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Thread: Planning first live concert shoot... NEED TIPS

  1. #1

    Default Planning first live concert shoot... NEED TIPS

    Hey guys my first post here Hoping i can get some simple answers and some good suggestions on some camera's to get!

    First i just looked at the sticky HDV vs. DV and i have to say to me the slight difference is not really worth the extra $$$ at least to start off since this will be our own gear that me and the band i work for own. Maybe when we start trying to make DVD's and sell them we will upgrade to full or partial HD. Anyway whats the deal with miniDV SD or HD vs flash or HDD cameras? Does minidv allow for frame by frame or some better perks or what?

    2.) Aside from having a mobile camera for close ups and other cool shots of the shows and a few cameras out in FOH capturing the band i would like to start with stage cameras capturing the stage performance with maybe 1 handheld capturing out front.

    Budget is about 500-600 USD ea. camera used prices. maybe more, money is not really an issue but i wanna start slow and build over the next year as we progress.

    I was thinking something like the two cannon hf10's for two on stage cameras, and something like the canon GL1 or 2 for handheld maybe??? I have no idea Im really attracted to the miniDV cameras like the AG-DVC20 and the GL's vs the consumer handhelds, but the HF10 gets good reviews and is just for capturing the onstage shots not the out front show...

    For sound i was planning on getting external mic for all the camera's and feeding them wirelessly to my laptop for recording and doing some EQ work, aside from them we will be doing our own multitrack recording with professional gear.

    For me im a sound engineer so its not sound thats the issue its figuring out what cameras to get and gathering tips.

    Thanks, and sorry for the long first post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Just a couple of points to consider.

    Working on a stage show, the lighting contrast levels are going to be far in excess of what you normally experience with a consumer camera. A HDV or HD camcorder can deal with this contrast better than a SD camera. Even if you finish on an SD DVD, the recorded signal will deal with the high contrast levels better if you record on HD or HDV.

    The main difference (for you) between tape and hard-drive recorders is the archival properties. Tapes cost about 10/$15 each, so you don't need to re-use them and can store your original footage. AVCHD tends to be copied to a hard-drive and then deleted.

  3. #3


    Ok so really miniDV just offers the ability to have archived tapes vs hdd where you remove and then delete.

    As for the light i do most of they're lighting to so i can control the lighting to make sure it fits the show but that i still have enough light for my shots so im not to concerned about there being low low light? cant say for every show .

    So what about cameras's for SD i was looking at the DVC30 or 100a,

    Would the canon HF10's be enough for onstage shots? like each stage side.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    The Canon HF10s are great little cameras and certainly up to the job. It all depends on your operators, in this case the cameramen are the weakest link in the chain. If they know how to use the cameras and over-ride the auto exposure, no problem.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the reply thats a lot of good pointers.

    Ill start with sound since i need the least help there We actually have our own 32CH 2way passive isolated splitter box with send snakes for FOH and one for our own digital mixer recording into a DAW. Which i can then take on the bus or hotel and send it back out the the mixer and to a mixdown of the show.

    As for the different camera shot. We had a pro crew film a short demo vid for us and they just did 2 cameras stationary out front on each side and it turned out ok but i know i could do better since i know the bands shows to a T.

    I was thinking it would be nice to have like 2 of the canon HF10's on stage L & R off to the back to capture the stage and i wanted to mount a camera over the drummer to get cool drum fill shots! Then i was thinking 1 mobile camera for the money shots. And then pickup some nicer 100A or B's to have two or three cams out front taking L,R and center shots.

    Most of your pointers work for your "typical" concert but i should have described the show better. The band i work for is a rock, metal, fusion band with a live show like you have never seen before, comparable to that of slipknot! So thats why i want the "onstage" camera's to get those intimate shots of the band.. ya know?

    What are some camera's you would recommend? i figured the HF10's would be the on HD cams we have and i woould like to get atleast 1 panasonic 100A orB or a DVC30. Then over the next near ad some more cams and then after this year maybe start working to a full HD setup.


  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by The Gaffer View Post
    The Canon HF10s are great little cameras and certainly up to the job. It all depends on your operators, in this case the cameramen are the weakest link in the chain. If they know how to use the cameras and over-ride the auto exposure, no problem.
    Can you explain over-ride auto exposure? Do you mean on the HF10's or on all cameras?


  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    Auto exposure on flashy-flashy lighting - especially if they're slipknot-esque - is a problem because it always lags behind and tries to react to everything. With an OB truck you'd have somebody in there with a knob - able to set an average level for each shot, so it doesn't over expose on the highlights and retains something in the shadows. Setting a camcorder to manual exposure allows you to do this - but with a real lens ring on the camera it's tricky until you get good, but on a camera with an up/down button or knob, it's pretty hopeless and will wreck shots more than save them. Autom even though flawed, is better than a camera with the exposure on anything other than the lens!

    Thinking about cameras on-stage, I think I'll never ever buy a tape based camera again. Editing with 4 tape based cameras is a logistical nightmare, and adding just a few pov cameras makes it worse - plus you always have tape swap issues.

    I think for your kind of project, I might well buy a few cheap consumer SDHC card based camcorders, stick wide angle adaptors on them and attach them to mic stands or low mounts and use them all over the place - overhead the drummer is an obvious one, but keys work well too. Maybe even one of those low res sports cams used for mountain biking and skiing attached to a headstock on a guitar - that's a great one and the quality isn't an issue.

    Tape, for new purchases, is probably a bad investment to be honest.
    Cool yea i would like for sure a drum overhead as well as some sort of overhead for our keyboard player and then have some cams all over the stage. I did look at a few of the helmet type cams and i was thinking those could be cool as well for some things. If i can get good prices on camera's like the DVC30 are they good for out front shots? What would be a good hand cam? Do you think the Hf10's would be good on-stage?


  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    I think the HF10 would be fine, with a wide angle screwed on - as static cameras, as overheads and POV angles. As a camera on stage, as in moving around - me personally - I'd hate them. Flip out LCD means really they are point and shoot. The small chip size will probably also make the camera very unforgiving of highlights - and on stage, there will be plenty. Many small size chips suffer dreadfully when bright highlights are present - showing big unpleasant vertical smears from the bright spots. Auto focus has to be used, because manual focus is so hit and miss with tiny buttons and fixed focus servo speed - same applies to exposure as we've already said. Picture quality will be ok - no great shakes, but useful enough - nice and bright and colourful.

    Your choice for the main cameras is a bit odd. To entice me buying a tape based 6 year old camera would take VERY good pricing. To be honest, I'm surprised anyone actually has them in stock.

    I suspec for your budget I'd be looking at maybe the AG-HMC41 - which has most features you'd need. AVCHD from all your cameras would make editing simpler and faster m- cutting out the hassle of tape.
    Im talking used here not new. I can get my hands on DVC30's or 100A's for around $600 most with accessories like mics and wide lenses.

    So were you saying the Hf10's are good for static but you wouldnt like them? Give me some more camera recommendations and what they would best be used for, static stage cam, hand held cam, FOH CAM?


  9. #9


    So the HMC401 is out at 1900 USD. And cant find any good used deals.

    So basically what im looking for are some good SD or HD cameras for the following.

    1-2 static drum cams fixed, 1 overhead and maybe 1 to the side

    1-2 static keyboard cams at various angels? maybe overhead and some other cool shot

    1-2 static stage cams, 1 stage L, 1 stage R with wide angle's attached, fixed

    1 mobile camera for close-ups and, solo's, cool shots

    To start i wont have really anyone to help film to i just need static stage cams and 1 mobile i can film with.

    Eventually i want to have 2-4 FOH camera's like the HMC41 but right now i just want to cover the stage cams and have 1 hand-held camera, adding cameras later in the year. If i get AVCHD i will need to convert for editing since i wont be using a powerfull enough computer from what i read. It will be Dual core 1.25GHz, 2 GB ram pc2700, final cut.

    Another note: like i said they're stage show is similar to slipknot but the lighting and effects are more hazzy and mellow like manson, so im not worried about any really blinding bright lights in respect to the HF10's and they're small chips. but will keep that in mind and its very important advice!

    Last edited by bfsound; 02-15-2010 at 06:20 PM.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    Sorry - you were saying how good the stage show was and I assumed wrongly you had a decent budget for all this.

    I've got to say that considering the kit you're talking about for your sound capture - you've devoted very little to video, and quite frankly, the results are going to be limited to a great degree. Converting to UK pounds - you are thinking about a tape based camera for 400. Here in the UK, a service could easily cost half that figure, and a new set of heads nearly double it! So - lifespan is measured until it needs work, then you throw it!

    It's SD of course, and not really 16:9 - it's a widescreen stretch.

    Editing with some HD cams and some SD makes picture matching a bit difficult.

    The DVC30 I just don't like - nothing to do with the quality or reliability, I hear these are not really issues. It's just an old camera and just doesn't work for me as a camera to record the kind of material you have in mind. There's a ring around the lens that can work zoom, or focus, or iris - but one at a time. So you need to zoom in quick and then focus? Or you want to have control over exposure? Which one at a time? You'll just use auto and hope!

    It's a consumer camera - a good one, of course - but limited for the kind of things you want to do. You'll be buying a camera cheap - but with no idea how long it will last? If you buy three, with one for a spare I suppose it's ok. Have you budgeted for decent head and legs if you're going to use it out front. A decent set-up will cost you the same as the camera - and frankly, that will be for a cheap one. eBay might come up with some useful second hand kit.

    I'm not sure we can advise that much if you're looking low-fi and second hand to do a difficult job - sorry, I misunderstood your original post - my fault.

    There's no problem with originating in SD - I still do this for some video projects, but editing HD and SD together is just a pain.

    Sorry for the confusion. paul

    The stage show is great i never said it was not! Im just saying the lighting is a bit more mellow and hazzy like a manson concert. Budget wise money is no issue i just dont want to start of with 4 2000.00 camera's if i dont have anyone to operate them.... I mainly interested in just getting as many static shots as i can. With the 1 handheld to start things off. Maybe laterin the year when we have more tour support we can hire some local guys to help film.

    I just want some good camera suggestions for the shots i mentioned above. Im not concerned about doing a full production just yet i cant man 5 camera's !!! I can film with all SD or all HD it dont matter i just want some camera options. So far for static shots all i have in mind is the HF10... Most of these will be to just start off and get some results then we will sell of all the lo-fi gear and upgrade to camera's like the HMC41's

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