Camera selection for Weddings and other events?

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    • #68795

      Hi guys,


      Now about to get into some videography and would be doing weddings and other events, I would like to do some action sports as well and am looking for advice on a camera model to start with. My budget is $2000 and am considering the Sony NX30 or the Canon XA10 HD, are these good models to start with? What would be some drawbacks and which camera would you say is better? 


      I would also like to ensure that whichever camera I end up with that it is capable of timecode syncronization. Please advise on this if possible. Your help is much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    • #208241

      I have a Canon, but not the XA10. I recall seeing boatloads of YouTube reviews, tests, etc, as well as many press reviews and critiques. No doubt the same is available for Sony.

      Presuming you have searched / viewed these? It should only take about 2 – 3 days to see them all, if you like the full immersion plan…

    • #208244

      Hi mxtek – either of these cameras will do a great job – but at your $2000 price point, I would look at a couple of other options.


      1. The Sony HXR-NX70 is the big brother to the NX30 and is on sale for $1999 right now at Amazon.  It has the same terrific stabilization as the NX30  – and adds a waterproof body and lens. Here is what this camera can do:





      2. You may also want to consider the large sensor "shallow depth of field" interchangeable lens look that many clients seem to prefer.  If so, for camcorder guys, I recommend a $1798 body-only Sony NEX-VG30 with a $298 50mm f1.8 starter lens – you can get the Sony power zoom later.  Here is what this camera can do:





      Hope this is helpful!



      Hybrid Camera Revolution



    • #208246

      Thanks for the response, I am now considering using Nikon DSLRs instead, partially because we already have Nikon gear for photography and so an additional Nikon D600 or D800 for Videography would fit right in, what are your thoughts on that?

    • #208254
      AvatarDaniel Bruns

      Hi mxtek5,


      Bill makes some great points in his post. I totally agree with what he said and really like the research he did on the moire issue. That was very helpful.


      Like Bill said, the big thing you'll have to determine is how important a full frame sensor is to you. Basically, is it important enough to spend another $900 on a camera body?


      Personally, I like full frame cameras because I know exactly what field of view I'm going to get with every lens and because it makes getting wide shots a heck of a lot easier. Otherwise, you may be forced to buy a super wide angle lens (like a 14mm lens) in order to get the effects of a wide shot in a cramped situation. However, you'll still have to determine how important wide shots are for you to see if it's worth the extra mone (and it's quite a bit extra at that). The specs show both cameras to be very similar besides the size of the sensor.


      If I were to buy a full frame sensor camera from Nikon, I would go with the D600. I've shot with that camera before and I was really impressed with it's image quality, responsiveness, and ease of use.


      Hope that helps!



    • #208276

      Thanks Daniel and Bill,


      We have shifted once more and it looks like we are considering purchasing 2 Canon 5D Mark iii (wil need two video cameras, one for moving around with and the other to be mounted on a tripod most likely for speeches etc), will also purchase a steadycam, and wireless audio from sennheiser. Please share your thoughts on this setup! Many thanks!

    • #208288

      When I was shooting SD I loved my DVX 100B.


      Now I'm shooting HD the Panasonic HMC150 is pretty much the same camcorder, and I love it.


      That, in addition to shooting with my Lumix GH2 means I have two cameras, both shooting on AVCHD, and interchangable lenses and option of stills on one.


      It's a setup that works well for me.


      This wedding was shot on the GH2 alone:


      <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>





    • #208309

      Thanks for your responses guys. Bill, we would go for the manual focus lens if we go DSLR, and use a rig with follow focus  


      I now need to decide whether ill use the Merlin 2 Steadicam or go with the Glidecam HD1000, 2000, or 4000. 


      What are thoughts on those?

    • #208315

      At the risk of being overly generic, here are some things that I do for weddings: For ceremonies, shoot two cameras on tripods. Keep one locked down at all times so you always have a good shot to edit to. Let them run as long as possible. Every start and pause is an editing hassle. Two camera operators are better than one. If you only have one, set up one wide shot and one close up so you can switch between the two and manage them easily.


      Unless you are really comfortable shooting HDSLR video I would avoid using DSLRs for events. Video cameras shoot video really well. Event video is NOT production video. HDSLRs are great for one shot at a time production but it takes a skilled hand and a lot of experience to use them for events. You CAN get some great stuff but you really need to be comfortable using them.


      For generic 'event' videography, you really should have two cameras if you are trying to record all the action. One camera is fine for a highlight video or a news story. If you plan to cut and entire event together like you were there live, you need two cameras. Three would be even better. A couple of medium to high end consumer camcorders might do the trick at your budget.

    • #208247


      Unless you really need full frame FX, I would get the DX Nikon D5200 or D7100 for video.  You'll save some money – and these are the first DSLRs (besides the ~$3000 Canon 5D Mark III) that don't have a challenge with shot-ruining moire.


      The moire from the full frame Nikons isn't as bad as the first generation Canons (or the Sonys), but it is still bad:





      The D5200 is much more resistant to moire than earlier generation Nikons (please watch this comparison with the D3200 at 1080p):





      Here is a wedding shot with the D7100 – cinema verite style – but it shows how challenging it can be to hold focus with a DSLR:





      This one was shot with the D5200 – narative, not a wedding, but it shows the image quality this camera can produce (admittedly in a controlled setting):





      There are a couple of caveats with DSLRs for event shooters  – first, they stop recording after a maximum of 30 minutes and have to be restarted.  So you can't put a Nikon at the back of the church and leave it running.


      Second, the reflex mirror blocks the viewfinder in video mode.  Outdoors, this can be a real problem, because you are forced to use the LCD for composition.  So you'll have to add the expense of a loupe, EVF or external monitor.


      If you do decide to go with a DSLR, my vote would be for the $697 D5200:; – it is the best value for your money.



      Again, hope this is helpful,




      Hybrid Camera Revolution






    • #208295

      Two 5D Mark IIIs will certainly work, and will produce great results with a few caveats:


      1. The speeches can't last more than 30 minutes.  This camera has a 30 minute continuous video recording limit.


      2. If you are used to camcorders, and autofocus is part of your shooting style, you will miss it.  Sometimes, you will miss it a lot.


      3. Outdoors, you will need to buy a separate monitor or a loupe for framing and focus.  The Canon's LCD may be washed out by the sun – and the optical viewfinder stops working when you record video.


      As long as you are fully aware of these issues, and go into it with your eyes open, the $3499 5D Mark III is a great choice.


      That said, if you're going with a large sensor interchangeable lens camera, and you don't need to stick with Nikon because of a pre-existing invesment in lenses, I recommend the $1049 Panasonic GH3. It has none of the Canon's limitations: it can shoot video continuously for hours, it has fast video autofocus and its viewfinder works while shooting video.  I am a GH3 shooter, and it is the best valie-for-money video/still camera on the market today.


      This camera can produce wedding results like these:







      Again, best of luck with your decision.  Hope this is helpful,



      Hybrid Camera Revolution




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