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Thread: A couple of questions - amidst a whirlpool of DV Cameras and specs.

  1. #1

    Default A couple of questions - amidst a whirlpool of DV Cameras and specs.

    Hi,
    First Post here.

    Doing some research on the stuff of wedding and event videography. Yes, another one !
    I have been looking at HD DV Camcorders and specs for weeks and some things are becoming clearer yet a couple of questions for the wedding videographers about please.

    1. Is variable frame rate important or useful to the point a 'must have' for wedding vid?
    2. The panasonic HPX 170 has vfr but only in 720p - it seems. How does that work if one starts the event filming 1080i.
    3. SD/SDHC (HMC151) and P2 (HPX 171) cards. What is the difference?
    4. Is the switchable focus/iris ring a bad thing?
    5. I notice most DVC are 1080i. Some are 1080p (in this bracket). What models close to HMC151 are 1080p?

    The HMC151 looks great for the price. Any DVC product suggestions in the same realm?

    Well the questions are many but I hope your answers help me move toward a decision. thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Magoo1818; 07-17-2011 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    1. No
    2. No only if you shoot 720pN
    3. About 300 per card
    4. Yes
    5. I don't know

    If your looking at this level of cmaera you may want to look at the AG-AF101. A bit more money and you will need to look at getting a nens or two bu tit look good to me.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Midnight blue,

    Thanks, sorry took a while to get back to this. Been looking also at NLE sw. Will look at the AF101. The Sony HXR-NX70 looks great - except it combines all 3 Focus/zoom/Iris in assignable single ring. Anyway I will keep looking and probably should match the NLE that can edit the cameras format (AVCHD or DVCPro etc). would prefer to steer away from P2 cards because of the expense (although I read somewhere they are faster than the SD type cards bu do I need the speed? Dont know). So the HMC-151 is more in my budget.

    NLE-thinking Edius 6 looks cool for the price and the specs say all formats handled although I think V5 requires canopus AVCHD2HQ conversion. Not sure about V6.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Many wedding vids are shot using DSLR, as they have good light-gathering ability for the Church/Reception ambient light.

    Before you plump for a camera, I suggest you get some practice in by being a "second-camera" to a Wedding Business, they will have the camera for you to use....often Canon is the chosen one.

    The art of Wedding photography is to satisfy the Couple (who pay you) and every guest who will buy extra DVD's once the drinks take effect. Typically they'll use three cameras and two operatives - and maybe a one other to herd the Guests, charge batteries, move lights/umbrellas/reflectors and keep a note of Guest's Orders...

  5. #5

    Default

    Edius is a good solid, take any format, mix on the time line sort of an NLE. It's becoming the choice of a lot more people these days. When I tried it, I found the codecs to be really good. I can't remember why I didn't stay with it. I think I was that I found Sony Vegas suited the way I work better.

  6. #6

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    Found an educational version at a drastically reduced cost. Forums indicate concern over limited plug ins and weather one can even plug in later if one wanted to. Looking at some online tutorials - nice. My second choice would be Vegas Pro 10 (many have said how easy it is to use - all formats covered etc. but only because of this price difference due to the ducational offer. Plug ins in question....
    Bundled Software:
    • NewBlue video filters: Video Essentials for EDIUS
    • ProDAD video effects & image stabilization: VitaScene & Mercalli v2
    • iZotope VST audio plug-ins: Audio Effects Suite, AudioRestore, AGC, and Mastering Effects Suite

  7. #7

    Default Wedding vid general question

    Quote Originally Posted by vidmanners View Post
    Many wedding vids are shot using DSLR, as they have good light-gathering ability for the Church/Reception ambient light.

    Before you plump for a camera, I suggest you get some practice in by being a "second-camera" to a Wedding Business, they will have the camera for you to use....often Canon is the chosen one.

    The art of Wedding photography is to satisfy the Couple (who pay you) and every guest who will buy extra DVD's once the drinks take effect. Typically they'll use three cameras and two operatives - and maybe a one other to herd the Guests, charge batteries, move lights/umbrellas/reflectors and keep a note of Guest's Orders...
    Vidmanners (or anyone)
    Thanks - This might be a great entry point. I had a DVX100 and just started in Aust. with 2 weddings. Couples were happy but as I look around the showreels I have a bit to learn.

    Sorry if this question is basic. I understand that showreels are the best of the best for that videographer; What is the usual length of a final product to the couple?

    The showreels are usually very attractive with typical slo-mo and mixed audio. The couples I worked for wanted the full ceremony - audio uninterupted and the full length of any music played durring the pre post ceremony. Whew! Is that normal?

    The showreels usually only show a few glances and rings on fingers which looks fine. The couple are the paying customer of course but can one make a presentable package with 30 minutes of ceremony and audio in the middle of the usual segments?
    Last edited by Magoo1818; 07-26-2011 at 08:28 PM.

  8. #8

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    Best thing you can do is download the trial (full working for 30 days) versions and give them a test drive. Only then can you make a proper assessment of which suites your needs the most.

  9. #9

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    Lots of interesting stuff here. We used to use the HMC151 and sold them because .... well... lots of reasons really. I'd avoid buying one now because they are end of life products, being replaced in the autumn with newer CMOS versions. CMOS has some downsides, but CCD is not as sharp and can get a lot more noisy in lower light.

    As some have said, DSLRs are a great way to shoot in low light if you have some good glass, we use them a lot, but they have a LOT of problems you have to work around at the same time. Moire and Aliasing (even coloured aliasing on Canon) can be a significant problem from time to time. Also, while shallow depth of field is all the rage at the moment, it can be very hard to work with. For instance, stood to the side of a couple (maybe 10-12 feet) it's almost impossible to get both bride & groom faces in sharp focus with anything like a close up shot because the DOF simply doesn't extend that far. You'd need to stop down significantly (and increase ISO and therefore noise) to get the required DOF. Sound takes a lot more work in post because you need to sync external recorders (if you want good sound). Also, the dreaded 12min record limit means you can't use DSLRs for unattended cameras without loading up the hacked firmware.

    So, we use DSLRs when we want the creative look but we also use standard video cameras when we actually 'want' good depth of field (i.e. B+G both in focus!).

    If you really want a great camcorder around the price of the HMC151 then take a long hard look at the Canon XF100. It's smaller than the HMC, it has a couple fewer buttons and it's main draw back is the switchable ring (focus, iris, zoom), though in reality it's not a problem because you leave the large ring on focus, the small custom wheel on iris (same place as on the HMC) and use the rocker for zoom if needed. It records in a 4:2:2 codec which is much better for editing and colour correcting than the 4:2:0 AVCHD of the HMC151.

    It also takes 2 compact flash cards (we use Transcend 400x) and can record either to both at the same time (instant backup) or in relay mode where once card A fills up it continues on card B (you don't even miss a frame). You can also change one card (and even format one!) while it's recording live to the other card. Awesome. White balance is more predictable, even having a Kelvin setting (great for matching cameras) and of course the XLR inputs (missing on DLSRs), peaking, zebras, waveform etc - all of which work better than the HMC, not to mention the LCD is streets ahead of the HMC which was truly awful.

    Sorry if this question is basic. I understand that showreels are the best of the best for that videographer; What is the usual length of a final product to the couple?

    The showreels are usually very attractive with typical slo-mo and mixed audio. The couples I worked for wanted the full ceremony - audio uninterupted and the full length of any music played durring the pre post ceremony. Whew! Is that normal?

    The showreels usually only show a few glances and rings on fingers which looks fine. The couple are the paying customer of course but can one make a presentable package with 30 minutes of ceremony and audio in the middle of the usual segments?
    Give the couple what they want. We do trailers / highlights that show just a few minutes, a few glances etc, but in reality many people want the entire ceremony and speeches with the creative bits being the 'before' the ceremony, the bit in the middle (after the ceremony but before the speeches) and perhaps afterwards too. Our final DVDs range from about 20 mins up to 140 mins depending on how long the ceremony was (my longest so far was 1hr 42 mins!), how long the speeches are (longest so far, 96 mins) and what else happens on the day. You can't control this stuff, it just happens that way.

    More often than not the DVD is in the 60-90 mins range. Occasionally I'll do a shortened ceremony as part of the main film and then given them a separate DVD with the full uncut ceremony that no one will want to watch more than once - unless they really enjoy the hymns and listening to the vicar, but at least they have it, while having the more watchable version as part of the main film.
    Last edited by David Partington; 08-03-2011 at 10:33 PM.

  10. #10

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    I hope this dosent post twice. I wrote this up and hit reply and poof - disappeared.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Lots of interesting stuff here.....If you really want a great camcorder around the price of the HMC151 then take a long hard look at the Canon XF100. It's smaller than the HMC, it has a couple fewer buttons and it's main draw back is the switchable ring (focus, iris, zoom), though in reality it's not a problem because you leave the large ring on focus, the small custom wheel on iris (same place as on the HMC) and use the rocker for zoom if needed. It records in a 4:2:2 codec which is much better for editing and colour correcting than the 4:2:0 AVCHD of the HMC151.

    Give the couple what they want. We do trailers / highlights that show just a few minutes, a few glances etc, but in reality many people want the entire ceremony and speeches with the creative bits being the 'before' the ceremony, the bit in the middle (after the ceremony but before the speeches) and perhaps afterwards too. Our final DVDs range from about 20 mins up to 140 mins depending on how long the ceremony was (my longest so far was 1hr 42 mins!), how long the speeches are (longest so far, 96 mins) and what else happens on the day. You can't control this stuff, it just happens that way.
    David,
    Thanks. I was just reading about the XF100 when I popped back here to find your reply. Looks good, 50mbs, 4:2:2 compact etc. But it only has 1/3" single CMOS - how does this perform for your wedding inside shoot?

    Yes, a good idea to supply the 'long' ceremony on a separate dvd, but as you said we give them what they want.

    I was also looking at the Sony EX1 - all the good stuff and 3 rings, 3 x 1/2 CMOS sensors (35mbs but not sure what the end result diff is to 50mbs). Downside is a hefty 2.4kg for the wedding videographer.

    Thanks again. All your other comments noted and appreciated.

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