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rc2727

Looking for some useful advice about creating a wedding videography business

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Hello all, 

 

Firstly thank you for taking the time to open this and at least read this far. For those of you that aren't here to give constructive advice and help please look else where to spread your negativity.

 

If you've carried on read then thank you.

 

I was an animator, film maker, director and editor a few year ago, but since the economic downfall I've now found a new career path in working with young people. I use my skills and knowledge base to engage the otherwise forgotten about youth of Birmingham, UK.

 

I've researched over the last five years the possibility of creating a wedding videography business. I'm not thinking of it as a full time career, not as yet any how. But I really miss the create elements involved in producing creative pieces of film and I'm fed up of seeing the terrible quality of the videographers in my local area charging a small fortune. 

 

Since I've been out for a while I've done quite a bit of research on equipment and I'm finding so many conflicting reviews. It's proving difficult to narrow down and actually buy some equipment. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

 

 

Canon 5d mark 2 with lens 1 £1,500         Memory 2 £440       Lexar Professional 128GB 800X 120MB/s High Speed UDMA CompactFlash Memory Card Steady Cam 1 £500       Steadicam Merlin 2 Mic 1 £150       Rode VideoMic Pro Camera Monopod 1 £130       Manfrotto Fluid Video Monopod  Total   £2,720        

 

I'm interested into what you guys think and if I've missed anything out equipment wise.

 

I'm looking for a DSLR that is suited towards video shooting full HD at least 50fps. I've read that the panasonic GH3 hacked are the best for video but over the past few years the Mark 2 still seems to be a strong favourite.

 

Thank's in advance for your time and help

 

Regards

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

If you're going to shoot weddings on Canons, check out Stillmotion tutorials on Vimeo. The 5D has a very flattering image with a shallow depth of field that makes the footage look very fashionable if matched with fast primes. Get a 24, 35 and 50mm. It's also a rugged camera and looks "Pro". Make sure to get a LCD loupe for better focusing.

If moire patterns of the Canon concerns you then a GH2 with SLRMagic or Voigtlander primes could be an option. When hacked the GH2 provides continuous recording (not sure if the 5DII can too with Magic Lantern).
Another camera to look for is the upcoming Panasonic G6 that has the same video quality as the GH2, but with better a LCD, 1080 50/60p and focus peaking. Both cameras have a swivel LCD and an EVF, an advantage compared to the 5D. Get 12, 17.5 and 25mm primes.

Manfrotto 561BHDV and Merlin are battle tested in wedding situations. Good choices :)

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I'd start by renting some equipment for your first few gigs. If your business model works, then invest in a better camera. I don't think you need to own everything to start, especially since different clients might want different things.

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I think the 5D2 is a good choice, but would really advise a 2 camera setup if you can manage that.

I use the 5D3 and a t2i. Having the 5D3 is helpful as it gets passed the pesky 12 minute time limit, so during the ceremony I usually have it set up on a tripod while I capture close ups and details on my t2i. I occasionally use the RX100 as the camcorder instead though it can have problems with heat.

I would absolutely suggest zoom lenses. A 24-70 and 70-200 would cover everything, though that's a hefty investment. I have been renting the telephoto for most weddings. Additionally a fast 50/85 and maybe a macro lens for small details are something I would suggest.

For audio, I would strongly suggest buying 2-3 cheap portable recorders. A couple zoom H1s or smaller tascams. Some are small enough to fit into a shirt pocket which is great for recording vows. If the vows and pastor are micd, I always just stick a recorder in front of the house speakers. Having a shotgun mic straight into the camera is nice for interviews but not a great option for everything you'll need to get at the wedding

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I would also say that a steadicam is probably not necessary off the bat, I find myself never wanting to deal with it. If you have 2 shooters it can be a nice 2nd option. I use a slider a lot throughout the day and find that it is more useful for capturing the details and setting of a wedding. Just my personal preference though!

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Wow what a community, seriously thank you to all those so far with their advice and comments. I really appreciate it. After more research I'm looking at the:

 

Sony A77

Panasonic GH2/ GH3

 

And of course the Canon 5d mark ii

 

 

I'd start by renting some equipment for your first few gigs. If your business model works, then invest in a better camera. I don't think you need to own everything to start, especially since different clients might want different things.

 

I've looked into renting, the equipment from the places near by and on the internet. The prices are quite steep £300 for the weekend, that's almost 10% of my total budget.

 

 

I'm going to operate as a single shooter until I can find a fellow videographer that I can trust. I will be using my friends Nikon D7100 as my back up camera, until my budget stretches to be able to afford one. I've lined up a wedding to shoot in August the couple weren't going to have it film so I asked if I could for my website and showreel. I'm aware of the dangers but they are friends and I've let them know that it'll be my first wedding shoot. 

 

Seriously thank you all

 

 

 

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Go with the GH3. The quality is comparable to the 5d Mark 3. You get 60i so you can overcrank in post, so you can do beautiful slo-mo.

 

You get a headphone jack that you can use with your attached shotguns, which is great. (The Mark 2 doesn't have one, the Mark 3 does.) No need to have external sound recording.

 

Invest in stabilized zoom lenses and a fast prime for when you are having trouble with light. The rest of your gear choices look great!

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Yep, GH3 with 12-35mm 2.8 and 35-100mm 2.8 + a Voigtlander Nokton 25mm 0.95 (or SLRMagic 25 0.95) would cover everything you need. Very compact and powerful combo. Get a used GH1 or GH2 to cover the reverse or wide angle on an unmanned tripod during ceremony. Upgrade to second GH3 later on. A slider could be handy too.

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Go with the GH3. The quality is comparable to the 5d Mark 3. You get 60i so you can overcrank in post, so you can do beautiful slo-mo.

 

You get a headphone jack that you can use with your attached shotguns, which is great. (The Mark 2 doesn't have one, the Mark 3 does.) No need to have external sound recording.

 

Invest in stabilized zoom lenses and a fast prime for when you are having trouble with light. The rest of your gear choices look great!

 

The GH3 can do 60p.

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I really like the Sony alpha cameras (I have a couple friends with a77's) however the image quality is just not on par with the GH3 or even a hacked GH2.. However, don't get caught up in the IQ of cameras.. Pretty much everything is doing acceptable quality these days, it would be far better to buy the camera that feels the best in your hands and that you on't loathe using. Sure you could spend $3,500 on a 5D3 but what are the pros and cons? Well excellent low light performance for one and "dat bokeh" but it's really not that sharp ($500 GH2 is sharper..... Unless of course you count the new RAW hack, that won't get you through a wedding though unless you use it as a B-cam and have something with a longer recording time as your main cam) and you have to use some sort of loupe on it, not to mention that is far more expensive than cameras like the GH2/3 that outperform it in other areas. 

 

Nothing stopping you buying Sony either, the GH2 and GH3 will outperform the alpha cameras too.. But is it even that important? The alphas still shoot full HD and with 50/60P options available, they have a high quality EVF so you don't need a loupe if there's glare on your LCD screen, focus peaking while recording (nothing else has this and it's amazing) and in body IS, you could also pick up an a65 or even a NEX6 as a B-cam since they shoot pretty much identical looking footage. For run'n'gun style shooting I don't think in terms of features there's anything better.

 

If you invest in alpha lenses you could also adapt them to something like a Sony FS100 down the track with the Sony LE-EA2 adapter. 

 

There are some guys that post wedding videos that they have shot on youtube, they use alpha cameras (a99 being their main camera) and the videos look great so try not to listen to people if they are recommending you something based solely on IQ. 

 

One example

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeafpzY2Dvw

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Thanks you all for your help and advice, I've decided to go for the GH2 and hack it. With the spare money for I'm going to get some high quality glass to start with then look to upgrade to the GH3 and use the GH2 as a backup cam. 

 

Thanks again guys

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Got a lovely nearly new GH2 body only from ebay it arrived today for £320 (not a cheap Hong Kong not off) 

 

Really happy with my choice, now just need to get some good glass for video wedding in doors and outdoors, I'm looking at Panasonic lenses at the moment:

 

1. LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. or the LUMIX G VARIO 45-200mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.

 

(bearing in mind that the second opition is twice the price)

 

2. Panasonic Lumix G 20mm/F1.7 Pancake Lens or Panasonic H-H014E Lumix G Pancake Lens (14 mm, F2.5 Wide-Angle)

 

Then thinking of getting some old canon FD lenses, since they are cheap and well basically awesome.

 

What do you think? enough for wedding videography? and body own a GH2 and shoot video that have some recommendations?

 

Working on my new website at the moment should be up and running soon.

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Read my general approach here.

 

About me: Bad photographer, good storyteller. Find your personal strength and make it your unique feature, work on your weaknesses. For example, I like to propose to reenact the proposal (or the situation when the lovers first met). This is fun, the clients will allow you to direct many things afterwards, whereas otherwise they feel they hired a magician who makes their bush-league wedding look like the Venice film festival. Some videographers can.

 

Facts:

> Few weddings in winter

> If you want publish excerpts to advertise your business you have to be aware of personal rights and music asf.

> Shit happens:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocqB6_y71xE

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The key I've learnt with wedding films is to have robust, reliable gear. I'd take a sturdy 5D over a hacked GH2 any day. That said, I've shot weddings with a hacked GH2. It works, with a few hiccups.

 

At the end of the day your clients wont give a shit about IQ or moire or aliasing or any of that. It's quite similar to being a news cameraman (or so I hear). Just deliver the pictures.

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The key I've learnt with wedding films is to have robust, reliable gear. I'd take a sturdy 5D over a hacked GH2 any day. That said, I've shot weddings with a hacked GH2. It works, with a few hiccups.

 

At the end of the day your clients wont give a shit about IQ or moire or aliasing or any of that. It's quite similar to being a news cameraman (or so I hear). Just deliver the pictures.

They'll care if the footage is shaky and the audio is bad. Use a tripod and get good audio and most brides will be crying regardless of overall IQ

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They'll care if the footage is shaky and the audio is bad. Use a tripod and get good audio and most brides will be crying regardless of overall IQ


Many marry because they are convinced they found 'the one'. To some extend, appearance and social status play a role, but the core of everything is fixation. Have you seen A.I., where Monica is warned that the procedure of 'imprinting', a series of seemingly meaningless words, makes the robot boy irreversibly bound to her as his mother? One has to know what key moment makes them think they can endure each other for life.

I listen to everything the pair tells me, I look at their home and what kind of hope for the future it reflects. I see what colors they combine. I ask for favourite songs (of which I often use a karaoke version, very subtly as muzak for the mood), and try to understand their emotional motto.

Weddings are also family events. The older generations are very often more religious. This gives a perfect addional weight to the whole ceremony, just have grandma say 'God bless you' (or sth., not my native language).

And children. I capture their wide open eyes, they are very important.

All the pomp of the wedding, filmed with really good images, will not cause tears if one fails to get the mood right. But if one succeeds, it's no question that only the bride and the mothers-in-law cry, but also the men are moved. If it's authentic, 'the real thing', then (film quotation quiz) it's beyond my control ....

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I run a small production company in the South East UK and this year decided to launch a wedding business as a sideline.  I'm late to this conversation, but just in case, a few points I hope you find useful:

 

1 - Having done a few now, I no longer shoot solely on DSLRs but always hire in an XF305, FS700 or similar with the DSLR for a few key shallow shots to add class.  The rig you need to make a DSLR function is so unpractical with EVFs, Zoom etc hanging off it and you're moving fast so the best thing you can get is an all in one.  

2 - From your previous post, it sounds like you're charging £3k a time, which is  a VERY high figure for a one person crew.  If you're getting business at that rate, then tell me how!  We charge £2k for a two person crew using 3 cameras, plus a 7 day edit (and we're ex BBC producers and operators).

3 - as mentioned before, a couple of Zooms are a lifesaver, you never know when you'll need to plant one near a lecturn or table to catch a speaker or singer etc.  Likewise, you need two radio mics at least - one on the groom and one on the vicar.  Then swap them during speeches. As ever, audio is just as, or more important than, the visuals.

4 - GH2 is an OK cam, I used to own one as a b-cam to an AF101.  Re your last post, the 14-140 is essential.  It's a horrible lens but way more practical for events and better than the kiddi-grade 45-200.  If you have money then you need the 12-35 and 35-100 2.8s

5 - All of the above comments are useless unless you have clients rolling in.  If I started up again, I'd take ALL the money I spent on kit and instead spend it on wedding fairs and advertising.  Kit comes after contracts, not before.

 

Hope some of that is useful.

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Regarding for the memory card, I recommend the reputable brand like Sandisk, Lexar, etc., and the cost you can check on Amazon or Ebay, more competitive in local store. And I have viewed a promotion action on web during these period about a name Renice released to win some memory card, include SD Card, CF Card, usb3.0 ssd, etc., sounds interesting and tried to participate. Maybe you would be interested as well, just follow @renice_tech on twit and re-twit message on goo.gl/o9we1A. Cross my fingers now    

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