My friend and I plan on starting a little production co, at first just shooting a few weddings to pay off our cameras, then making content for web sites. I'm looking for suitable cameras, but I've gotten very lost. At first, I figured we'd stick to the basics and get a VX2100 or maybe a GL2 (used by the only wedding-filming co in our town). Then, I thought of HDV and started looking at the HV30 and HF10. I don't like what I see in sample footage regarding panning and motion, but the picture quality is great. Basically, I want to be able to shoot in low light (as low as weddings go) with quite a bit of manual control and be able to impress my clients. Is HDV the way to go, or would the VX2100 do the job? I just want good-looking video.
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Rule of thumb for panning (from any film school)
Take at least 7 seconds to pan from point A to point B
You're discussing cameras, but no methods to stabilize them during your wedding shoots. I think this issue is more important than the type of camera you end up getting. For light cameras, check out the Hauge MMC and with heavier cameras the Steadicam Merlin.
And don't forget audio recording, as the built in mics on all of the cameras you mentioned are not going to cut it in the type of shooting you're going to do. Look at wireless lavs, especially for the ceremony.
You've got a ton of practice ahead of you
handheld mostly, with some tripod shots no doubt.
we do plan on getting a steadicam.
Check out the steady shots from the $150 haugue mmc
As it's the age of HDTV and Blu Ray players, it makes sense to use HD resolution cameras and also to buy a Blu Ray burner. I've seen them for as low as $200 and you can charge a premium for giving them a copy of their wedding in HD.
If you're going to film in low low light, the HV30 and HG10 aren't the best camera for the job. I don't know of a <$1000 camera better suited, however. HDV is a lot easier to edit than AVCHD.