Wedding videography is a tricky business. I mean all video productions are tricky but stuff that you can’t reshoot and you can’t do ADR is scary in this day and age.
Considering it’s a one time event, you need the best acquisition as most of the wedding videography decisions are based on hype (i.e. what’s the best and latest). At the same time, the HDV format (read on how to burn HD to DVD) is not yet widely adopted, so what do you do with the relatives who want to see themselves on tape but have nothing but a VHS player.
Here’s my shortlist of cameras you might want to to get:
1) Sony FX1 – a penny saved is a penny earned. You can have it for $3,000 or less. Here’s the list of advantages:
- Affordable (Canon XL H1’s price is almost 3 times higher)
- 1080i support (actual chip is 1440×1080)
- Vibrant video with some low light capabilities (3 lux)
- Long battery life
- Standard HDV, i.e. using MiniDV cassettes
I’ve always loved Sony’s picture but most importantly, most of my clients love vibrant colors. So the Sony gets the first choice for normal weddings.
2. Fancy weddings require a different beast so if it’s all looks and money’s no object, I’d recommend getting Canon XL H1. It’s a very impressive camera in terms of design and definitely has the WOW factor. The wedding will look expensive although the quality of the video (and maybe not just the video) will be similar to Sony FX1 .
3. Geek weddings … hmm, never been to one of those but one would assume that geeks marry too. If you’re hired as a videographer to shoot a geek’s wedding, I suggest you get a Panasonic HVX200. The camera isn’t particularly sexy but you can spend a DAY just talking about HVX200′s specs. Believe me these guys LOVE specs and they will be one of the few who would actually comment that “if DVCPRO HD is 100Mbps then it should offer 4 times the quality of regular HDV!” Wow, never figured out that one before.
Maybe I come back to this topic, I feel I didn’t cover it properly. I did a much better job describing HD cameras for guerilla fimmaking …