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


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Old October 12th, 2006, 04:16 AM   #1
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We're in the process of upgrading to HD this winter. I was wondering what setup you guys are planning on using. Here's what we're planning to do.

HD Checklist:
- Camcorder
- NLE
- Authoring/Burning
- Player
- TV

Camcorder:
We'll be using Sony HDR-FX1's because they seem like the low light winner from all the HDV camcorders.

Editing:
We'll be using Final Cut Pro since it has native HDV editing.

Authoring/Burning:
We'll be using HD DVD discs. Does anyone know if DVD Studio Pro supports HD DVD discs? When a HD DVD disc publisher becomes available from Primera and white inkjet printable HD DVD-R discs be available from Meritline, we'll be getting those as well.

Player:
We'll be getting the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player.

TV:
We'll be viewing the final video on a Sony 40" BRAVIA XBR LCD Flat Panel HDTV (KDL-40XBR3) which supports up to 1080p.

Anyone think Blu-ray is the way to go?
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Old October 12th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #2
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From what I have read bluray seems like the superior format. Larger disc space, higher resolution, cooler name... I really don't know, but I think I prefer bluray.

I'm currently shooting with FX1's in HDV, but deliver SD DVD. I did 1 wedding edit in Native HDV. I recorded a master back to tape, but in the end downconverted to SD for DVD. The rendering and conforming took a long time. Ending in SD I decided to just start downconverting in the beginning using the camera and capture everything as anamorphic DV. It saves me alot of time.

One thing I have been wanting to try... I just have not gotten around to it is batch capturing all the clips from a DV project back into FCP as HDV.

I would also like to get a Kona LH and capture everything as DVCPRO HD instead of working in native HDV to cut down on the intensive cpu requirements of HDV and hopefully save some rendering time in the end.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:01 AM   #3
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Quick question. what is the point in shooting in HD in the final project will be on a standard dvd? is the quality better?? Thanks
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Cummins
Quick question. what is the point in shooting in HD in the final project will be on a standard dvd? is the quality better?? Thanks
Yes, the quality is better.


I shoot with 3 FX-1's. I edit in Vegas 7 on an Alienware workstation with dual Opteron's(that's 4 cores). It has 4 Gb ram and 2.2 Tb storage. System monitor is a Dell 24" widecreen and playback is a Dell 32". I have a Blu-ray burner in the Alienware, and playback(for now) on my Sony Vaio AR-190 laptop with integrated Blu-ray drive and HDMI out.

I love this setup. The FX-1's are wonderful cameras, editing works very well, and playback on the Vaio is amazing.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #5
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Craig, that is quite possibly the best setup anyone has on this forum?! Wow, i have half that and thought my setup was pretty good (3.4ghz dualcore, 2gb ram, dual 19" monitors etc)....don't blink, technology is way too fast

i too, shoot in HDV, and downconvert to SD from the camera....until I have an HD burner then i am happy with carrying on in this way
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:40 AM   #6
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I think going to SD the quality is a bit better than starting with a DV camera. The main advantage I see to it now is you get native 16:9 to create an anamorphic SD dvd.

Walk into any electronics store and it is easy to see that 16:9 (widescreen) is the way of the future. Many of my clients already have a widescreen set, or say they plan to purchase one in the first year of their marriage, so it is a great selling feature, letting them know that their DVD won't be distorted, or pillar boxed on their new or future 16:9 set.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:59 AM   #7
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Master

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Cummins
Quick question. what is the point in shooting in HD in the final project will be on a standard dvd? is the quality better?? Thanks
Also, you can archive a master on HDV tape to create a Blu-ray or HD DVD disc in the future.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #8
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Hd Dvd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Trubac
From what I have read bluray seems like the superior format. Larger disc space, higher resolution, cooler name... I really don't know, but I think I prefer bluray.
In the regards to the name, consumers know what "DVD" is. People know what "HD" is. So, consumers (non technical people) will know what "HD DVD" is right off the bat. Someone will have to explain to them what Blu-ray is while they are already more comfortable with HD DVD.

In the end, the consumers will decide, not the specifications. In theory, Blu-ray should be a winner. However after reading customer reviews, Blu-ray players seem to be pissing people off while HD DVD players are receiving satisfaction.

Blu-ray reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...nDate&n=172282
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...&s=electronics

HD DVD reviews:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/cus...&s=electronics

Maybe things will change when PS3 comes out on November 17. However, the Sony PS3 had a poor showing at the E3 convention while the Nintendo Wii got all the attention. Nintendo Wii comes out November 19, so maybe not many people will even buy the PS3 unless they can afford 2 gaming consoles this Christmas.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arneil deVera
Authoring/Burning:
We'll be using HD DVD discs. Does anyone know if DVD Studio Pro supports HD DVD discs? When a HD DVD disc publisher becomes available from Primera and white inkjet printable HD DVD-R discs be available from Meritline, we'll be getting those as well.
I would hold off on getting the burner until we figure out which format is going to win. If you want, you can burn an HD-DVD onto standard blank DVD media using your existing burner. You can do this with DVD Studio Pro.

2 drawbacks, an 8.5 DL DVD can only hold about 45 mins of HD footage, and you can't use menus, just chapter markers.

Check out my thread, I tested this and found a solution that works.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....7&postcount=24
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Old October 12th, 2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jaco
I would hold off on getting the burner until we figure out which format is going to win. If you want, you can burn an HD-DVD onto standard blank DVD media using your existing burner. You can do this with DVD Studio Pro.

2 drawbacks, an 8.5 DL DVD can only hold about 45 mins of HD footage, and you can't use menus, just chapter markers.

Check out my thread, I tested this and found a solution that works.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....7&postcount=24
Wow. Thanks for that! We'll test out that method to view the quality of the HD DVD on a HDTV. However, the no menus thing is a bummer. Having menus is like the essence of a DVD.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 08:56 AM   #11
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in direct response to your post

Camcorder:
We'll be using Sony HDR-FX1's because they seem like the low light winner from all the HDV camcorders.

((If low light is more important to you than camera build and features than the FX1 is a god starting unit.
Personally, I wont buy a camera simply becuase it can see in teh dark, that and tha fact that the XLH1 has already proven to be the low light king in HDV rounds, the A1 would be a better option IMO...
To me XLR audio, progressive scan, (either through Sony V1 CMOS or Canon/Sony CF) camera tweaks (ie gamma configuration within the camera NOT in post... and no, despite what poeple thing, you cannot emulate dynamic range with a plugin filter.. If yo uhavent bought your cameras, id say wait until u try the A1... ))

Editing:
We'll be using Final Cut Pro since it has native HDV editing.

((Many NLEs edit natively, PremPro one of teh better ones, V7 has caught up finally, but unlike prempro2, Vegas doesnt need anythign special to run. If however your a mac freak, theres really not much choice in NLE's so FCP it is.. ))

Authoring/Burning:
We'll be using HD DVD discs. Does anyone know if DVD Studio Pro supports HD DVD discs?

((At this time, there is no "actual" dvd authoring program which allows u to create a HD DVD or BD DVD as you would an SD DVD (ie menu based)
ALso there arent any Dolby TrueHD encoders out there outside of a sound studio, so your still left with DD 5.1surround EX.. i dunno if FCP can do this though.. from memory it doesnt.. ))

When a HD DVD disc publisher becomes available from Primera and white inkjet printable HD DVD-R discs be available from Meritline, we'll be getting those as well.

((You'll be waiting a while. To begin most manufacturers will plaster their name all over anything to do wht the format, so printables might not be an option just yet. I dont know, im jsut going with teh current trends and what ive seen from CD's and DVD's over the last 8 years.. ))

Player:
We'll be getting the Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player.

((Why not get a PS3... makes for a great render unit.. start teh render, throw on resident evil 5... groovy...
Personally, i prefer the BD option. Reason being is that PS3 market penetration will inherantly wipe teh floor with HD DVD. That and teh fact teh medium is superior, however from what ive read so far, teh D/A converts on BD players arent up to scratch compared to the HD DVD models, so the image may not "look" as good, but run through digital, the differnces arent noticable... also with DDTrueHD id HATE to watch a HD movie encoded at 12mbps with the audio matching THAT bitrate... on BD however, u can have the audio AND the video at 25mbps... make a huge difference to me.. ))

TV:
We'll be viewing the final video on a Sony 40" BRAVIA XBR LCD Flat Panel HDTV (KDL-40XBR3) which supports up to 1080p.

"Is this for demo work? As in to have the monitor act as a display to potential clients? or is as a refernce monitor? There are many options, i persoanlly prefer the "walk into the theatre" approach and 720p is perfectly sufficient for this kind of thing.
If anyone tells me that a plasma/lcd screen is considered a theatre, i'd laugh in their face. Yeah im arrogant in this regard but i distribute plasmas and peoples misconceptions of what a theatre is drives me batty.. LOL

Anyone think Blu-ray is the way to go?

((I do... ))

sounds like a great setup either way u go.

Personally, id recomend the NLE first. Learn it, as THAT is the one which is more difficult to deal with.
Once you create a post produciton routine, you can then worry about the other elements.
If youve never used a mac before, think hard before you jump ship, as you WILL be limiting yourself to the tools at your disposal

Good luck with it.. Me, im moving across to stills, so by the time HD DVD and BD get off their butts, i'll be shooting another medium altogether.
im trying to work smarter.. not harder.. and i go where the customers are... :)



"Yes, the quality is better."

In what way? Just curious as ive seen many many MANY hd productions which arent worth teh tape their printed on. Ive also seen shots completely destroyed and anhilitated by the codec falling over itself, such as sunlight reflecting off water. If starting with an SD progressive scan image, im curous to know how an interlaced SD image can be better. Dont get me wrong, ive got 2 Z1's here and DVX100's and i let my clients choose what format i shoot in.. 100% of them prefer the DVX motion/framerate and colour.Theyre not interested in 16:9.
They just want what looks good and most would prefer an SD presentation which is shot and exposed well, as opposed to a HD productin which looks like rubbish and to be honest, im of the same mind.

"I shoot with 3 FX-1's. I edit in Vegas 7 on an Alienware workstation with dual Opteron's(that's 4 cores). It has 4 Gb ram and 2.2 Tb storage. System monitor is a Dell 24" widecreen and playback is a Dell 32". I have a Blu-ray burner in the Alienware, and playback(for now) on my Sony Vaio AR-190 laptop with integrated Blu-ray drive and HDMI out.

((Nice setup!! but one thing.. there are 2 issues with BD (and HD DVD) at this time.. being that many burners DONT support the DL discs.. so if anyoens going for something like this, be aware of taht fact. Pioneer are one of these manufacturers which dotn support the 50gb just yet..
Also there isnt an authoring tool out there which can create a "dvd" like menu system for BD or HD DVD... ))

I love this setup. The FX-1's are wonderful cameras, editing works very well, and playback on the Vaio is amazing

((I certainly dont doubt it mate.. i just tossed up between going full hog HD on this end (a little more intense as id also have Avid running on it for teh broadcast crap i do) , but thought it wiser in the longrun (for my business) to jump into stills. Still doing video and build a portfolio as i shoot video.. so exposure to teh events is there..

Ive been shooting models and Stills for others, and i know theres a market in there which video just cannot reach, no matter how good a video you make, there IS a stigma surrounding it. A stigma with price, quality and client expectation.
Ive spent 6 years trying to change this, but with every convert, comes 10 naysayers.

HD doesnt seem to be making our work any easier and eventually people will expect to pay the same rates for HD as they do SD. reason being is that as prices fall in technology, clietns assume that our costs will follow.
This isnt the case when u add up the hours required to prepare HD material for editing. IMO native HDV editing is a risky game and compromises quality. but thats a different arguement altogether..

All i say is that i wish those HD shooters luck.
Personally, as i wait for HD to realy make an impact on teh market, i'll still sell the stuff but i wont ever jump the ship completely until i can go into a video store and hire the latest releases... in HD.. have the measn to watch it .. in HD... and have the facilites to produce it..
Until then, i'll be shooting stills and video, saving my cash and by the time they get their fingers out, i'll have enough for the latest and greatest camera gear with a kick ass NLE system to produce on..

I say to all.. good luck in what you do, but do not rush the jump...
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Old October 12th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #12
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Thanks for the insight Peter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
If yo uhavent bought your cameras, id say wait until u try the A1... ))
24p or XLR are not a top priority for our event videography, so I think we're set with FX1 for now. We'll be using the Panasonic AG-HVX200 for corporate productions though. The FX7 looks interesting with the CMOS, but seems to have a higher lux rating. We'll have to do a side by side comparison when it comes out since lux rating is not a good measure. I just hope we don't have to use lights for whatever camera we choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
((Many NLEs edit natively, PremPro one of teh better ones, V7 has caught up finally, but unlike prempro2, Vegas doesnt need anythign special to run. If however your a mac freak, theres really not much choice in NLE's so FCP it is.. ))
We currently have macs. I'd love to use an open source NLE on Linux, however, the software hasn't matured enough yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
((You'll be waiting a while. To begin most manufacturers will plaster their name all over anything to do wht the format, so printables might not be an option just yet. I dont know, im jsut going with teh current trends and what ive seen from CD's and DVD's over the last 8 years.. ))
We'll probably just downconvert to regular DVD for now until the duplicator and discs become available. At that time, we'll reauthor and send our clients new discs which I'm sure they'll appreciate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
TV:
We'll be viewing the final video on a Sony 40" BRAVIA XBR LCD Flat Panel HDTV (KDL-40XBR3) which supports up to 1080p.

"Is this for demo work? As in to have the monitor act as a display to potential clients? or is as a refernce monitor?
We just want to see what our clients will be seeing at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
Good luck with it.. Me, im moving across to stills, so by the time HD DVD and BD get off their butts, i'll be shooting another medium altogether.
im trying to work smarter.. not harder.. and i go where the customers are... :)

no matter how good a video you make, there IS a stigma surrounding it. A stigma with price, quality and client expectation.
Ive spent 6 years trying to change this, but with every convert, comes 10 naysayers.
I'm sad to hear you will be moving more into photos than video. We will continue the challenge of removing the stigma and trying to make videography just as popular as photography is for weddings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
I say to all.. good luck in what you do, but do not rush the jump...
We've waited as long as we could to go without HD, however, just recently potential 2007 clients have been making HD one of their priorities, so we will need to upgrade by 2007 or we will be losing clients.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
Dont get me wrong, ive got 2 Z1's here and DVX100's and i let my clients choose what format i shoot in.. 100% of them prefer the DVX motion/framerate and colour.Theyre not interested in 16:9.
What I don't get about this is the lack of interest in 16:9 acquisition and delivery, given that this is what makes sense for display on people's expensive HDTVs. Maybe as more HD cameras start to offer a "DVX-like" look we'll see customers accept widescreen options more readily.

As far as the original question is concerned, I'm shooting on two FX1s and an HC1, editing in Edius Pro 4 and outputting to widescreen SD DVDs. For those few who want HD output I still edit in Edius and offer either M2T (1080i) or WMV (720p) as computer-playable files, with an option to get Blu-ray or HD-DVD discs at some point in the future. My preference will probably be Blu-ray for the increased capacity, which makes it easier to output a long project in M2T format - and that's currently *much* faster to render than AVC or VC1. Given full bandwidth, M2T should look at least as good as AVC or VC1 created from HDV source files.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
in direct response to your post


"Yes, the quality is better."

In what way? Just curious as ive seen many many MANY hd productions which arent worth teh tape their printed on. Ive also seen shots completely destroyed and anhilitated by the codec falling over itself, such as sunlight reflecting off water. If starting with an SD progressive scan image, im curous to know how an interlaced SD image can be better. Dont get me wrong, ive got 2 Z1's here and DVX100's and i let my clients choose what format i shoot in.. 100% of them prefer the DVX motion/framerate and colour.Theyre not interested in 16:9.
They just want what looks good and most would prefer an SD presentation which is shot and exposed well, as opposed to a HD productin which looks like rubbish and to be honest, im of the same mind.

"I shoot with 3 FX-1's. I edit in Vegas 7 on an Alienware workstation with dual Opteron's(that's 4 cores). It has 4 Gb ram and 2.2 Tb storage. System monitor is a Dell 24" widecreen and playback is a Dell 32". I have a Blu-ray burner in the Alienware, and playback(for now) on my Sony Vaio AR-190 laptop with integrated Blu-ray drive and HDMI out.

((Nice setup!! but one thing.. there are 2 issues with BD (and HD DVD) at this time.. being that many burners DONT support the DL discs.. so if anyoens going for something like this, be aware of taht fact. Pioneer are one of these manufacturers which dotn support the 50gb just yet..
Also there isnt an authoring tool out there which can create a "dvd" like menu system for BD or HD DVD... ))
Hi Peter,

I appreciate your detailed responses. Your insight is very valuable to me.
The distinction I was meaning to make was the difference between shooting in HD and downconverting in my software as opposed to changing the setting in my cameras to SD and shooting that way. My experience has been that it looks better downconverted later. I was not trying say that shooting HD and downconverting later gives a superior image to any SD camera. The merits of various cameras make it impossible for me to make a blanket statement about any of them.
I completely agree that the way the cameras are used is much more important than the equipment itself. As an example, my friend(an amateur) has a DVX100B. We both shot an outdoor event and combined the footage. He said he couldn't believe how bad his footage looked up against the FX-1 footage.
Having said that, I'm sure that in your hands, that DVX footage would hold up just fine against the FX-1.

As for Blu-Ray, I currently use it as an archive medium, for the HD footage, and deliver to the customer in standard DVD.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #15
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but if you shoot on HD and then edit it and burn on Idvd surely the quality would not be the same as if you shot in normal DV? Doesnt just compress it all?? am i missing something?
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