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


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Old May 1st, 2015, 03:02 PM   #31
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

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Why does this need to turn into a debate or argument? I don't get it.
It's really quite simple, Jeff. There are some people who think before he does a single thing, that he should spend three thousand dollars. There are others who think that he has a camera that was perfectly fine at one point in history and that he might be able to get in some work before he has to go and start spending money.

How would you like to resolve those two differences of opinion?
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Old May 1st, 2015, 03:58 PM   #32
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

Maybe Michael can chime in to let us know if he even would consider to continue using his DVX?
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Old May 1st, 2015, 04:21 PM   #33
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

From a practical standpoint, you won't buy a 4:3 TV anywhere, so shooting in 4:3 SD is probably not a realistic option (particularly for the sports component of the OP's request).

I gather the OP has made the business decisions, developed a budget, and knows what he's willing to invest. Fortunately, technology is better and cheaper, so there are plenty of options, no reason to try to consider "competing" with an outdated camera that will likely look worse than many current cell phones...

Buy good reasonably current gear used, if it doesn't work out, it should still sell for enough to recoup a good portion of the investment.


I'd suggest a used Sony AX100 and RX10, which would leave budget for fast cards, extra batteries, and maybe a little to go towards a computer upgrade if that's needed for efficient editing. I don't consider the computer upgrades to be unreasonable, as they also mean you can do everything else faster and more efficiently with a current computer. Producing professional quality HD, with some 4K options available from the above pair should be easy enough, without spending an arm and a leg.

A computer upgrade SHOULD be part of the consideration if the computer is of the same era as the camera - tech moves fast, and you're not going to edit 100Mbps 60p XAVCS on a Core Duo turtle. A 4K capable system with a big 4K TV for a monitor is doable under $1K, so that shouldn't be an obstacle.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 04:42 PM   #34
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

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How would you like to resolve those two differences of opinion?
I would stop trying to tell the poster what to do and instead give him the advice he asked for, which was for equipment recomendations.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 05:26 PM   #35
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

I think you should video and record in the highest quality format you can afford for the current era. Back in the 80's I would spend a heap of money and hire a 3 tube camera and uMatic portapak or even once ran cables from the camera to a desktop uMatic. I can still play back the original uMatic tapes and the images look great.
I can't afford an all 4k setup right now, but I would compromise for something like my current gear a6000 in my control and a Sony FDR-AX100 up high at the back of the church for example, recording in 4k and be able to zoom and crop into that footage to make it look like I have even more cameras.
I would not deliver 4k to wedding customers yet.
I agree with Chris H most only want a DVD.
They are happy to have a BlueRay or 1080p on a memory stick (limited bitrate) if I offer it.
But then I havent dealt with many people in recent time.

So I can only recommend the Sony a6000 from a personal view, I love the picture quality and low light capability, but be aware of its limitations.
You can pretty much use any Full HD camera. Knowing its limitations and what you do with it that counts.

I must say for the budget of the original poster, I would probably buy 2 Sony HXR-NX30 or one and a AX100.

Last edited by Mervyn Jack; May 1st, 2015 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Adding a further comment
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Old May 1st, 2015, 07:28 PM   #36
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

New equipment now and then is exciting and sometimes exactly what we need to give ourselves a little kick in the pants when starting or re-starting out on something new. Whatever his decision, I would purchase something nice and modern but not something brand new. That way it can easily be sold if the situation changes without taking a loss. Sometimes you even can make money selling gear!
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Old May 1st, 2015, 09:16 PM   #37
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

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That way it can easily be sold if the situation changes without taking a loss. Sometimes you even can make money selling gear!
That's the thing. Both of those scenarios are extremely unlikely. I have sold a lot of gear. A lot and the best I can do is come out where I got enough use out of it that I'm well below rental rates when it comes to how much of a loss I take on it. And it only has gotten worse over the last two years. Nothing is worth anything after a year, hardly. Look at your own C100 Mark I. Look at the FS700. Look at the F3.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 12:17 AM   #38
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

I guess what I meant by that was buy used sell used. Used camera X isn't going to typically lose a significant portion of its value if you sell it after 3 months (unless the manufacturer suddenly and drastically changes the MSRP...) A year, or more? Now you're losing value, but the main point I was trying to make was that a new camera will always lose value - immediately. Like driving a car off the lot. A used one? Sell it quick enough and you might come out even or at least minimize your loss. Use that camera a few times in that period and you're looking at an excellent return on investment.

It doesn't happen very often but I've purchased a used camera or lens for a project before and sold it afterwards for equal or more than I've paid for it. Not after owning it for an extended period of course, but for quick turnaround (or a change of heart by our OP) I find buying used over new a much better option. YMMV.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:41 AM   #39
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

So, I started doing weddings last year. I've shot four, have two more in a few months time and one booked so far for next year.

After seeing the benefits and cons of using camcorders (Panasonic X800 and Sony AX100) and the DSLR (GH3, GH4, EM5 (less so)), I can say that I'd stick with a camcorder if I could for most of the day - that's a statement I thought I'd never say. The new Panasonic fixed lens camera with 13X optical zoom and the ability to record both 4K and 1080p HD simultaneously to two different cards is a huge positive for nearly all points of the day. If I were to look at the amount that I've spent now, I think I'd get two C100s and a bunch of Canon gear, simply because it doesn't have the recording time limits and yet still has all of the benefits of a DSLR.

Sure, one could recommend getting a DSLR, but once primes and pro zooms are considered, you're wayyy over the budget, regardless as to what system you choose. You could go GH4, but then you'd need an on camera mic, different forms of stabilisers (to make the most of your creative camera) and a bunch of lenses that can cope well in poor light. But if you go AX100 route, you could have two AX100s, decent on board sound and get a few pocket recorders and moderate lav mics and you're set to go with a two camera set up for most of the day.

After those ramblings, I think I'd go with the new Panasonic fixed lens camera that shoots 4K and 1080p. You have no need to shoot 4K at all for a very long time, but you know that that camera is going to last you for many years with its ability to shoot 4K when you are ready to do so, and sports a 4/3 sensor. I'd then match it with a Sony Camcorder - Noa uses the CX730s, but there will be other offerings that are newer than those... you'd have a two cam 1080p set up and the ability to shoot 4K with one of your cams in the future.

Bottom line: I wouldn't spend $3000 on a camera now that DOESN'T shoot 4K - regardless as to whether I'm delivering, cropping or even shooting 4K for the next 3 years, because 4K TVs WILL take over the marketplace and if even a 1/4 of couples are using a 4K TV in 3 years time, most of those will be couples in the age bracket who are wanting to get married. If I have a 4K TV and I'm frustrated by the lack of 4K out there, but have seen the picture quality of 4K somewhere, I'm certain that I'd be considering asking my videographer for 4K.

It doesn't matter now, so I can see why you could shoot an SD wedding for someone for free before deciding to splash the cash, but I'm sure the OP has knowledge of when it's good and bad to spend his cash. He's been in the game before, so he's aware as to what he wants / needs to do.

No need for the back and forth arguments that are unfamiliar here and why most of us continue to post here - just helpful responses, rather than you're right, I'm wrong type posts a la Facebook and it's mundane threads.

P.s. shot 4K at my last wedding for ceremony, and I can highly recommend it as a back up camera... it's an amazing benefit that can be used to powerful effect, but also means that you'd need a LOT of storage for back up. I'll continue to shoot 4K at the back, and 1080p on either side of my ceremonies, but I don't recommend 4K if your storage solution is below 30TB. I have a 20TB server, and know that I'd find it extremely difficult to store a full wedding season on it when my GH cameras run at 200mb/s and then a 4K file at the end of it.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 05:12 PM   #40
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

Craig (and OP), the Sony AX33 is a 4K capable camera, and roughly a functional equivalent of the older CX and PJ Handycams.

I'm sure there are some differences, but as a current (under $1K retail list) offering, it would be worth considering, though I myself would like to see more samples, the ones so far come out with the AX100 having a better picture... I feel like the AX100 is the superior camera image wise, for a little more in the used market. But of course the AX33 is smaller, lighter, and has the Magic eyeball system that is so good for handheld... so it has potential uses. If I find one used cheap enough, I wouldn't mind replacing the PJ760/710's I sold (replaced by the AX100)!

I picked up a 4K action cam on the cheap to see how the small sensor looks, and it's not bad.... same sensor that is in the AX33 I believe. Still trying to figure out whether the 170 degree "fisheye" field of view will be of any practical use... other than one heckuva "dashcam"!
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 06:51 AM   #41
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

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Craig (and OP), the Sony AX33 is a 4K capable camera, and roughly a functional equivalent of the older CX and PJ Handycams.

I'm sure there are some differences, but as a current (under $1K retail list) offering, it would be worth considering, though I myself would like to see more samples, the ones so far come out with the AX100 having a better picture... I feel like the AX100 is the superior camera image wise, for a little more in the used market. But of course the AX33 is smaller, lighter, and has the Magic eyeball system that is so good for handheld... so it has potential uses. If I find one used cheap enough, I wouldn't mind replacing the PJ760/710's I sold (replaced by the AX100)!

I picked up a 4K action cam on the cheap to see how the small sensor looks, and it's not bad.... same sensor that is in the AX33 I believe. Still trying to figure out whether the 170 degree "fisheye" field of view will be of any practical use... other than one heckuva "dashcam"!
Another good recommendation! If it isn't your main cam, and you'd be leaving it on auto - I think I'd have sprung for the AX33 too. Noa doesn't seem to think the extra size of sensor in the AX100 makes much of a difference to the low light performance. I'm sure either cam could do it, but I went with the AX100 for the additional buttons / control. After using it in Auto mode for the speeches at my last wedding though, I think auto on the AX33 would work just as well.

Going to purchase the AX100 once or twice more. Or two AX33s... but for the OP, it'll be interesting to see what he thinks after receiving all the advice here.

Quite clear that style is a huge part of your success when doing weddings, but the devices we use are massively different too, by the sounds of it; as are our perceptions.
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 06:02 PM   #42
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

Shooting black cats at midnight in a dark room on a moonless night is for the A7S... otherwise "low light" is low light, and nothing a couple bucks spent on an ebay LED light with a dimmer can't "fix" in a pinch.

What I've noticed in the few "comparison" videos I've looked at is that the AX100 has more fine detail than the AX33, but it's "pixel peeping" that 99.8% will never notice. The AX100 replaced multiple cameras for me, but the AX33 would fill a spot for handheld with that BOSS stabilization, and one of the old CX/PJ "slots".

OP could pick up a new AX33 and a used AX100 and still have plenty to add a couple extra batteries and the big capacity U3 rated SD cards needed to use the highest bitrates - batteries and cards could be shared as needed between the cams. The AX33 is too new to be popping up on the "secondhand/open box return" market... thus why I suggested an RX10/AX100 combo that also added a "stills" component to the capabilities that might help with bookings if the OP wanted to follow the footsteps of some here who have found it effective to offer both stills and video!



FWIW, I'd love to have that A7S too, but the budget with lenses makes me wince a bit!
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Old May 4th, 2015, 02:14 AM   #43
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

I'll add my very brief (I'm meant to be editing) comment on the A7s - I hated filming evening receptions or in hotel bars and function rooms that were too dark as It meant (even using the NEX-EA50 with f2.8 lens) using a video light and as a documentary maker it defeated the object as everyone were suddenly aware of being filmed and any naturalness disappeared, they either looked pi**ed off or played up to the camera. Plus I don't like to be the centre of attention and the LED light was almost like a spotlight on myself.

The A7s with my 24-105mm f4.0 can film in the darkest of environments without any additional light and makes filming evening receptions a dream. turning up the ISO is just like putting a light on people without them knowing - I just wish it had a camcorder form factor.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 02:43 AM   #44
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

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Noa doesn't seem to think the extra size of sensor in the AX100 makes much of a difference to the low light performance.
Can't speak for the ax33 but by cx730 is equally light sensitive then my ax100 and produces less noise at it's highest iso, ax100 however has much more detail at those high iso's so some neatvideo treatment would make the ax100 footage look better. The cx730 gets a lot softer when you gain up high, not sure how tge ax33 would perform in such a case.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 06:59 AM   #45
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Re: Getting Back into the game...need advice

Sony Australia in their infinite wisdom have only released the FDR-AXP35 which is the AX33 with a projector. And they wonder why we buy from overseas!
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