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    #11
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Yes, the ceremony can have broader focal length requirements but it's usually covered by 2-4 cameras on the shoots I've done. So there might be a wide master from the back of the crowd that zooms or walks into a closer master. Then there are dueling telephoto zooms at 3/4 angle from the front aisles that get close-ups of bride and groom. And there may be a floating camera getting gimbal shots or reactions from the parents.

    And also, because you're editing it all together (even in a longform edit), you can cover up your zooms and camera repositions.

    But i will say that you're right about one thing - when I do a single-camera livestream of the ceremony, I usually go on either my 18-270 or my 70-200 depending on the situation. Nowadays I would probably choose the 28-135, especially since I'm zooming from the wide to a closeup. But having the rough zoom action of the 18-270 never stopped me from zooming it during a live shot just to get the framings I needed (especially since the camera is stationary and tethered to a computer).

    But to take another example of a varied focal length situation - when the bride and groom enter the banquet hall, I'll be on a gimbal following them on a normal or short telephoto lens. The other cameraman can be on a telephoto zoom getting additional coverage of them or reaction shots from the crowd. And there could be a third camera stationed on a wide angle capturing the whole scene. Most of the day doesn't require a superzoom to get a variety of coverage and catch the nice verite moments (if only because it's not single-camera coverage).


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    #12
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    In the early days of wedding videos I never ever saw a second camera let alone a third. It was all one-man-band doco style shooting. A chronological record of the day. We never shot the groom's home or the bride's home. It started with the arrival at the church then followed on to the photoshoot. You would then sprint from the park or wherever the photoshoot took place and bolt for the reception. Rip in and set up lights. Normally Redheads back in the 70s-80s. Then turn them on straight away so as guests came in they were used to the lighting from the get-go. Turn them on later and there would be screwed up faces and groans from the guests. Plenty of time to turn them off later. Then grab as much venue B roll as possible then bolt back out with your 2/3" with something like a WA 4.5mm x 10 or 11 times f1.8 zoom. This gave you in FF terms an 18-175mm zoom which retained its f1.8 throughout and was parfocal. Now you would shoot the bridal party arrival, entry, and sit down. Once guests were settled you would grab bucket loads of guest and bridal party B roll to pepper the speeches etc during the edit. All wireless mics back then. No having to Pluraleyes sync separate recorders. To me, this is still an archaic practice from yesteryear. I left dual system sound recording when we moved to the CP16 film cameras. Best thing ever for working one out. Will not go to separate audio unless working with a soundie with TC linked mixer-recorder. We usually used dual receivers, normally Sony WRR-862 wireless kits. With one TX/RX taking a line feed from the PA desk and the second TR/RX taking a direct feed from a handheld mic taped to the presenter's or podium mic. Made it look like a dual ice cream cone. Never ever had a failure in forty-odd years working this way on any type of shoot. If onboard camera wireless audio is good enough for most ENG it's more than good enough for a wedding. In post never a sync or drift issue using onboard audio. Which in later days with clean camera preamps and 24-bit audio was very good. I can understand today it's all more superficial and mainly aimed at social media delivery not a doco of the day memory so yes the glitz-bling rap clip look is highly desired I guess, yes I understand, I hear you. Just feel blessed to have missed out on being requested to deliver this style of shoot/edit I guess.

    Chris Young

    WRR-862. One of the best dual receiver kits I ever used. Analogue yes but I still use a couple of sets today on a regular basis. Had them re-crystaled to the current frequencies available. And often get complimented on the audio quality which always puts a smile on the old face.

    WRR-862.jpg
    Last edited by cyvideo; 02-07-2021 at 09:55 PM.


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    #13
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    Receivers with two channels, and cameras with four, sounds nice.


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    #14
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    Somewhat related: the Amazon series Red Oaks (which is worth checking out) has at least one episode (S01E03) featuring wedding videography from the 1980s. The main character is seen holding a JVC VideoMovie in several scenes.

    red oaks camcorder.jpg


    And then later in the same episode we see footage from the perspective of the camcorder itself.

    red oaks camcorder shot.jpg

    What's interesting is how (to my eyes) this doesn't really look like a camcorder image from the 1980s. The show is very clearly going for a lower quality look than the rest of the shots (and there's the viewfinder overlay, of course) but it still looks remarkably sharp and nuanced. The content seems appropriate—i.e., talking heads, record-of-the-day style shooting rather than contemporary style—but the formal characteristics are more an approximation of what people think it should look like rather than the reality (again, to my eyes). My guess is that people shooting in the 1980s would have killed for this level of sharpness, tonal subtlety, and dynamic range!


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by combatentropy View Post
    Receivers with two channels, and cameras with four, sounds nice.
    The other two channels were used for ambient/atmos sound. The laughter, clapping, dancing etc.BVV5.jpg
    Last edited by cyvideo; 02-08-2021 at 07:28 PM.


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    #16
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    Sounds like you did it better than most. I would love to watch one. Upload one some time


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    #17
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    Good grief! What a request. I saw the back of my last wedding shoots in the late '90s. Nothing at all I can show of any of those. The last wedding was when I was press-ganged off the couch for a family wedding. One of my wife's nieces. And yes the bride and groom's places had to be shot. Shock horror!

    I just hear many modern wedding shooters saying "Ah but you can get shallow DOF with three-chip cameras." In defense of shooting with a well-balanced camera with NDs, multiple XLRs, unlimited run times, and one lens I argue that you can. These grabs are all from a 1/2" three-chip camera using a Super Wide 3.3m x 13 times F1.4 zoom. How do you get shallow DOF with these cameras? Any experienced B4 shooter who really knows his craft knows how to use his macro to obtain shots that you normally couldn't get. How many B4 users know the technique of dual point focus macro zooms? Not that many. But if a good operator learns how to maximize the macro capabilities of his lens and learn the technique of dual point focus macro zooms there are many "looks" he can get. Including a very shallow DOF if that's your desire.

    combatentropy. I will PM you off-forum with a link to a clip but in deference to my wife's niece and family, it will only show the brides and grooms to demonstrate what can be obtained with a small three-chip camera. Bear in mind this was all B4 manual. Manual focus, manual iris, and no stabilization. Shot by an old dude in his sixties at the time. It shows the same techniques I was using in the '80' and '90s. Re audio. Anyone who has done pressers with ENG cameras using onboard audio knows my argument for wireless mics hold water. How many of us have plugged a wireless link into the press audio breakout box and linked to our camera receivers. Can you imagine 20-30 Zoom recorders at a presser? Not for me. I wouldn't want to be a part of it.

    Chris Young

    Grabs comp 01.jpg


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    #18
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    one thing I'll say in favor of cameras these days is that a lot of clients want fly on the wall shooting and don't want a big camera or an on-camera light. some of my clients forbid video lighting altogether. one of them has the slogan "wedding films for people who hate wedding films" and as far as I can tell their clientele is...not always photogenic but usually has a bit of money. and the sense I get is that the groom doesn't really want to be photographed but relents for the sake of the bride.

    I've had so many couples say to me that they didn't even notice me filming. one said they were hugely relieved to see my footage because they got home and asked themselves, "wait where was the videographer?" meanwhile, I feel like I'm this crazy-looking jesus bearded guy running circles around them with a gimbal and a 7" monitor and not afraid to get close.

    but it's not a big ENG camera, there's no on-camera light. a lot of people don't even realize I'm shooting video. this has major benefits for verite, on top of the ability to cleanly expose in light levels beneath comfortable human vision (which lots of these dark corners inside and outside the dance floor are)


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    #19
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    Look I take on board all the points you outline. All valid. I just want ed to point out that with modern sensors today yes you can get away with little or no extra lighting. Though many use that as an excuse not to because they couldn't be bothered to light. There again I would hardly call a modern three-chip camera like a Z280 a large ENG camera. Bulk wise no more than an A7 on a gimbal. Especially if fitted with a monitor. Z280 cameras can see better than the eye can in low light and see it pretty noiselessly. It has four-channel audio, good autofocus decent stabilization, and a fast parfocal 17 x F1.8 zoom. And add to that a great variable ND system.

    The art of fly on the wall filming and blending into events and not drawing attention to yourself regardless of kit is that art of the documentary cameraman. And that's what a wedding is when you boil it down. It's a document of what happened. Albeit with a lot of artistic interpretation these days. Most late model cameras can do a pretty acceptable job in fairly low light situations. Anything that starts to show way more than the human eye can see starts to look like surveillance video. IMHO It's not a natural look. I can shoot quite happily with very quiet results at 25,000 ISO and have a camera that can do thatt but would I want to? No. I won't use any gain that lifts visibility above the natural level the human eye sees. Unless it for specific scientific or observational, i.e. wild-life footage. Even an old 1" sensor if used sensibly can work well in lowish light conditions. A test I did five years ago. One with no NR and the same clip with Neat Video.

    Chris Young

    https://youtu.be/3YhU7QknegI

    https://youtu.be/bHU6jI1NXXk


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    #20
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I mean, if I needed a big zoom, I have multiple options including a 15x Tamron. One of the nice things about the format and a fastish lens, though, is getting selective focus on medium and wide shots, especially when there are details one doesn't want to see in the background (like a bridesmaid checking her phone during the first dance).

    I hear you about using high ISOs but it's basically what the clients want. They don't want an accurate representation of the vision at the scene. If granny flashes a smile that's too dark for my eyes to make out, they still want to see full detail and color in the picture. (My companies also want neutral white balance even if the banquet hall is bathed in warm light that looks warm to the eye. This pains me but I correct in-camera for it.) Same thing goes for wedding photos - all the photographers use flash, so every shot is super high-contrast and glammy, even if the banquet hall was bathed in soft chandeliers and candlelight. At least I'm maintaining more of the ambience.

    I'm sure I'd shoot a fine video with a Z280. But I'm happy with f/1.4-2 DOF in full-frame for wide and medium shots, happier than I was with a gh5/speedbooster at the same aperture but 1.4x crop factor. I can always stop down as I please, especially with the sensitivity available to me. And the rendering of prime lenses is probably nicer than a 17x zoom. Most of the time, I can zoom with my feet. Or I'm on a 3x zoom. I dunno...I just don't feel like I have a lot of verite missed opportunities due to insufficient zoom range, and I'm pretty conscious of shots I'm screwing up or missing. And it certainly helps that there's usually another cameraman on a different lens.

    a7siii: Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 12.23.58 AM.jpg

    gh5: wedding 1.jpg

    every visible face is a liability for the shot if they look away, make a stank face, check their phone. and i've seen all that and cut around it
    Last edited by ahalpert; 02-10-2021 at 09:26 PM.


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