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


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Old July 14th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #1
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Is anyone asking if you shoot in HD?

I'm trying to gauge whether the time is right to buy an HDV unit or stick with SD for another couple of years. Has anyone asked you if you shoot in HD yet? When do you think HD distribution will represent 25% or more in your wedding market?
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Old July 14th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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We've got the XL-H1 and for the last 6 months of offering it, it seems that people like the idea that their wedding is being shot in the best quality possible, but not many have specifically asked if we shoot and deliver in HD. I bet it will still be a few years before people start looking for it as a final product due to the playback issues that are involved, but as for us, it's always nice to tell our clients that their wedding will be shot in HDV with the possibilities of updating or whatever in the future... plus the XL-H1 is truly amazing...

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Old July 15th, 2006, 02:16 AM   #3
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I wouldnt call HDV the best possible quality... but thats me..
Not too impressed with the Z1's or any other HDV camera for that matter apart from the JVC. but even that has its downfalls
And the HVX cant cut t for longfom work at this time... pity its the only cam of this range to shoot uncompressed audio..

more than likely if i dont jump teh HVX, i'll prlly go a Sony F350 XDCamHD

at this time, here in aus, people are uneducated and believe that Plasma is HD and know nothing about aspect ratios. They have more money than sense and dont realise what the differences are. They think bigger is better and with eh Sony saturation of the market here, 1080i seems to be taking the lead in acquisition. Hell teh RTx2 doesnt even support 720p and afew morons are even sprouting garbage by saying 720p isnt a HD resolution. So not only are the clients uneducated, but theyre also being misinformed when theyre given the opportunity to learn

so they just ask for 16:9 SD coz tehy dont know any better.

They know nothing of progressive scan, HD, HDV, WMV, or QT, so HD delivery is non existant.
Those that want HD are the ones getting married next year, but i charge about 1 grand to 1500 on top of the actual package if they want HD. I provide it on MiniDV tape, however, i also provide it to them as rendered M2t and AC3 files on a HDD. THey also get it as a WMV-HD file in 5.1surround. Some are happy to pay it, others arent.

Nothing is free.. but it helps if the client is educated, which in most cases is not the case...
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Old July 16th, 2006, 01:42 AM   #4
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Did I say best? I think I meant better... lol

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Old July 16th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #5
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I'm starting to get a handful of people who are interested in HD since I put info about it on my web site, but I wouldn't call it an essential feature at this time. HD delivery is still a challenge and some people are concerned the extra detail will reveal their flaws more, plus low-light issues can be a problem in some situations. There are answers to all of this but the return on investment is marginal at this time unless you have an interested client base and good marketing skills.

If you're buying cameras anyway I wouldn't recommend anything without a decent widescreen recording mode and preferably HD. Sooner or later HD acquisition and delivery should become commonplace for wedding videos; this should start to pick up next year and maybe hit 25% the year after that. If I was spending good money on a wedding video today I'd want it shot in HD, but I guess I'm not typical.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 07:58 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Kevin Shaw]
If you're buying cameras anyway I wouldn't recommend anything without a decent widescreen recording mode and preferably HD. Sooner or later HD acquisition and delivery should become commonplace for wedding videos;/QUOTE]

Kevin, could be later rather than sooner. I've been hearing and reading from financial analysts that Best Buy and Circuit City are reporting slower sales of flat panel TVs. This could be an early sign that the high cost of fuel is starting to eat away at discretionary spending and this will have an impact on the growth and demand of HD anything.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #7
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Once people start buying the HD tv's then they'll be looking for HD stuff to screen.I think the average person has only just started to get their heads around wide screen, non HD TV's. With the high costs ,its going to take a few more years before the majority of people take the plunge into HD.
I guess by the time that happens,there'll be a completly new format out,and the present HD camera's will be obsolete.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #8
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I agree with Peter J. and Joe B. on this.

Here's the economics as I see it.
•No standard and affordable way to playback HD (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray . . . even WMV-HD).
•Not great low light performance in these cameras as of the moment.
Downconvert to SD is a big extra unprofitable step.
•I can't see "reselling" HD copies (as people move to HD) as a high profit part of the business.
•Hi Motion artifact issues with HDV (might not be that important in the wedding video market)

By the time HDTV and HD playback gets sorted out they'll be another generation of cameras out that'll deal with these issues.

I'd love to for Sony to come out with a 1/3" 3 chip version of the F350. XDCAM-HD can record at 35mbps with VBR (HDV is CBR hence part of motion artifact issue). Has a "built in" archival format not tape based. Can shoot at 60p for great slow motion.

The current HDV cameras do record native 16:9 SD though (but don't have the low light capability of a PD-170 though) which people can play on their HDTV sets (those that own them).
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Old July 17th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #9
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"No standard and affordable way to playback HD (HD-DVD, Blu-Ray . . . even WMV-HD)."
Agreed, with so many "standards" being made available, theres no actual "recomended" format... however they HAVe decided on teh audio format, but i trully dont see HD-DVD being able to cope with a 12mbps audio stream alongside a video stream.. for BluRay, i see Dolby TruHD woring quite well, but with the bit for bit encoding, it wont cut it for HD-DVD simply due to capacity.
As for teh video formats, too many comprmises are being made.. theres more to video than frame size, which many people have forgetten about in the HD war...

•Not great low light performance in these cameras as of the moment.
Downconvert to SD is a big extra unprofitable step.

((IMO low light performance is the least of peoples problems. With good smart lighting, good results are possible in any environemtn with any camera. I totally agree aboutteh downconvert though... definately non profit... considering its "to be expected" within some circles of clientelle... ))

•I can't see "reselling" HD copies (as people move to HD) as a high profit part of the business.

((None upgraded here.. and HD has been offered for over 18 months now... its an extra grand and they get all teh bells and whistles.. HDD of teh video as m2t and AC3, 1080i frame grabs... but noone is willing to pay an extra grand for it.. hell its struggle to get them to pay 2 grand for a normal package... let alone upsell .... ))

•Hi Motion artifact issues with HDV (might not be that important in the wedding video market)

((it is though.. I put abig post up about shooting sun flares on water.. a while back, i was shootign a boat cruise reception which was as ugly as ... well it was ugly...
HDV (and DVCPRoHD) IMO is an interim format jumped on by Sony (and pana) to penetrate a market which is far from being mature. To be honest with u, i see DivX video at 3000kbps which makes MPG2 @ 9mbps look like poo..
DVCPro will prolly outlive HDV on the broadcast and Indie front, however this is totally dependant on the NLE intake of the format..
Now even though i use Sony NLE, what theyve done with the format in this market was rushed, illinformed and compromises the fundamentals of the art behind what we do...

Problem is, people have accepted it... so we reap what we sow...
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Old July 17th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
IMO low light performance is the least of peoples problems. With good smart lighting, good results are possible in any environemtn with any camera.
Except that "good smart lighting" isn't possible in many instances. When the bride & groom get married in a church that is dark as a tomb, you can't orchestrate good lighting (unless you want to destroy the atmosphere). In the past year alone I've had three wedding ceremonies take place in locales that were very dark, and my Z1u SUCKED in those situations (I since sold it I was so angry). Thank goodness for my DSR250.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 01:09 AM   #11
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It's rare I have a customer lately who doesn't own at least one HDTV, and that's clearly the long-term trend of the future. Any camera without a proper widescreen recording mode is less useful in this context than a camera with widescreen recording, even without considering HD acquisition and delivery. So like I said, it doesn't make much sense to be buying 4:3 SD cameras these days because their long-term viability is limited.

It's unfortunate we don't have a better selection of affordable widescreen/HD cameras which meet all our needs without some sort of drawbacks, but continuing to shoot standard SD is also a drawback. So either don't buy cameras at all right now unless you really need them, or think carefully about which cameras have the best long-term potential. All things considered there is no ideal wedding video camera at the moment, at least not at prices most of us are used to paying.
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