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


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Old September 30th, 2015, 03:13 AM   #1
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Big upgrade wedding camera

Hi all,

Its been a while.

I hope im posting this on the right forum part. And sorry for my bad English.

I filmed My weddings with 2 Canon XHA1 videocamera's for a long time.
Im looking for new cams. I did Some research but still don't know what to do.

Im looking for a very good low light all round videocamera / cinema camera that has good auto functions aswell as good manual functions. Also out of the box good low light quality is important. It might be a 4k camera. Also editing wise it needs to have an easy and fast to handle file transfer towards the pc. Price is allowed to get as high as 7k.

I had a few in mind like the BlackMagic URSA 4K cinema camera and the Canon EOS C100 mark II. The problem is that these camera's are not that "out of the box friendly" and needs a lot of setup steps before they are shoot ready. Its not a problem for me to setup these camera's but im looking for efficienty when shooting a wedding. And a camera that needs a lot of setup costs time, and time is money.

Maybe im asking for to much, but can anyone recommand me a good camera for what im looking for?
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Old September 30th, 2015, 03:30 AM   #2
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Rob, I think you're being overly cautious on setup times for cameras. Unless you go cheap, any professional camera will require some work to get the best results. Professional cameras come with professional settings; its why they're for professionals and not for hobbyists.

I've never heard anything to suggest the C100 isn't user friendly and with minimum fuss, pre-set up can't be done to allow it to be put to work straight away. In fact the ability to grab excellent footage straight from the camera with minimum post grading is a plus for Canon. The URSA mini I'm less familiar with, so can't comment there. Maybe given the investment, you should try hiring both to see which one better suits your needs. Choosing a camera is a personal thing. I prefer the GH4 for many reasons, but its not a choice I expect to be suitable to others. You need to handle the cameras first before taking the plunge.

As for other choices, there's the Sony FS7, but I've heard its not as user friendly with regards button layout and menu GUI. Requires a bit more work to get the results. Apart from that, there are fixed lens cameras, but then you're tied to a single lens there, not always ideal.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 04:03 AM   #3
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Maybe I expressed myself a little bit to much like if I want the camera to work out of the box with no effort at all.
That is not what I ment.

I used the XHA1 for many years, had a lot of stuff on it, like audio setups and lights mounted onto the camera. Offcource I used it manually and in outside situations I also used it on the auto setting a lot. That setup worked for me. The BalckMagic and the Canon c100 II are a new field for me. The question that rises to my mind is, is it way harder to handle and setup these new cams than an older cam like the XHA1? I love the quality of the BlackMagic but I also love efficienty thats what I had with the XHA1 (but the low light sucked big time haha).

Is the BlackMagic or Canon C100 recommended in efficienty when used to a cam like the XHA1?
Or is it a completely other level and setup?

What other cam would you recommend that has very good low light and good performance and efficiency for weddings.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 04:17 AM   #4
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

I have the Panny AF101a, very similar in approach to the C100, but not in quality alas. I had no difficulty in using it straight away. Sure when I had more time, I did fiddle with the settings, but really, part of the approach to these cameras is the fact that all the exterior buttons makes it easier to use on the go than say a GH4, which lacks internal NDs and requires adjustments by menu.

The C100 from what I've heard and the limited time I've worked with it, is a pleasure to use. What separates it from your current camera is sensor size and interchangeable lenses. Both which will have some impact on the run n gun approach you may favour, but with a significant improvement in low light to compensate.

If 4K isn't your thing, then the C100 would be the way to go. You will have a bit of an adjustment stage, but frankly you get that with any new camera. Buy it, spend a day filming with it and I'm sure you'd be able to put it to great use.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 05:05 AM   #5
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Thanks for the fast replies.

And what do you guys suggest for a cam that has a fixxed lens and also has a shallow dept of field cinema look and low light performance? Or is it not recommended in terms of price and quality to look into a cam with a fixxed all round lens and expecting the same quality like a C100?
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Old September 30th, 2015, 05:25 AM   #6
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

The new Panasonic DVX200 would tick some of those boxes (micro 4/3rds sensor, so more shallow depth of field and cinema quality), but I'm on the fence regarding low light. Samples so far tend to weigh against solid low light performance, a weakness of Panasonic. Other than that, very few fixed lens go for large sensors, the best you can hope for is 1", but that would impact on low light performance and shallow depth of field.

Alas most fixed lens cameras are variable aperture across its zoom, which impacts on low light and depth of field. Only primes can give ultimate quality and low light, but there are some great Canon zoom lenses out there that have a constant aperture, a necessity for low light in my opinion.

Its often a choice between great run n gun but at the cost of cinema quality image and low light, or great low light and image but at the cost of excellent run n gun. From what I've heard, the C100 balances the 2 needs rather well. Still your best choice given your current camera is a canon also.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 05:46 AM   #7
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Ok thanks for giving me a headstart for looking into my next camera. From your tips I will do more research untill more questions rise ;-)
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Old September 30th, 2015, 05:55 AM   #8
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

I am on a what seems like never ending quest for the perfect kit.

I am using an AX100 which I really like but a low light Camera it is not.

I shoot stills as well and have just invested in two Sony A7RII'S which will meet my low light needs
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Old September 30th, 2015, 06:23 AM   #9
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

@Phil If the low light performance is not that great its not an option for me. Im looking for a run and gun camera with great low light and shallow dept of field with a fixxed all round lens. But I think this is something I have to reconsidder. Is it even possible to find a 35mm cam with a fixxed lens?
And the Sony next cinema camera's? How are they compared towards the Canon C100 mark II in terms of low light performance and all round efficienty? I still would like to find the balance netwerk run and gun efficienty and great low light / shallow dept of field performance.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 07:03 AM   #10
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Rob the only fixed lens with a sensor larger than 1" that I know of is the DVX200. It's been touted for that very feature. Obviously not as good as an interchangeable, and the variable aperture will work against you, but it is designed at least for run n gun and will give you potentially better quality than most 1" sensor cameras.

If low light and shallow depth of field is an important need for you, then an interchangeable lens camera is the way to go. It won't be as much run n gun as the dvx200, but I still think you'd find your feet quickly with it. It's more run n gun than many cameras being used for such things like the RX10 for instance.

The Sony has cameras like the X70, but its a 1" sensor, so low light and depth of field will take a hit accordingly.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 12:36 PM   #11
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

One more vote for the dvx200, if you are used to a xh-a1, which I have used for 3 years as well, low light performance will be a lot better compared to your canon,the dvx200 has a parfocal lens with a smooth zoom operation, something that is missing on all camera's with interchangeable lenses. It is also a much cheaper option then getting a c100 and a bunch of lenses, the c100 will be a better low light performer and give you more choices in lens selection but by the time you get all the lenses you need you can get two dvx200 for the same price. You also get 4K at 50fps which for wedding work can be very useful, when I shoot ceremonies a 4K camera gives me much more options in post to crop and reframe.

You also need to consider that 4K will be more demanding on your pc but if you are an edius used like me then this is not a issue at all, not during edit or when I export, 4K almost handles the same like HD for me.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 03:36 PM   #12
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Rob - as a former XH-A1 user I think you will like the C100. With the built in ND filters and most of the controls accessible on the body of the cam it's very nice to use.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

Rob, I don't think any of Blackmagic's cameras would be a good choice for wedding videography. They tend to be quite poor in low light and I've heard that they take quiet a bit of time to setup for a shot (compared to most cameras). If you're interested in a camera that's really good in low light and very user friendly then either the C100 Mk I or Mk II are great choices because they have a very nice autofocus system (when used with EF lenses) and it's one of the best cameras available for low light shooting.

The Panasonic DVX200 looks like it will be pretty amazing and would be a very easy transition from the XH-A1. However, it will not be nearly as good in low light as the C100 (or most interchangeable lens cameras) because it does not have a very fast lens on it and the M43 sensor is not known for being great in low light. You will likely need to use an on camera LED light (which I'm sure you've had to use with your XH-A1 at times).

If you don't mind using the LED light then this camera is likely going work very well because you can achieve shallow depth of field much more easily than a camera like the XH-A1, plus it's 4K, plus it shoots at high frame rates and high bitrates.

But if you're looking for an easy to use camera that will almost never require an LED light (when using fast lenses) the C100 is a great choice.
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Old September 30th, 2015, 04:31 PM   #14
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

I would say the C100 mk1/2 will suit your needs perfectly. It is very easy to operate, and has a pleasing large-sensor / DSLR camera 'look' in the form factor of a camcorder. The key features have shortcut buttons on the body itself so it's quite easy to operate as a run & gun camera (apart from the super handy built-in NDs). If you want to do no / very minimal grading in post, use the Wide DR profile which gives you quite a wide dynamic range (and saves quite a bit of details in clipped highlights) whilst looking good out of camera.

The only downside as some might point out is that it doesn't offer 4K. Personally this isn't a requirement for me (for weddings in particular) however not everyone agrees (obviously depending on clients & location).
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Old September 30th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #15
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Re: Big upgrade wedding camera

The picture might be lovely but if you are used to using a proper camcorder with a motor zoom then a C100 would be quite a culture shock. The XH-A1 has a 20x powered zoom that is about 32.5-650mm FF equivalent.
Any modern camera is going to be several stops better in low light than an XH-A1. We started filming with these & owned two of them. They were great camcorders for their time.
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