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


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Old November 18th, 2005, 07:28 AM   #16
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Regarding the original question, I'd say the Canon XL-H1 is arguably overkill for weddings because of the price tag, but I suppose that depends on your client base and what you consider a reasonable cost for a camera. For XL2 users in particular, you at least have the option to shoot and deliver true widescreen SD footage, which is a better solution for customers with HDTVs than anything shot on 4x3 DV cameras.

As far as HDV editing is concerned, it does require a powerful computer and more hard drive space (if you use an intermediate codec), but production time is basically the same. Capture your footage, edit your footage, and output a widescreen MPEG2 file, then author your DVD and you're done. If someone's willing to pay extra for high-definition output then you have some extra rendering time and setting up a high-definition DVD, so you charge extra for that.

From a business perspective, HDV is helping some people make more money now but probably won't change things much in the long run. If you understand your choices it doesn't cost much more today to produce in HDV than it's cost in the past to produce in DV, so the same pricing model will likely take over eventually. Unless/until people come to appreciate wedding videos more than they do now and realize that they're getting reamed price-wise by photographers, video will continue to take a back seat with lower average prices for more work, as one poster described here. HDV may help change that a little by improving the quality of the delivered product, but it's not going to change the average customer's priorities regarding spending money on video. Best way I see to solve that problem is to offer a combined photo/video package, at which point one of the benefits of HDV is that it gives you a chance to make usable prints in case you missed something on the still cameras. A clever person might make more money from that feature than they will (in the future) for offering HDV video.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #17
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Gosh I almost feel bad for asking and starting this back and forth :-(
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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #18
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Miguel: sorry if my last post seemed overly negative. I think HDV is good and that the Canon XL-H1 will be a nice camera for some people, although the suggested price is a bit steep for a wedding camera with a 1/3" sensor. The biggest problem you may have if you get the H1 is that you may suddenly find your XL2 footage looks weak by comparison, but that's something you'd have to assess once the new camera is available for testing.

As far as editing is concerned, it's good to have at least a dual-core processor or two single-core processors to handle 1080i HDV footage effectively, and you need about 3-4 times the drive space compared to DV if you're converting to an intermediate editing codec like Cineform AspectHD or Canopus HQ. DVD authoring can be done with current tools for now using widescreen SD output from your HDV projects, and then next year upgrade your software to handle the new HD DVD options.

As I hinted earlier, if you're shooting with the Canon XL2 you have a little more leeway than with other DV cameras, since you can at least deliver true widescreen DVDs until HD delivery becomes more commonplace. So no rush to order the H1 until it's been shipping for a while, then you can make an informed decision about whether to invest in HDV.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #19
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There is one high definition videographer in Texas that will shoot and deliver your wedding in high defintion with packages starting as little as 500 dollars. He shoots exclusively in high definition. Of course the 500 dollar package is a bare bones package that covers a one man shoot of the wedding ceromony only. As soon as you ad options the price goes up accordingly. But I think the high definition video is actually the loss leader. Where he makes the real money is the still photography where he charges a minimum of 3500 dollars for a photo video package (500 for video 3000 for photos) but he throws in a free HD DVD player. I think Peter Jefferson is right still photographers make 2 to 3 times as much money for less work and less equipment. But also offering high definition video is a wonderfull way to give yourself a competitive edge and lure customers because still photography is a very competitive field.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 10:46 PM   #20
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"especially considering you cant create a DVD with menus and chapters using the format"

wrong, the microsoft HD-DVD is html based including javascript.
basically, all you can do for a web page can be done on a HD-DVD.
That is considerably a lot more than what you can do with a regular DVD.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 04:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
"especially considering you cant create a DVD with menus and chapters using the format"

wrong, the microsoft HD-DVD is html based including javascript.
basically, all you can do for a web page can be done on a HD-DVD.
That is considerably a lot more than what you can do with a regular DVD.

so what hd dvd authoring package offers this??
or do i have to go out and learn html code? hmm.. more time wasted...
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Old November 19th, 2005, 05:05 PM   #22
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So how long does it take to render an hours worth of HDV footage using the WMV-HD codec? If you burn the HDV m2t file directly to the DVD without using WMV-HD I bet you can burn the disc in the same amount of time it takes to play the disc. Of course the WMV-HD codec uses less disc space but a dual layer DVD will hold an hours worth of HD m2t files. So if you want to save time delivering high definition video bypass the Windows Media High Definition Video format and deliver using the native m2t codec.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 02:43 PM   #23
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The arguments going back and forth make it sound like editing in HD takes an extremely large amount of time. Shouldn't it be about the same, except for exporting? When exporting, you're not even at your computer, why would that matter?

Maybe i'm a little misinformed on some aspects of HD footage, or i'm not reading this correctly. But am I getting the gist of this?
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:33 PM   #24
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If you export using a more efficient codec like MPEG-4 for the WMV-HD format you will obviously increase your render time. Some claim the render time for MPEG-4 is astronomical but I don't know because I have never tried it. All you accomplish is the saving of disc space. If you on the other hand you export using the native HDV codec which is MPEG-2 your render time is real time which is the amount of time it takes to play the DVD.

Some people rather than to try and find an efficient workflow to edit HDV video simply trash the format. They do this simply because they do not want to change. Even if an HDV editing system were invented that could actually save wedding videographers time and money over their current standard definition workflows the naysayers would simply refuse to believe it and would say that there is no such thing as a free lunch. For example my HDTV saves me money because I can get free HDTV programming over the air and I do not have to pay the cable bill. But a naysayer would never believe me because he thinks that if it is too good to be true then its not true.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:49 PM   #25
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:51 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave M. Smith
I know most people haven't had this camera in their hands yet, but any preliminary thoughts on the Canon XL-HD for use in weddings? B&H is taking orders for it at nine grand a pop. I'm a PD170 man, but I realize that before long I'm going to need to make the jump to HD. I wonder if I ought to shell out the cash for the new XL, or stick with the Sony line. Any thoughts? (By the way, I'm glad they made it black! I hated those white XL's!)

My opinion is that you ALREADY have "the" wedding camera. I can think of a million ways 9k is better spent.

However apples to apples, if your intent on going HD now go with the Sony cams.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #27
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Apple store customer comments

I was in the BREA apple store today foolin around with FCP on a Quad G5 and a 30in LCD (dang.. I want that lcd for Christmas!!).

Anyway, they have a sony fx1 set up next to the G5 that I was working on and some couple came over and took a look at the camera and the guy said "wow, that says HD(V) on it, I didn't know they made HD cameras"

Geeks care, no one else - nuff said!

Right now I'd rather spend 8k on two xl2's for my wedding business rather than 1 HDV camera for 9k.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Michael Padilla
Geeks care, no one else - nuff said!
Yeah, we might as well all go back to shooting Hi-8 and delivering on VHS videotapes, since no one really cares about image quality! I wonder why all the TV networks are wasting so much money upgrading to HD even though most people still watch the shows in SD, and why Hollywood movies aren't shot on single-chip consumer camcorders? Must be some kinda conspiracy by geeks trying to sell new equipment...

Quote:
Right now I'd rather spend 8k on two xl2's for my wedding business rather than 1 HDV camera for 9k.
That I might agree with, but that just shows the XL-H1 is overpriced for now for most wedding video work. Of course you could buy two Sony Z1Us or three FX1s, and a lot of people are basically doing that.
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Old November 26th, 2005, 01:09 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Yeah, we might as well all go back to shooting Hi-8 and delivering on VHS videotapes, since no one really cares about image quality! I wonder why all the TV networks are wasting so much money upgrading to HD even though most people still watch the shows in SD, and why Hollywood movies aren't shot on single-chip consumer camcorders? Must be some kinda conspiracy by geeks trying to sell new equipment...



That I might agree with, but that just shows the XL-H1 is overpriced for now for most wedding video work. Of course you could buy two Sony Z1Us or three FX1s, and a lot of people are basically doing that.
When the time comes we'll all switch over to HD, but for now in all honesty Geeks care the most, trust me im one of them.. I own a 50" LCD hdtv, and don't have a hdtv signal (its fine, I don't care, don't want to spend the extra $ for HD, I just like the big widescreen set) and I know lots of geeks, geeks that do have hdtv, bought the fx1 the day it came out. But the majority of people we talk to that are not like this, may not even know HDTV exists, they are happy with their 27" 10 year old crt. and yes the xl-h1 is over priced and I would buy if it were cheeper - the Sony's just suck, I used them for one wedding and then bought the xl2's.
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