Anyone using a live video switcher? at

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

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Old July 11th, 2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Hollywood, Atlanta
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Anyone using a live video switcher?

The focus enhancements MX4-DV is a video switer that allows you to plug in up to 4 DV camers by firewire and 4 more by S-video or composite. $4 grand.

I wonder if that would work well for a wedding, and how practical it would be. Seems the biggest problem in doing wedding videography is the time it takes to capture and sinc and edit all those cameras. With a swither you could do much of that work live the day of.

I guess problems would be;
1:You would have to buy really long firewire cables or really long analog cables.
2: Firewire cables are expensive and need a repeater.
3: Running those cables around the church or where ever your ceremony is.
4: An extra person to run the switcher.

Still I wonder if it would save time and allow you to maybe do more weddings faster.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #2
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Honestly unless you're doing a 3 or 4 hundred thousand dollar or more, wedding thats going to TV (ala Trista and Ryan-remember them?) there is in my opinion no need for a live switcher at a wedding. In my short lived experience of 20 plus years doing weddings I don't have enough time to set it up or break it down and frankly don't make enough to warrant have 2 gophers do all that not to mention that most venues (read churches) in my area would never allow it. Heck, some still don't want a vidographer in there place with 1 or 2 cameras. I guess they're afraid of "the big lights" :-)

Now for corporate work such as certain seminars a live switcher is heaven sent and just about a necessity-running 4 cameras showing on 2 giant screens for an audience of say 6 to 10 thousand people-handling the video playback etc-well then you become the director not the videographer.
I guess if the wedding is big enough and they're willing to pay enough it could work but frankly I think you're better off running the cams, sync in post and cut cut cut.

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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
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My father and I use a mixer on weddings, it's nice to get a nice mix on the day that will be recorded to use as a master, but record all the raw footage as well in case you miss an important cue or botch a mix. We shoot a static master to the "a" with a manned cam to "b" for mixing...these record to tape and we grab AV out from them...then I usually sit on a wild camera on the side opposite the "b" cam which captures to tape only to be used as inserts/cutaways.
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