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

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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #1
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Newbie needs to upgrade.

Hello all:

I've got about $700 to spend in upgrading my gear. I have been doing weddings for about 10 years, but only the last few years, I have I gotten semi-professional with using Vegas and my GL2.

All I have now is the GL2 and cheap Velbon Videomate tripod and the GL2s onboard-mike. Yikes! My priorities in the following order would be would be 1. wireless system, shotgun mike, upgraded tripod, then maybe a cheap light and then glidecam or stabilizer.

Though, I am not sure what would be the most I could get out of the $700. Ex: Keep cheap tripod and get glidecam? or buy better tripod, with cheaper wireless system. etc.... I'm looking at buying some of the stuff used off Ebay if possible to cut down on cost.

Any suggestions?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:59 PM   #2
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Welcome Brent.

I moved your question to our Wedding forum to give it more appropriate exposure.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 12:39 AM   #3
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Well, since no replies yet, here is what I got so far...

Went ahead and got a Glidecam 2000. Can't wait to play with this. Next is sound. Looks like the Azden 100LT is going to be in my price range and has some good reviews. I am going to run this into a Beachtek along with another wired mike to capture ambient sound. Any recommendations on a cheap, but good external mike, Would a shotgun mike be good here? or a normal mike (like Shure SM58 on a mike stand) be better?
This is a great board by the way!

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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #4
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Brent, what happened to your list of priorities??? The glidecam is really the last thing you needed, not the first!

Anyway, a shotgun and a wireless going to a beachtek will probably be the best sound option in your price range. The shotgun will be preferred over a stand mic at this point because you can use it on the camera throughout the day and it will improve your audio quality overall. At this price range and with you needing a wireless system as well I recommend just a small inexpensive shotgun to begin with.

Do what you need to get a solid tripod! That's just as important as good sound! The glidecam is a specialized tool and is only good for certain planned moves. You need a solid tripod with a fluid head if you really want a quality video. In fact if you can you should send back the glidecam and get a solid tripod. Learn to use the tripod and how to be stable on it and then after you've gone through another 10 weddings on a good set of sticks start to think about where a glidecam could enhance the video.

That's what I recommend. I hope it helps you get on the right track.

Ben Lynn
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Old December 17th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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I agree with Ben. I dont' do weddings, but was recently requested to do one for a close relative. I had both a wireless system and a good fluid head tripod. I was using a friend's XL1s.

Because of traffic I only go to the wedding about 5 mintues before it started, so I had no time to rig the wireless mic. Also, do to my lack of experience I didn't position the tripod in the right place. I ended up going handheld and using a shotgun, I regret making that decision.

I've done a lot of shooting with the wireless lav I have, and you wouldn't believe how much better the audio is over a shotgun, especially in places with a lot of echo like at a wedding ceremony. But at your price range, it will be tough to find a good wireless setup.

I also have a glidecam 2000, I don't think it would be of particularly good use at a wedding, although it's fun to play with. I think I would rank a good wireless mic and a tripod as the number one priority in your case though.

The OIS on the GL2 is good, but you'll eliminate a lot of unwanted motion with a good tripod. (I had a full manual lens on my xl1s, so no stabilization aside from my shoulder, the video was fairly shaky and amateurish looking.)
John Lee
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Old December 18th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I agree with everything said. I got the glidecam at a very good price though so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on it first. I also work the low end price-range for weddings. $600- $1000. I may end up renting a wireless system for my next wedding which isn't until March. But I will probably get a better tripod before then. Looks like the Bogen 501 or 503 head is what I will probably get next. The Velbon I used at my last wedding did an ok job, but I imagine a good Bogen head will really make things look smoother.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #7
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Hi there, try this, then comment.
I hear alsorts about mics, yea it would be great to have a stenheiser or audio tech or whatever it is that people go on and onabout. But its money. Wireless mics, yea great. But as your gona be editing i assume, you have more fredom.
Buy a mini disk recorder. 65 in this country. (120$?) Get a couple of really nice general vocalist microphones, the best you can afford. Obviously the sm58 gets tops, but there are some good quality lower priced models that senheisser do.
But a couple of mic stands.
Get them in a good position at the wedding. Put them on their stands in a central position, to either the people speaking, or the churches sound system, which ever is more applicable. And wherever you think is best. Put the mics next to each other, so that they are almost touching, their heads crossed over each other in an x shape, but so that they poth point towards the left and right of the main audio recording position. You may need to make a little adaptor, so that one mic records on the minidisk left channel, one on the right. Get to the rehersal ir pre wedding organist playing and have a play with the volume level, some people use auto. Just check the sound doesnt clip. White ballance your camera,and your away.
Here in post, you will always have 2 audio sources. Granted the gm2 onboard isnt always the best, but you can do a mix between the two and may well be impressed with results.

Point 2. Re tripod. Yes, you need a good one. Buy the smoothest you can afford, there is no comprimise.

Point 3. Get another gm2. Stick it on what will be your old tripod. At the back of the church. Set it up and hit the remote control to start recording. Now you have a little more fredom, to get in close n do the tricky shots. The hand, the ring. And you can cut out your quick movements and places your adjusting the camera later.
point 4 if you find a really good tripod source let me know!!!!

I used a friends expensive tripod twice. The results were amazing. A tripod that jerks at a wedding is difficult to use and you cant relax and enjoy the filming for fear of mistakes!
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