Best camera for weddings and short films?

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    • #43188

      Hi everyone!

      I am currently putting business plan together to try an obtain a loan from the bank to start my own business filming weddings and corporate videos.

      As a side plan though I was hoping to use the camera to make short films. I had my eye on the Panasonic HPX170 as I was drawn to the high quality it delivers. Unfortunately it appears to be a P2 system and event filming is out of the question.

      I am torn between purchasing a camera which can be used for weddings but more importantly one which can deliver the best quality for short films.

      Thanks in Advance,


    • #180970

      there is too much competition out there to be seriously considering a loan….

      either get a job working for somebody else and save up some money…

      or get a project together (script, actors, cards, treatment etc…) and look for a financer… or book a wedding or three

      rent what you need…. until you can save up some money….

    • #180971

      Sorry should have said that it is also being put together for a goverment bursary that encourages people to start their own businesses in south wales. Don’t worry, a bank loan is the last resort!

    • #180972
      Grinner Hester

      No need for a bank loan. Skip that. Finance nothing. You can get gear for wedding shoots at BandHphoto and Best Buy. If you can’t afford a certain piece of gear, rent as needed until you can. If you take out a loan for this, it’ll simply be unemployment with an overhead.

    • #180973

      Shoot and edit AVCHD, using either the Panasonic HMC-150 ($3K + U.S.) or HMC-40 ($2K + U.S.) – of the two the 150 has 1/3″ CCD sensors, the 40 has 1/4″ CMOS, but has a LOT of advantages as well for the price point.

      There’s also the JVC GY-HM-100 ($3K U.S.) that offers a lot for the money.

      Any of these would help you do what you want to do, unless of course you’d be willing to go close to $10K for Panasonic’s newly released AG-HPX300, but it’s a P2 working environment, as you said… I think there are options regarding working with P2 model Panasonics, but the workarounds or alternative recording mediums could be price prohibitive as well as P2 cards.

      At least with the 40, 100 or 150 you’d have decent quality, and equipment that could be rigged out as time and money permits, and the non-moving-parts benefit of SDHC recording medium – no tapes or tape drive mechanisms to worry about.

    • #180974

      “Unemployment with an overhead”

      I have heard that in my threads before. It seems no one on these forums wants anyone to put any $ into their hobbies/businesses. I tried asking about schooling and was shot down even though it would have been completely paid for debt free.

      He didnt ask to be scolded on his financial decisions, he is posting for information on good equipment to use.

      Personally, I have had my Sony HDR-Z5U for a week now and love it. As long as you manually control at least the gain you can get fantastic picture in the lowest of lighting situations. My son’s room has blackout blinds, and theonly light coming in was from th cracks around the blinds (no light on in the room). The video wasstill grainless. I will be doing my first wedding with it next weekend.

      If XLR is not an issue (but boing yoiu plan on more than wedding videos, you may want it), the FX1000 is the same camera sans the XLR. Also the Z5U has a natural mount for the MRC1 compact flash recording unit so it fits seamlessly into the cameras body. While you can use the MRC1 on any firewire camera, the mount is handy, and I do use it. If you need interchangeable lenses then the Z7U may be your thing. All 3 are basically the same camera in the end though.

    • #180975

      Good comments and suggestions, Double, coming from the perspective of the original post’s questions and concerns. I agree. Sorry you’ve experienced negative input/feedback/comments – there ARE some “preachers” to be found on just about ANY forum. πŸ™‚

    • #180976
      Grinner Hester

      I’m not saying don’t put money into the business. I’m hinting to wait until educated on what the business needs first. I have spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars on gear in my day, and Ihold a few degrees I’ll never use soI’m speaking from experience when Italk abouteducation or financing equipment. Even a written business plan, in my opinion, is a waste of time. The plan better be to evolve with demands or it will be a very temporary and possibly expensive venture.

      My advice to the OP is to work in the industry for a while. Not only will required hands-on knowledge be aquired, but the required clientele following to start a business as well. If you build it hoping they will come, well, this is where unemployment with an overhead comes to mind.

    • #72000317

      Sony PXW-FS7 4K XDCAM


    • #72000324

      What’s the big deal with P2? Solid cameras, good quality and pro features. Sure the cards are expensive, but compared to buying tapes…………

      The video world is moving g very quickly. 2nd hand cameras of excellent quality a few years old using solid state recording are worth considering, because the mechanics were the unreliable part, and they have gone. However, the wedding market is saturated with people who do a wonderful job and have long order books, and newcomers have no portfolio of work to convince the brides who are the most demanding clients ever. Rock solid contracts, and strict rules make this an area I have always steered clear of with my music and industrial stuff. Company MDs are so much more rational than brides and brides mothers! Industrial work means longer term projects but very tricky billing structures you must get right. It means for me, higher cost equipment, more complex recording processes, longer edits and repeated re-edits when they change their minds, which hopefully you built into the contract. It is very hard too make good margins on video work, and for commercial projects, a cheap domestic camera will not cut the mustard. If a camera does not have remote zoom, XLR inputs and sit on an expensive head and legs, it’s simply not going to do the job. I’m also amazed anyone would run funding for video start-ups because their success rate is poor and the market saturated with cheap and cheerful firms down pricing everything. I ask for 3 grand, which I feel is matched to the project brief, and some idiot comes in wanting to do it after their real job or weekends at 300! When I lose one of these jobs to a weekend warrior, because I’m running top to retirement, I automatically add 25% to the quote when they come back to me after the disaster. I tell them the slot I reserved has now gone and I can do it if I re-arrange other booked jobs, hence the 25% hike – which was the discount I built into the first quote for them being a good repeat customer. As they dumped me for the bodge merchant, they normally pay the extra and get a proper skilled person, with masses of pro gear, and premises a client can come to if they want. Not sure where you are, but for commercial clients you will also be VAT registered, which adds a 20% extra to the wedding people, who cannot claim it back from the Government.

    • #72001713

      Thanks for sharing the informative information through the article.and all the details are awesome and good in this post.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by arianapham.
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