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

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Old September 27th, 2019, 11:46 PM   #1
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"best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

hi there...I did a search but didn't find a recent thread on this subject...I want to upgrade from my HD Canon XF300 to a similar camera-smaller perhaps but with 3 dedicated rings for focus/zoom/aperture, XLR connectors, 2 cards for relay recording, good footage in low light and of course 4k recording...asking for the world I know...
of course I use smaller cameras for some sections in weddings and other events but this would be for concerts, dance recitals, wedding ceremonies. Any suggestions that won't break the bank.
I can't afford the Canon XF705...
if there is a recent thread on this pls pls direct me to it.

thanks
E
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Old September 28th, 2019, 12:54 AM   #2
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Maybe the Sony HXR-NX100 is what you are looking for? It's the Pro version of the excellent FDR-AX100 with 1" sensor & three control rings & a fraction of the cost of an XF705.
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Old September 28th, 2019, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

The two main competitors in this space is Panasonic and Sony. I use the Panasonic UX90. The main advantages is that it’s the best value and lowest price in this category, has all the basic features needed for event work and has long enough lens for theater work. Panasonic offers more expensive models with features like 60p if slow motion is important.

The competitor to Panasonic UX series is the Sony Z150. The main difference is it’s more expensive, has a shorter lens, but can record 10bit HD.

Generally speaking the image quality and low light performance will be similar to cameras in this category, the more expensive models offer broadcast features or higher frame rates. There are also many other models in this category that are smaller and lighter good for hand held work but their lens are too short for theater work. One other thing to note all the builtin lens for these 1” sensor camcorders are slow variable apertures in order to keep the size and price down.
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Old September 28th, 2019, 06:53 AM   #4
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Any special reason you suddenly want a 4K camera ..Are you planning to use it in conjunction with your 1080 cameras and render down to 1080. If you are going to use, edit and supply 4K footage of events then you also need to make sure your editing computer can handle UHD formats without stuttering and also can parents actually play 4K footage??? I have two cameras with 4K format built-in as well as 1080 and honestly as stunning as the clarity is, it's a HUGE pain to edit and I end up rendering down anyway so I don't use it any more. Just being practical!
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Old September 28th, 2019, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Good point. I use 4k for unattended cameras, allowing me to frame the subject with space around them and then have the option to recompose or crop in. But if your computer struggles with 4k and you need to transcode to an uncompressed format like ProRes your jaw will drop when that 50gb file becomes 500gb, let alone the time it takes to encode. So yeah I only film 4k when I really need to.
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Old September 28th, 2019, 08:20 AM   #6
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Just a quick comment about 4K.
In my experience, most of the time when I hear people say their computer can't handle 4K smoothly it is because of their drives -- and not the computer itself. Make sure you are using a fast external drive (preferably an SSD) with a fast connection (preferably thunderbolt) before upgrading to a new computer or throwing the towel in on 4K. I'm constantly amazed at the slow external drives people are using and still expecting pro-level performance, or even worse, how many people are putting video files on the same internal drive as the OS.

My camera suggestions for shooting events would be the Sony Z280 or Z150.
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Old September 28th, 2019, 05:02 PM   #7
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Any special reason you suddenly want a 4K camera ..Are you planning to use it in conjunction with your 1080 cameras and render down to 1080. If you are going to use, edit and supply 4K footage of events then you also need to make sure your editing computer can handle UHD formats without stuttering and also can parents actually play 4K footage??? I have two cameras with 4K format built-in as well as 1080 and honestly as stunning as the clarity is, it's a HUGE pain to edit and I end up rendering down anyway so I don't use it any more. Just being practical!
I have been editing 4k footage taken with a Sony a6400 and then rendering to 1080p and the results are very nice-also being able to reframe a bit is great but you're right that once I have 2 or more 4k video tracks my system will have issues...argh..
the XF300 (I also have a XF100-and I learned how to use the xf300 from a video I bought from Doug Jensen a long time ago! thanks!) is still a great machine as long as I don't use over 6db gain-I use a modified picture profile with some noise reduction-but as soon as lighting gets lower there are issues...I bring out my C100 mk2 then! I know and even the a6400 is great with a sigma 16mmf1.4 lens but they are not events cameras really and I'm thinking of upgrading to a 4k ENG type camera similar to the XF300 and perhaps use the 4k as the main camera and the XF300 as B camera on a 1080p timeline. Maybe I'm suffering from a case of "upgraditis" or whatever is called! I have been mostly happy with the XF300-It doesnt produce beautiful video like a C100 mk2 with a good lens but it's reliable for conferences, and live events and with decent light is great (the XF100 is very portable and ok in good lighting-terrible in low light) anyway...I'm only exploring the possibilities. I google the topic and some suggestions came up but checking B&H reviews I discover that many verified buyers felt that some of those newer 4k cameras were terrible in low light -they needed to increase gain so much and others felt that AF wasn't very good. I realize that the tiny sensors in the XF300 help keep things in focus better. I will check the suggestions you have all provided and decide...not an urgent plan yet. The truth is no client of mine as asked me for 4k deliverables yet. Thanks so much
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Old September 28th, 2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Just a quick comment about 4K.
In my experience, most of the time when I hear people say their computer can't handle 4K smoothly it is because of their drives -- and not the computer itself. Make sure you are using a fast external drive (preferably an SSD) with a fast connection (preferably thunderbolt) before upgrading to a new computer or throwing the towel in on 4K. I'm constantly amazed at the slow external drives people are using and still expecting pro-level performance, or even worse, how many people are putting video files on the same internal drive as the OS.

My camera suggestions for shooting events would be the Sony Z280 or Z150.
thanks so much! When I first got the XF300 I purchased your DVD training course! Thanks so much...a few years back and the XF300 has been a reliable event/concert camera for sure.
I have an imac i7 2014 maxed up! the top of the line then and the drives are thunderbolt but I'm sure that once I have a few 4k video tracks things will slow down....hmm...
I think what I want the most is a ENG camera with better than the XF300 low light capabilities which made me think of a 4k camera so that the sensor is bigger and also for "future proof" is there is such a thing...
I have tried using my C100 mk2 with a good zoom lens for concerts but sometimes the music is so loud, the bass so strong that the lens shakes a bit-something the XF300 handles a lot better and also the XF300 has a proper 20x zoom! amazing...also keeping things in focus is not as easy with a large sensor- I shoot in f4 or higher and I push the iso (the C100 is amazing!) but nope...I'd rather have a dedicated camera ENG type for those events (or for ceremonies in weddings etc)...
I can survive with the XF300 but I would like a better ENG type camera (under 5 lbs or less) for low light (not darkness!) and 4k for future proof... thanks for the suggestions. I will google them!
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Old September 28th, 2019, 05:12 PM   #9
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Maybe the Sony HXR-NX100 is what you are looking for? It's the Pro version of the excellent FDR-AX100 with 1" sensor & three control rings & a fraction of the cost of an XF705.
thanks so much for the suggestion...I will google the suggestions and check reviews...I'm ok for now with the "vintage" XF300/XF100! (I don't care about the XF400 at all and the XF705 is out of my budget)

thanks
E
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Old September 28th, 2019, 05:13 PM   #10
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
The two main competitors in this space is Panasonic and Sony. I use the Panasonic UX90. The main advantages is that itís the best value and lowest price in this category, has all the basic features needed for event work and has long enough lens for theater work. Panasonic offers more expensive models with features like 60p if slow motion is important.

The competitor to Panasonic UX series is the Sony Z150. The main difference is itís more expensive, has a shorter lens, but can record 10bit HD.

Generally speaking the image quality and low light performance will be similar to cameras in this category, the more expensive models offer broadcast features or higher frame rates. There are also many other models in this category that are smaller and lighter good for hand held work but their lens are too short for theater work. One other thing to note all the builtin lens for these 1Ē sensor camcorders are slow variable apertures in order to keep the size and price down.
thanks so much for the advice. So much to consider now that cameras use larger sensors...I guess finding one with 20x zoom may not be as easy...on a budget!
E
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Old September 28th, 2019, 06:37 PM   #11
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Sadly what happens is we all suffer from "updateisis" but we are also our worst critics too. We want the best gear and a perfect result in our own eyes while the clients often would be more than happy with an SD copy on DVD and be delighted with the content because that's what they are looking at, content yet we fuss over exposure, contrast and indulge in the art of "pixel peeping" ... It actually totally un-necessary but we all do it because we are videographers and probably tech heads as well. I will guarantee that 99 out of 100 people would never notice a crop from 1080 instead of 4K because, unlike us, they are purely looking at the content and delighting in it.

Worth thinking about before you replace all your cameras with 4K units and put SSD drives in your computers because there WILL be a time when you are going to be looking at 8K gear and the cycle starts again. Like editing, there also comes a time when you have to stop and say "OK, that's good enough"
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Old September 28th, 2019, 07:30 PM   #12
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erick Perdomo View Post
thanks so much for the advice. So much to consider now that cameras use larger sensors...I guess finding one with 20x zoom may not be as easy...on a budget!
E
UX90 25.4 to 367.5mm, 15x
Ux180 25.4 to 508mm, 20x
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Old September 28th, 2019, 09:11 PM   #13
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

thanks Pete!
I will do some research!
E
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Old September 29th, 2019, 04:04 AM   #14
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Reading all these replies I realised that I am well out of touch with current video cameras. The newer Sony & Panasonic 1" models look great. I've not read or posted here for about six months but am glad to see the same names are still around. Hi, guys!
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Old September 29th, 2019, 05:29 AM   #15
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Re: "best 4K Professional Camcorder" for events

Hi Nigel

I'm cutting down drastically as weddings have almost become non economically viable with operators offering free travelling, free drone footage, multiple cameramen all at a price I can hardly believe. I really don't know how they survive as they spend a fortune on gear yet cut their prices.

I'm still doing the odd wedding for referrals mainly out of courtesy but I must admit I'm getting tired of the long hours so I stick with ceremonies mainly. My main income has become funeral services and burials..either recorded or live streamed (usually both) They have unique advantages to weddings! The start is ALWAYS on time (unlike brides happy to be up to an hour late), they pay better, they are during the week and during the day so I get my weekends back and last but not least they are super easy 1 camera non creative shoots with a tripod and dolly ... As old age creeps upwards is has been a good way to diversify ... Dunno about the UK but here we have around 100 funerals a week in the metro area so it's a easy market! What are you up to????
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