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Thread: A whack-o questions from a newb

  1. Default A whack-o questions from a newb

    Hi all...great forum you got here. I've just spent a bit of time looking around and had a few questions. My sister is getting married in August and has asked me shoot her wedding. I've tinkered with videography but haven't really dived into the pool.

    I have a Canon T2i and was wondering what are some good lenses for this type of stuff. I have the 18-55mm lens and the 55-250mm lens but was thinking of having a good overall lens for video.

    Also, I have seen vids on Youtube where the internal mic pics up lots of lens sound. I was thinking of picking up an external shotgun mic like this one: Rode Microphones Video Mic Condenser Microphone Directional Microphones VM - Vistek Canada Kits

    My sister is getting married outside on the beach so I want to be sure to pick up the sound of the vows and such. Will this mic do the trick?

    As for editing software, I have Sony Vegas HD 10. I really want her video to have a film look and have been hearing about this Magic Bullet Looks software. There is also the matter of Adobe Premiere vs Vegas. I have been using Vegas and know it well. Is Adobe that much better to merit a shift?

    My laptop is a Compact Intel Core Duo CPU with a 2.00 GHz processor. 2 GB Ram an 32-bit OS. I've read that this might not have the power to do HD video editing. Thoughts?

    Also, is Magic Bullet good to get that film look or are there better programs.

    Thanks, folks.
    Last edited by Garmonbozia; 02-22-2011 at 06:56 AM.

  2. #2

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    Woahh!!! Slow down.
    Going from 'tinkering' to magic bullet looks really is a quantum leap and a guarantee of a major screw up. Take baby steps and concentrate on getting nicely framed and exposed shots of this important occasion.
    The 18-55 (F2.8/4?) is a good all rounder, so once you're in control of the cam, then you can go for the creative stuff like low dof etc. Your biggest problem on the beach will be wind noise. An on camera mic will only add to the misery of constant tweaking and nothing being right, so pop an independent sound recorder (Zoom) on the ceremony table and you can also use it for the speeches. The shotgun may get reasonable sound with a wind gag but will also be just an added irritant to screw your camera balance.

    I've re-edited many beach weddings filmed by others and the biggest drawback is the inevitable wonky horizon. Get a tripod, then level it 1st. The best guide will always be the horizon. It's always level and the one thing that show up as 'out' when you watch playback.
    Once you've captured the day, then concentrate on the edit using whichever is program you can beg, steal or borrow.
    Here's someone who thought MB was a cure all look
    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/wedding...ighlights.html
    Last edited by Zero; 02-22-2011 at 12:21 PM. Reason: reference material
    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

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Woahh!!! Slow down.
    Going from 'tinkering' to magic bullet looks really is a quantum leap and a guarantee of a major screw up. Take baby steps and concentrate on getting nicely framed and exposed shots of this important occasion.
    The 18-55 (F2.8/4?) is a good all rounder, so once you're in control of the cam, then you can go for the creative stuff like low dof etc. Your biggest problem on the beach will be wind noise. An on camera mic will only add to the misery of constant tweaking and nothing being right, so pop an independent sound recorder (Zoom) on the ceremony table and you can also use it for the speeches. The shotgun may get reasonable sound with a wind gag but will also be just an added irritant to screw your camera balance.

    I've re-edited many beach weddings filmed by others and the biggest drawback is the inevitable wonky horizon. Get a tripod, then level it 1st. The best guide will always be the horizon. It's always level and the one thing that show up as 'out' when you watch playback.
    Once you've captured the day, then concentrate on the edit using whichever is program you can beg, steal or borrow.
    Here's someone who thought MB was a cure all look
    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/wedding...ighlights.html
    Hi Zero,

    Thanks for the speedy reply and suggestions.

    I should have also added that editing is the one thing I am confident with. I took 3 years of film production in school and 2 years of photography but, of course, that was in the day before the digital revolution. After working in the biz for a year I realized I wanted to make my own films but didn't have the finance to do so. I spent some time overseas and used the video a bit on my Canon S2. Cut my teeth, so to speak. Last year I shot a 110min documentary on the Cannon SX20. I used Sony Vegas to edit both. Though I wasn't personally happy with the quality of the video (not HD and all), it showed me to possibilities of what can be done digitally and recharged my want to make films. I picked up the Rebel reading it had amazing video capabilities and after viewing some Youtube clips agreed.

    That said, what I am new to is DSLR. I haven't even started using the camera yet and been reading a book about it a friend got me for Xmas. My plan, before the wedding, is to go out and shoot a few short five minute test videos of things. I suppose my main concern is not having a good lense to pick up some of the nice images I've seen in the Youtube clips and a mic for the sound. I did a friends wedding on the S2 that was also outside and wind mucked up a lot of sound. I mentioned Magic Bullet Looks because a lot of those clips I've viewed have mentioned using it though, I admit, the clip you linked is less then inspiring.

    Thanks for the heads up on those Zoom mics. I was thinking of picking up the RODE mic with a windsock (do they still call them windsocks? :p) though, at this stage, we are unsure of where I am able to set up. I do have a tripod and my friend will also be shooting from another angle with the Canon S20.

  4. #4

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    Hi! more info certainly beefs up your potential abilities, especially on the editing side.
    It's good you're taking the event seriously too by having 2nd camera coverage and having the pre wedding shoots to test lenses and camera capabilities. I don't know how much use the 55-250 will be on the wedding day as most will be close quarter coverage. Any distance work will not only add earthquakes, but most of the critical shots will be blocked either by the tog or guests. Good luck!
    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

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    Also looking at maybe getting something to help with smooth dolly-like shots. Been looking at GlideCam attachments for my tripod.

    Any suggestions for something in the $250 range?

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    Sorry, meant GlideTRACK not Cam.

  7. #7

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    The first thing you need to do is some shooting with the DSLR. By all means read books, but it's been 6 weeks since Christmas and you really need to be shooting. Don't leave it to a couple of weeks before the wedding

    Once you've done some shooting with the camera then you will have a better idea what you are up agains.

    I echo Zero's comments about the external recorder. Forget the internal audio on the camera, even with an external mic the pre-ams on the cameras are cheap & nasty. Filming outside is always a challenge, even with a wind jammer of some sort. Often people assume just buying a blimp to house the mic will cure all the problems, but it doesn't, you still need to know how to position it relative to the wind or it will still get you. You can't always learn this stuff from books, it takes practice.

    Sound may well be your biggest problem on the day. You may not think so at the time, but once you get to the edit stage and fine your audio is unusable, it's too late. Get some good isolating headphones and make sure you are monitoring the sound as it's recorded. Don't leave this to chance. Audio is at least half of video. You could probably get away with the odd shake in the video during the vows, but if there is no sound the video is worthless.

    There will almost certainly have wind on a beach and there is also likely to be the sound of the sea and probably sea birds too. Getting the Bride & Groom clearly without being distracted by all the ambient noise can be difficult. What you hear through your computer speakers will be totally different to what you hear on the day. The human ear has a magical ability to tune out some sounds (e.g. ambient) and close in on others (e.g. the vows). The microphone has none of these abilities and will pick them all up equally well, or equally badly!

    Before playing with Glidetracks etc, learn the camera inside out. Make sure you know how to use every setting you are ever likely to need, preferably with your eyes closed. Anything that's not absolutely second nature to you before the day will be almost impossible to remember in the heat of the moment when time is against you and the stress level is rising. Only once you know the camera should you consider anything that is going to take your mind away from it's operation.

    I absolutely recommend 2 cameras as a minimum for a wedding (3 is even better ). Can it be done with one? Yes, but think about what are you going to cut to if/when you want to change the framing on camera 1, or you think you are out of focus and want to refocus at a critical time, not to mention the 12 min record limit on the DSLR. Don't just shoot what looks good at the time, shoot for the edit. That means shooting a little bit earlier than normal and shooting a little bit longer than normal to give you some handles to cut with, or for a cross fade etc. I see too many videos where people cut too early in camera or try to cross fade through wobbly bits and it makes it really hard to get a good edit.

    Everything you shoot with a DSLR should be tripod mounted. There are some shoulder rigs around but they cost decent money take practice to use well. Most of the cheap ones are not worth having IMHO.

    You may want to look in to some ND filters too. You've already got fairly slow glass, but video is not like photos in that you can't speed up the shutter to let less light in. You'll want to be running your shutter at a fixed rate (50 for PAL areas, 60 for NTSC areas unless you are shooting 24p) so stopping down the aperture may be your only option. If you get to f11 / f16 and still need to go further you are in trouble. In fact, anything more than f8-f11 on those lenses is going to give you a softer picture due to diffraction (just like shooting wide open will be softer too). So, on a beach, an ND filter would be good to have. If you are not sure about them, ask!

    In terms of colour correction with *anything*, especially things like Magic Bullet Looks, wait until you are about done editing and then you will have a better idea of what you are going to need. Virtually every NLE has colour correction tools built in so don't be in too much of a hurry to ignore what you already have in favour of spending money you don't need to spend. The 3 way colour corrector is you friend, use it. If for any reason you can't get on with the built in colour corrector then take a look at Colorista II as well. It's not free, but there is a 30 day free trial which may actually get you through your colour correcting needs if you don't install it until you are ready.

    Lots of time between now and August, so practice, practice, practice. when in doubt, ask more questions.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garmonbozia View Post
    Also looking at maybe getting something to help with smooth dolly-like shots. Been looking at GlideCam attachments for my tripod.

    Any suggestions for something in the $250 range?
    Some very nice, and smooth motion is created by the glidetrack but like many gizmos they are oft overused to the extent that every 2nd shot is a slide. Mixed in with a variety of other moves though, they can add class to any event.
    The time spent swapping heads and setting the track to get the shot needs to be considered and can mean losing a key moment, though having 2 cams on the go does allow flexibility.
    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

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    Basically, what I am hearing sound-wise is that a RODE mic with windsock set up on the camera next to the couple will not be as good as, say, a ZOOM recorder.

    Okay, so sound has been highlighted a few times. Now I am swaying away from getting a mic like the RODE and something like the Zoom. The question is where to place it? Grooms pocket? :P If they are getting married outside I'd hate to have that thing on the ground.

  10. #10

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    Well, that's a completely different question. We tend to use the Zoom in combination with Sennheiser wireless lav mics. The mic goes on the groom's lapel, the transmitter in him pocket and the receiver is mounted along with the zoom on the camera.

    Other scenarios are where we plug the zoom in to the church sound system, obviously not an option on the beach!

    Are they having a PA of any sort? I would have thought it quite hard for any one to hear what is being said otherwise. If so, you could plug the Zoom in to the PA.

    The Zoom H4n is way too big to fit in a pocket Maybe you can find a smaller one with a lav mic that 'can' sit in the Groom's pocket.

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