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  1. Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Triptonia
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    Hi,

    I would like to tape wedding functions professionally and am looking for the best possible camcorder for the job. Price is a major consideration though as it's my first steps.
    So far I have looked about the web and found the Sony dsr 250p, the panasonic dvx100a, the canon xl2, and the sony hdv fx1.
    I'm not entirely sure which is best suited for me. I know that the dsr 250p is used by a local pro here and I've found it to be more expensive in my research. Is it worth the extra dough?
    On a side note how about something of a lesser quality like a sony vx-2100 or a sony dsr pd170? How much of a difference in quality would there be? I plan on taping only weddings.
    I'm also concerned about max tape duration. Sonys dvcam has 184 min, I noticed, where as the dv doesn't. Is that right?

    thank you in advance.

    tripp
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  2. Member daamon's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Melbourne, Oz
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    Hi 45tripp,

    A good site for reviews and discussions is www.camcorderinfo.com - try there too...

    I have a Canon XM2 and have done a couple of friends weddings with it - using them as practice with a view to doing the odd wedding on a "word of mouth" basis.

    I found the camera to be exceptional in terms of colour reproduction, features and usability - of course, the latter comes with reading the manual, learning, experimenting etc.

    The only problems I've had are those I've caused myself - but that's why I was practising...

    Good luck.
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  3. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Suggest you do your research carefully and don't blow the entire budget on a camcorder. You will also need to pay attention to audio (very important), camera support, lighting, 2nd B roll camera and editing. Try to apprentice to someone who knows the biz. People and marketing skills are important as well. Expect major problems with the still photographer. Make peace early.

    I've only done weddings "pro bono" but I need to warn you that it's harder than it looks.

    A link re: sound
    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=268824&highlight=wedding+wireless
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  4. Member
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    Thanks for the sound tip. Hadn't given it much thought.

    So, are all my choices about equal? No preference for one of them?
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Northern California, USA
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    You need to match the cam to your marketing plan.

    Standard Prosumer standby models for this type of work would be Sony VX2100, Sony PD-170 (XLR audio in), Canon XL2 or GL2.

    If you think HDTV will sell go with the Sony FX1 or better the HVRZ1U. Also check out the AG-HVX200 from Panasonic but the P2 cards are a bit expensive still.

    If you think DVD 24p progressive (film style) is in demand, check the Panasonic DVX100A. I doubt they will pay extra for it or let you light for 24p. Some will complain because it's jerky vs 60/50 fps interlace.

    The DSR-250P has very few features over the PD-150/170. Maybe a better lens. Last wedding I taped used 2 PD-150s. One was fixed mounted back and high for wide shot. Second was side tripod shot/hand held. A DAT recorder got the music, preacher was wireless mic. Wide cam got audience sound.
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  6. Member
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    Thanks for the info. Very helpful.

    I do have a few more questions.

    The panasonic dvx100a is my personal pref due to it's filmic properties. I'd like to mess about with it when not working. I read it has three modes. 24p 30p and 60i. Is the interlace mode that much inferior to the competition?

    Don't all the mentioned models have good autofocus and motion stabalizers?
    Why would one be jerkier (noticably) than the other in the same mode?

    Anyway I'd like to ask which wireless mic you use. What would be the cheapest one could go and get acceptable quality?
    Could you name the tripods you use?
    The dat recorder?

    Any comment on the use of sonys dvcam vs plain dv?
    Would you consider having 3 hour dvcam tapes an important advantage?

    I must note that the production values you aim at are higher than what is expected this side of the world. Something to aim at but not to immediately worry about.
    My aim is to produce a pal dvd of acceptable quality. Only.

    As I see it having a hd camcorder is a future investment. Doubt I'd use it soon. Also maybe I could get a Vaio and make things a bit simpler. Having the panasonic would be good for myself. And going canon would provide more trinkets and perhaps more ease of use.

    One last thing. Does anyone have a battery life adv over the others?
    Haven't looked at that yet.

    Thank you for your help so far

    tripp
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  7. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    The panasonic dvx100a is my personal pref due to it's filmic properties. I'd like to mess about with it when not working. I read it has three modes. 24p 30p and 60i. Is the interlace mode that much inferior to the competition?
    It is a good camcorder and there are extensive reviews like this one.
    http://www.adamwilt.com/24p/

    My comment is 24p is not likely to be appreciated by a wedding customer. 24p is not a good live capture format. You need compete directorial control of action and lighting to get that film look.

    It probably performs very well at 60i. Are you in a PAL country? Some of your model numbers were PAL. In that case you need 50i.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    Don't all the mentioned models have good autofocus and motion stabalizers?
    Why would one be jerkier (noticably) than the other in the same mode?
    Jerky refers to action at 24p vs 50i or 60i or 60p.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    Anyway I'd like to ask which wireless mic you use. What would be the cheapest one could go and get acceptable quality?
    Could you name the tripods you use?
    The dat recorder?
    See the Shure links above if you are doing this as a business. Will cost you $500-700 fo a good basic set of tools. These can be rented for modest rates.

    Tripods Bogen. You will need a high one and a stepladder for the wide shot to get above standing heads. I rent the B-roll camera and tripod.

    A second wireless mic could substitute for the DAT recorder. Many of these camcorders will record 4 separate 12bit tracks or 2 16bit tracks.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    Any comment on the use of sonys dvcam vs plain dv?
    Would you consider having 3 hour dvcam tapes an important advantage?
    DV and DVCAM are very similar. DVCAM uses wider tracks for beter tape interchange BUT only records 40 min per MinDV tape. This may be too short for a wedding. See.
    http://www.adamwilt.com/DV.html

    Most services last less than an hour.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    I must note that the production values you aim at are higher than what is expected this side of the world. Something to aim at but not to immediately worry about.
    My aim is to produce a pal dvd of acceptable quality. Only.
    The competition standard is high. Even doing it for free I get complaints that it can't match Hollywood production standards. This is mostly because they won't let you adequately light the scene. Candles trump video lighting. Also you have no control of the action. You must pre-plan everything. The wedding planner is the first director. The still photographer is like the second unit director. You as video guy don't get to direct anyone. You just react.

    When they start to pay, everyone is a quality critic and I've heard collection is a problem. Get a big deposit and charge high.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    As I see it having a hd camcorder is a future investment. Doubt I'd use it soon. Also maybe I could get a Vaio and make things a bit simpler. Having the panasonic would be good for myself. And going canon would provide more trinkets and perhaps more ease of use.
    These HDV and HDCAM models are high in price and will quickly go obsolete when better and cheaper models arrive. IMO it is a waste of money to "buy for the future". Just buy for now. Remember you also need a second camera. I usually rent a PD-150 or VX-2100 or GL2 for B-roll.

    Originally Posted by 45tripp
    One last thing. Does anyone have a battery life adv over the others?
    Haven't looked at that yet.
    Get a 4-8hr battery for each camera. You will need it. There is no time for charging a battery unless you hire assistants.
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  8. Member ribac's Avatar
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    What you guys think about Panasonic NV GS400 3CCD,true 16:9,even 24p for around $1000??
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  9. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ribac
    What you guys think about Panasonic NV GS400 3CCD,true 16:9,even 24p for around $1000??
    It is a fine mid priced camcorder. The 24p support is not complete. You need to move up the Panasonic AG-DVX100 for that.
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