Which camera is in for weddings?

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    • #47315

      So I will be new to wedding videography. I’d like to call what I’m going to do, wedding cinematography. My question is as follows: In you experience as a wedding videographer which up-to-date camera would you recommend to make the possibilities for an event timeless, and capabilities and editing potentials jaw dropping. Because I do believe that the original quality of the video captures is significant, along with what media it is recorded on in conjunction with its ease of post production use and time consumption. Camera versatility is also a concern.

      The cameras I’m currently looking at are the following please provide suggestions in these areas or freely from your experience. SonyHVR-Z7E, Sony PMW-EX3, Canon XLH1Sa.

      Thanks for all your information in advance.

    • #194861

      Hey Bill,

      Great question. Of the cameras you mentioned, I’d go with the EX3 but others are good too. However, If you want to provide an amazing video with an affordable price tag. I’d go with an HDSLR like the Canon 7D, 6D mark 2, or 60D. It gives you the “Hollywood” look and feel. It’s definitely where video is going.

      I just bought the Canon 60D a few months ago and love it. I’ll be shooting a wedding next weekend with it. There is a learning curve to it, but it produces a stunning video image.

      I have a podcast and website that teaches people how to run a wedding video business. I just interviewed someone who uses HDSLR’s on his wedding videos and has stunning results. It should be up in the coming weeks. Check it out now, along with the podcasts that are already up there.


      Best of luck,

      Jeff Long

    • #194862

      Thanks Jeff. After attending some seminars Icompletelyunderstand and saw & heard what you pose about the DSLRs. It seems to be where things are going.

      However, would you still consider beginning with a videocamera? Or just dive into the DSLR world because that is where things are going anyway?

      Additionally, it seems that the public isn’t ready to see a videographer come with a DSLR to shoot a wedding, unless you show up with a “weaponized” version – with all the extras hanging of the camera. So maybe the best is to have both. But I’ll still say in my situation – my previous question, about which to start with, takes priority. Should I start out with the DSLR or go with thevideo camera…



    • #194863

      You might also look closer at the Sony Z5-Z7 units. While I think shooting with a DSLR has a nice look, it is also more difficult. I have been using both the Sony Z series and the Canon 60D and I prefer the Sony units. They are easy to use, have full CD quality stereo sound recording ability (more difficult on the HDSLRs) and can record on chips and/or tape. I use both. I archive all original footage and tape provides that at a low cost. I use chips to transfer the footage to the editor because it’s a lot faster.

      Shooting a wedding video is a lot harder than most people think and is more difficult than shooting stills. Besides having to capture scenes instead of just moments, you also have to capture excellent sound which is a lot more difficult than image. Aside: don’t go “dirt cheap” on your wireless mics.

      Finally, consider that you will probably shoot other events so plan accordingly.


    • #194864

      OK guys, due to the fact that I have to buy a sh*t load of extraparaphernalia; lights, mic, stands, tracks, batteries, tapes, etc…. would you guys suggest that I begin with the Canon XLH1Sa. But my concerns are as follows: 1. Will I be able to simultaneously record to some kind of media with the Canon? and 2. Is there a newer model that is more up-to-date as compared to the XLH1Sa that in essence replaces it and makes the XLH1Sa somewhat obsolete?

      Otherwise, please humbly suggest a camera that has lens changing ability, is relativley new in technology and will do the job for weddings and such. Of course not to astray from the price of the XLH1s.

      Thanks, Bill

    • #194865

      I do mean with in all the above theCanon XLH1A.

    • #194866

      I’m sure some others will disagree with me, but I suggest — since you’ve never shot a wedding — that you forget all about the cameras you reference and buy a used Sony PD170 from B&H. Use it to learn how to deal with the problems of wedding videography.

      The camera is easy comparatively easy to use; all the manual controls you’ll need to shoot the wedding are readily available. Its low light capabilities are excellent; you’ll need this for shooting at the reception and it will probably come in handy during the ceremony as well.

      You can use 83 minute tapes and not have to worry about tape changes or down-loading memory cards during the ceremony.

      Sure it’s “old” technology, but it’s a solid choice for learning; that is, you don’t have to fight the technology while you’re on the job, and you’ll be able to edit in a format that doesn’t require intermediaries or a super-powerful computer. And since you’re almost certainly going to deliver your video on an SD DVD, a format the bride and groom will take for granted, HD can wait until you’ve mastered the basics.

      You say “I have to buy a sh*t load of extraparaphernalia; lights, mic, stands, tracks, batteries, tapes, etc….,” all the more reason to begin with a tool that’s proven, reliable and reasonably quick to achieve competency with. You can always sell it back to B&H when you’re truly ready to move up.

    • #194867

      I’ve had good success with Panasonic’s HMC150. It uses SDHC cards, so you can get 90 minutes of full HD on a 16GB card, which are cheap as dirt these days. Plus, you can bring a laptop with you and dump all your footage in a matter of minutes – sure beats playing back tape into the computer!

      I’ve found that the HMC150 is much better in low light than the XHA1, which is definitely something to consider, as most receptions are poorly lit.

      If you’re actually considering spending about $8000 on the EX3, you could save money and get an HMC150 or other “real” video camera, and grab a DSLR like the Panasonic GH1 ($500) as a second camera for more coverage. I just started doing wedding cinema with this combo, and it’s very effective. You can set your real video camera in the back on a wide angle, and put all your audio connections into that, and use the DSLR for moving beauty shots.


    • #194868

      Nice work Ryan!!

      Bill, I would have to agree with Jack..Get something tried and true and learn the basics. Then get the big guns. I shot with sony 2000 cameras for years. my demos here are with the 2000. http://www.hbrookes.com I also do photos and DJ..my mind is a very crowded place, Luckily I can section it off and multi task. Iam alsoa musician…geez..

      Ive recently upgraded to the nx5 and learning the deep deep menus and settings..I have a hi def wedding this week. I will post some hi lites.Good Luck.


    • #194869

      We are successfully using Canon 7D and XF100 cameras to video weddings (2 each). Both serve us well and the 7D also acts as our still picture camera.

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