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


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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:45 AM   #1
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A few questions

I just got into the wedding video business about a year ago. So far I've done two weddings and have had very positive feedback on both. I'm looking to turn it up a notch for this year and I have a few questions.

1.) I'm using 2 Canon XL2 cameras with a cheap LED light I bought at Best Buy. So far the results haven't been bad, but they haven't been super great either (no complaints and I want it to stay that way by acquiring a better light). What type of on-camera lights do you suggest that's compatible with the XL2?

2.) Also, the two weddings I shot I used 30fps. Would I get better results if I use 24p or 60i? If so which one will give me my best results. I'm going for a cinematic feel so I'm leaning toward 24p, but I'm not sure if I use slow motion if the shots will come out jerky. I will be practicing with both frame rates before the wedding, but I just wanted to know what others may think and if there is anything I should avoid.

Thanks in advance.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Valentine View Post
I just got into the wedding video business about a year ago. So far I've done two weddings and have had very positive feedback on both. I'm looking to turn it up a notch for this year and I have a few questions.

1.) I'm using 2 Canon XL2 cameras with a cheap LED light I bought at Best Buy. So far the results haven't been bad, but they haven't been super great either (no complaints and I want it to stay that way by acquiring a better light). What type of on-camera lights do you suggest that's compatible with the XL2?

2.) Also, the two weddings I shot I used 30fps. Would I get better results if I use 24p or 60i? If so which one will give me my best results. I'm going for a cinematic feel so I'm leaning toward 24p, but I'm not sure if I use slow motion if the shots will come out jerky. I will be practicing with both frame rates before the wedding, but I just wanted to know what others may think and if there is anything I should avoid.

Thanks in advance.
There are number of ways you can go with on camera lighting. Most people use DC fixtures that use quartz lamps. There are also the new led fixtures that promise equal performance with no heat.

Either way, there are two issues of most concern. First is lamp brightness. A ten to fifteen watt lamp works well at short distances without causing too much in the way of over exposed hot spots. 20 - 35 watt lamps tend to work better for subjects 10 or more feet away. Second, a diffusion screen of some kind almost always smooths out the hot spots at some expense in brightness. Many products offer dimmers as well as changing the light's focus from wide beam to spot beam.

I've used cool-lux lights for years. I changed one lamp from 35 watts to 10 watts and another lamp to 20 watts and have been very pleased with the results. Both lights have flip down gel diffusers, which is very handy. I also modified the shoe mounts so the lamps are about 8 inches above the camera. My favorite system, however, is the Lowell I-light.

I've always shot at 60i, so can't comment on frame rate.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:04 AM   #3
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Ok, I'm looking at this particular on-camera light. Does anyone have any opinions on this one or maybe suggest another light?

On-camera light: Bescor MPL-313X DC On Camera Light

If I choose to purchase it I will be getting it with a MM-7XLRNC Starved Electrolyte Battery & BC-500 Standard Charger,12V / 500mA

These online places never tell you how long the batteries last, so if anyone knows on average the life of the battery I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:25 AM   #4
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=66924&is=REG

This might be a good solution for you. It has been talked about on this board. I plan to get one of these as soon as I have the money. It is shoe mounted, runs off XLR and is dimable without a lot of color shift.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:14 AM   #5
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They work well but without a diffuser they are pretty much worthless in my opinion.

I prefer the frezzi lights. Linked below from B&H

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

They also have a great diffuser

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...alue=77688_REG

I would recommend the Canon light, VL-10Li which works well for lighting if you are close to the subject.

The problem with the 100 watt lights is that it looks like a huge spotlight at a reception.

Jon
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 10:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far. They have been very helpful and I have been looking at the products you've suggested. Is it best to get a 100 WATT light? The Bescor is 50 WATT, how does that fair. What is the best wattage? I will be getting a diffuser as well. I just don't want to drown the subjects in light, but I also don't want it too dark. Also, I'm going to be purchasing two of them (one for each camera) and I would like to keep the prices down a little. I've only done two weddings so far and my third is in May so my budget is not that high.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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Camera Lighting

Hi Nicholas,

For XL-2 on-camera wedding lighting, I'm with you as far as avoiding blinding lights during the cake-cutting and dancing so I went with a reasonable 35 watt LED unit. The Litespan is a bit pricey so I went for the Varizoom VZ S2010 for $400, which has a nice feature that allows you to use your Canon batteries to power the unit (includes dimmer, too):

http://www.varizoom.com/products/bat...10_series.html

If you have a bigger budget or plan to be shooting more than 10 feet away, you may want to go with a 100 watt unit a lug around a battery belt.

Regards, Michael
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Old March 26th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for everyone's help. I'm going with the Lowel i-light for my on-camera lights.

Thanks again.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #9
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30p

I use the XL2 at 30p ... works great. The light I use for interviews is the canon battery powered unit that can sit on the hotshoe but I tend to hand hold it as offset as I can to keep the talent focussed on their words rather than beginning every discussion with "Holy crap that light is bright!" It's not because it's a bright light ... it's because it's the only light. Some diffusion also helps. If you have ever installed click flooring, there is an underlay made of thin foam that works very well for this. Very important to keep the harsh source under control...
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