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Old July 21st, 2015, 01:14 AM   #16
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Hi Dave,

Its served me pretty well for my 5 yr old Canon Camera for the Guestcam, but then expectations are lower as its just a but of fun. Would I use it myself for a job, no, I have more professional equipment. In fact it was used only for my 1st year as I learned the ropes. Now my Canon camcorder has a mini hotshoe which at the time limited the options of attachments. However looking at the G30 again I see it has a more standard hotshoe, so yes something more effective can be paired with it. However at the price bracket that James is considering, some compromises are inevitable. Plus to be fair, most Weddings don't involve lengthy sea voyages. :)
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Old July 21st, 2015, 03:06 AM   #17
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

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Plus to be fair, most Weddings don't involve lengthy sea voyages. :)
Good point, but then again, some weddings do happen at sea I understand!:-)

I got the DM-100 for a canon that only had a mini hotshoe and frankly, it seemed OK on that. I remember doing a Windcutter test while hanging out of the window of a Land Rover at 60kph and being impressed. Why the HF G30 doesn't like it, I don't know.

I just thought I would mention it and let's face it, we've had some quite high winds this wedding season.

Dave
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Old July 21st, 2015, 03:33 AM   #18
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

That explains why I haven't had quite the same issues as yourself. The G30 looks as if it has a standard hot shoe, and the DM100 has a mini hot shoe attachment, so not sure how you're fitting the 2. I guess if I had a standard hot shoe mount, I invest maybe in a rode shotgun.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 03:55 AM   #19
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

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Originally Posted by James Bishop View Post
Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone could recommend any good, idiot proof, great quality video cameras?
The problem I think you will run into is if the camera are used at candle lit venues and you end up with a whole evenings worth of totally underexposed uncorrectable footage and a client that will blame you for giving them a "bad" camera. If I would start something like this up I would only handle the editing aspect and let the client deal with the camera themself, if it then turns out underexposed they would never blame me for that but be happy I tried to make it look a bit better, even if it still looks like crap acc to our standards. There are enough people shooting with their smartphone which, once collected, could result in enough footage to make a summary of their day.

I often am asked if I can edit the honeymoon video from the couple that hired me when they pick up the dvd's, they shot hours of footage but don't like the edit aspect of it at all, I always decline because I don't want to wade through all that shaky, out of focus, 200 time zoom footage. I did however edit such a holiday video once years back and it can be fun though, especially when the groom shot his wife naked in the bathroom but forgot it was still on the camera he gave me. :D
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Old July 21st, 2015, 05:29 AM   #20
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Steve, the HF G30 has both a standard cold shoe and the Canon mini hot shoe, hidden under a cover at the rear.

Yes, I soon reverted to a Rode SVM once I'd found a way to stop the dead kitten fur getting into the frame at full wide.

While the DM-100 looked neat perched on top, it was a bit of a liability anyway as it mounts just a little too far back and hits the forehead when using the EVF. Also, I was stopped because of it while going through airport security last year, since they couldn't work out what it was while going through x-ray!

Dave
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:08 AM   #21
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

I've had a look at shoot it yourself. It looks scaled back a bit from the last time I looked a few years back. They were riding high from Dragons Den, which it now seems they've broken away from the agreement they reached back then. They survive I think because they have the personality and style that can reach out to Brides. Frankly what they offer is over expensive, but people can overlook something like cost if the marketing pitches it as something of value.

Being female probably helps too, in social media, face to face and various Wedding sites. Obviously the edit will count more than the camera, turning random footage into something fun and engaging. Their choice of cameras seems spot on, though now discontinued. Sony mc50. Something similar I think would work for James.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:18 AM   #22
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Buy a bunch of GoPro cameras and have the main participants wear them.

Honestly I can't see this working and it be a nightmare trying to edit the worst footage imaginable. I've gotten a number of theater performance jobs from clients who had a student or novice film on the cheap. It usually ends in disaster and that's when they decide to hire a pro the next year. With weddings there is no next year.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 06:30 AM   #23
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

I thought about this market too but decided that giving the client cameras was a too risky and expensive plus as a previous poster said, if the footage all turns out to be crap then they will blame the camera and therefore you. Plus you are relying on the footage from just two cameras.

If I was to do it myself I would put some instructional video u on how to film the best way possible with your phone camera. The guests will already be comfortable filming with them, you'll have more footage to play with too.

Managing expectations would be key. The edit would depend on the quality of footage you got back and the client would know this. They should be prepared for a highlights montage of quick clips to music at worst case to something half-decent at best case.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 07:52 AM   #24
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Anyone thinking about this style of business might find this article interesting

How to film your own wedding day

A quick google brought up around a dozen people or companies already offering this type of service in UK on the first page alone.

As someone mentioned the Shoot It Yourself company have reigned back their prices from the over-ambitious charges they hope to achieve off the back of their Dragons Den investment from Hilary Devey which they have now walked away from. What might be encouraging is that she saw the huge potential to grow the business from the 250 weddings a year that SIY claimed to be doing to 1500 a year within three years! But remember that was with a 60,000 investment.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 08:22 AM   #25
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

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What might be encouraging is that she saw the huge potential to grow the business from the 250 weddings a year that SIY claimed to be doing to 1500 a year within three years! But remember that was with a 60,000 investment.
Yes but the other 3 didn't see such potential and her support might have come from the fact she liked the video shown. Of course she wants 1500 a year; you invest in a company you expect more than 200 odd Weddings a year to get a decent return. The fact that Shoot It Yourself was a small company and that the demands of shooting 1500 Weddings would cause issues was obviously something she didn't take into account, as bore out by the fact that Shoot It Yourself parted ways. People like that think big, but it doesn't mean they're right. At the time I recall thinking that such a partnership couldn't last. The Wedding Video industry just isn't big enough to allow one company to corner 1500 Weddings a year. I recall they also had a corporate side to their business, but didn't see any evidence of that.

I run a Guestcam service, which I started on the back of that, but nothing I've got from it shows there's a huge demand for that type of video.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 09:02 AM   #26
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Steve, what would be interesting would be to know if their projection to 1500 weddings was based on research or hope.

I can see that a large player like Hilary Devey could afford to get the sort of country-wide reach and views that others might find difficult to get but she may also have been seduced by the wedding videographers' dream of believing that every wedding really needs and wants a video. But seriously I believe that her vision was larger than just weddings and would have taken the two founders of the business into a much different type and size of business than there were comfortable with and like a lot of fast grown businesses either become big enough for a buy-out (is there a big enough player in this market to be interested), or stretch to busting point.

As mentioned a few posts back I looked at this sort of style around the time that this was news a few years ago but realised that it would only ever be a bolt-on to my main wedding video service and the risks such as you've mentioned didn't make it attractive enough for me.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 09:20 AM   #27
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Buy a bunch of GoPro cameras and have the main participants wear them.

Honestly I can't see this working and it be a nightmare trying to edit the worst footage imaginable. I've gotten a number of theater performance jobs from clients who had a student or novice film on the cheap. It usually ends in disaster and that's when they decide to hire a pro the next year. With weddings there is no next year.
I would imagine also any small handycam type camera would struggle to return decent footage from a dimly lit evening reception.
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Old July 21st, 2015, 08:16 PM   #28
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

At a wedding in May, I gave the best man my action cam to "play with" ...apart from having no idea at all about lighting they have no idea about filming basics either. It was crazy footage to say the least ..he even managed to get out of focus footage too!!! Not bad from a fixed focus camera!!

I don't think I would like to have to edit footage from guest cams at all ..I think it would be a nightmare!!

I guess the only decent guest cam would be something with good autofocus .. in fact auto everything and absolutely no controls on it apart from a start button and stop button but how to get something like that (a BIG GoPro???) that will work in the dim confines of a wedding reception is a BIG ask. I did an edit from a bunch of footage from a bride where they used a couple of handicams and it was shocking (it was a favour) I certainly don't envy anyone who hires out cameras and tries to make footage taken by guests (usually drunk) and make it into something that resembles a wedding video.

If you are going to do it then probably the best camera is the simplest mini camcorder you can find that the average man in the street would buy to film the kids at home. Even with some "training" would they really remember all you have taught them??
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 04:35 AM   #29
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Despite the reservations here there does seem to be a market where technical quality is almost irrelevant to the customer- content is king.

Understandably as professionals the aim is to achieve well expose, well composed and shake free focused footage but looking at the videos posted on the DIY sites it's obvious that those things don't seem to bother some people who rave about their video, much of which would have been rejected by most here.

For those of us steeped and experienced in the traditional grammar of film making a look at the videos posted on youtube and facebook proves that there is a whole wave of people who have torn up the rule books and are making and watching video with completely different attitudes. The way we 'read' film has been changing for decades. In the 50/60s when lighter portable cameras allowed films to be made away from studios they took on a new look, in the 70/80s when video all but ousted film as the media of choice again the look changed and in the 90/00s digital made the previous editing methods look clunky and dated. This decade has taken the current technology into another space; a significant part of the up and coming generation make and view video in a way many of us traditionalists don't really understand. What is important is content and immediacy, A generation with the attention span of a fruit fly, or maybe it's the sharp visual reaction of a hawk, view videos as moments in time. They are so use to having many aspects of life captured and viewed that for them a wedding video is not a thing to become a treasured family asset but another way to have fun and impress friends.

Many of us here dismiss these videos as gimmicks with little value and not the sort of work we'd want associated with our name and reputation, but it is undeniable that the market does exists and whatever amount of growth there may be in it, there will always be a niche to be caved out for someone who recognises that and approaches it with the right attitude.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 05:03 AM   #30
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Re: Decent Video Camera Recommendations?

Content is king - but what is that content? Companies like Shoot It Yourself tap into a market for videos that are more about fun than about technical quality. Does this appeal to everyone, no. If technical quality wasn't important, then Uncle Bob with his camcorder would be filming the Wedding, and I wouldn't get a look in.

There's plenty of rubbish photos too on the internet; the products of random shots taken on night outs, holidays, parties etc. The fact that technically they are rubbish is unimportant - they're not expected or seen as examples of good photography. They're snapshots. Some video will be seen in the same way. My brother takes some video with his camera. Its a record of a moment, nothing more. Technical quality is immaterial - would he watch a 2 hour movie shot that way, no. The fact that he complained on a recent cinema visit that the screen was pitiful and from the back where we were seated, worst than watching a bluray on my 4K TV, shows that presentation does count in the right context. That was Jurassic World btw, and all I can say is I can't wait for the bluray either. Terrible cinema.

Of course, offering such a DIY service for video is possible and I don't agree with some that a lack of skill from those filming is an excuse not to offer this service. I run a Guestcam service myself. Its a video that has its place and companies like Shoot It Yourself have built a solid business from it.

However as much as content is king, 30 minutes of shaky footage and poor audio of the Ceremony isn't always going to go down well. The video will have to be tailored to play to the DIY strengths and not simply an attempt to create a well crafted Wedding Video using crap footage. Its in that edit where Shoot It Yourself succeeds, but its also a style that whilst appealing to some, will be a turn off for others.
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