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Welcome to the wild world of live production. Weddings present a unique challenge for audio, especially for DSLR shooters. Depending on the venue, you might find that different approaches suit your needs best.
For example, on a typical church wedding, I employ 3 or 4 audio sources:
1) iRiver or Zoom H1 on groom (with lav mic)
2) wireless mic on officiant (when they allow it)
3) audio recorder on podium
4) audio recorder for musicians (piano, choir, organ, etc).
Church weddings are usually 2 camera shoots (or more), so I will split these duties between the videographers. The reason I like a wireless on the officiant, is that they talk 90% of the ceremony, and I can monitor the sound throughout. I also have a 'sneak listen' to when things are about to start.
If you have access to a sound board, then a Zoom H4 might come in handy, but without being able to monitor and test it, you're flying blind.
Outdoor/hotel weddings (or any wedding with a PA and board op), I'll still do steps 1 and 2, but also plug a audio recorder into the board, and sound check before the ceremony starts. Dont risk being at the mercy of a DJ's system for your sole source of audio. I guarantee it, you will eventually get burned.
Another backup option is to record the speaker output (directly, through XLR or 1/4 TRS connection if possible). Second best is throwing up a wirless mic or audio recorder in front of the PA. Once again, you'll be at the mercy of the DJ. Even the best ones can screw up, so use caution.
To summarize, have a backup plan, even if it's an unmanned camera near the audio source. Don't rely on DSLR audio. Save yourself a massive headache and record continuous audio always…even at the reception.
Time to research ILC's (interchangeable lens cameras), before you take the plunge with the Sony. Expect to pay thousands for a set of fast lenses, or at least a few hundred for the slower kit lens. You'll be dealing with a large-sensor camera that is great in low light, but comes with the added challenge of shallow depth of field. If you're not an experienced shooter, this might be biting off more than you can chew.
I have been shooting video for 24 years, currently with a Sony FS-100, and I can tell you that getting the best from these large-sensor cameras is like learning to ride a bike again.
My suggestion is to start with a more prosumer-friendly small chip camera like the Canon XA10 until you are well established. Then you can purchase more advanced gear (and use the XA10 as a 2nd camera).
For weddings, a 2nd camera is a must…or you should at least hire a 2nd shooter. See what other companies are doing in your area, and figure out whether you want to jump into that fray.
BTW, the support gear, including audio, tripod, lights, etc…can easily triple the camera cost (but at least they don't get outdated as quickly).
Finally, it's not the oven that makes a great cake, it's the baker. If you've got skills, then almost any camera will get you going.
I wouldn't expect magic, as your cellphone camera was starved for light. You can adjust the gamma, and watch how the blacks get grey and the greys get whiter…but the noise will also increase quite a bit. At least you didn't shoot it vertically.
Your bottleneck will probably be the interface. If you were using 5400RPM drives previously, you'll notice improved editing performance. Otherwise, probably less than having a dedicated internal drive for the scratch disk. Check the Adobe forums, and seek the wisdom of Haarm Millard, the guru in all things Premiere.
I'm intrigued by your statement "I do not want anything with a lot of complex functions but on the other hand I do not want anything which is basic."
What do you consider a complex function?
In order to point you in the right direction for gear, it would help to know what market segment you're aiming for. The low-end wedding videos can get away with handycams, small-chip cameras or even older prosumer SD cameras. The middle has a mix and match of DSLR, 3chip and prosumer HD cameras. The higher-end is often DSLR or large-chip cameras like the FS-100, C300 or the newly released EA50.
Have you seen some recent videos from these various categories? They might help you determine your camera needs.
Regardless of the camera you choose, do NOT skimp on quality audio, lighting and support equipment. A bad tripod will make a great camera look aweful. A lousy audio track would ruin the best footage.
To stand out in your area, you might also be looking at stabilizers, cranes and sliders.
Weddings are a competitive field, so be prepared to stand out in some way, or you'll find yourself another cow in the middle of a herd.October 16, 2012 at 6:59 PM in reply to: advice: amateur skill level + amateur equipment = 1st obviously amateur video #204479
I wouldn't allow the talent to sit in a slightly dingy office for his pitch. You want to create energy, and that's tough to do with a seated talent. Perhaps a 'walk-and-talk' would be a better approach. He can start his lines at a distance from the camera, then stop at a pre-defined point. You could then setup a 2nd shot that he would turn into (as if you had a 2nd camera). Keep that energy going with dynamic titles, music and graphics (or b-roll) and you've got a winning formula.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the point of a macro is to capture small objects at great magnifications. To this end, some cameras (like your Sony) will zoom in to their maximum length, in order to magnify smaller objects. You should try zooming in manually, without the tele-macro feature. Small chip cameras will have a difficult time pulling off shallow DOF shots (especially indoors), so I'm not sure you'll be happy with the results regardless.
If this is a weekday gig, rent a suite in a modern hotel. Midweek rates are surprising affordable at most hotels. Bonus: stylish decor and a variety of shooting options. I once had to do 7 interviews with corporate execs in a 1/2 day shoot. The producer wanted each background to look different. We rented a penthouse suite and got it done to the clients satisfaction. (I would have preferred more than 15 minutes for each new setup though).
Well, you've got lot's of eye candy there…and all the right buzz words. Not sure that it adds up to an effective promo though. The 'dead-air' from 14-21 seconds seems out of place, as does the rotating earth graphic. Do you have sample productions that you could show? It appears that you're selling yourself as a motion-graphics artist. If that is the case, then this promo would make more sense.
My only criticism is the poor title design. Not the best choice of fonts, colors or placement. I couldn't even read the first title.
BTW, I do own 3 tripods, and a fluid head monopod. However my Sachtler FSB-6 would pretty much blow your budget. Look into the Sachtler Ace. Another tripod I haven't used, but it's from a company I trust.
Rob is on the right track recommending SD gear. Dirt cheap, and good enough for the web.
DSLR's aren't the best option for long-form productions (recitals, lectures). Good lenses aren't cheap either. Then there is the support gear you need to make it 'behave' like a decent videocamera. For the type of work you're doing, the Panny might be the better option. If you must have the low-light performance and shallow DOF look, then DSLRs are the easy choice.
A hybrid (Panasonic GH2) might solve your problems, as it has the DSLR look, but with some more videocam-centric features and benefits.
Used XH-A1's are a bargain right now, and you'll have some money left over for a quality wireless lav. Stick with Sennheiser or Sony wireless systems. Libec has some affordable video tripods. I haven't used them, so you might want to demo them at your local retailer.
With support gear, a good unit will outlast your camera, so it pays to buy the best you can afford. Buy once, cry once.
Not ideal, for the reason you described. If you're going to do this often, pony up for the largest size screen you can afford.