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

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Old August 20th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #1
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Location: Spokane, WA
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cutting through the hype. what camera fits you?

I have read HD vs SD for event videography and as I understand it, SD is fine, although I am curious since the HD DVD and bluray is out how that wil change.

I need to invest in cameras. I have looked and have some questions that spec sheets can not answer. This is all based on a newbie with low income and bad credit. bleah!! So going to my bank and getting 40k small buisness loan would get my account closed! things must be frugal and professional.

1. sony and panasonic make great little HD cams. jvc has a more tradiotional design. Are clients more comfortable with a less obtrusive machine? Or do these seem to close to a consumer design and make videographers seem unprofessional?

2. If the smaller cameras work well to record weddings and candid events, where you want to keep a low profle, do commercial and corprate clients expect the 40lb camera?

3. since new consumer cameras are so damned small anyways. do the panasonic and sony hd models seem large now?

4. used equipment, buyer beware ofcourse. calculated risk or finacial suicide?

a conclusion.

I would love a 2 new hd sony or Panasonic cameras. but I havent even mad a dime yet and would hate to have 12,000 in debt for a failed buisness. I will be introducing into a mildly tapped market. could I get some used 3ccd DV pro quality equipment and upgrade. or should I shoot HD out of the gate.

Are there any models of cameras that should be omitted from my search!?

the area does not have HDTV through the local cable. just satillite. so you do the math there.
Richard D Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2006, 12:22 AM   #2
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I'm quite impressed that the small HD cams are coming out (but they aren't 3CCD are they?)...they look great, and I'm sure the weddings you shoot with them would look great too

All I will quickly say is, when I walk in with the Sony FX1E, I am INSTANTLY given so much respect and care, from everyone. That really works in your favour. And as long as you aren't attaching huge intrusive lights to the camcorders, the crowds always seem comfortable after 5 minutes of you setting up so no worries there.
And although the camcorder may look a tonne, they really aren't that heavy at all (esp. with a tripod :) ...infact you would still need a tripod for the small cams anyway!)

I'm not sure of 2nd hand prices for the Canon/Sony range, but my particular FX1 cost me £1700 brand new here in the UK about 1.5 years ago, and hopefully you would make that price back in 2-3 weddings.

On the plus side of the smaller cams, they are obviously cheaper and more compact and means you can straight away buy 2 (or 3) for wedding setups.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:50 AM   #3
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You paid 17 hundred quid for an FX1, Richard? Presumably tax on top, because finding them under two grand is very difficult now.

As I was unpacking and assembling my kit at a bride’s home at the start of her wedding day she said to me, "I thought you'd have one of those bigger cameras". What she actually said was, "My, you've got a small one", so we set off on her day with a laugh together.

Yes, the VX 2000 is a small camera to take on such a task, and unaided it does a pretty good job right out of the box. Clients don’t really care what you’re shooting onto – it could be analogue or digital, film or loo paper. What they’re really doing is buying your skill, experience, knowledge, artistic awareness, editing and people understanding, and as long as you deliver the goods you're the man.

In my view there are no professional cameras, they’re all but a collection of inanimate vegetable and mineral components, awaiting your reasoned input. Cameras (all cameras) are cheap. It's the nut behind the shutter that's expensive.
Aside. There’s a Sony HDVF-20A camcorder with a black and white viewfinder and a Canon lens that sells for £59,671.00. You read that right.

But as with all camcorders, it’s the on-board microphones that let them down. The best place to collect the visuals is hardly ever the best place to collect the audio, so even allowing for the undoubted excellence of the VX 2000’s in-built mics, some form of external microphone is called for.

So to enable me to use proper XLR microphones, I start by attaching the Beachtek DXA-4 under the VX2000, feeding it signals from the Sennheiser ME66 shotgun and EW-100 radio receiver. Then I add the large Aspheron wide-angle converter with its big 4:3 aspect ratio Cavision hood, and pull a Rycote Softie over the K6 / ME66 combination.

Once I’ve added my L bracket, Hoodman and so on, the VX 2000 takes on a pumped-up look that doubles its weight and size.
I've got a picture here:

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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:07 AM   #4
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haha, sorry that is pretty funny Tom...i hope the bride's relatives weren't walking past the bedroom door as you were both discussing your size inadequacy.....

v.good point though, if u can deliver professional edits and convey this through a demo to show clients then they probably won't mind what you turn up with!

loving the pic of the VX2000... reminds me of those transformer toys from the old days!

p.s. whoops, completely forgot to mention the tax on the FX1....which was quite significant!
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