BBC minimum spec for broadcast? Are you moving into the 10k-30k cam bracket as the work piles up? Anyone can broadcast anything just as a photo in a newspaper doesn't make you a newspaper photographer.

If you can't accept that some clients judge you partly by the equipment you're using thats your problem not mine. Incidentally I use small stuff when I can. I recently removed the battery grips from my 5D's which originally I needed as the change from the 1D series bodies in which they are integrated was too much. They had been on the 5D's so long I had to remove one with a hacksaw :- )

Pete
Peter, your position doesn't come across as one based on understanding. You seem to attack anything you're unable to deliver yourself, be it for equipment limitations or lack of time due to juggling photo and video. Its hard to accept any view of yours as objective or with any respect for cinematography and the skills involved. There is no shame in there being compromise in event filming, but equally no shame in trying to overcome those limitations to produce something that respects the rules and uses them to deliver content of an emotional nature. Contrary to your opinion, respecting the rules doesn't mean sacrificing content or the emotion. In fact, in cases it can enhance it.

My gh3 and 4 technically meets broadcast standards in regards to Mbps, however that's not an issue. I've seen gopros used in TV shows. No my point wasn't about broadcast quality equipment, but that some of my clients wouldn't appreciate your cavalier attitude to cinematography.

I'm sure some of my clients judge me on my equipment. However my equipment is more than just a single camera and I'm judged on the range of my equipment, rather than the size of one item within it. Personally if any client questions my gh4, once they see the footage, all doubts are erased. I do own larger cameras, so my choice is dictated by impressing clients with video quality, not the size of my camera.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 12:48 PM   #17
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

You guys are unbelievable, just beyond belief.

You should get yourselves up to BVE, tomorrow is the last day so you've just got time. You might come away a little more modest.

I've noticed of course your glee in jumping in at any opportunity to denigrate the style of coverage I offer, and questioning whether I can do anything else. Comments about professionalism sprinkled here and there. I stayed out of the recent one man operator thread for just that reason. There was no point in participating, but for the record I put online samples of what an average client might expect to receive, same as I do for stills; I do not believe in only showing the best of the best e.g. I don't think any of my video samples involve lavs, but rather closely placed audio recorders as these give the prospective clients a clearer understanding of what they might get audio wise taking into account all the challenges that might screw up perfect audio on the day.

1200 views. So what? 1200 views right through? 1200 clicks? 1200 glowing testimonials. I don't know why Noa you would think that people might watch a short but not a long in future years. I hear both, but weighted to favouring long. I have no interest in shorts; in my view the heavy scripting and setting up that often seems to accompany these have made "modern" wedding videos far worse than the traditional stuff on VHS of yesteryear ever was.

Client feedback is at its most valuable once months have elapsed after the wedding and the clients have had the opportunity to absorb what they've got and what they haven't got. Hyping them up at the consultation stage means nothing, nor does feedback immediately after the delivery. Nothing.

Photographers are in a great position to appreciate this. Or rather photographers who supply albums are - and there aren't many of us who actually do that rather than just saying we do. Photographers who supply albums AND allow lots of client participation in the design process to be specific. Typically the clients image selection comes in weeks or months - or even years - after the event. And guess what? All that the clients say at the consultation stage about wanting natural candid reportage coverage goes out the window. Their selections are dominated by classic posed stuff and I add some lower key stuff to round it off. Here are three albums I uploaded in the last month. See how much is posed, yet all of them had plenty of alternative material:

Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

Ashton Lamont Photography, Copyright

That last one, they've ordered two copies of the full-on main album. Oh and Blueray of the video.

You can ignore these facts but thats all you are doing - ignoring facts.

I've tried to widen the tunnel vision that is so apparent here but I'm tired of the personal slights. Why should I bother? Do you really think that I talk about big equipment to clients? Just the opposite, I stress how small and unintrusive it is. I why should I bother responding to posts that question my knowledge and competence just because I don't trot out the same old received wisdom found elsewhere in the new wave. Recently one of my strongest critics second shot for a videographer friend. He failed to deliver any usable footage at all. None. And yes the friend is totally "cinematic" and very busy with high end clients.

Anyway, I'm out of here. Goodbye. Wish it had been enjoyable.

Pete
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Old February 25th, 2015, 12:57 PM   #18
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Actually I've just finished a day at the BVE. Very informative some of the seminars and I enjoyed chatting to some genuine experts in the field of cinematography. I was mainly interested in the 4k theatre, though the session on live events in 4k wasn't as I'd hoped. Mostly a list of gear they use. Anyway I did ask one speaker, if he felt the 180 degree shutter rule was for hobbyists. He laughed.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 01:12 PM   #19
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I've noticed of course your glee in jumping in at any opportunity to denigrate the style of coverage I offer
Didn't make a denigrating comment, you however where quite clear about what you think about us closet hobbyists :)

Quote:
1200 views. So what? 1200 views right through? 1200 clicks? 1200 glowing testimonials. I don't know why Noa you would think that people might watch a short but not a long in future years. I hear both, but weighted to favouring long. I have no interest in shorts; in my view the heavy scripting and setting up that often seems to accompany these have made "modern" wedding videos far worse than the traditional stuff on VHS of yesteryear ever was.
That's 1200 different people that actually play the video, not embedded loads and it also doesn't register if someone plays twice from the same ip address, I can 't see if they completely watch the video but I figure there is more chance that they do compared to a one hour ceremony if I'd place that online. If just a very small percentage of those 1200 people would contact me or maybe refer me to someone who is asking if they know a videographer, my year would be partly booked, so I don't need glowing testimonials, just a few minutes of screentime. It might be not for you but it works very well for me and a lot of other videographers that use social media as a marketing tool.

Last edited by Noa Put; February 25th, 2015 at 01:47 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 02:46 PM   #20
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

To get back on topic, the Sony AX100 has not been mentioned - it's the consumer version of the X70, already has 4K, and has manual if you want, auto if you need "brain dead simple". I think it should be at the top end of the price range, but still in the ballpark?


As for the thread, size only matters to those that feel inadequate with shooting skills... I just watched a news segment about a major prime time US sitcom that is airing an entire show shot with ipads and iphones... the producer just flat out said these consumer devices produced a professional enough result for their show... he was asked specifically by the reporter, who was wondering if they were as good as the "big cameras"... perhaps a "little" exagerrated, and the theme of this particular episode seemed to revolve around overuse of "face time", but it goes to show that "professionals" can use the "consumer toys" to good use. As Noa noted, if your "show reel" is good, the question of "what was it shot with" is immaterial.

Shutter speed and understanding how it affects your video is a real "thing". In fact it becomes VERY crucial with 30fps 4K to avoid some serious stuttering/shimmering that SOME people reported early on (user malfunction, blamed the camera...) - the sharpness of the individual frames becomes very harsh if shutter is too high to allow some motion blur. May not be as critical with a wedding, but ANY shoot with motion, you have to lock shutter speed in, and not let the camera go auto to high shutter speeds. Understanding the relationship between motion and shutter speeds will give you better results, even if it is a bit "esoteric".

There are plenty of good reasons to know the fundamentals of iris/shutter speed, so you can override the auto functions of a camera when needed... which I think was part of the original request - a cam that can be run "auto", but also has manual controls.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #21
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Wow! Bitter in-fighting from people with opposing opinions and all the OP really wanted was to be able to get suggestions of what camera to get his wife that is easy to use.

We should really try and keep posts on topic guys and drift off in some direction. Yes I'm an offender too!

Anyway, Phil should have some ideas by now and some price ranges to consider from under $2K to over $20K
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Old February 25th, 2015, 07:32 PM   #22
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Many thanks for all the replies and feedback, it did get err...... interesting, my decision is likely to be the AC90

Phil
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Old February 25th, 2015, 08:09 PM   #23
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Phil - the AC90 seems to be a pretty good match to your needs.

Did a little searching about it and came up with these items:

12x zoom (smooth action)

Barry Greens AC90 book ($100 value - came in the package with the US version)
The AG-AC90A is the most updated camera (US version, maybe PAL too?)

Cons:
No 3.5mm jack
difficult to use with lens attachments
3.5-inch LCD screen is a touch screen and flimsy and difficult to pull out (per one reviewer but countered by another)
Cannot plug the power adapter in while the battery is installed
Battery takes a long time to recharge (4 hours)
pre-record feature has to be enabled every time you hit the record button

It's been noted that "Amazon (US) fulfilled by" and Square Trade can be a grey-market item.

Hopefully there's no "gotchas" in the list.

Edit: Forgot to mention, the US eBay "sold listings" had some nice sounding ads for low-time cams at a nice discount from new so maybe going used for the first cam would be a way to save some cash with the idea of picking up an upgrade in a year or two. Multi-cam looks really nice. The downside is having to follow the postings and putting in the bid. Don't know how the eBay EU PAL prices are but hopefully competitive.

Last edited by John Nantz; February 25th, 2015 at 08:31 PM. Reason: added a thought ....
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Old February 26th, 2015, 01:35 AM   #24
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Wow! Bitter in-fighting from people with opposing opinions and all the OP really wanted was to be able to get suggestions of what camera to get his wife that is easy to use.
No Chris, Phil wanted a easy camera to work with in automode for his wife but "to go manual as she progresses her skills for video"

You can't increase your manual skills when people come in here and start questioning the most basic rules in videography like the 180 degree shutter rule and describe it as something used by hobbyist wannabee filmmakers.

If you want to learn to shoot video you need to understand what effect a high or wrong shutter can have, or when to apply a nd filter and why not to close down your iris completely and just ride your shutter to compensate for very bright conditions and then wonder why your image gets soft. There are some rules in videography that are different from photography and they are there for a reason, they all can be bent or broken but if you learn to understand them you will know what effect each setting (or the combination of different settings) will have on your image and you will understand better when it's ok to deviate from those rules. If you say it doesn't matter, then just get a gopro which is great in all auto but it's not a camera to learn to improve video skills with. Shooting good video starts with the knowledge that the shutter is not a tool to control your exposure.

That being said, the ag-ac90 is a good camera to learn to shoot video with as it has enough manual functionality + you get a lot for a small price.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 07:50 AM   #25
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Hi Noa

I also feel that there are two modes of shooting and, in fact the great photographer Joe Buissink who does famous celebrity weddings said there are two photo modes ... P for professional and M for Master ...Guess which he uses for weddings?? the P mode ... shutter is a minor issue compared to actually getting the shot and emotion .... in P mode you nail it every time cos you are not trying to adjust your camera in M mode when the moment in a lifetime comes up!

In a controlled studio/ industrial environment where you are controlling the talent and lighting, sure I can see the value of doing it by the book and obeying the 180 shutter rule ..you have the time to check and double check before you tell the talent to start. Weddings are not called run 'n gun for nothing ... the limo is due at 2pm and it arrives at 1:45pm and instead of parking in the shade where the driver was told to stop he halts in bright sunshine and the girls pour out of the door. Seriously what are going to do? Tell the girls to get back inside and miss that bubbly emotion as they get out and tell the driver to park in the shade cos your shutter was at 1/200th due to the light change...are you going to stuff the girls back in the car so you can repeat the shoot cos your ND filter was wrong and shutter was too high.

Not me!! My job at a wedding is to capture those special moments as they happen not stage everything so I can be technically correct ... Sure my shutter may shoot upwards and not be technically perfect BUT while you were adjusting your camera for the new light conditions I got the shot and the emotion and you missed it all ... your shot would have been a lot better and done "by the book" but guess which one will be a winner!!

Back on topic ..yes I do agree the AC-90 will work well ..a few shoots in full auto first though before she starts playing with settings.

Chris
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Old February 26th, 2015, 08:26 AM   #26
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Chris, I don't want to hijack this thread, so I'll keep it simple and say that whilst I do break the shutter rule, its very rare. With skill and a damn good variable ND I store in a pouch on my person, I've nailed those emotional yet rushed moments time and time again without turning off shutter control. I'm not saying at times its not necessary, but what starts out from necessity quickly becomes one adopted out of habit and a bad one at that.

On subject, I'm gonna stick my neck out and disagree with the ac90. Its an adequate start up camera at best with lots of features at a cheap price, but I'd push the boat and get something better if I was starting out now. The Sony x70 I feel delivers better results and is due a 4k upgrade. More expensive, but worth it having played with both cameras at the BVE yesterday. My only suggestion to the op is to try before you buy.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; February 26th, 2015 at 12:31 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 08:40 AM   #27
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Just because we do rely on autofunctionality of a camera on occasion doesn't mean we have to totally ignore any rules that will make you a better videographer. Knowing and understanding these rules will make you a better judge when it can be appropriate to bend or break them and they will also make you understand when it will have a negative impact on your image. I sometimes see questions appear here in this forum about problems only because of lack of that basic knowledge.

If I had to train another videographer how to shoot video I would never tell him/her, just point and shoot and leave the camera in auto and that I need the shot, even if it looks like crap. No, I would explain them the basic rules of shooting video, why they should not break them and what happens if they do and after that leave it up to them to decide when they should be broken. When that moment comes when they need to make a split second decision, they can make a calculated judgment and be able to live with the consequences, knowing it was the best they could do under the circumstances. But if they do have the time to do it right, there is no excuse not to spend the extra time setting the camera right to get a better picture.

If Phil and his wife want to learn how to shoot video professionally the right way I would advise them to get the basics right, even if some might say it's a load of nonsense, it will make both better videographers at the end.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 07:23 PM   #28
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Where is the best source to learn how to structure/shoot video during the day.

Whilst not a total novice as I shoot documentary stills for weddings etc so understand the story telling element

When we have shot video it is clearly lacking and is coming across more like still images with movement in as opposed the something more interesting.

Thanks Phil
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Old February 26th, 2015, 07:37 PM   #29
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Hi Phil

It really is refreshing to see a photographer who actually realises there is a difference between shooting video and taking stills. So many clips posted here instantly reflect the fact that the author is/was a photographer who has discovered their DSLR can, in fact shoot video!

Know the basics of film making as opposed to photography will set you up very well indeed as rules and techniques are quite different and the last thing you want to create is a slideshow of stills but actually create a motion picture.

This is an interesting site which focusses on film making as opposed to "How to shoot a wedding video"

Free Online Film School in 12 Filmmaking Tips

You will see how different the mindset is between the two mediums and is definitely worth a look!!

Chris
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Old February 26th, 2015, 07:40 PM   #30
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Re: Good starter Cam for Video

Phil, while it's a bit expensive, Ray Roman's "Creative Live" course is by far the best single resource that I've found. There are certainly other ways to learn wedding cinematography, but if you're looking for a structured course from one of the world's top wedding cinematographers then this is a great option.
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