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


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Old January 11th, 2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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Camera Advice (What to Rent)

I'm shooting my first real wedding this summer (I photograph weddings a little bit so I know what to expect for the most part).

My gear is currently...

6D
70-200 2.8 II IS
Sigma 35mm 1.4
Sigma 50mm 1.4
100 2.8 macro IS

GH4
12-35 2.8
35-100 2.8

I am looking at renting a third camera for the particular wedding I am shooting and I was wondering what exactly I should get. I would like to keep it small and compact. I was considering renting the Sony A7S ii and using a metabones adapter with my lenses. I'd like to keep the rental fee under $200 for 3 days. I saw the C300, but I didn't know if I should spend that much on a camera that I feel like I may struggle to learn to use in just a couple of days.

Anyone have any insight on those 2 cameras or any other cameras I should be considering?
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Old January 11th, 2016, 01:36 PM   #2
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

It sounds like your comfort level is a place to start. I would also think about what the rental is for; what type of shot are you wanting. If it's just a wide shot, then I would just rent whatever fits that. I wouldn't over think it, just rent what your comfortable with and fits that need.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

TBH, I'd recommend keeping it simple & renting a true video camera/camcorder. One where you won't have to worry about interchangable lenses.

You're sorta doubling up already, with 2 camera makes & lenses. Matching them up can already be a pain, as can switching lenses. For a first wedding, you'll learn how run & gun they can be. Having a quick backup 3rd string camcorder at your disposal is probably more of a worthwhile expense than a 3rd DSLR.

IMHO at least.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

If your third camera is a lockdown wide, I'd consider buying instead of renting, and go with something in the $500-$1k range. I would even consider used in that range.

Your primary camera (6D/GH4) is a big decision and large investment. IMO your 3rd/lockdown and walk away camera should be something with an on/off switch and a big red record button. Something hard to screw up.

Without a doubt I'd go for a videocamera as opposed to a still camera that shoots video.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

Looks like they covered my questions. How you want to use it that day matters.

For your first, I'd rent. Though if you're going to buy, To go with your GH4, I think there are some guys who would suggest the Panasonic FZ1000. No interchangeable lens. Built in 4K. $700. Decent choiice for a locked off camera, including wifi control.

I use the Canon 70D for my run and gun shooting (getting ready), because the focus tracking is so good, paired with an STM lens. Not great low light.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

So it's your first wedding you will cover shooting video and you want to do it with 3 camera's of which one you have no experience with? Well, good luck.

You definitely need a all auto safetycam set wide as backup just to cover you when things go wrong during a ceremony but other then that just use your 2 dslr's, they are more then sufficient to cover a wedding and you know how to use them, I"d forget about a a7s and c300. The more camera's you start using the more that can and will go wrong.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 06:12 PM   #7
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
So it's your first wedding you will cover shooting video and you want to do it with 3 camera's of which one you have no experience with? Well, good luck.

You definitely need a all auto safetycam set wide as backup just to cover you when things go wrong during a ceremony but other then that just use your 2 dslr's, they are more then sufficient to cover a wedding and you know how to use them, I"d forget about a a7s and c300. The more camera's you start using the more that can and will go wrong.
Come on Noa, we who have gone through the travails of weddings over the years must continue to perpetuate that weddings are easy, nothing ever goes wrong. ;] Good advice though, keep it simple.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

You don't need more equipment. Rent an experienced second shooter. Experience > equipment.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 03:34 AM   #9
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

If you would hire a second shooter, only take one that has experience shooting weddings, if they don't have that there is a possibility you are in for a disappointment. I have hired shooters in the past that had extensive experience shooting corporate films but they cracked under the run and gun pressure of a wedding.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 07:42 AM   #10
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

The basic idea was for me to have the 6D and the GH4 in the back of the church shooting. I will have my second and third shooter (one being my wife who is experienced) to zoom in and out by coordinating with each other on when their shots are stable just so we always have a shot in case something goes wrong. I was planning on using the third camera (rental) for walking around and getting footage at different places around the ceremony (close up of the bride and groom, shot of the minister, parents, bridesmaids, etc).

I wanted something like the a7sii because of its amazing low light abilities for the reception and the dark ceremony (I got married in this same venue, it's quite dark). The fact that it has the fantastic stabilizer in the camera as well would help me get around quicker as I could go handheld.

I want that really shallow depth of field so I hate to get an actual camcorder, even though it would be easier probably. That said, I haven't used a camcorder in 10 years so I would feel way more comfortable with a dslr than one of those.

I'm leaning toward the sony, but you all definitely have be thinking. I'll have to do some more research before I make my final decision.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:09 AM   #11
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

Well, apart from the logistical nightmare 3 different cameras will be (mostly in post), I'd say go ahead and get the Sony then, for the low light quality.

So, what IS your shooting plan? Why 2 cameras from the back of the church? Do you have enough pocket recorders/wireless mics?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:39 AM   #12
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

By two cameras in the back of the church, I really mean that I'll have the GH4 directly in the middle back of the church with the 12-35 (24-70 equivalent) which can get wide enough to capture everything and then get in close enough to focus on the bride and groom.

I'll then have the 6D kind of as a "slash" type camera angled diagonally from the stage in the back to be able to capture a different angle. I'll probably have my wife run that one with a 70-200 on it.

I would then run and gun with whatever camera I decide to rent and get all the more interesting shots (close up of bride and groom, minister, parents, bridesmaids, flower girl, friends and family, etc)

In regards to recorders, I currently have two. I planned on having one with a lav mic on the groom and one on the minister. In this wedding, the bride and groom will stand on the stage and the minister actually stands down off the stage so the bride and groom are looking at the crowd instead of away from them. Which is neat, but if one mic fails, I won't have that backup mic right next to the bride and groom on the minister standing right beside them. I may do like some people suggested, have another recorder beside a speaker just in case. I think thats a good idea.

I agree it may be difficult to match in post, but I don't necessarily mind to take my time and work it on for a while. I would get the GH4, but knowing that camera like I know it, it's absolutely dreadful in lowlight and I can't see myself using it at a wedding. Oh well, I'll go back and do some more research and figure it out. The wedding isn't until summer, so I will try to post the video here once I get it finished and let you see what I did and what I could improve upon.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

The GH4 relies on fast primes for good lowlight. The 2.8 zooms are great in their own way, but need a bit of light to bring out the quality. I run 2 GH4s plus a GH3 and GH2 and get great results as long as I use the right lenses.

I find an unmanned camera works better as a safety camera. By all means monitor it, but manned cameras for safety, I find for some operators, the temptation to fiddle can be too much. I assume you have all the audio covered, so like others have suggested, if the Sony is the one you want, get that. The C300 you mentioned feels like overkill. Others have suggested a camcorder, but if you have multiple operators, running pure DSLR is less an issue as you have someone to restart the camera and monitor it live.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

For audio, I do the same, except I have 2 more recorders so I can put one on a podium for readers, or by the musicians, if I want.

I asked about camera, because I wondered about the processional (getting faces as they walk in), and close ups of each face during the vows. I have some uber zoom lenses on my Canon crop factor, so I have a reach of over 300mm and love getting the over-the-shoulder tight shot of each face during vows. If you have 3 operators and 3 cameras....

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Old January 12th, 2016, 09:33 AM   #15
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Re: Camera Advice (What to Rent)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock Burwell View Post
I would get the GH4, but knowing that camera like I know it, it's absolutely dreadful in lowlight and I can't see myself using it at a wedding.
I'd say you don't know the camera, there certainly are better performing dslr's in lowlight but if you use the right lenses you can shoot in very dark environments and show it the way you see it with your own eyes. If my client wants to have only candle lights at their first dance they get to see it in their video the way I saw it and I am not going to add light and ruin the mood, a gh4 is capable in doing that but you need to use fast glass, with a a7s you could turn that same scene from night to day but why would you ever want to do that? It won't look the same as the client had envisioned.

Below link is a post I made about a wedding I did together with a forummember and it's mainly Panasonic gh camera's you see in action: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-...ing-ghent.html

Also and very important, a m4/3 camera is much easier to focus, you will have fun trying to nail focus on a 6d and a a7s, especially in a fast moving environment like a wedding.
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