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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old October 21st, 2016, 08:08 AM   #16
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

I've just finished editing a showman's wedding, which we do quite a lot of. At the reception, all the main players are called into the room separately to a personalized piece of very loud music which they dance to, followed by the whole room dancing and singing. It always goes on for 15 to 20 minutes and they expect it all to be recorded without a break. I would find it impossible to film effectively without auto settings as the lighting and focus is changing continuously and I would just not be able to do that quickly enough manually. Backup up cameras are not an option as people are standing on chairs. standing up at tables and filling the dance floor which would block other cameras, so there is no option to drop in a cutaway.

I have to be on the dance floor with them and sometimes need to lift the tripod and camera to get an overhead shot. Great fun, but pretty tricky to film.

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Old October 21st, 2016, 08:12 AM   #17
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

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I would rather not miss a priceless moment because I was fiddling setting the camera up.
I just don't share the same opinion that laziness is an excuse for just wanting to get the shot, if a couple just want someone to get the shot they might as well ask uncle Joe because he also will leave the camera in auto and point and shoot, it's our job to at least try to capture all memorable moments but also make sure it looks close enough to perfection and you can't do that with automodes only. You can get away with it in certain cases but it can mess your shot up at the worst possible moment.
Also, Ev adjustments are just a big headache because you are constantly battling your camera to adjust what it gets wrong when you are running and gunning, it's a major pain in changing light conditions when you for instance get a backlight like a window in your shot and you are much better of just doing the exposure manually.
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Old October 21st, 2016, 08:18 AM   #18
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I watched a video from a USA based celebrity photographer who said "on your camera dial you have an "M" and a "P" .... M= Master (he gets perfect shots but misses the moments P=Professional ..he might have to correct a bit in post BUT he gets the shots the bride wants that the Master misses while he perfects his manual settings. I'm not a Master!!
Maybe a good rule for Photography, but not for Videography. That said, I do use auto exposure. I have 3 custom settings, 1 for shutter priority, 1 for full manual and 1 for aperture priority. All 3 get good use at a Wedding and I juggle use as and when.

I'm certainly not afraid to rely on auto exposure when there are fast changing lighting situations and I don't want to spend too long fiddling with the settings. A variable ND filter works best though with manual and allows me to adjust exposure quickly but alas not so useful indoors.

So for me, my rule is S or A for run n gun with varied lighting and M for creative moments, where lighting is more constant, when I have more time between shots or if there are issues such as back-lighting.
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Old October 21st, 2016, 06:25 PM   #19
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

Great comments guys but it has nothing to do with the OP's question about which is your "go to" camera for NON wedding events so we had better get back on track as Silas is talking about corporate/recitals and such rather than weddings.
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Old October 21st, 2016, 10:45 PM   #20
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

Going back on topic then. I find much of my corporate work suffers from the same low light issues that plague Weddings. As such my GH4s and prime lenses are for me a perfect setup even when filming Conferences and Seminars. Sure they lack XLR inputs, but I have my Zooms for that. Theatre productions and dance recitals are the only concerns with my current setup, but I have few of these jobs. However if I was running multicamera for those, I'd be confident I could overcome the various limitations that DSLRs do have.

The Sony Z150 the OP suggests looks a decent camera and would work well for the kind of jobs he needs it for. So I'd recommend he goes for it. Personally if I was going down the larger more professional camera route, I'd choose something along the lines of the C100 or Sony FS5; only as I find fixed lens cameras to be very limited.
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 02:44 AM   #21
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

I don't shoot video professionally any more & now only have two cameras (three if you count the surprisingly decent one in my iPhone 6s Plus) & they both have a 1" sensor. I started my pro video life with 1/3" HDV camcorders & subsequently moved to Canon DSLR & latterly MFT. I now own a Sony RX10m2 & a Panasonic FZ1000 neither is perfect & each has advantages & disadvantages. The Panasonic is half the price but has a cheaper plasticky feel compared to the weather sealed Sony. To my eye the images from the Sony both stills & video look a little bit nicer straight out of the camera. The Panasonic has an excellent easily accessible burst mode for stills. The 16x zoom of the Panasonic has a much longer reach at 25-400mm FF equivalent compared to the 10x zoom of the Sony but when shooting 4K the crop mode means that the wide end is about 32mm rather than the 24mm FF equivalent of the Sony. The Sony has constant F/2.8 & ND filters & great HFR. Neither camera is perfect & they each complement the other so I generally carry around both which is no great hassle as they are so small & light.

The 1" sensor cameras with a big motor zoom are a nice compromise between the two extremes of 1/3" camcorders & FF DSLR & are the equivalent of shooting 16mm film. The sensor is big enough to give a reasonably shallow DoF & low light performance plus the 10x+ motor zoom & no need to change lenses is so much more convenient than changing lenses. These are also true hybrid cameras that do stills & video equally well. I am tempted to get a Sony RX10M3 to use as my single camera. It has an amazing 25x zoom with 24- 600mm FF equivalent but doesn't have ND filters nor constant F/2.8 so it's not really a direct replacement for the RX10M2 but maybe I could live with these restrictions. The new Panasonic FZ2000 (as it is designated in Europe) looks interesting but is quite a price hike from the FZ1000 & is around the price of an RX10M2 while the RX10M3 is about 50% more expensive.

If I were still shooting professionally I would standardise on 1" sensor cameras. The Sony AX100 is a great proper camcorder & it's such a shame that the Pro version NX100 does not have 4K mode (I guess that Sony don't want to cannibalise higher end camera sales).
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 03:55 PM   #22
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

I'm still using my Sony NX5 for dance recitals and marching band competitions. I also picked up a Sony CX900 that I'm using as well.

I have a Canon XA 20 that is seeing less and less use these days. That CX900 is something else.
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 01:34 AM   #23
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

Go for the Sony CX 900.
Very handy with lots of external controls.....ND filters,1 inch sensor,etc
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Old October 24th, 2016, 12:33 AM   #24
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Re: What's your GO TO CAMERA for non wedding events?

If you are going for the CX900, it's not a whole lot more to get the AX100, and you'll get the option to shoot 4K. They are effectively the same camera, and yep, the AX100 even though it's getting a little "old" in technology terms, is still a nice little camera, good manual controls, and pretty decent overall performance/bang for the buck. If you want a "video" camera format, it's a good choice. The little AX53 gives up some detail due to a small sensor, but has the BOSS stabilization that might be better for handheld/travelling light.

I still like the RX10M2 and RX100M4 if you want a mix of stills and video, in my mind these cameras share enough "DNA" in the guts that I'm comfortable using them when each camera fits the need, or alongside one another while respecting their individual strengths and weaknesses.
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