Thanks guys for the quick


Thanks guys for the quick help… Let me reply to some of those questions to see if I can’t give a little more clarity.

Okay, the one thing I have to ask is what does the church already have? I can advise you on cameras, tripods, mics, etc, but without knowing what the camera has, and what plans the church has for it’s Audio/Video in the future, I can’t say with any certainty "go buy this or that".

They have nothing. No cameras. No computer. No lights. Zip. This is from the ground up.

For the editing computer, if you learned editing on a Mac, you might as well stick with it. If you want to save some money though, PC’s are cheaper. Of course, compatibility isn’t an issue anymore, since Macs can run Windows software, but keep in mind that you’ll have to drop an extra couple hundred bucks on a copy of Windows if you go that route.

I am pretty much set on Mac. I love Final Cut and use Motion for all my text / animation stuff… I can use Premier, but prefer Final Cut.

For a Camera, the XL-1 is a nice camera (though not as nice as the new XL2), but for your needs, do you really need that much camera? If you want to stick to Canon cameras, you could buy 2 GL-2’s for a fair price, which would serve your needs. Plus, having two cameras would mean that you wouldn’t have to reshoot a scene to get differnt camera angles. I will always recommend at least two cameras. In a wedding I’m doing this upcoming weekend, I’m bringing four. Admittedly, recording in a studio versus a live event are two totally different animals, but even in the studio, the more cameras you have means the less takes you’ll need to make.

We will be filming all kinds of things… Weddings? Maybe… kids plays, musicals, services, all that kind of stuff will probably get filmed at some point… I’m sure I’ll be asked to make videos of anything and everything, but the #1 function is to film original productions. I would rather spend more here though to get the right camera… I also can envision a few years down the road trying to setup a 3 camera shoot for webcasting the services. I’d like to buy a camera that I can use in that setup when the time comes.

As far as tripods go, get yourself a good Fluid head and a nice set of sticks. And if you have to comprimise on one of them, do so on the legs. The Bogen 503 is a great affordable fluid head. If you can afford the Bogen 516, it’s super sweet. I got to play with one, and even though I love the 503, If I can ever afford it, the 516 will enter my collection.

How much are we talking here for this?

On lighting, your studio space really will determine what you need. Large stage, or small closet? Good ambient lighting, or terrible, shadowy room? What you’ve got, as with the rest of this, determines what you need. I once took a job where I was to turn an old stage into a video studio. The room had good enough lighting already that all I had to do was switch a couple of the existing lights around and add a few difussers, and I got the lighting done for under $150.

But if you are just looking for a simple lighting solution, I’ve seen kits with 2 lights, stands, and difussers for under $800.

Any brands you recommend here? We’ll need this to be portable… we won’t really have a "studio" to film in. Everythign will be done on location.

Mics. This is where I really shine, because I’ve been doing sound a lot longer than I’ve been in video. I am a Shure fanatic. I love them. I desire them. I would rather have a beat up used shure mic than a brand new anything else. But because Shure mics are expensive, I’ve sold my sould in the past to save money. Once again, what your church already has along with what you’re doing will determine what you need.

If you’re filming studio stuff, you won’t want wireless lapel mics, becaue they are very visible on camera. We use them for filming weddings because having a boom mic operator dangling a mic over the pastor would get me killed by almost every bride I’ve worked for, but this is really an ideal setup. A nice shotgun mic or something you can mount on a boom pole would be the way to go, so you can get good sound and not have to look at microphone heads on the talents’ clothing in the final video.

Lapel mics are going to have to be a reality for us at first, because we just won’t have the crew or manpower / know-how to start using shotguns right off the bat. I could see us moving to that in the future.

A couple notes – most pro mics use XLR jacks. Because of this, you’ll need to buy Canon’s MA-300 to use them with your canon camera. If they use a cardioid setup that requires phantom power, the MA-300 won’t cut it, and you’ll need (in addition to the MA-300) a sound mixer or an adapter to apply phantom power to the line.

Does the XL1 & XL2 have XLR inputs to where I can just plug mics right in?

I’m interested in this project. Feel free to shoot me a PM with more details, and I can help you more, or you can just post here and you’ll get hte help of several othr helpful people too.

By the way, for future reference, this forum has a whole section just for folks who use Video for church application. It’s the "Video for Worship" forum, towards the bottom of the page. There are a lot of great comments down there, too! πŸ™‚

Thanks man… I don’t actually start this job for another month… just trying to research it now so that when I start, I can go ahead and have it in my mind what we should buy.


Does anyone have any experience with a product called the Firestore? It’s a hard drive that connects to your camera so you don’t have to capture to your computer… you just move the files over… it looks like a HUGE time saver… wondering if they work well and if folks are satisfied with it.

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