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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 17th, 2015, 06:40 AM   #1
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Camcorders only

Anyone on here using camcorders only, for weddings.
Been looking at the Sony camcorders lately, might go that way.
Would need at least 2 of the same model.
Maybe keep a dslr with acouple of wideish primes, in case of extreme low light.

Kit now is 2 x 70Ds, 2 x 600Ds, 1 x sony xf1000 with Ninja Star recorder.., and my new FZ1000, which I ve managed to match pretty well to the other cameras.

Working alone, doing a lot of outdoor ceremonies.
Was looking at some of my old wedding footage, using canon HFS20 camcorders.
Sooo easy to set up and let em run!
Thoughts?
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: Camcorders only

I use two sony cx730's and a ax100 for the ceremony which are like you said so easy to use if you shoot alone, the only problem is that you need to use a videolight when the lights go out in the venue, only for that purpose a dslr with a fast prime is a better solution.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: Camcorders only

Hi Jack

I'm just using 2 x FZ1000's only now for weddings and really have now lighting issues at all. I do have a CFL light I set up for speeches and when they kill the lights for the first dance I just use a 6 x Power LED light on the handheld FZ1000. They however would die at the weddings Noa does and he does need really low light cameras .. Our weddings in Australia are much better lit and on average you won't have to go to the extremes that Noa has to with receptions lit with just tea-light candles!!!

My shoot style however is documentary style with bright sharp images so maybe you still need your DSLR's if you want the cinematic wedding film look.

I was also wondering if I needed a camera that could run for more than 30 minutes like a camcorder but even at Catholic ceremonies I just stop and start and convenient places ..I even did that when I had my Sony EA-50's purely for the convenience of 4 shorter clips rather than one 60 minute clip! So far I simply haven't needed anything else except the two Panasonics !
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:37 AM   #4
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Re: Camcorders only

The 29 minute clip limit would be a real problem for me as sometime I get boxed in and would have to literally squeeze out between the bride and groom to go and restart my static cameras - as a solo shooter I'll always use camcorders (currently CX730 but looking at one or more AX100) for static cameras and my A7s for everything else.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 07:39 AM   #5
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Re: Camcorders only

Quote:
I was also wondering if I needed a camera that could run for more than 30 minutes like a camcorder but even at Catholic ceremonies I just stop and start and convenient places ..I even did that when I had my Sony EA-50's purely for the convenience of 4 shorter clips rather than one 60 minute clip!
I never understood that :) why on earth would you stop a camera that has no recording limit up to 4 times during a continuous recording of a 1 hour ceremony, because it's "convenient"? So if you would have 3 videocamera's running at a ceremony you run by them 12 times to stop recording and restart, eventhough the camera has a unlimited recording time? Why?? :D
Because your clips are smaller then? and what difference does that make, 4 clips of 3gb each instead of one clip of 12gb, what do you gain? It still will be 12gb, but you have 4 instead of 1 clip and what about the extra time you need to spend to synchronize every separate clip? This does not make much sense to me, the only thing you achieve is to make it more difficult for yourself, during shooting and during editing.

Last edited by Noa Put; November 17th, 2015 at 09:02 AM.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: Camcorders only

The 29 minute clip limit is a major pain and I've got to the point I no longer wish to invest in a camera that has this limitation. Like Peter says, you can get boxed in and it looks quite unprofessional going around resetting your other cameras, when any camcorder a guest may have can run continuously. The new GH4r has therefore been a blessing for me and I intend to add another soon to the one I have. This has saved me from having to go down the route of camcorders, which although have plenty of advantages can be limited in some low light venues. Even my GH2 with a 2.5 pancake lens can be very hard to match for some Weddings with my GH4. I even had 1 Bride pick me up on it. If I was to add a camcorder to my mix, it would be the AX100.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 10:00 AM   #7
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Re: Camcorders only

I'm using 2 x Sony FDR-AX100 and 2 x HDR-PJ7xx series handycam and 1 x PMW200.

I do have a Canon 5D Mk 3 and a 70D but they dont ever come out for long events.

The recording limit for the Sonys is great the AX100 have 128 Gig cards and the PJ7xx have 96GB of internal memory, so you just turn them on and thats that sorted, I did have to get an adapter for the active hotshoe to mount a light when needed, but other than that I'm happy enough with the setup.

I've come to the point now that I do tell the couple that if the venue dim their lights too low that my cams will pick up the result which might not be very good
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Old November 17th, 2015, 12:56 PM   #8
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Re: Camcorders only

I use Sony Cx730s as my 'backups'. They get cut to in edit only when absolutely necessary. I also gave an RX10II it's first run out on Saturday.
To be brutally honest though I'm baffles that some of you use the Cx730s footage as more like a main cam. Even in the dull church I had on Saturday the rx10ii looked very amateur compared with my a7s/a7sii/a6000.

I suggest use a wide camcorder for cutting too briefly and buying a good dslr which you stop/start frequently.

If it's the look you care about. .. shooting shallow isn't a necessity. Stop down to f5.6. The a7s ISO can allow for it.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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Re: Camcorders only

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To be brutally honest though I'm baffles that some of you use the Cx730s footage as more like a main cam.
Even worse it IS my main cam during the ceremony :) I have attached a varavon loupe to the lcd screen so I can hold it to my eye like I would with a dslr. See the image I included. I also always shoot handheld with it and have a ax100 on a tripod for the readers at the lectern and the priest at the altar and just fill in the rest with my little cx730 which works for me and my paying clients.

Below is a good example of such a ceremony where I used the ax100 and cx730, check between 01:55 to 03:15 where all handheld shots are cx730 and a few stationary are ax100. There are only 4 ax100 shots in there, at 02:11, 02:36, 02:41 and 03:06

Attached Thumbnails
Camcorders only-cx730.jpg  
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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Re: Camcorders only

Hmm, Lots of similar views to mine here. I guess my main issues are:

: 29 min Limit, "main gripe"

: Changing Lenses, mostly at reception, 4 cameras running

: Too many different types of batteries and chargers, which is purely due
to the fact that I can't make my mind up on which cameras I should use

:Lack of "smooth slow zoom" for walk around, hand held stuff

:Other DSLR issues,


I'm similar to Chris Harding in the Doco style, but like a bit of shallow DOF for Preps and intro shots.

Was Looking at the Sony PXW X70s, or similar. Would need three, I guess. Two at the front, on bride and groom, one in the Aisle. Get these puppies running early at the Ceremony, so I can concentrate on some shots of the bride arriving in limo, etc. Sometimes the Limo arrival area can be hundreds of yards away and I have to plead with the bride and brides maids to give me a chance to get back to start my cameras.
They just look at me blankly!!!!!

Don't have a problem using lights at the reception, only used well dimmed, usually get a thank you from the Photog once they've compared a few pics with and without my lights. Would be nice not to have to use them though..
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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Re: Camcorders only

three x70's? Get one x70 and two ax100 instead, the x70 will cost you a lot more once you get the 4k upgrade.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:13 PM   #12
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Re: Camcorders only

Hi Noa

I guess we all do things differently! I always break up a long ceremony ..usually doing a stop after the readings, after the homily and after the vows ...that is MY choice no-one elses! I prefer to edit shorter segments in my NLE ..for me it's far easier to shuttle over a 15 minute clip than a hour long one and my entire wedding has always been broken up into events anyway. I have been doing them that way ever since the year dot and it has nothing to do with the 12 or 30 minute limit that DSLR's have at all!!
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:14 PM   #13
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Re: Camcorders only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
three x70's? Get one x70 and two ax100 instead, the x70 will cost you a lot more once you get the 4k upgrade.
Thanks for advice, will check them out now.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:31 PM   #14
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Re: Camcorders only

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
it has nothing to do with the 12 or 30 minute limit that DSLR's have at all!!
I"m not questioning your shooting style, if it works for you that is all that counts but I"m sure not many would deliberately stop and restart multiple camera's during a one hour ceremony if it concerns camera's that have no recording limit. There is nothing convenient about it, on the contrary, you are only introducing room for error and have extra work editing it. I say it has everything to do with the 12/30 min recording of a dslr because they will introduce the same risk. I would not even think of using 2 or 3 dslr's with such a limit during a ceremony, it would just be a matter of time before I am not able to reach a camera to restart or just would be to late. Right now I just start the camera up in the beginning of the ceremony and shut it down at the end so I can check up on them when time allows, not when a clock tells me I have to go or when something important is happening and I can't get away knowing a important angle is about to stop recording. That's not "convenient".
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Old November 17th, 2015, 05:50 PM   #15
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Re: Camcorders only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I prefer to edit shorter segments in my NLE ..for me it's far easier to shuttle over a 15 minute clip than a hour long one and my entire wedding has always been broken up into events anyway.
Like you I split the day into segments, usually a timeline for each section of the day, before bringing each timeline together to create 1 timeline of the whole Wedding. However I tend to edit the Ceremony as 1 timeline, hence the 29 minute limit bothers me as I have to resync audio every time I restart. Personally I think deliberately restarting is extra work and unless you're missing sections of the Ceremony, no reduction in video size. Like Noa says, an odd habit to have, but to each their own. If you're not working multiple cameras, I suppose the restarting of the camera wouldn't be the hassle in edit it is to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walsh View Post
I'm similar to Chris Harding in the Doco style, but like a bit of shallow DOF for Preps and intro shots.
Looking at your kit, I wouldn't have you down as a Doco style, so can understand why you want to change to camcorders as it suits that shooting style better in my opinion. I have 2 cameras with a clip limit and that is 1 too many as far as I'm concerned. God knows how you managed running 4 with the limit. I've now got 3 of my 4 cameras using the same battery type and its a godsend for keeping things simple in managing multiple cameras. I don't suppose the x70 and the ax100 use the same battery; probably a lot to ask.
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