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


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Old November 13th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #1
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Shooting with two camera's

I work now already for about 6 month with a Canon XL2 camera.
I would like to purchage another one for shooting off weddings.
My question is: If shooting a wedding with two camera's, is it better to work with the same camara's or work with two different types ?
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Old November 13th, 2005, 12:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obed Boas Berg
My question is: If shooting a wedding with two camera's, is it better to work with the same camara's or work with two different types ?
In general it's best to work with two similar cameras, at least ones from the same manufacturer, as overall color may not look the same when combining footage between brands. So for example, a Canon GL2 might make a good second camera to supplement your XL2 at a lower price.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:09 AM   #3
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I think working with similar cameras is a good idea for a different reason. There's always talk about 'matching color', but color correct almost all of my footage in post anyways, so it doesn't really matter.

I use 3 GL2's for filming, and the biggest advantage to that is that I only have to know the controls and settings for ONE type of camera. When you start mixing cameras, you have to start remembering a lot more when it comes to operation and settings. That is a bad thing for live events like weddings, where you often don't have time to mess around with extra details.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 01:01 PM   #4
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Thanks alot. Another reason wy a would prefer to work with the same camera's is that with the XL2 you can copy the exact settings from the first camera to the second.

So i think i should order me another XL2.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 01:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
I think working with similar cameras is a good idea for a different reason. There's always talk about 'matching color', but color correct almost all of my footage in post anyways, so it doesn't really matter.

Obed,

One of the main reasons why this DOES matter is that at some point you may want to save yourself hours of post time by purchasing or renting a switcher. This will allow you to edit on the fly. Saves a lot of time and money. You could take this footage back into post and color correct, but if your cams are sync'd up you won't normally need to. If you have the funds available I would go with another XL 2. You can atleast knock out the ceremony using this method. GOOD LUCK!
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Old November 15th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #6
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I totally agree with EVERY point of what the people in the previous posts said. So why would I then go and recommend a different camera?

The Canon cameras are not so good in low light and there is no better way to improve wedding reception video than getting a camera with low-light sensitivity. Blasting a 50w ENG light in people's faces is a great way to look like the scene of an accident coverage. Also, if you don't need much extra light, the guests act fairly normal around you. Bright lights make people nervous. I intentionally don't shoot the beginning of the open dancing to keep from scaring people away from the dance floor. Once they are out there and having fun, they don't mind my presence.

What I would recommend is the PD170/PD150/VX2100/VX2000 family of Sony cameras. There really is no substitue for light sensitivity at a wedding reception. I know this conflicts with much other good advice, but at least try one of these cameras before you decide.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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Thanks to your reply, i think i agree with all off you, but then again that does't make the choice easy.
I have the funds to buy a second XL2, but i also would like to compare some camera's. Just to see what the differences are in low light conditions.

Thanks to all off you, it is a great site !
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Old November 16th, 2005, 02:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Bridges
Obed,

One of the main reasons why this DOES matter is that at some point you may want to save yourself hours of post time by purchasing or renting a switcher. This will allow you to edit on the fly. Saves a lot of time and money. You could take this footage back into post and color correct, but if your cams are sync'd up you won't normally need to. If you have the funds available I would go with another XL 2. You can atleast knock out the ceremony using this method. GOOD LUCK!
Extra crew is needed ... with the XL2 free-run timecode and both cameras in sync., this is not needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
The Canon cameras are not so good in low light
This is not absolute. Have you used the XL2? It's low light capabilities are completely different from the previous pedigree.

The savings for the same cam are there: Previous competency, batteries interchangeable, custom preset sharing for identical look. If the OP wanted to switch to Sony that would be fine. He'd have to buy 2 and sell the XL2.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 06:33 AM   #9
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I haven't used the XL2 yet. I'm sure it is better than the XL1, but everybody seems to agree that the Sony PD/VX cams are the best 1/3" ccd models at low-light performance. I would be happy to learn that another manufacturer is catching up.

Also, I am not completely opposed to using added light. I just think it should be done sparingly to avoid affecting (also effecting) the guests. I am thinking about getting a small ringlight to add a touch of shadowless fill. A chinese lantern on a light stand might not be a bad idea if the ballroom people can't get the idea that completely dark won't work for your video. Don't forget that dimmed ballroom lights are a low color temperature, so get CTO gels for your lights.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #10
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low light at hotels...

Getting just a tad off topic here ... but Marcus is quite right. Hoteliers do set the lighting just a couple foot-candles above tea-lights which is quite a strain for any ccd.

I just did a corporate gig where I was going to switch to 2 live cams ... quickly abandoned even with 2k watts of ellipsoidal spots from 4 locations on the stage...

Perhaps a classy display incorporating a floating mass of several chinese lanterns could be crafted to hover nearby the podium for speechtime would be a good looking source of 7 or 800 watts of 3200k temp soft lighting...
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Old November 20th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #11
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I think I need some clarification. Does the XL2 need significant added light when the ballroom lights go down? The Sony PD/VX cams just need a few extra watts on the subject in these conditions.

Here is a test: Use just a single 60w bulb in a desk lamp, aimable track light, or torchiere. Point this light at the wall or ceiling to simply fill your editing/office/bed room with bounced light. Can your camera take a good image of the room without going over about 12db of gain? My Sony can "see" just fine with a single 60w (actually a 13w fluorescent) in my 10x12 room. I'm not bragging, I just would like to know how other cameras stack up.

In this informal test, I would say that it would take a 200w light to make the FX1/Z1 acceptable and, from my memory, probably 800w of bounced light to make the XL1 look good. My VX2000 can produce a barely-acceptable image in a dim ballroom, but if there are supplemental room lights aimed at the head table and podium (normally the case) everything is fine. If I try to get crowd shots with no added light, they lack a bit of color. For dancing, the DJ lights are surprisingly effective as they are actually quite bright. They just seem dim to the naked eye since they are colored. Sometimes, I take silhouette shots of the crowd dancing in front of the DJ lights.

How do other cameras look in a dimmed ballroom? How much light does it need to bring them up to just-acceptable?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #12
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I use a Canon GL-2 and an XL-1S simultaneously. I set the white balance manually before shooting, and never have to do any color correction in post.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #13
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the trick to lighting is to emphasise what you CANT see..

Shadows and depth are what make a shot, not blaring floodligth burning ppls corneas...

with lighting, there are many ways around it..
as i run 2 DVX's i usualy have either a 35w or a 50w luxman mounted to one cam which is jacked up about 8feet on a tripod, this is used for the wide shots (obviosuly) then i go handheld and dont need to use any lights as thats been taken care of. Not using an oncam light is better for dancfloor situations, as u can move about and not be a distraction. and the light emitted isnt that harsh as to intrude on teh environment.
If im shooting a HDV wedding with my Z1's (rare), id change that light to 100w

Shooting in a dark environment without a light is just plain silly IMO, as you lose ALOT of colour. Id rather run a light and have good colour as oppsed to not running a light and having grain and muddy colours. Thats just me... most clients understnad that soem sor tof light will be needed if they want good footage.

Consider that even in daylight, Professional News camera and documentary crews use lights. Why? Becuase it assist in offering optimal image quality.
Being a professional and making money from this, Optimal image quality should be your priority IMO, irrespective of the camera.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:17 AM   #14
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"then i go handheld and dont need to use any lights as thats been taken care of."

Do you mean that the light from the wide camera on the tripod is what you use for the handheld?

Honestly, as long as I scope out the lighting situation beforehand, I almost never need extra light with the VX2000. Most rooms have enough light even when they are dimmed. I shy away from on-camera lights because of the crimescene look they create. I don't like the way that close subjects blow out and distant subjects underexpose. It really give away the position of the light and makes background subjects disappear since the foreground needs reduced exposure.

If you are using the second camera on a tall tripod to act as a light stand, I am intrigued. I think I might go for that idea since it would blend into the room light and avoid the newscam look.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 03:20 AM   #15
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Do you mean that the light from the wide camera on the tripod is what you use for the handheld?

((Yup, usually a nice spot is created with the right amount of shadoes, so i use that light as a focal point, and i reposition myself depending on the types of shots i want to get.
At least this way there is a subconcious orientation being created and theres a bit more variety with the shots, being that i may be focussin on someone 10 deep in the crowd, with the light right above them, or i may be low and shooting upwards gettin the light to give me a lens flare or backlight flashes as people move in front of the light))

Honestly, as long as I scope out the lighting situation beforehand, I almost never need extra light with the VX2000. Most rooms have enough light even when they are dimmed.

((This is true with most 1/3rd CCDs, i only use light when needed, sometmes i might get the venue to tweak their down-lights, or to dim the wall lights while brightening up the dancefloor.. there are many ways around lighting))


I shy away from on-camera lights because of the crimescene look they create. I don't like the way that close subjects blow out and distant subjects underexpose. It really give away the position of the light and makes background subjects disappear since the foreground needs reduced exposure.

((thatrs why i use a distant light.. at least it allows for more depth))

If you are using the second camera on a tall tripod to act as a light stand, I am intrigued. I think I might go for that idea since it would blend into the room light and avoid the newscam look

((AND, it offers an additional viewpoint.. ezpecially for the larger weddings, Grab a LANC controller and flip the LCD down and you can monitor your shots..
Its all good ))
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