Hey Iluv,I am still debati


Hey Iluv,

I am still debating on the type of camera I will purchase.
I’m narrowing it down between
Panasonic AG DVC30

Having used the VX2100 and the GL-2, I can say that you’ll probably be very happy with either if you have pretty good lighting in your church. If you’ve got a more dimly lit church, a GL2 is going to be more grainy than the VX2100. If you’re on a tight budget, the GL-2 is cheaper, but again, you’ll need to keep your lighting in mind.

OKAY choosing a camera is a headache in itself. Add to that my Pastor is pretty anxious for me to get to taping. I’ve never taped a church service before however I’m confident I can do it.

Yep, you should be confident. I got my start filming church services. I was lucky enough to do this at a church that has a studio that’s actually nicer than many local TV stations, and a $80,000 a year budget for AV. It was really nice. πŸ™‚

I’m just concerned because I’m gonna be all by my lonesome.

Nah, no worries. It would be great if you could find a couple assistants, but you can make due with what you’ve got.

I know they will be happy with anything I do since our church is very small (approximately 50). I just don’t want it to be too boring with the one camera.

I would HIGHLY suggest that you consider a second camera. It will make your editing MUCH smoother, and give your viewers a much better experience. I know that even with the GL2, you’re looking at 2/3 of your budget if you get two cameras, but again, it’s well worth it for the extra footage. Even if you don’t get a second pro camera, get a consumer grade camera from a pawn shop if you have to, so you at least have something for cut takes and B roll stuff.

If you absolutely refuse to heed my advice on getting two cameras, then you’ll have to be creative to keep your viewers from losing their minds. Remember, most Americans are adjusted towards tv shows that stay on one shot for at most, 20 seconds. If you leave your camera on one shot for an hour long sermon, a few people will buy the tape on week one, and that will end your video production ministry at your church.

So again, if you make the unwise move of buying only one camera, here’s what you’re going to need to do. If your church has two services (unlikely due to the size), then the first service would be to shoot your wide shot, and during the second service, you can shoot all the other footage, e.g. congrgants reading along, different shots of the pastor, shots from other angles, etc.

If you only have one service, it might be wise to take nothing but the B roll stuff on your first sunday filming, and use that for filler on all your following videos. The obvious downside to this is that your congregants might be dressed differently, or be in different locations from week to week. So on the tape, you see the wide shot with Mrs. Briarly wearing her red hat, but then you cut to a shot of the crowd and all of a sudden Mrs. Briarly has a blue hat and is located in another part of the church. You’ll have to be careful, especially with such a small crowd, if you try that one. My first church had 1200 people on the ground level at three services, so there was no reason to worry about that problem, but then, that church had 6 studio grade cameras that cost over $20,000 each, so there really wasn’t a need to recycle footage too much, unless it was a REALLY bad week.

I only have 5250 to spend and I need the camera along with everything that goes with it.
I have my heart set on Avid editing software and that I won’t budge on. I also need a new PC pluc mics plus tripod. uggghhh I’m getting a headache!!! ha ha ha

Here’s my question for you my friend. Do you NEED avid right now, ESPECIALLY if you’re considering only getting one camera (which I think is unwise)?

Right now, I’m working for a church of about 500 members, so we’re talking about 10 times the size of yur church currently. Do you know what software we use on the church computer for video editing?

Windows Movie Maker. No joke. Now, admittedly, I will from time to time bring work home, where I have PP2, After Effects, and Vegas 6, so I can give a film a bit tighter edge. But movie maker, for a free utility, is actually okay.

I’m not saying don’t buy Avid. What I’m saying is heed the scripture in Luke 14:

28"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29"Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

If you rush out and drop a good part of your budget on Avid when you don’t need it yet, it’s like the builder buying the fanciest faucets and plumbing, and as a result not being able to build the walls of the house itself.

Further, I would assume that this money is from the church. If so, you’re looking at each member having given you about $100 for this. Now, I firmly belive that you’re accountable to God for how you use the offerings to the church, but I also believe that you have an obligation to those who have given this money. If a congregant wants to buy Avid for you out of the kindness of his heart, that’s wonderful. However, if that doesn’t happen, to be wise, and stick to your budget, let Avid wait until later. Be wise about this. Another camera would be a smarter buy.

I know… WHAT’s the question… ha ha
I’m pretty concerned about audio. If I have wireless a mic hooked up to my Pastor will he still be able to use the handheld mic thats hooked up to our church sound system?? Or will it interfere with the wireless??

Now, having been a sound tech a lot longer than I’ve been a video tech (I’ve been running sound for big churches since I was about 14), I can say that this IS indeed a tough issue.

For audio, here’s what I’d do if you buy a GL-2. Get the MA-300 adapter. It will allow you to plug two XLR ("mic jack") plugs into your camera. Then, if your church already has a house sound system, you’re set. You just need to plug into the sound board. Depending on the sound board at your church, you might need to get a couple splitters from your outputs and maybe a few cables, but beyond that, you’d just plug into the MA-300, and you can adjust your audio gain on the camera directly. No reason to buy any mics at all. Neat, huh?

If you did want to add a microphone, you could, but unless you have a specific ned, why would you even want to?

If I had this budget, here’s how I would divide it up:

1000 – Computer (Get the best computer you can. If you have to buy old used monitors for $20 bucks, do it. Even a good new CRT is pretty cheap anymore). For now, either live with movie maker, or ask the congregation to help you out.

3500 – Cameras. Get two GL-2’s for this example

250 – MA-300 XLR adapter plus some extra for any adapters/cables you might need to tap into your existing sound board.

750 – Tripods. Get one cheap $60 tripod for the stationary camera that doesn’t move, and spend the rest on a nice fluid head tripod. The Bogen 503 is a nice head for the mobile tripod, and a good sturdy set of legs will really do you wonders with that head.

250 – Unseen expenses/All the little stuff. DVD’s and VHS tapes (I know a company out of Hollywood that will give you a great price if you buy videotapes in bulk). MiniDV tapes. Antacids. Extra money if you need to repair a camera. Whatever.

Which comes right up to your $5250 total.

As I said, I think holding on Avid is a good idea, especially in favor of getting two cameras. The above budget also assumes that you’re happy with your church lighting, you’ll be pluggin into your church sound system for sound, and you’ll be plugging the cameras into a wall socket to power them (otherwise, you’ll need WAY more battery power than the factory issue battery).

If you need any help, let me know. I’ve worked on churches from the 5,000 person mega churches al the way down to a 10 person church plant. I’ve been there and done that. For a while, I was the head AV tech for the Eastern Nebraska Baptist Association, which had a membership of around 50 churches.

You’re blessed to have the budget that you do. Use it well. If you have any questions, PM me, and I can help you out.


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