Which entry camcorder for weddings? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 22nd, 2007, 02:06 PM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
"Just had a quick check out of Vegas 7, it seems to be very similar to Pinnacle Studio 9. What are the advantages of Vegas 7 guys?"

Multiple video and sound tracks. Better color correction tools. More output capabilities. Scripting.
What he said. As well as it's linkable fluid workflow to DVDA.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:56 PM   #17
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nicosia, CYPRUS
Posts: 1,080
I would also consider the Sony HDR-FX7 and the VideoStudio 10 plus. Easy to learn and can do the job well. I found Vegas a bit complicated for starters.

Stelios
__________________
My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
Stelios Christofides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22nd, 2007, 05:48 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands
Thank you Mark,

Could you tell me whether camcorders have audio limiters in them? When I did music I recall us using limiters as audio, unlike video signals, can go beyond the peak levels creating hiss/distortion.
In a manner of speaking, video cameras do have something akin to audio limiters. Canon refers to it as Attenuation (ATT in the menu).

Basically, you have two choices with audio.

First is AUTO, letting the camera do everything. This a variable automatic gain process where the camera boost the gain to something close to 100% and waits for a sound to be picked up by the on board microphone. Whether faint or strong the camera adjusts gain to bring that sound up or down to an "acceptable range". The end result is the audio gain pattern is always changing, which makes life sometimes very difficult in post.

Second is manual, provided your camera allows that feature. With manual audio your camera will have some kind of meters so you can see signal level. Digital audio is no where as forgiving as analog audio, so be extremely careful with the meters and watch for the peaks. Any sound having a strength above 0 DB has no digital reference, which not only means distortion, but can also destroy video image quality. I never let peaks go beyond -3db, but there are many opinions on that subject.

Then there is ATT, or attenualtion, the often unmentioned third option, which works in both auto and manual situations. This is a very useful feature which essentially drops the signal sensitivity of the on camera mic (and often any external mic connected to the camera) -20 to 30 db. It is a very useful switch when one moves from a quiet environment to a very loud environment.

One feature to avoid on some cameras is a wierd thing which makes the microphone change its pickup pattern to follow the focal length of the lens. A very dumb idea which causes more problems than gives benefits.

Please remember that microphones of any kind perform best when placed very close to the source of the sound. The farther away they are from the source, the worse the quelity of the audio. Be judicious when you choose to rely upon your on camera microphone.

Lastly, all camera manufacturers place limits upon what their on camera microphones can do. From experience I have noticed the SONY 2000/2100/PD150 and PS170 are high frequency sensitive where the Canon GL 1,2, and all of the XL cameras have opted to allow more low frequency audio. Not a decision maker when purchasing, just something too remember.

If you are fortunate to be in a situation where you can connect to external audio processors, that is a benefit.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 02:45 AM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Fresno, California
Posts: 528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Morikawa
3. Vegas is a very capable program but not used much in the professional arena. I call it an "exotic" cutter..
Who? What? All kinds of professionals use Vegas. We are very much professionals, using much more professional gear than most and have many higher end clients. And yup, we're using Vegas with never 1 complaint. Vegas rocks.
Kit Hannah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:37 AM   #20
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Vineyard, Utah
Posts: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit Hannah
Vegas rocks.
Here here.
Steven Bills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 01:57 PM   #21
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamden CT
Posts: 470
Boy, have I noticed that non-vegas users like to talk about vegas as if it is something the pros would never even consider using. Fine little app for the little guy, but for ESPN, no.

I wonder why that is. Human nature, I guess. The implication of such a statement are telling of many things.

The next time someone asks me what I edit with I am gonna say, "it is secret software designed by God and the 12 Angels. It can handle an infinite amount of audio & video tracks, has a billion effects, and is operated with the Mind. No keyboard or mouse is needed. All the TV stations in heaven are using it, not like that Avid or Final Cut, where only earth dwellers use it."

I'll stop there. But really, I hear this kind of stuff all the time.

I know professionals that use it and are switching to it.

Vegas users get no respect. I wonder if this will ever change.

Maybe with version 8h, things will be different.


BTW - I have a vx2100 & pd170. I like the 170 much better for this simple fact that the manual controls are better. There is a seperate gain control. It is annoying that the vx2100 does not have this. The iris moves in less noticeable increments which is always better. Another bonus is the XLRs.
Richard Zlamany is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 02:17 PM   #22
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Hi Roman and all -

Having gotten roped into a couple weddings for friends (I had cams for some "in house" instructional stuff I've been fiddling with for far too long), I'll make the following observations - do some "free" or "wedding gift" gigs for friends to get a feel for it if at all possible... you may find it more stressful since it's a "one take" gig - not everyone is cut out for that. I've done a few paid gigs with the wife doing photos, and it's actually fun for me, I like the "tension" and edge from a "live" gig.

One general thing - equipment IS important, BUT it's your camera work that makes or breaks it - video that's "technically" less than great, but gets the key shots and makes them look decent will always win out over "missed shots", shaky "uncle Bobcam" footage, and poor camera angles.

If you're going to expect to be paid, be sure to be up front about your experience and don't be afraid to charge accordingly.

HAVE A CONTRACT if it's a paying gig. another thread here has some good suggestions.

Cam wise, depending on the light situation you can manage with some really basic camera to start off (I'd be embarrassed to say what my first half a dozen shoots were done with...). Remember receptions are "romantic" another term for WAY TOO DARK FOR YOUR AVERAGE VIDEO CAM. This means some sort of external light (and a diffuser) if your cam falls apart when the lights go down.

I'd say think seriously about whether you want a 2-3+ year old camera... HD is either here or really close depending on who you talk to (I'll say "here"). SD is going away. Spending 1k+ for an SD cam may not be a good plan, but used TRV900's (PD100a's) are coming down, and they are not bad if you can score a good one (be careful to research first!!!). Used them with great results while stepping up to HD.

DO NOT do a "one shot" gig with one camera under ANY circumstances - if it goes down or "accidently" gets shut off/runs out of tape/battery konks out... well you get the picture. Have backup batteries and tape for EVERYTHING - redundancy may save your bacon.

I run a "safety" camera preferably on a high tripod (or balcony) set wide, and zoom in (by remote) on the front during the ceremony - you can always cut to this, and it doesn't have to be the greatest cam, just one that intercuts with your others well.

Second "required" shot is from up front on the Groom side shooting towards the bride - be sure to make HER look great, and you'll be successful <wink>. Some like to have this position "manned", but a tripod carefully positioned in advance is workable if not ideal - if possible attend the rehearsal and test cam angles (don't forget the florist will come and block your perfect shot with a loverly boo-kay...).

You can get a "decent" wedding with those two angles, but it's a bit boring... done it, friends thought it was awesome, I was happy with the results since I'd never done a wedding before.

Ideal setup is 3 cameras, the two above and one handheld (stabilization or some form of steady device recommended unless you're rock stable). You move about to get things like the processional, the bride coming up the isle, the "hand-off", zoom ins on the vows, ring exchange, first kiss, candle lighting, presentation, and exit. This can make for a far more interesting production.

If things take off, have a 4th angle mirroring the "bride cam" shooting towards the groom. it's also a good thing to have as a backup. Some weddings also have things going on on that side of the altar so that cam can come in handy...

OBVIOUSLY, you won't necessarily be able to afford 3-4 "BIG" cameras... so consider starting out with something workable, and stepping up as things take off. I'm a fan of the discontinued Sony HC1, and had good results with it. Experimentation with the HC3 suggests it would be OK for one of the front angles (but no mic without an external adapter). The HD cams look very good, far better than SD IMO, so you can achive a nice result even with "cheaper" cameras.

LEARN the features of whatever camera(s) you use so you can work them under pressure and in the dark... set any presets like white balance and sync the cameras right before the shoot.

Audio... AHHH make or break here. Again, attend the rehearsal and find out your situation - if there will be sound, see if you can get a tape or CDR of the venue feed and hope the sound guy doesn't suck. Grab that as your "last resort" sound track if all esle fails (and you might get lucky and have a great sound track). I've added handful of Iriver MP3 players (some models are far better than others) off Ebay to place in critical locations - they actually record crisp clean audio that could again be mixed in in post. Good for un-mic'd speakers at a podium for instance, or to place near musical talent. They are small and unobtrusive, so you can place almost anywhere, and you could also use one as a "pocket recorder" instead of using wireless (DON'T use the internal mic - get a lapel mic - the IRiver shells pick up everything brushing over them.

A wireless (VHF maybe OK UHF better) on the groom (in pocket, lapel mic) or officiant is good for the vows - I usually plug the receiver into the front cam , so little chance of interference. It's quite fun to make sure this mic get ON the desired subject - announce it well in advance so you get time in the whirlwind to set and check the mic... hope the groom is on time...

Other things to consider - lighting... particularly at the reception, have SOMETHING to use, even if it's a cheezy 3W with a 5 foot "throw". A 10/20 with some sort of diffusion and a handle stand-off (still camera flash bracket) is what I've ended up with. Remember that anything bright in a dark room may offend some people, so more light = diffusion a must. Looks better anyway...

Find out in advance the planned festivites/events and if there's a wedding coordinator, try to work with them so you are always spot on to get the "money" shots. If there are other vendors (DJ, photog) doesn't hurt to intro yourself. See about using the sound feed (the DJ often "officiates" the reception - look to them for cues for toasts, dances, etc.). try to work with the photog, as you're both going to be after the same "money shots", so avoiding conflict here saves blocked shots - hope the photog is cool, not a PITA, and you'll both deliver great stuff to happy clients. I go so far as to let the photog (if it's not my wife, she already knows to block my shots <wink>) know he can block ONE of my cams if he needs to to get his shots, they do appreciate knowing you've got other angles - they might even ask you for some stills from angles they would like to cover but can't! Treat other vendors courteously.

With any luck, you've got some great footage "in the bag"...

I'll concur with the Vegas recommendation - I had horrid luck with DVD's "created" by other programs, Vegas DVD authoring seems to be the best compatibility wise (for me anyhow, your mileage may vary). Their "basic program" is fine (I think it does more than one vid track now?), I graduated (sort of like going from kindergarden to college in my experience "learning curve" is slightly shy of vertical) to the full pro version, and HIGHLY recommend the latest (Vegas 7) if you're shooting HD, 6 was pretty sluggish with HD footage. Fast computer is better. You'll find you can do almost anything in Vegas if you take the time to find and learn the capabilities. Also highly recommend VAAST infinicam if you're shooting multiple angles - start your cams 5 min before the ceremony begins, let 'em run until everything's over, sync them in Infinicam/Vegas and mixdown!

Again, in the sprit of redundancy - make sure you have 2-3 sources of audio and video, and you'll be happier when you're choosing from "takes" instead of sweating how you're going to do voiceovers or replace the missing shot of the first kiss...

Probably more than you wanted to know, but hope this helps!

DB>)
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 23rd, 2007, 10:15 PM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Zlamany
Boy, have I noticed that non-vegas users like to talk about vegas as if it is something the pros would never even consider using. Fine little app for the little guy, but for ESPN, no.

I wonder why that is. Human nature, I guess. The implication of such a statement are telling of many things.

The next time someone asks me what I edit with I am gonna say, "it is secret software designed by God and the 12 Angels. It can handle an infinite amount of audio & video tracks, has a billion effects, and is operated with the Mind. No keyboard or mouse is needed. All the TV stations in heaven are using it, not like that Avid or Final Cut, where only earth dwellers use it."

I'll stop there. But really, I hear this kind of stuff all the time.

I know professionals that use it and are switching to it.

Vegas users get no respect. I wonder if this will ever change.

Maybe with version 8h, things will be different.


BTW - I have a vx2100 & pd170. I like the 170 much better for this simple fact that the manual controls are better. There is a seperate gain control. It is annoying that the vx2100 does not have this. The iris moves in less noticeable increments which is always better. Another bonus is the XLRs.
One important aspect that I have to consider is demand for freelance editors of:

a) Vegas;
b) FCP;
c) Avid;
d) Premiere pro
e) etc

I would rather spend time studying a platform that is widely used by commercial users (BBC, etc.). They are all very good programs & I am certain that Vegas is very capable, but whether my knowledge of it will be more value than FCP, that has to be established.
Roman Rowlands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 12:42 AM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Creswell Oregon
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos

As to Studio 9, most pros will scoff at its use. It is pretty basic, allowing only one track of video, and 2 of audio. I still does a real decent job of editing, with simple transitions, and has a good titler, and a nice DVD producer built in. I actually still use the DVD production part of my Studio 10 plus.
LOL!

I just find that statement kinda funny, no offence intended Chris and I agree with what your saying. Just one track of video and 2 tracks of audio is all you get with most tape to tape edit systems- then you have no transitions and no built in titler. It wasn't all that long ago that I was cutting tape to tape (beta sp) for broadcast television on the Fox affiliate in market 23 (at least a few years ago it was market 23, guess it might have changed).

I even met a guy once who made a career of shooting weddings in super 8mm film and cut it together on his tabletop editor, pass the razor blade and tape anyone?

I think in choosing an editing system its more important to go with something your comfortable with and confident using. If studio 9 does what you want it to do and your comfortable using it, then i wouldn't worry about if pros are going to take you seriously using it or not.
__________________
My Website - www.nweventvideo.com
Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 04:04 AM   #25
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Aiea, HI
Posts: 85
About Vegas... I never meant to put it down. Like I said, it's very capable. My professor of 30 years in TV claims it's the best. But what I meant about "professionals" is that the industry standard is FCP and Avid... whether you like it or not. And that's not the wedding industry I'm talking about. Of course many people use Vegas for their company, professional or not. All kinds of programs are being used out there. My company went the Premier way (and also jumping onto FCP). But every news station I know of uses FCP or Avid. And that's all I meant by that.

As the OP asked: Is Vegas considered a pro program? In the wedding industry. Yes. Otherwise, I wouldn't say it's so.
Bottom line... definitely try it if you're interested.
Mark Morikawa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Aus
Posts: 3,884
"As the OP asked: Is Vegas considered a pro program? In the wedding industry. Yes. Otherwise, I wouldn't say it's so."

Id like to see Avid (or any other app) manage XDCam HD off BD discs or natively from HDD the way vegas does.. if that aint professional, then dude, u gotta get out more..
Fair enough its 8bit compread to FCP and PP2, but lets face it, DV and HDV are 8 bit formats.. not much u can do once ur source material is already in this format..

Put it this way, XDCam HD is a format + medium which has been adopted by MANY MANY studios
Vegas cant handle p2 MXF, but it can definately handle XDCamHD mxf without blinking an eyelid...
Avid cant even do half the shit vegas does.. and u dont need any upgrade pack (such as avid and canopus) and u dont need to have any additional hardware (such as SP for edius)

Many scoff at vegas and rightly so, the wedding market, in addiiton to teh commercial market havent been exposed to teh likes of programs such as vegas and it really only hit home when Sony acquired Sonic Foundry.. The sony name not only tainted the program, but it also boosted it.
I should say that of the 85% of people who say that Vegas sux, these same poeple are the ones that dont know how to use it anddmor ethan likely theyre overwhelmed as to its abilities.
People are afraid of change (especially in this industry.. which is bizarre considering teh nature of it), and vegas changed the way NLEs work (ie singular timeline, 5.1, automation, scripting, inbuilt compositing, blah blah) Adobe, and then pretty much all the other manufacturers copied the workflow.

It also has audio options which even surpass Protools.. which is why so many studios have also jumped ship.

As for being professional. If u make money with it, and u use it for your line of work (ie your profession) then its a professional product. Be it vegas, prtools, or studio10

This bullshit about whats pro or not is ridiculous and IMO is moot point...
if i was a builder, and i chose Brand A hammer vs Brand B hammer.. and Brand B is what most of my buddies use.. does that make me less of a builder? Does that decision to use Brand A compromise the quality of my work to my client?


Back to the point of this post..
the question was camcoder..

to this i say u hire out as many as u can and see what works for you..
Peter Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #27
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nicosia, CYPRUS
Posts: 1,080
"As for being professional. If u make money with it, and u use it for your line of work (ie your profession) then its a professional product. Be it vegas, prtools, or studio10"

I agree with you Peter. I have tried Vegas and found it an excellent program but I am more confident using VideoStudio 10 and I get what I want and my clients are happy with that. The most important is not the editing software but your creativity.Simple videos that tell you something, capture the mood and tell the story as it was thats what you should go for.

Stelios
__________________
My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
Stelios Christofides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London UK
Posts: 35
Thank you for all your replies!

I think this is a typical case of cross wires here. I am personally more interested in specialising in a program that the vast majority of major post-production houses use. All though I do feel that Vegas is a very powerful program after looking at the specs, I do not feel that I should go with Vegas, purely because for the main reason I want to be doing this. My main goal is to become a shit-hot (:)) editor & wedding stuff is simply an opportunity to make some dough on the side. I probably failed to explain myself properly, sorry about that.
Roman Rowlands is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #29
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Petaluma, CA
Posts: 456
Ready, Fire, Aim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands
Thank you for all your replies!

<clip> My main goal is to become a shit-hot (:)) editor & wedding stuff is simply an opportunity to make some dough on the side. I probably failed to explain myself properly, sorry about that.
Roman,

Then since this is a side-line biz/hobby for you, controlling your costs is your first priority. Getting into this biz typically will easily cost $10-20K if you want the type of gear to hunt with the big boys. Even if you try to go on the thrify end, IMHO you can't get by with one camera; otherwise when you have a cockpit error (and they happen to the best), a problem with the gear (and your camera can even get stolen while you take a health break at the reception), you'll have a tough story to tell your clients (if you're lucky, you'll only be on "Judge Judy" - far better than a courtroom date). And don't forget the annual sunk costs like E&O and personal insurance (no, your homeowners won't cover you), advertising/marketing, website development/maintenance, etc, etc. And while we love to help new entrants like yourself, I think Steven gave the best advise:

1) Develop a business plan, where do you want to be in 1,2,3 and 5 years.

2) Decide how much you want to spend initially, because it may affect the goals in number 1.

3) Research your marketing strategy

On #3, I suggest you really scope out the websites of other videographers in your marketplace. Sure, look at the recitals about their gear but see where they are on these three critical dimensions and determine where you wish to segment the target audience (that's mumbo-jumbo for the brides).

When it's all said and done, your choice of cameras is hardly relevant - you can always sell it off (like your consideration to buy from others) and any of the serious NLE will do fine - one of the top 10 in our industry uses "Let's Edit" which many would scoff at, but his mindshare, marketshare, training trips for videographers in Hawaii, etc speak otherwise. And his videos are incomparable.

But if you're more of a hobbyist looking for a way to get a tax write-off to buy tons of gear, welcome to the club! We'll be more than happy to share our pearls of wisdom...

Good luck, Michael
Michael Nistler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Creswell Oregon
Posts: 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands
Thank you for all your replies!

I think this is a typical case of cross wires here. I am personally more interested in specialising in a program that the vast majority of major post-production houses use. All though I do feel that Vegas is a very powerful program after looking at the specs, I do not feel that I should go with Vegas, purely because for the main reason I want to be doing this. My main goal is to become a shit-hot (:)) editor & wedding stuff is simply an opportunity to make some dough on the side. I probably failed to explain myself properly, sorry about that.
Many large post production houses use different systems for different aspects of post production. A common post production workflow is to offline in Avid, then conform and color correct on a Da Vinci system. Many large production houses also use large, complex A/B roll tape based edit systems. Although it may seem like tape to tape editing is obsolete, it is a cost effective way to edit uncompressed footage- and when dealing with HD footage on digibeta the quality really can't be beat. Usually though Avid and sometimes Final Cut Pro is used for the offline edit.

One of the major reasons Avid is still the preferred editor in large production facilities is it has strong support for integrations in networked systems and shared storage facilities. Final Cut Pro is more of an all in one solution, but doesn't fit into a larger production facility as well and lacks the same support for shared media and ability to work on a large coorporate network.

Bit Central, a leading content management company responsible for both the CBS newspath content distribution system and NBC's news source content distribution system as well as numerous content management systems at local stations and production houses has chosen edius as its editor of choice and is actively installing server based production systems using edius as the main software editing interface.

If you want to learn an editing system to get into the post production idustry- I would say start with Avid as it is still the most used, then learn FCP or Adobe Premier Pro (if you know one the other is easy). Once you know both Avid and FCP or APP other applications like edius will come naturally. Also, it is useful to learn tape based systems- especially A/B roll editing.
__________________
My Website - www.nweventvideo.com
Adam Grunseth is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network