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TheBoogieKnight

Wedding First Dance Videography

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Hi everyone!

I'm interesting in getting into videography and offering to record first dances etc. at weddings. I have a question regarding auto or manual focus. Are any of the current crop of full-framers (Z6, A7 III and S1) good enough focusing in low-light to make using auto a viable proposition, or would I be better off sticking to manual? Recently tried an S1 and have to say I loved it in every way but I'm worried that the auto focusing wouldn't be good enough (from the tests I've seen it wouldn't), and that manual focus just wouldn't cut it when recording a dance. I won't be adding gimbals or extra screens etc., I just want to produce great results straight out of the camera. Do people usually use manual in these types of situations or would something like an A7III/Z6 be good enough left on auto?

Any advice really would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a lovely weekend!

 

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I've shot weddings without great autofocus cameras for several years, primarily the gh5. In the case of the gh5, I would just single focus, and maintain the same distance from the couple, but I primarily use gimbal for dances. Even if you have a camera with great autofocus, if you're shooting from a tripod, you're going to be moving the camera the entire time to follow the couple and maintaining perfect focus won't be much easier than just manual focusing unless you're trying to shoot this at f/1.4 or something. I've also used the a7iii and even with the mc-11 adapter I would just use autofocus on that and it was pretty great.

BUT I hardly ever shoot dances without adding some light. Even if you have a camera that you can shoot 6400 iso without worrying much about noise, a lot of dance floors just have awful or no lighting - you want to add at least something to shape the light to be flattering. The most simple and lightweight setup in my opinion is 2 leds on opposite corners of the dance floor. I just use cheap Yongnuo 300 panels which have a remote to control, and put them at a level of brightness that helps illuminate the couple's faces while not being distracting.

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3 hours ago, TheBoogieKnight said:

Hi everyone!

I'm interesting in getting into videography and offering to record first dances etc. at weddings. I have a question regarding auto or manual focus. Are any of the current crop of full-framers (Z6, A7 III and S1) good enough focusing in low-light to make using auto a viable proposition, or would I be better off sticking to manual? Recently tried an S1 and have to say I loved it in every way but I'm worried that the auto focusing wouldn't be good enough (from the tests I've seen it wouldn't), and that manual focus just wouldn't cut it when recording a dance. I won't be adding gimbals or extra screens etc., I just want to produce great results straight out of the camera. Do people usually use manual in these types of situations or would something like an A7III/Z6 be good enough left on auto?

Any advice really would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you and have a lovely weekend!

 

Welcome to the forums!

I know nothing about weddings, but the Wedding Film School YT channel has an absolute ton of great info if you're just starting out, so you might want to give it a look.  It's lapsed with posts recently, but don't let that put you off.  The channel has talked about equipment in the past (which is less relevant now since time has passed) but it has dozens of videos on technique, planning, BTS, how to talk to clients, the business side, lighting, camera angles, and everything else.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5QuUjtd80FkGRSLYP_052Q/videos

:) 

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2 hours ago, TheBoogieKnight said:

Brilliant, that's great info. Those 300 panels look pretty neat; do you find them bright enough?

Yeah they're bright enough, I don't usually use them at full strength. They work well for dances and speeches as well, although if you can get a spotlight (came-tv and boltzen have good ones) that's super helpful for speeches. Then you can throw a panel off to the side or back and get a little back/rim light for some definition. 

You definitely want lights that are bicolor or come with inserts to make them tungsten. I've ordered the 300 panels several times and have received a version with both daylight and tungsten leds, as well as a version with only daylight leds and tungsten inserts. You do not want to be using daylight colored lights in a setting where all the other lights are tungsten, it'll look awful.

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