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


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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:32 PM   #1
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Which entry camcorder for weddings?

Hi all,

I am looking to get into wedding videography and would like to obtain advice on which entry level camcorder is capable of doing the job. Obviously I have to consider expenses as I have no idea whether it will turn out to be a profitable venture.

Also need advice on which editing software to use, I prefer to stay on PC. I am more interested in learning & later specialising in video editing, so I don't mind investing more in software and less on camcorder. I know of Final Cut Express (unfortunately MAC based) that can be upgraded, is there a similar program for PC?

Thank you!
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Old February 21st, 2007, 05:58 PM   #2
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Now matter what level your shooting weddings, entry or professional, you can't go wrong with the sony VX2000/2100 or PD 150/170. Those cameras will really shine for SD event production.

For editing you could try Vegas Movie Studio and later upgrade to the full version of Vegas if you want. It's basically Vegas with a limited number of tracks, just like FC Express is to FCP. But first I would recommend downloading a couple of different trail versions from different companies. It's not so much about quality, they all offer great quality, it's more about workflow. Which program will work the best for you. So try a couple and see what works.

Ben
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:00 PM   #3
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My bet is the Sony VX2100/PD 150 will be recommended by many because of low light associated with weddings.

PC programs to look at:

AvidFree Free program

Pinnacle Studio $ 70.00

Sony (Vegas) Movie Studio with DVD about $99.00

Adobe Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements $100.00 plus

Adobe Premeire Pro 2.0 about $ 500.00

Vegas 7 Plus DVD Architect about $ 500.00

There are many others out there, I only refer to those I know.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for replies, I appreciate it. I found a good deal on Sony VX1000E, is that sufficient?

Actually I have Pinnacle Studio 9 already, is that OK for weddings?

I would rather upgrade Pinnacle to a pro software like Premiere Pro at some stage, as I would like to get into editing, shooting weddings is just a potential money earner while I am learning the ins/outs of the program.

Is demand for Premiere Pro editors same as for FCP?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:11 PM   #5
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"Thanks for replies, I appreciate it. I found a good deal on Sony VX1000E, is that sufficient?"

The VX1000 is less than half as capable as the VX2000. It is also a very old camera. It was nice in it's day, but the VX2000 totally eclipsed it's ancestor. You can get a VX2000 for about $1200 which is not really that much considering your first real wedding gig will pay for that entirely. Don't forget that you also need a good recording device to put on the groom. Do not rely on the on-camera mic.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:15 PM   #6
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Roman:

VX1000 is older and longer in tooth. It was the greatest in its day, but a lot of improvements in capability came in the VX2000 and 2100 versions.

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.

FCP is Mac based, obviously, and if you are a mac user, thats where you go. I have heard those who use both say that Premiere is very close to FCP. On this forum, we seem to have a lot of users on the Vegas band wagon.

Ultimately, you will develop a preference, and, just like FCP, Premiere or Vegas users, or any others, we won't be able to talk you out of it. Most have a demo version you can try out.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:46 PM   #7
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Camcorder

Hello Roman.
I'm in a similar situation. While I mostly do church sermons and the like (creativity almost zero!), I want to do more weddings.
I have a Sony DC110 camcorder which does me for the moment, and when the bigger weddings/events come,I will probably hire a coupla better camcorders.

But I have put most effort in disk space and video editting. Once I got the former solved (not completely!), I have used Sony Vegas MovieStudio 6 Platinum. While my edit needs are modest, I looked at Vegas without much looking at other NLEs and was hooked by it. I may go to full Vegas in due course, but I cannot see it offering me much more at present.

I have done some wedding camera work with a friend who borrows a coupla good cameras/tripods, but I have not seen any of his finals, so cannot tell what they are like and if my input was any good.
For audio, I have used a post edit capture of WAV files, and this has been very good. Weddings will need more equipment when the time comes, but I figure I will hire what I need and have the flexibilty to get the latest gear.

My IT day job pays me adequately, so the jump to full video production has a measure of hesitation for me. Would I rather be head honcho or team member? I think I am the latter!

Hope this helps.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:06 PM   #8
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Thank you, thank you & again thank you!

What would you recommend as a most basic set-up for a wedding?

1. Any external mics (placement)?

2. Is there much NECESSITY for a 2nd cam?

3. Is Vegas considered to be a pro platform? I know BBC have moved on to FCP, AVID & Adobe are widely used (at least I have heard/read that).

4. Do you use any other equipment on sound like limiters?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman Rowlands
Thank you, thank you & again thank you!

What would you recommend as a most basic set-up for a wedding?

1. Any external mics (placement)?

2. Is there much NECESSITY for a 2nd cam?

3. Is Vegas considered to be a pro platform? I know BBC have moved on to FCP, AVID & Adobe are widely used (at least I have heard/read that).

4. Do you use any other equipment on sound like limiters?
1. wireless lapel/lav mics are good to put on the groom and minister if possible. it's the only way to get decent audio during the ceremony. don't spare expense in this area.

2. yes. you cannot get all the angles with just one. editing is also easier because you'll have more shots to choose from when moving around.

3. Vegas is a very capable program but not used much in the professional arena. I call it an "exotic" cutter. For entry level, Premier Elements is a good program to get your feet wet but you'll always want more. Vegas and Premier Pro are the next best choices if you are on a budget. But it's really not the software that makes a good editor... it's the user.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Morikawa
1. wireless lapel/lav mics are good to put on the groom and minister if possible. it's the only way to get decent audio during the ceremony. don't spare expense in this area.

2. yes. you cannot get all the angles with just one. editing is also easier because you'll have more shots to choose from when moving around.

3. Vegas is a very capable program but not used much in the professional arena. I call it an "exotic" cutter. For entry level, Premier Elements is a good program to get your feet wet but you'll always want more. Vegas and Premier Pro are the next best choices if you are on a budget. But it's really not the software that makes a good editor... it's the user.
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.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
My bet is the Sony VX2100/PD 150 will be recommended by many because of low light associated with weddings.

PC programs to look at:

AvidFree Free program

Pinnacle Studio $ 70.00

Sony (Vegas) Movie Studio with DVD about $99.00

Adobe Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements $100.00 plus

Adobe Premeire Pro 2.0 about $ 500.00

Vegas 7 Plus DVD Architect about $ 500.00

There are many others out there, I only refer to those I know.

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?
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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I suggest looking at the JVC GY-DV300U. At the prices they are going for used, that's a lot of camera for the buck.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:46 AM   #13
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The PAL version would be the GY-DV300E.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 12:29 PM   #14
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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.
I would say that statement is an opinion. I know many shops that use either one of these programs.


I would suggest anyone looking to getting into weddings as a business do the following;

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

4) Finally research your equipment purchases. Which is what you posted for. For the record we started our business with a Gl2, which I still use today, excellent camera, but do you spec research, you'll find cameras that have better low light capability.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 01:37 PM   #15
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"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.
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