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Thread: HD or SD for start-up buisness

  1. Default HD or SD for start-up business

    Hi Everybody,

    Just after some quick advice on gear to buy for wedding's.. Seriously thinking about getting into wedding video's and i'm looking at the cheapest route in to test the water.. Dont worry all the testing will be free to clients.. I've been photographing weddings for over 4 years now and the company i work for get asked all the time about video which is a service that we dont currently offer. I've been interested in video for a little while now so i'm thinking about making the jump..

    Main question is would an older SD camera still be ok for wedding video's? I've been looking at the Canon DM-XM2. Or by not going HD would we loose all the bookings.. If the buisness takes off then we would purchase better gear ASAP

    Many thanks and look forward to your thoughts..

    Craig
    Last edited by bertiebasset; 07-07-2009 at 01:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Hi Craig

    I shoot weddding full time here and ALL (yes ALL) are in SD. Not only that I can also shoot in 4:3 and nobody seems concerned.

    Out of the 36 clients I did last season, just ONE asked me if my cameras were HD. When I said no, I still got the job!! Very few normal, everyday people even know that you need a BluRay player to play HD on your TV!!! Just because HD is available on commercial TV, people don't rush out and get a new DVD Player.

    Think about a few other factors too!!
    You need to buy new cameras and there are very few tape based HD cameras around suitable for wedding videography... Go over to AVCHD and you have to consider the following :

    (1) To edit AVCHD you will need at least a QuadCore machine and a very fancy graphics card. That will cost you!!
    (2) You will need a BluRay burner PLUS your own HD TV and BluRay player to test your finished discs.
    (3) HD takes a LOT longer to render than SD so you also need to factor in the cost that your machines will be working longer and harder to produce a wedding video and all this costs money.
    (4) Your 32GB SD class 5 or 6 card is going to set you back $200 + and you need to store files since you have no more tape so you also need to invest in External Drives for archive

    Taking all the costs and extra time plus extra media cost..you must ask yourself whether your prices (when you start charging) are still viable????

    I can shoot a wedding on Saturday and then edit and make the final DVD's within 10 hours of computer time. An HD render of just one clip will take longer than that so more than likely you will have to end up taking most of the week just to edit one video so you must charge a substantially higher price!!

    To be honest I don't think couples really care about the technical side..all they want is to see their ceremony on TV and you can easily provide that in SD

    I haven't lost a job in the last 3 years because I didn't do "HD" so I will shoot in SD until the market is ready for HD and virtually every home can actually play HD discs or media

    Chris

  3. #3

    Default

    I dont know where you from but in the US people want HD. While it sounds like a nice idea to offer to do your first couple of weddings for free as you're starting out. It realy isn't a good idea. If it doesn't work out that couple is now with out a video and worst yet word of mouth will get around fast. What you should do is talk to other videographers in you're area and offer to be an extra camera man for some weddings. Not only will you have less stress as you're learning you will also make contacts which can lead to referals down the line if they overbook.
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    166

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    Hi Wil

    Sound advice for someone starting out but it does depend where Craig lives. If most of the people in his area DO own an HD TV AND a BluRay player and have more than likely tossed out their normal DVD player then, sure, you have no option but to offer HD only.

    In our city of 1.3 million the majority of younger people (most weddings here are couples in their late 20's but I do get a couple of oldies) own a 50" HD Plasma or LCD TV, they subscribe to paytv and has access to a lot of HD content BUT very few will own a BluRay player.

    Demographics will change for different areas of course and Craig might just live in an area where people say "What's a DVD"

    Chris

  5. Default

    Hi guy's,, thanks Chris for your very informative response which after reading has given me hope that i can have a go with relatively cheap set-up cost's..

    In respone to Wil about offering my services free of charge dont worry as I work for a sucsessful wedding photography company with lost of brides which are not having a videographer but are willing to allow me to attend the day at no cost and whatever footage i get will be a bonus.. It's the perfect way to test and hone my skills with no pressure..

    Next question then will the canon dm-xm2 be a good camera for me or can you recommend another good starter camera.. I'm only thinking the canon as thats what i shoot stills with and you know what it's like when you use a certain brand

    Many thanks
    Craig

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    166

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    Hi Craig

    Choice of camera is a personal one. I have a friend in Florida who shoots with XM2's and the clips look good!! It's much like buying a car!! Get something that you feel comfortable with and a brand you like and make sure it will do the job.
    I use Panasonic DVC62's and that's my personal choice because I love the camera and the shoulder mount design...any good brand will do the job but don't over-capitalise!! No sense in spending $30,000 on gear if you only make $40,000 a year doing weddings!!!

    Chris

  7. #7

    Default

    If I was starting from scratch, which I'm not, but you are, I would definitely go with HD.
    Sooner or later you're gonna have to use it and if the demand isn't there now, downconvert for SD output, but at least your kit, filming and editing wise, will be ready for the demand.
    Cheap starter = Panasonic AG-HMC151
    Good edit systems for HD = Final cut pro or Vegas.

    But . . . . As a photographer, If you think you had a steep learning curve with Photoshop - Video production is Everest!
    You will scream in torment at every stage, but it's well worth the effort if you're serious about the business.

    Unlike photography, where composition and exposure is king there is also the camera white balance, continuity, + the audio side which all need constant monitoring to achieve good viewable quality.

    You've come to the right place for advice, now and in the future.
    We're all here to learn and there's always plenty of boundaries being pushed both on the creative and technical side.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    166

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    Hi Zero

    Sensible of course but it still comes down the the nasty item we call money!!

    2 x HMC150 series cams are going to set you back a cool US$7500, Then you need a couple of SD Cards and more than likely a decent PC to edit with!!

    Gosh I wish I could just pluck $10,000 from my bank account and do that! Then I would be set up for HD!!!

    Unfortunately I couldn't afford that kind of finance right now but if Craig does have $10,000 spare then it IS the most logical thing to do as he would have a top of the line HD setup!!

    Just for interest do you know if it's possible to transcode AVCHD into a usable SD format at all ??? I have asked all over and no-one can give me an answer!!! I know that the HMC150 cannot downconvert like the Sony HD1000 but I figured there might be another way to do it??? If you could shoot in AVCHD and then downconvert to DV-AVI video you would have the best of both worlds and could satisfy current SD clients and still be ready for HD. If you can downconvert the files it means that you can edit and render SD which would be way faster!!!

    Chris

  9. #9

    Default

    UK = 2799.98 inc VAT & Del
    As a new entrant into video the OP is going to have to invest a few thousand in any cam/edit system anyway.
    It's never been a cheap business to be in and for a 2K extra investment It may as well be slightly future proof.
    If you transcode the footage using the free AVC2HQ converter software from Thomson/Canopus then you can edit with a fast Dual Core P4 or better still Core 2 Duo or Quad core.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  10. Default

    The main problem for me regarding spend is wedding video may not be suited to me in which case i'll carry on shooting stills.. At the minute i have a powermac with final cut pro so editing sd will be fine but if i went to hd then there's alot more expense.. Dont get me wrong as soon as we relise the potential for video in the company then i will be straight out to invenst a large amount of money into quality gear and editing systems.. I've got a lot of money tied into slr body's and canon L lenses which would be sold to fund the venture..

    The reason for not jumping straight into it is i may not cut the mustard in the world of video and i need to keep my losses down to a minimum..

    So with that in mind if anybody has any other sd cameras you'd recommend for me to look at it would be apprieciated

    Current list is Sony PD170p, Canon xl1s, Canon dm-xm2..

    Cheers
    Craig

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