6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 6th, 2016, 11:03 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Recent circumstances mean I have 5 Canon DSLRs and a GoPro Hero4 Black for this coming weekend's wedding.

I usually shoot with 3 DSLRs, and then sometimes use the GoPro for a balcony shot (I like it for maybe the processional and recessional at most).

I was thinking of using the 2 extra cameras as pre-focused, unmanned cameras to get parent reaction shots (like during the vows).

Any other ideas for uses?
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2016, 11:27 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

It depends on the venue. I've run 6 cameras before. As long as you prepare, its not too hard setting up. In the case where I did, I had 2 on the upper balcony at the back, 1 on wide, 1 on close up. 1 on wide at ground level from the back. 1 on wide at the front, 1 on closeup at the front and 1 on the Lectern for the reading.

Ideas can be to have a camera on closeup on the Groom, 1 on closeup on the Bride, 1 on wide at the front, 1 on wide at the back, 1 on closeup from the back and the other can be setup to cover more of the guests either from the front or on the back. However this is down to where you're filming. Most venues, I don't need 6, but a few larger venues with more options for filming can benefit from the extra angles.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2016, 12:16 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,076
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Perhaps this is a rookie question, but how do you overcome the 12 minute limit with 6 cameras running?
Mike Watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2016, 12:23 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

In my case only 1 camera has a clip limit of 29 mins, so not an issue for me. However I don't think Canon DSLR's are so generous, though does Magic Lantern allow for continuous recording there??
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2016, 01:41 PM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
Perhaps this is a rookie question, but how do you overcome the 12 minute limit with 6 cameras running?
I have a GoPro (no limit, except by the battery, so about 40ish minutes)
three Canon 70Ds (30 minute limit)
and two 5d Mark iis (12 minutes).

With Magic Lantern, the 5ds will go on for a long time, just with 2ish dropped frames as they restart.

Since I usually setup to shoot with 3 DSLRs (rear aisle cam, two up front on either side that can get closeups of B&G), I thought, well, if I've got them, why not use them?

/Note: Seriously doubt this will be a long term thing. Two cameras broke, and, rather than fix them, I had opportunities to buy replacements very inexpensively. Now I've fixed the two broken cameras.
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2016, 01:59 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,555
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

More isn't better especially unmanned. They may serve as distraction, tripping hazards to the participants and/or photographer and show up in your main shot. While you're running around starting them recording before the ceremony you could easily be caught out of position.
Pete Cofrancesco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 04:09 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

I would have a heart attack trying to manage 6 cameras - I'm assuming you don't work alone? I usually have 4 in church, a GoPro mounted near the outside entrance to get guests arriving, a handycam at the back and another at the front on the bride's side and me and my main camera at the front on the groom's side. And even then it can go wrong, just last week I had to run around in a panic turning things on as the bride was mega early and double pressed the record on my rear camera - result: no footage! While the shot from my other static cam is fine it limits my options in post.

More gear = more stress for me as a solo shooter, I can just about manage those 4. I have thought about locking off my main camera and getting some nice shots of the congregation with my A7s and 200mm lens but the last 4 church weddings I've had to be in a choir stall so could not even use a tripod so that killed that idea!
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 04:16 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: LIncolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,051
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

The trouble with lots of locked off cameras is that you can end up with cctv style coverage if you are not careful. You can also find that locked off cameras can get blocked, knocked, or were just not quite in the right position. The most I ever use is main operated camera on tripod, second camera on same tripod on a clamp or twin mount also operated for shot changes and wider angle, GoPro on a clamp somewhere and usually another video cam with unlimited recording for different angle, either clamped or on a lightweight stand.

The other problem with lots of locked off cameras, as has been mentioned, is the time taken to break everything down, and the chance of missing something important or unexpected while you are doing it. I do find that clamps are very quick to use and pack up though.

Roger
Roger Gunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 04:46 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
More isn't better especially unmanned. They may serve as distraction, tripping hazards to the participants and/or photographer and show up in your main shot. While you're running around starting them recording before the ceremony you could easily be caught out of position.
That is why I only use 4 for the majority of my shoots. 2 at front, 1 on wide and 1 on closeup, 1 at the back on closeup and 1 partially to the side on wide. I find this is a good balance and as the 2 at the front are with me, are not a trip hazard except to myself. The back 1 is placed to the side and I always ensure not in any walkway and the other rear camera is usually tucked up against a pillar or in the vacant side pews.

When I do use 6 cameras is where the Ceremony venue affords such coverage, larger churches and in this case, I may add 1 or 2 to an upper balcony, hardly a trip hazard as no one but me and the Photographer would be allowed up there.

As for starting them up, I usually do this in advance of the Bride's arrival for the majority of them. Its a skill working so many cameras, but once mastered, easily manageable.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 04:51 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Rush View Post
I would have a heart attack trying to manage 6 cameras - I'm assuming you don't work alone?
More gear = more stress for me as a solo shooter, I can just about manage those 4.
No I work alone. Bare in mind, 2 of those cameras are GoPros, attached either to the top of another camera or on a mini tripod on a table. I once set up 6 cameras in the space of 10 mins, though had the advantage of filming there before, so knew exactly where to place them. Thats the hard and lengthy part, deciding where to put the cameras, where it is safe, where it'll grab the best shot and negotiating with the Vicar where I can stand.

As for the setting up, how long does it take to bring out a camera from the bag, place it on a tripod and position it. Not long. If I arrive an hour before the Ceremony, I'm done placing cameras and audio gear in 20 mins, leaving 40 mins to grab shots of guests arrival. Bare in mind I use auto exposure, so aside from setting focus on my close up camera on the rear, I'm not fiddling with settings too much.

As for dismantling, I don't find the extra 2 cameras takes too much extra time. As they're GoPros, it adds maybe a minute at most. In fact I usually have a camera outside unmanned in case the Photo session in front of the church should get lively.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 05:01 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
The trouble with lots of locked off cameras is that you can end up with cctv style coverage if you are not careful.
Actually its the other way round. More cameras can make your footage less cctv - there's opportunities for greater variety in focal lengths amongst your extra cameras and in the edit you are drawing less attention to a few unmmaned cameras on wide by adding some additional unmanned cameras on closeups capturing specific parts of the Ceremony.

Take 1 recent Wedding, where I used a 5th camera to focus just on the lectern for the Readings, which due to where I was standing, I was otherwise not able to capture from my main camera. I used a 45mm lens for closeup, and kept depth of field quite shallow. The resulting image was as good as if I had filmed with a manned camera and was as far from cctv like as you could get. I could never have spared a camera for this short 5 min piece of the Ceremony if running just 3 or even 4 cameras. It wouldn't be worth it.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 05:34 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Its a skill working so many cameras, but once mastered, easily manageable.
That unfortunately doesn't work everywhere and dealing with 6 camera's of which some would have timelimits and not so good autoexposure would be an absolute nightmare to use where I come from.

Last year I did a American wedding which was one of the easiest I ever did, I had plenty of time to setup and breakdown, it was a sunny day, I had lots of room to place my tripods. Most important the couple stayed in the same position standing up facing each other the entire ceremony and only move back when someone was reading. The bride had requested that I and the photog to not come to near to them during the ceremony.

So here I could easily have used 6 camera's, lock off focus and exposure on 5 unmanned camera's, set whitebalance on all 6 and use one camera handheld for closueups from guests and come home with a perfect recording.

But, that's the only wedding in my 10 year of shooting where it was so easy, typical Belgian weddings often give you 10 minutes to no setup time, meaning you come in with your equipment while the couple and her family is being set up outside by the master of ceremony to enter the church.

The couple sits down the entire time with their back to the guests and during the vows I have had occasions where 13 people where standing in a circle around the couple. The couple, the photog, 6 bridesmaids, 2 priests, a master of ceremony (who held the paper to read from containing the vows) and ofcourse me. My locked of camera's are very often rendered useless and the only way to cover this for me is to stand behind the priest just next to the altar so I"m almost always limited to 1 camera for that important event. Add the very limited breakdown time you have because the master of ceremony is stressing you as he has a planning to follow and you are glad you "only" had 3 camera's in use.

Then don't forget outdoor weddings which can be a challenge especially if it's a partially cloudy day and the sun appears and disappears all the time, ever try to get that right with unmanned dslr's? My experience is that my dslr's are not so good in dealing with these harsh highlight differences. My handicams otoh are capable to handle exposure changes very efficiently. No way I would ever use 6 dslr's in such a scenario.

The max nr of camera I would feel comfortable with is 3, My jvc with a 12-35 f2.8 in 1080p as it will make the lens a 12-70mm using the prime zoom feature on a tripod for the readings on the lectern and the altar, one ax100 in 4K set wide pointed towards parents and guests so I can crop and reframe in post if needed and my gx80 with a 75mm f1.8 handheld to capture closeups from the couple and guests. Once the vows start I will reposition the ax100 and place it where my jvc was standing and take the jvc of the tripod and shoot handheld from behind the priest.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 05:53 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
That unfortunately doesn't work everywhere and dealing with 6 camera's of which some would have timelimits and not so good autoexposure would be an absolute nightmare to use where I come from.
I did stress that I only operate 6 for some Weddings where the venue afforded it, plus only 1 of my cameras has a time limit. If you're going to run multiple cameras, I think its essential to use those with no time limit. The most I've ever used with a time limit is 2, and I manned both at the front. Juggling more than that is just silly when there are alternatives out there. Little wonder people fall back on just a few cameras if they're making their lives so difficult juggling 3 or more cameras with a time limit.

I usually run 4 cameras or 3 if its a cramped civil Wedding. 1 on back at wide, 1 on front on wide and another on closeup on a monopod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Then don't forget outdoor weddings which can be a challenge especially if it's a partially cloudy day and the sun appears and disappears all the time, ever try to get that right with unmanned dslr's? My experience is that my dslr's are not so good in dealing with these harsh highlight differences. My handicams otoh are capable to handle exposure changes very efficiently. No way I would ever use 6 dslr's in such a scenario.
Did an outdoor Wedding quite recently with 3 GH4's with sun in and out. Overall I was pleased; a few burnt highlights in places, but I found auto exposure did a good job. Its true handycams work better there, but I don't do enough outdoors to justify the extra gear or cost. I have another this weekend, but that's in a forest. And no I wouldn't be using 6 cameras for that either, I may well be only using 3.

I don't use 6 as standard Noa, give me some credit here. Only 1 in say 40 Weddings get the 6 camera treatment. 5 cameras is more likely, with the addition of a GoPro to the 3 GH4s and GH2. However that is still maybe 1 in 10 Weddings. I judge accordingly, depending on space, size of venue and the time I have to setup. If I have little time, I keep it simple.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 06:24 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

I only wanted to point out that handling many dslr's at a ceremony is not always easy as much depends on what the traditions are in your country, where I live we don't have rehearsals, often no setup time and a very restricted view of the couple when they do they vows. Skill doesn't matter in such a case with multiple camera placement because camera's are easily misplaced or blocked and you eventually have to rely on your only manned camera.

If I have the time and all conditions are right then yes, if you are experienced you can cover many angles but "skill" for me only applies to the camera I am operating, not on the ones I leave running unattended because there I can only hope they turn out alright, it remains a risk, even if it's a calculated one, it would not be the first time I have lost a important camera angle from a unmanned camera for various reasons.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2016, 06:42 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: 6 cameras for a wedding?! Ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I only wanted to point out that handling many dslr's at a ceremony is not always easy as much depends on what the traditions are in your country, where I live we don't have rehearsals, often no setup time and a very restricted view of the couple when they do they vows. Skill doesn't matter in such a case with multiple camera placement because camera's are easily misplaced or blocked and you eventually have to rely on your only manned camera.

If I have the time and all conditions are right then yes, if you are experienced you can cover many angles but "skill" for me only applies to the camera I am operating, not on the ones I leave running unattended because there I can only hope they turn out alright, it remains a risk, even if it's a calculated one, it would not be the first time I have lost a important camera angle from a unmanned camera for various reasons.
I don't attend rehearsals, well I've attended a couple. Setup time is an issue, but my most common package is Ceremony to 10pm; so I can arrive 90 mins before the start of the Ceremony. I appreciate cultural differences can play a part in what's possible, but if time is on your side, why not make the most of it.

As for camera placement, not all your cameras need good angles of the couple during the vows. In such cases, my 2 front cameras are covering that. Its shots of the audience, readings, any musicians, and just a general wide angle view of the Ceremony, where my other unmanned cameras come into play. I'm not trying to grab the couple from 6 different angles. I want the guests to be seen too. Some of my cameras have no shots of the couple in them. Placed to cover the audience only.

As for unmanned cameras being blocked. Yep had that, camera not recording because I was in a rush, had that too. Cameras being moved during the service, another hit. That's the risk with unmanned, but running 4 cameras, should 1 or even 2 get affected, it's less an issue than if you're running just 2 or 3 cameras.

There is a skill running multiple cameras and the skill lies in evaluating the room for safe positions with good angles, quickly setting up cameras, limiting cameras being in each others FOV and anticipating whether your cameras view can be blocked at a critical moment. Of course I don't get it right all the time, that would be impossible when dealing with a live event attended by so many people, especially when time is not on your side. However I've seen enough Videographers work who have covered some of my Weddings to see how those operating with the same number of cameras can get camera position so wrong on a consistent basis.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:46 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network