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Old January 2nd, 2020, 08:30 AM   #16
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Quote:
../relying on anyone else to know what they're doing is a vain hope.
AMEN.

Have back-up for everything.

Example: One reception I worked with a friend (who booked it for both photo and video) was a high end event, except for the low-rent DJ. His mic system for the speeches/toasts was picking up police calls (in Washington, DC, so there were plenty of them). My friend saved the day by providing his backup wireless system for the DJ to use. If wireless is involved know the wireless environment at the venues.

Many recorders, such as the TASCAM DR-10 series, can record a second track at 6 or 12 dB below the main track as a hedge against clipping. Good to have especially if the recorder is unmanned.

Assume every wedding is different, especially the receptions. Some are DIY casual programs, others are organized by a high cost wedding planner. Some have a fixed schedule of events (that is rarely followed) and others just sort of happen. Don't count of the DJ to cue you before evening events. .

Using many cameras and sound recorders provide a good selection to use in the final edit, but they also add to the time required to edit. One has to strike a workable balance. This is driven by what the client is willing to pay..

Many churches have rules, some very strict, as to where and how cameras and videographers can setup. One venue I've worked stuffs the videographer in a closet with the door cracked. Know the rules in advance so you can work within and around them.

Anything that can be knocked over or misaligned by a tipsy guest will be. And small valuable items that are not locked down can walk.

Directional mic proximity effect is real but falls off rapidly in a matter of inches from the source. The ability to isolate from other nearby sources can prove valuable at times. It is a matter of using the right tool for the application and the talent.
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 10:45 AM   #17
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Matthew, a few thoughts – from myself as a UK full-time photographer and videographer specialising in weddings for very many years.

In no particular order: The Canon 1DX Mark II has been around for about 4 years. Its successor, the Mark III is due out and extremely expensive. Its overkill for many uses. The pre-owned Mark II still goes for 1k+. They are big – really big! - and heavy and I switched to the 5 series and 6 series (though I still have two old 1-series hanging around gathering dust). Size and weight are all the more important now because pretty soon you need to add a gimbal (not the photo variety but the video variety) so you can shoot steady clips whilst moving around. The heavier the camera and lens the bigger the gimbal required and soon they get too much to hold for more than a few seconds per clip.

The 5D Mark IV and the 6D Mark II both have dual pixel auto-focus; I'm not sure how effective that is for video with the 1DX Mark II, but DPAF is critically important and is brilliant with the 5D-IV and 6D-II. Other manufacturers are making progress on DPAF equivalents but the jury is out on whether they are comparable as yet.

There is now no point in buying new other than from grey market. The 5D-IV and 6D-II can be had for about 1500 and 900 respectively from grey HDEW in London and from EglobalUK in the far east; both suppliers are fine – I've used them multiple times.

The 6D-II is the only one with a fully articulating screen (other than the new mirrorless EOS-R). That is hugely important, not only to have touch menus on the screen but to be able to see and touch the screen from all sorts of awkward angles.

The 6D-II does not do 4k. That does not matter for practical purposes but it may be an issue if prospective customers convince themselves that it does matter. High definition 1920x1080p upscaled on 4k TV's looks great anyway and very few clients will spot any differences especially when most UK weddings are shot in unfavourable lighting anyway e.g. interior ambient lighting too low, interior wall lighting horrible, exterior weather-reliant light to contrasty and quickly variable.

The 5D-IV does do 4K. But the file sizes are gigantic and the aspect ratio more letterbox than 16:9. Your main computer (and backup) must be able to handle 4k files, even more problematic if you are to have more than one camera being edited at the same time in “multi-cam” editing. Can be difficult even if you create smaller proxy files to do the actual editing rather than trying to work with the originals.

If you switch to considering Sony you may overcome some Canon issues but then get several Sony issues instead e.g. dust getting on sensors, difficult to use menus, more expensive lenses, much narrower choice of flash equipment if needed for stills.

Its easier to work with two cameras rather than one, and even easier with three rather than two. This is partly because in the chaos of most weddings you then have more than one viewpoint from which to cut to when editing e.g. ceremonies so you're less likely to be in the “wrong” place or get blocked by guests.

As regards audio always have a Rode Videomic Pro or suchlike on every camera, not necessarily to obtain great audio but as a backup as and when things don't go according to plan. And if anything is to be outside always have a deadcat on the mic to minimise wind rumble. See the centre image in this set of three:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/video...ilation-01.jpg

that also has the cam on a gimbal – the Zhiyun Crane 2 – with an extra arm and a mini tripod on its base,

Incidentally the 1sst image shows a clamp similar to those Roger mentioned. The 3rd image is an improvised monopod which works great for moving around in confined spaces.

I have three sets of Sennheiser wireless radio systems but I seldom use them, preferring to use standalone audio recorders like the Zoom H1 instead. You can see the Zooms in this set of three. The 1st is a Zoom H1 clamped to a lectern, The 2nd had a Zoom H4n linked to a church's audio deck. The 3rd is a Zoom H1 on a high lighstand near to a church's speaker as a backup. Incidentally most venue staff have no idea how to use decks or even where a deck is located; and often church ones are clamped and locked away to avoid theft.
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/video...ilation-03.jpg

Its much quicker and more practical to simply hide lav mics / recorders etc near to the participants rather than lose precious time setting up the persons. Brides and female civil celebrants chances of agreeing to be wired up – less than zero. Male clergy – unlikely to agree to be wired up especially if they already have their own system on their person.

Here are 3 examples of lavs / H1's hidden near the participants:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/video...ilation-02.jpg

If you do use Sennheiser or the new Rode wireless system they look like this in use:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/video...ilation-04.jpg

You then have to attach the receivers to a suitable recorder as in the Zoom H4n on the right in this photo set:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/video...ilation-06.jpg

The next photo shows a groom and a best man wired up with Sennheisers for speeches:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/100/1...34-03_sntj.jpg

The lavs are OK in that scenario but they look naff in the extreme during semi-formal portraits etc so be sure to remove them.

Aspen mics work well with the H1's:
https://aspenmics.com/

That company supply belt clips to attach to H1's to enable participants to attach the recorder to a belt rather than going into a pocket. Get L-shaped sockets on the lav wires so that they have less chance of coming adrift. Don't fret about monitoring audio once set up and switched on – you cannot stop a wedding in progress even if you have established that something is wrong!

Often you can get standalone audio recorders sufficiently close to the participants so not to have to put them on the person e.g.
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/100/1...102-02_ajg.jpg

I had one on the gate right next to the two red chairs seen in the centre where most of the action took place, another under each of the two lecterns, and another hidden in the altar. Oh and another out of shot in the rear balcony where the choir performed plus one next to a church loadspeaker as a backup.

This photo shows three H1's in action – one for the groom, one for the father of the bride, and one for the best man. All on the top table. The H1's are sufficiently good quality and are fairly wide but not too wide; that works well with recording the ambience around each participant whereas a lav mic right next to the person's mouth can appear to be too clinical. As others have said hand-held 58-style mics are a very bad idea unless the users are familiar with how to hold them. And in the UK most DJs just show up in the evening and play the dance music, no participation in anything more audio related at all.
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/100/2...06-04_hmss.jpg

Sometimes you cannot get anywhere near the bride and groom. In this next one I insisted to the groom that his wearing a lav was critical:
https://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/100/1...57-06_masl.jpg

Right, I'd better get back to doing some editing :- )

Pete.
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Old January 2nd, 2020, 09:21 PM   #18
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Re: Wedding Set Up

there you go - DVInfo at it's best! great information from experienced professionals.

You might also get your son to join up, there is a dedicated sub-forum for weddings and if he spends some time browsing & reading he can learn a huge amount without even asking a question, I know I did when I 1st joined (that was 14 years ago - bloody hell!).
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Old January 3rd, 2020, 07:51 PM   #19
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Wow, superb posts, thank so much for posting in such detail. I will get him to pop in when he returns.

Sincerely appreciate the help. Very grateful
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Old January 13th, 2020, 09:53 AM   #20
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Re: Wedding Set Up

Hi Matt,

Apologies for not answering your earlier question re equipment, but we took a few days away.

Although we have a Canon 5d11 and 5d1V for our wedding photography, I would never be happy using either for video. They are both capable of high quality video from a purely technical point of view, but for practical wedding video use, I find them clunky, focus doesn't seem to be up to the fast run and gun work of weddings and the file sizes are just too big. The main reason that DSLR cameras became popular for video work is that film makers were able to get great images from the large sensors compared with the much smaller sensors available a few years ago from medium priced video cams, plus the ability to use low light lenses when needed and different lenses for different circumstances. That's great when you have the time and locations to do that, but unless you are using a crew, changing lenses and maximising a DSLR for weddings is a no go for me.

Having used everything from big shoulder mounted 3 tube eng cams down to GoPros over the years, I have reached a level of solo and two person filming that enables me to work with multi cameras without missing anything. Bear in mind that weddings involve constantly and fast changing scenes and situations both with lighting and location. Aspiring film makers tend to move into weddings to earn some money as a perceived easy option, but often find that the difference in genres is not straight forward. Successful wedding video production is a skill that is developed with experience, some become good at it some don't or become frustrated.

Every wedding videographer's choice of equipment is very personal and mine works perfectly for myself and my wife, whereas Peter works very differently and comes from a photographic background with a wide range of DSLR lenses and cameras available. It works for him, so is right for him.

I have received a bit of stick here in the past for my choice of equipment, although I have noticed many others now using a not so different approach. For a typical wedding, I have 3 Panasonic FZ1000 cameras, which are very fast and easy to use, but still have manual overrides when required. I find the automatics are very good and use them as much as possible to avoid missing quick events that can happen in seconds. The purists may frown at the idea of automatic settings, but if they work well I use them. The only drawbacks I find with the Pannys is the 29min maximum continuous filming limit, the focus variations that sometimes happen when zooming and the lack of a slow zoom. The time limit is rarely a problem as I can cover the 2 second stop and start with a different angle camera. That is rare though apart from a long church service or speechesI avoid zooms anyway unless completely neccesary and it is only the initial start that has the problem. I also have an app to remotely control the Pannys if needed for locked off shots. The lens on the cams is 24-400mm, f2.8-4.0, so no lens change is needed which is a great time saver. For darker venues in the evening, I just use a LED light on the camera which tends to be only needed in very low light. The Pannys also have a Rode video mic on each, with a dead cat fluffy wind absorber rather than the supplied foam break. I also love the fully rotatable LED screen on the camera, which allows me to take low level and high level shots whilst still seeing the screen clearly. I have been using the same cameras since they first came out about 6 years ago with zero problems and still highly rate the colour rendition, picture clarity and the battery life.

I also carry a Panasonic HC-VX870 which is a 4K handycam with no recording time limit. Very lightweight and easy to clamp or put on a lightweight stand. I even clamp it on the main tripod occasionally with the main cam if space is really tight. I also always take a couple of Yi 4K GoPro clones which I have used reliably for about 3 years. They will run for an hour continuously, can be remotely controlled from my phone and can be put anywhere discreetly. I carry a couple of suction pad mounts for glass surfaces, and various mini tripods, clamps and mounts. I even sometimes just rest them on something. They saved the day recently at a wedding where there was absolutely no room to stand the registrar side of the couple. I mounted the two Yi cams on a mirror on the wall and on a lightweight stand. Zooms and pans were done at the editing stage and mixed in with back shots from the main cam. The couple couple were absolutely delighted. The Yis also work well for quick walk around shots on a Zhiyun hand held mini crane, which can also be mounted on a stand and remote controlled for pan and tilt with a remote. I have used it before for following the couple as they walk past down the aisle.

Audio is recorded of course on all cams through the Rode mics as a backup and ambient, but the main audio on a Zoom H1 or Sony ICD-PX333s of which I have 3 with lavs. All have been totally reliable for several years. I NEVER rely on venue, church or DJ audio outputs, although I may record them as a backup. Unlike US weddings, there is rarely anyone who has a clue on how to set up a PA system. At my last wedding on Jan 2nd, the top table used the house PA system until the mic battery ran out after about 6 minutes, with no replacement available! Although I also have 2 portable wireless mic systems available, I never use them at weddings because they take longer to set up and can have drop out and interference problems.

As I said, purely my own preferences to enable me to work quickly and efficiently. Finally, we were exhibiting at a wedding show yesterday and several visitors and one other videographer remarked on the high quality of our video, that justifies that both the equipment we are using and the way we work is successful for us.

Roger
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Old January 13th, 2020, 12:55 PM   #21
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Re: Wedding Set Up

"Unlike US weddings, there is rarely anyone who has a clue on how to set up a PA system"
I do not do any wedding work, but most of hotel ballrooms and other 'event' venues I've encountered are staffed by idiots. Even the midtown hotels in Manhattan.
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