Help Regarding Choices for Shooting First Wedding Video (GH3 +...)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RuffDraft, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    Hi,

    I'm an OM-D EM 5 user, who has shot extensively with it in Asia this summer, and had a fantastic time. I have the Oly 12 and 45mm primes, as well as the kit lens (12-50) and the Panny 25mm.

    I'm doing my first wedding in April, creating a video for a friend. I have a number of queries, but have extensively researched shooting a wedding video via CreativeLive sessions and have since bought a Manfrotto Video Monopod for 'run and gun' work.

    I'm looking to buy a video tripod, as well as a DSLR/Micro Four Thirds Camera. After perusing a variety of options, it seems obvious to stick with Micro Four Thirds and purchase a GH3.

    Firstly, would everybody advise me to buy a GH3 for this purpose? I would like to shoot 24p, would do some colour correction and grading afterwards. Ultimately, I could use the OM-D and will be using that with my X800 Panny Camcorder as well (as unmanned cameras), but I really don't know whether the difference will be THAT great that it's worth the investment for my friend's wedding... the OM-D seems inferior in a lot of ways to shoot video, but I realise waiting for the GH4/5 would be wiser in terms of an investment... yet then I would be paying top price and would miss out on the wedding anyways.

    If I should buy a GH3, then consider my options for shooting the wedding primarily:

    A). Buy GH3 and 12-35mm lens. Use the 12-35 for most situations, such as the ceremony and the vows. Whilst using the 25mm or 45mm for the preparation for bride and groom, as well as the dances. Perhaps the 12 for a slider shot of the church and for b roll.

    B). Buy GH3 and Oly 75mm. Go all primes for the wedding, and have an equivalent 150mm lens for the ceremony. The location is a big hall for the wedding, with what I imagine to be a small, reasonably thin venue for the actual ceremony.

    C). Buy GH3 alone, use the 45mm as my longest lens, and the 25mm for most of the wedding...

    D). Buy GH3 and break the bank buying the 35-100mm lens from Panny, so that I have a good range of primes in the wide-medium range, and a good tele.

    E). Shoot with the OM-D and invest in audio equipment. Make sure that nothing goes wrong with audio, as audio is half the video! 24p is irrelevant.

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I have around £2000 to invest. I would like a tripod and video head to add to this list, but would want a great head that would produce excellent pans and tilts, as well as a cheap(ish) slider. I realise that a lot of pressure on a wedding is through the audio, so I may buy a few lavalier mics to use with iPhones for the ceremony itself, as well as the vows and perhaps a Zoom recorder to plug into the main feed.

    Thanks to anyone who can help! I have researched shooting weddings a lot, but now it's just down to what gear I'll have with me!
     
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Honestly, you may be best off having a look at one of the video websites specifically - there are some videographers here, but most of us aren't, is my impression. From what I understand (friends who are into pro video and too much reading on the subject) the GH3 is one of the best options available to you in terms of video recording options and quality. As for whether a GH4/GH5 would be better - sure. It'll be the next model. It might shoot 4K. Whether that's at all relevant to the type of shooting you want to do is extremely debatable. Hardly anyone has 4K monitors, and at normal TV viewing differences, the difference between excellent 720p and 1080p is even debatable.

    - The upside to waiting a while before buying the GH3 would be that prices will likely start dropping once/if a GH4 is announced. The bigger downside is that you really don't want to be shooting a once-in-a-lifetime (one hopes) event like a wedding on a camera you don't know inside out.

    - Consider second camming the E-M5 with unstabilised primes - the video quality may not be up to the GH3's level, but the IBIS is great for steadycam style action.

    - The 2.8 Panasonic Primes on the GH3 are stabilised. This is, to my mind, important unless you've got some other sort of rig planned to stabilize your shots.

    - Audio: recording seperately may well be a good idea; I'm more of an audio than a video guy, but mostly recording isntrumentals/music, so no specific help from me there, sorry..
     
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  3. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    You have two other option that might be a better choice.

    1. Buy a GM1 which is a great compact body, although it is not pants pocket small. It's great as a second body and in some cases gives better video then the gh3. I have used both and they both are great but I ended up keeping the GM!.

    2. The other very similar option is the Blackmagic Pocket Camera. It's pretty great and very easy to use, you will know at least how to control everything within a day at most. For a static cam it's amazing as you can record to raw and pull photos out if needed.I haven't messed with a raw file from it yet in lightroom but I will soon.

    The gh4 is going to cost at least 3k I imagine. It will not replace the GH3 and there aren't any rumors about the a GH3 replacement as of yet. My two suggestion should tide you over until then and shouldn't depreciate too much until then. You can always part out the GM1 kit and end up recouping more money.

    I am no expert and my use of the bmpc is a bit non traditional but I will try to help anyway I can.
     
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  4. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Check out stillmotion.ca and their free app and video blogs and educational stuff. They went from shooting wedding videos to stuff for NFL and other major brands.

    Also look for the group OMD E-M5 video on Facebook. The moderator Vadim Sukharevski shoots lovely wedding video with gh3 and em-5. He has some good tips and experience. Look up his stuff on Vimeo.
     
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  5. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oops the Facebook group is 'Olympus OMD Video'
     
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  6. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    I have a Three Legged Thing Brian tripod and it's a pretty great option, I have been looking at tripods for a while and have been really impressed with mine. It isn't perfect, self ratcheting locks like the rrs tripods would make it so. It is however much much cheaper then equivalent tripod and is very well thought out. it costs $459 with a ball head. I have a Induro PHQ1 head and It's pretty neat in that it's very adjustable and repeatable and unlike most other pan and tilt head almost as fast as a ballhead but more versatile as well. I am not sure how well it works for video, as I haven't used it for that yet but it might work well. I'll try it and get back to you on that.
     
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  7. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    439
    Oct 7, 2012
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  8. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Just to throw a spanner in to the works, the G6 has received some very positive reviews for its video and offers focus peaking as well. It doesn't offer the same bit rate as the GH3, but at 28MBps for the 50p option it isn't too shabby either! I really don't get the 24p fascination, as unfortunately most people do not have a Tv that is capable of displaying a 24p picture properly. If your friends are all kitted out for 24p then go ahead! Another concern of mine is that the Panasonic only records 24p in AVCHD format, whilst it will do 25p and 50p in MP4.
     
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  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Personally, I would opt not to shoot something like a wedding with brand new gear that I have not tested and become fully comfortable with. If it was me, I would lock in my gear choices right now and practice, practice, practice. I had a good friend, who is also a great photographer, shoot an event for me with his "latest" upgrade, and I cannot tell you how disappointed I was with the final product. I do not even know if he was aware of the things that went wrong, or perhaps because there was little he could do in post procesing that he chose not to say anything, but I graciously accepted the work because his friendship was more important to me than the stills and video. I am sure his output is better now, but it was no fun being a test case for his new camera body.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  10. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    I love shooting events for friends with the EM5.

    I would suggest getting a hacked GH1, and the 35-100 for the reach and stabilization. Good reach for portraiture without getting in the way of the photographers. I shot a party with the 12-35 and was often standing awkwardly too close to the action.

    for the panning wide shot I would put the 12mm on the GH1 mounted on the slider for the most detail. The EM5 would lose detail in the compression.

    the EM5+primes would be useful for handheld bokeh shots of still life for B roll.

    I might use the camcorder for unmanned continuous footage and audio capture.

    The savings on the GH1 could go towards some lavalier mics and a shotgun for the GH1.

    you may also want to consider a video light, reflector and practicing with the equipment as much as possible before the big shoot.

    nofilmschool.com has great ideas for amateur film making in general.
     
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  11. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    oh yeah, don't forget ND filters.
     
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  12. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    Thanks for the info, I don't wish to shoot 4K (I don't think my MacBook Pro would cope so well with that), but I do wish to shoot at a decent bit rate for post-processing (if needed). I am going to buy a video tripod for stabilisation, and have just received the Manfrotto Video Monopod today - love it! So in terms of stabilisation, I am going to be using the aforementioned, but guess I will use the camcorder (X800) for those moments when movement is necessary.

    I thought about adding a mic onto the GH3, perhaps the one released by Panasonic, or a RODE for the pre-wedding shots - bride and groom getting ready. Then to move onto the audio equipment in the ceremony and for speeches.

    After reading your post late last night, I just went to John Lewis and tried out a GM1 - incredibly small! Checked out the video frame rates as well, and they're impressive too! What an insanely brilliant CSC for M43! That said, I never read your article that you added to your post, and after reading it now, it's a tempting little stunner! Even though that's the case, I can't see myself buying such a tiny camera when I won't be able to have access to settings as easily. I want to be able to shoot freely, using buttons, rather than menus. Why did you end up keeping the GM out of interest?

    I looked into the Blackmagic cameras, and I do think the IQ is amazing. In some ways, I was tempted, but in others, I think it may be one step too far... I don't want to do a ridiculous amount of editing in post, and it looks as though you need to colour correct every clip?

    Thanks a lot for your two extra tips, the GM1 was a great shout, and I remain tempted, but as my main camera for video, I think the controls will be limited and the GH3 gives you instant access to so much, especially the three buttons above the shutter, which I love.

    I'll head there next! Thanks. Thanks for the update name on the group as well!!! And I'll check those videos - I just bought the same monopod! It's incredible, I'm really impressed with the feet and the build quality. Even the head which doesn't pan (it does so through the fluid ball head in the feet) works pretty well too.

    Thanks for putting in so much effort informing me, how easy is it to get a three legged thing tripod in Britain though? It's the same with RRS equipment - that a long delay may arise with shipment, plus shipping fees and potential extras once they go through customs. For that reason, I've been looking at Manfrotto, but they seem to get a lot of stick at the same time for some of their equipment for video. I've considered getting one of their carbon fibre tripods, and then attaching a 701 head?

    I'll look up your equipment now, thanks!

    Really?! I thought that all movies were shot in 24p? What do television sets run at? Also, I thought the GH3 shot 24p in MOV?

    The G6 is insanely cheap... I might pick it up... at £325... seems like a bargain? Think that's the equivalent of under $500. Even as a second camera instead of the OM-D.

    Hi Ken, thanks for your comments and help. I do agree with you 100%! I even stated to my friend NOT to use me for video and to hire someone instead... but he responded with stating that they simply wouldn't be filming it otherwise and whatever I get, he will be very pleased just to have some footage. I obviously don't want to let him down, so I'm investing in quite a bit of equipment, giving me four months to become familiar with the kit. So much so that I'll be taking it to France in February as well and creating videos there with whichever camera I choose. That way, I'll be extremely familiar with the equipment and ready to do my very best for him. Sorry to hear of your experience though. Amazingly and shockingly, I shot a wedding with my OM-D out of choice for my cousin's wedding at the start of this year. He'd hired a 'professional' photographer, who was using a cropped sensor Nikon with flash, a prime and two zooms. Unfortunately, this guy SUCKED as a photographer. His images were plagued with mistakes, had little understanding of framing, left shots in the chosen images with children's clothes and other bits and bobs which should never have been included in the shots in the first place. Cut a long story short, my images from my OM-D turned out to be much better, and now they have some of my prints from that wedding up in their home. So as a flip side to your experience, I'm glad I was out there messing with my new camera for them, as it turned out to be very helpful.

    That said, I'm very much an amateur photographer and don't rate my shooting very highly at all. But I'm learning and trying to develop as much as I can as it's my hobby. Just feel bad that there are some pros out there who literally can't shoot.

    You've just confirmed my worst fears, I FEEL as though the 12-35 will be too wide as well... I was hoping the 45mm would sort that, but if not - I'd really like to reach for the 75! That said, it may still be hard to get the shots with a prime and so the 35-100 seems a logical purchase, even though I don't need the stabilisation, as I'll be shooting off a monopod.

    Yeah, definitely. I just feel like buying old tech is silly because of how quickly technology moves. Even the GH3 has an old sensor now, which still takes good footage and images - even if they fall short of the EM 5.

    If I bought a GH3, with the 35-100, then it would be an expensive haul. That said, the bokeh would still be pretty nice, or rather the separation at 2.8 given the compression of using a longer focal length, I'm assuming from your experiences?

    Thanks for the tips on using the slider, I'm just not overly impressed with what I've read about the EM5 and Olympus' footage, a lot of people seem to think that it doesn't bode well in post? I have always used my camcorder (X800) for video, but after watching a number of videos online, feel that it's time to step up to a GH3 or other CSC with M43 mount.

    Definitely using the camcorder for unmanned footage - that's going to be my trustworthy piece of gear that ensures I capture the ceremony and speeches. The rest I can shoot with the monopod and my camera.

    Do you have experience with the RODE lavs for iPhone? As far as I can tell, they're a reliable source. I'm going to purchase three of them, mic'ing up the groom twice (to be on the safe side), as well as the speaker. Then mic'ing up the groom, father and best man at the wedding itself, perhaps with another recorder attached to the main board - although I know I'm going to spend around £300 come the end of it.

    The big advantage I should explain here to everyone is that I'm a single male, who still lives at home, has a decent job (teacher) and can stretch to spending another £2000-£2500. I completely understand the sensible discussions regarding equipment, but this is my last haul before saving for a mortgage. I need this equipment to last for the foreseeable future - not that I can afford much more. £2000 should definitely be my limit for camera + lens. Then an extra £500 for tripod + sound equipment. If I would not benefit from spending an extra £2-400 on a GH3 over a GM1 or G6 in particular, then I'll take any and all explanations, as well as why 24p is over-rated and why the OM-D can match Panasonic's codecs (although I read that this is not the case, unfortunately). I'll be editing in Final Cut Pro X and I'll be editing on an external via Thunderbolt 1 and will be doing some colour editing and exposure control, which is why I feel the extra bit rates are advantageous as well.

    Thank you to everyone for all of your replies, which I'll research even further now.
     
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  13. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Most films are shot at 24p but in the past TVs were not very good at supporting it. TVs in the UK will support 25p as standard and TVs in the US will support 30p as standard. The reason for this are now historical, but the different TV standards are still used, probably to support old cathode ray tube TVs. I was surprised to find out that Apple TV does not support 24p at all and any 24p footage is converted into 30p.
     
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  14. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    Knowing this, is it wiser to shoot at 30p, or given that most people will view the wedding online, will 24p suffice? I quite like the look of 24p, but realise that it's just a standard due to audio requiring 24p to sync with motion picture, and being that film was expensive, it was cheaper to produce film at this rate than any higher. Most wedding videos tend to be shot at 24p from what I've been told by the two pros over at Creative Live. Maybe 30p is a better choice. 60p creates extremely smooth video... Don't know what my thoughts would be on that... But 60p is obviously advantageous for creating slow mo afterwards. Thanks for the info though - and that is surprising with the Apple TV!
     
  15. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    In the UK you'll be stuck with 50p, 25p or 24p. I've heard that people shoot at 50p because is gives the option of "slow mo" in post production: forcing playback at 25p so 1 sec of footage lasts 2 secs. I have only just started looking in to using my GX-7 for video so haven't got any experience on the production side. If you are concerned with the cost of the lenses I would take a look at DigitalRev. The lenses are shipped from Japan and the prices are a good £200-£300 cheaper than Amazon. For example, the 12-35mm is £579 and the 35-100mm is £699. I have bought both of those lenses from DigitalRev and have then managed to sell them for more than I bought them for!
     
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  16. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    I've shot at 50p on my X800, and definitely can see the advantages with slow mo. Whether I'd want to slow down any of the footage is another matter, but I'll see. Might just need to shoot both and compare footage to see what I prefer.

    Are Digital Rev lenses the exact same as on Amazon?! Their prices seem insanely priced! But I guess with lenses, it's the same mount etc. Maybe I'll purchase from them, it's just how easy it would be to return any items half way across the world if they had a defect.

    Out of interest, would you get the 35-100 or the 75? I am leaning towards the 75, as I have the 45 as well, and considering the ceremony will be static, I don't see much advantage to the variable focal length? But having not shot a wedding before, I can imagine the zoom would provide it's advantages. I just want fast lenses though and the 75 has always been a lens of idolisation for me.
     
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I would strongly think about getting an assistant.... managing multiple cameras, recording devices, making sure batteries are charged, that cameras are running etc is a pretty major nightmare.

    K
     
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  18. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The UK are used as a cash cow for all electronics. If you look at US prices you often see that there is a 1:1 conversion between £ and $, therefore my GX-7 cost me £800 but would cost someone in the US $800. I've used DigitalRev to buy 3 lenses and they have all arrived within a week of ordering. The lenses are brand new and the only difference is the lens is clearly for a Chinese market (the manual is UK and Mandarin), apart from that you get everything that an Amazon buyer would get! It is a grey import but the duty and VAT are included in the price. I've never had to send a lens back or deal with a faulty lens through them, but having looked through reviews I have no doubt that they would help out. It should be noted that Panasonic have regional warranties and you get a DigitalRev 1 year warranty with a Panasonic lens.

    If you are keen on the 75mm check out this eBay seller:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BRAND-NEW...=UK_Lenses_Filters_Lenses&hash=item2ecc9dc6c3

    They sell the lens for £599 + £10 P&P and the lens is shipped from Scotland.

    I've not had the pleasure of using the 75mm but I have used the Samyang 85mm. The FOV is similar and you get true subject isolation with the Samyang. The beauty of the 35-100mm is the OIS, my GX-7 can't use the IBIS for video. I'd love to buy 75mm but I'd be swayed by the versatility of the 35-100mm.
     
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  19. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    Have you considered just renting lenses or an extra body for the wedding day?

    Shooting at 50p or 60p for slow mo adds a lot of beautiful drama. I wish my EM5 could do it.
     
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  20. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    The 3lt tripod company is based in england and the prices aren't too bad.

    MY decision to keep the GM1 wasn't directly related to getting rid of my GH3. I found that I didn't use the GH3 much compared to my E-M1 and so other then the improved video it didn't do much for me.

    The GM1 on the other hand is ideal as a second body and since it is so small easier to have on you all the time. It isn't anything like a GH3 replacement but it is ideal for my uses. It'll do static cam work when needed and works well as a second body and then is small enough to have on you much of the time.

    The just read the final part of the EOShd BMPC review and he indicates that for must used prores is much better. You save space, no transcoding required, no coloring and on and on.

    Unless you can forsee needing the lav mics later why not rent them? Try and minimize gear purchase for the one wedding. I'd spend more on the lenses and tripod and the like vs unnecessary lavs.

    The pansonic MS2 while an interesting mic has one major flaw the lack of $0.50
    switch. If it allowed you to switch between stereo and shotgun modes without having to go through a menu it would probably be a much more popular mic. As it stands it's too compromised for the price. It only works completely with the GH3 and it also lacks another $1 feature a isolation mount. Without the mount you are then forced to find a universal mount that negates the size and cost advantages to a significant degree.

    Just buy an external recorder and a decent shotgun mic.
     
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