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


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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #1
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Newbie Needs Some Advice....

Hi Guys,

First let me say this site is amazing. I have been surfing around here for a couple of weeks now and I think I have thouroughly confused myself now....lol
Well lets just say I was sure on what I wanted to purchase until I found this site and now I just am not sure and I am hoping some of you could help me maybe see something I have not thought of or help me to make my decission.

I am just in the baby stages of starting my wedding video business and I need to purchase 2 cameras but can not decide on which ones to buy.

I have thought of combos such as this.

1 Canon GL2 and 1 Canon XL2: I know alot of people around here that use the GL2 and XL1 for weddings and thought this was the best package for me to buy as I also am wanting to get into Indie films as well...and I really like the 24p and interchangable lens system of the XL2......but the only thing that worries me now after reading so many posts here is the low light capabilities of these cameras..... Also do I want to get into the GL2 obvioulsy at the tail end of its life cycle.

or

2 Sony PD170's: I thought well here is my answer then...many of you suggest that well if you are jumping into weddings there is no other choice but to get the Sony VX2100 or PD170.....strictly for its low light use. I would jump on these but then I loose my 30p (frame mode) and 24p...which I really would like to have for that cinematic look and feel. I don't want to throw down $6,000 on gear that I wont be happy with....I am sure the Sony's are great cameras but I don't want to be limited to 60i.

or I thought about maybe

2 GL2's and 1 VX2100:

I thought well this would give me my Frame Mode....and also give me the capability of having a low light camera.....but wondered if I would have problems with color matching in post.....

I have also read alot of post stating that the SD is dead and I should not invest in this market but rather HD..... Trufully HD is out of my price range as I want to get 2 to 3 cameras right now and also a slew of accessories....plus I have thousands invested in an Indoor and Outdoor studio currently under construction.....4 kids to feed......New car....blah blah..blah...so you see my dilema lol. I hope you guys can help me out some.

You have already helped me to purchase an iRiver 899 and a giant squid per reading the posts....also a Senny G2 Wireless is coming...and I decided to start out with Vegas Movie Studio PLatinum + DVD to get my feet wet.

So I guess I am wanting the best of both worlds....I want a camera that would be great for weddings and Low Budget movies....

Any help is very much appreciated.
Thx
Nathan
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #2
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It's my opinion that if this is going to be a business for you, you should buy a matched set of cameras that have freerun mode.

xl2s, dvx100bs, etc

Mike
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:17 PM   #3
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So many choices. So many things we all want.

Ultimately, for the wedding business, I do not see "filmic" quality a an issue. If it is, there is plenty of software out there that can give you a look that will satisfy your normal client. Shoot everything in manual at 1/60th, and you will have a host of options available for conversion to various frame formats. Its not film, but then nobody gets from a $2,500 video camera. Low light is a big issue in the wedding business, from dark churches to back corners at a reception, and that is why PD's are king.

If you want to make films, get a 35mm Adapter rig, and you will get yourself film quality shots with the PDs that can be converted to frame rates to meet what you are looking for.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
....and that is why PD's are king....
Sorry, but what is a PD?
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:35 PM   #5
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For a little more than the price of 2 PD170s you can get 2 Sony FX1s. Though not as good as the PD170s in low light it still does very well. For the film look you could always just work with it in post.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan James
Hi Guys,

First let me say this site is amazing. I have been surfing around here for a couple of weeks now and I think I have thouroughly confused myself now....lol
Well lets just say I was sure on what I wanted to purchase until I found this site and now I just am not sure and I am hoping some of you could help me maybe see something I have not thought of or help me to make my decission.

I am just in the baby stages of starting my wedding video business and I need to purchase 2 cameras but can not decide on which ones to buy.

I have thought of combos such as this.

1 Canon GL2 and 1 Canon XL2: I know alot of people around here that use the GL2 and XL1 for weddings and thought this was the best package for me to buy as I also am wanting to get into Indie films as well...and I really like the 24p and interchangable lens system of the XL2......but the only thing that worries me now after reading so many posts here is the low light capabilities of these cameras..... Also do I want to get into the GL2 obvioulsy at the tail end of its life cycle.

or

2 Sony PD170's: I thought well here is my answer then...many of you suggest that well if you are jumping into weddings there is no other choice but to get the Sony VX2100 or PD170.....strictly for its low light use. I would jump on these but then I loose my 30p (frame mode) and 24p...which I really would like to have for that cinematic look and feel. I don't want to throw down $6,000 on gear that I wont be happy with....I am sure the Sony's are great cameras but I don't want to be limited to 60i.

or I thought about maybe

2 GL2's and 1 VX2100:

I thought well this would give me my Frame Mode....and also give me the capability of having a low light camera.....but wondered if I would have problems with color matching in post.....

I have also read alot of post stating that the SD is dead and I should not invest in this market but rather HD..... Trufully HD is out of my price range as I want to get 2 to 3 cameras right now and also a slew of accessories....plus I have thousands invested in an Indoor and Outdoor studio currently under construction.....4 kids to feed......New car....blah blah..blah...so you see my dilema lol. I hope you guys can help me out some.

You have already helped me to purchase an iRiver 899 and a giant squid per reading the posts....also a Senny G2 Wireless is coming...and I decided to start out with Vegas Movie Studio PLatinum + DVD to get my feet wet.

So I guess I am wanting the best of both worlds....I want a camera that would be great for weddings and Low Budget movies....

Any help is very much appreciated.
Thx
Nathan
I have had the gl2/xl2 setup before and they both worked pretty well. The video quality of the xl2 is alot better then the gl2, so I had to do some post work to get them to match. IMO, the xl2 is not a bad low light performer, but maybe it's because I have used alot worse camcorders in the past. As far as cinematic feel, the gl2 does not look nearly as good as the xl2.

The bad thing about the xl2 is that it has such terrible ergonomics. In fact, my wrist would sometimes hurt so bad after 7 hours strait of shooting that I would have to wrap it in icy hot. I got one of those steady stick things and that helped alot but it makes the camera go up and down when you walk.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #7
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I've been shooting with a GL1 and a VX2100. I just got my second VX2100 a couple days ago and the GL1 is going to be a back-up.

I don't know about the XL1 or XL2, but the GL1 couldn't pull its weight in low light situations. Correcting colors was extremely time consuming and wasn't always perfect. If you can afford matching cameras, go for it. You'll be so much happier when you're editing.

Are you going to be a wedding videographer for the next 24 months or an indie movie maker? I'm going to be a wedding videographer so I want the best tools for the job and that means low light cameras. If I make some extra money, I might look into different cameras, but I really think I'll be able to make due with the Sonys. Software is amazing.

High Def? The premise sounds good, but I didn't buy the FX1 when I had the chance. I bought the VX2100. Someone on this board said something registered with me when they said they weren't hearing customers clamoring for high def. He said the customers wanted great looking video shot in low light without lights messing up their reception. We all might come to regret those words of wisdom two weeks from now, but I don't think so.

Do your self a favor and think about what's best in the short run- 1 year or 2 years. I'm trying to think two years and at the end of two years, I'll take a look at my equipment needs and I'm pretty sure it will wind up being a new Mac.

Someone else gave me some advice about buying equipment. Pay in cash. And when you have a big lump, buy something big, because big stuff is hard to afford later, but you can always spring for $200 mic at almost any time.

Good luck.
-Scott
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Farris
Sorry, but what is a PD?
PD150 or PD170 or VX2100 or VX2000-- all the same chip and lens.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 12:53 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replys guys......I know I am rather new at this so please excuse me if I sound foolish at times......but I know alot about weddings as we have been in the Photography business for 4 years and do around 100 weddings a year.....so I do know how important it is to be able to shoot in low light.....I know how fast my camera batteries get ate up at the reception or in a dim lit church.....

I guess am am somewhat stuck on Canon since they are our Still cameras and the only camera i will ever buy....but the 6 lux rating of the GL2 just scares me.....but on the other hand I have seen some amazing work done with this little beast and after all it is a Canon......

So from what you guys are telling me I am better off getting matching cameras....(which I thought of) but wanted to verify......

So even if I purchased a GL2 and an XL2...I am still going to have some color correcting to do in post?

Maybe it would be wise to get a PD170 and a VX2100......or 2 PD170's....but then at that price I could almost snag up 3 GL2's....lol....to many decissions.

To answer one of the questions above...yes primarily the cameras will be used for weddings....but I have a buddy that is really wanting to get started filming movies again...and it would be nice to have a camera with the option of 30p/24p

Maybe I am being to picky so just tell me where I am going wrong.

I do not know enough about editing as of yet to know what I can accomplish in post to get that cinematic feel.

If I do go with the Sony's will Vegas Movie Studio give me the capabilties to get that cinematic feel....or will I need some sort of plugin or a secondary program to accomplish this?

Thanks again guys
Nathan
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:35 AM   #10
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Hi Nathan,

I come from a both a stills and video background. Canon and Nikon are the only brands I would consider for stills photography.

Video is a different kettle of fish. Sony is THE brand in television around the world for cameras and monitors.

Horses for courses.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan James

I do not know enough about editing as of yet to know what I can accomplish in post to get that cinematic feel.

If I do go with the Sony's will Vegas Movie Studio give me the capabilties to get that cinematic feel....or will I need some sort of plugin or a secondary program to accomplish this?

Thanks again guys
Nathan

Nathan: I think the biggest thing you can do in video to get film feel is use a 35mm adapter. This is a device that bolts on to the front of the Video Camera. The video camera focuses on a ground glass-- either static or vibrating. The image on the ground glass is through a standart 35mm lens, giving the feel of 35mm film-- and the all important shallow depth of field. 24p does provide additional feel, but also limits panning and moving shots. There are filters and programs available out there that add filmic feel, and even dust and scratches to your video, to give it a more film like feel.

The Sonys will work with most of the processes.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:25 PM   #12
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ooops. double post
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #13
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Chris thanks for the help.

So if I were to get the GL2 or the PD170....where can I find the adapter that you speak of....Im sure B&H has it...but what exactly do I need to look for.

Also I am currently going to use Vegas Muvie Studio Platinum + DVD....so what kind of plug in or programs are you talking about to give me that filmic feel.

As you can tell I am really new at all this....and feel kind of like a tard...but I guess we all started somewhere and at least I am eager to learn.

As far as just picking up a camera and being an easier camera for a beginner to work with do you suggest the GL2 or the PD170 right out of the box?

It looks like the rebate is set to once again expire on the GL2 on June 30th.....so I guess I need to decide soon......
Thanks
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #14
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for the adapter, try Redrockmicro and their M2 adapter. i had a gl1 as my first camera and they indeed are very user friendly, easy out of the box. do you really need 3 cameras or would 2 do just as well. if 2 would work then i'd go with the sony.

here's the adapter
http://www.redrockmicro.com/products.html
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Old June 27th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for the link......it seems as hard as I try to convince myself to go with the GL2's....alot of you still seem to think that the Sony VX2100 or PD170 is the better way to go when shooting weddings.

I look at the Canon GL2 and see the $250 rebate....and 2 cameras are only going to cost me a little over $3,000...granted I will need alot of accessories....

maybe I am puting to much weight into the fact that the GL2 has 30p (frame mode)

I realize there is no perfect camera I suppose.....you sacrafice one thing for another......

If any of you out there could really help me make my decission as to why the Sony PD170 would be superior to the GL2 other than Low light....then please do. In theory couldnt I just buy an on camera light and bounce it off the ceiling to get a better image in the low light situation from the GL2. granted I know that the extra light can be intrusive...but wouldnt bouncing it work?

I am just stuck in the rut of...I would like to be able to shoot movies with my camera as well..... Maybe I need to strictly think in the fasion of hey if I am going to do weddings then the Sony is the only choice.....and if I want to shoot movies well then it would be ok to get a GL2 as a side camera.....

I just am stubborn and don't want to spend alot of money on a camera that I think is limited even tho it may not be.......

I see alot of wedding video guys shooting on the GL2 or XL2 here in the local area...and I have seen some great work shot on the GL2 from users of this site.

If there are any of you that have used the GL2 and went Sony please let me know why....or vice versa.....

Is there really a wrong choice?

Thanks Guys
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