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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cumbernauld, Scotland
    Posts
    2

    Video camera top light

    Hi, i have recently just purchased a new video camera - Sony HVR-HD 1000P - and i am planning to start working as a freelance videographer, weddings etc.
    Could someone tell me if there are any decent and effective (non-expensive) camera top lights available that are actually affective for filming fairly dull/low light wedding repections?
    I have seen some 'shoe-mount' lamps that are only around 10-20 watts in power, surely these can't be strong enough to provide good lighting?

    Can anyone suggest anything here?

    Thanks

    Colin J

  2. #2
    Hi Colin

    I do weddings for a living and a cam mounted light is really not worth the effort. You can get 100w units now but they "eat" battery power!!!

    Personally I use 2 x 700x500 softboxes on stands at the reception and I have modified them to take a DIY box with 9 x 20w CFL lights which gives me an equivalent of around 500w of light output per box. If you look at my samples page on my site the "sample speech" clip was done with just one softbox in an almost dark banquet hall. In churches most will NOT allow any lighting at all!!

    http://www.softweigh.com/wedding/

    Chris

  3. #3
    Depending on the market you're in, you'll see news crews out with either little black cubes or blue cylinder lights (or something similar) atop their cameras. The black cubes tend to be Anton/Bauer Ultra-Light units, the blue cylinders are Frezzolini Electronics' (aka Frezzi Energy Systems) MiniFill or MicroFills. There are a few other companies that make similar (and now Rosco and others are making LED light panels that look cool [but I have yet to see in use aside from demos]), but these two are the big ones. I personally like the Frezzis, but I'm from about 4 miles from their HQ so I suppose I'm a bit biased by the market.

    Also, as Chris points out, direct near-camera light doesn't really work too well for Weddings and similar event shoots, be aware of this and other lighting/audio/video/... concerns when selecting equipment.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  4. #4
    Something like a Frezzi will certainly work well for one on one interviews and ENG style work but it's a little harsh for social events!! Most event camcorders can handle pretty low light anyway but a fill at the back of the room does help the cam a little. Just remember that wedding receptions are normally lit with low colour temperature lighting for that warm effect so make sure that your fill in lights don't fool the camera with mixed light (I did a wedding once with 6400K lights and it was a disaster!!)

    Reception lighting is a compromise anyway cos you cannot "stage" the shoot..it must be in real time! Lots of closeups with a little bit of light behind you works better than trying to get a wide shot of the entire room. I try to film just one table at a time at the reception and it works well.

    Make sure that you have a cam that WILL handle these sort of situations too as the bride will not be too happy with lots of dark footage where you cannot recognise guests!!

    Chris

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cumbernauld, Scotland
    Posts
    2

    Camera lighting

    Thanks guys for all your good advice, i have been a little concerned about the lighting aspect of doing wedding video's at the receptions. I am hopefully going to be getting some work first of all from a local production company, whom i have been told don't actually use any lighting other than in-house ambient lighting available at the relevant location. This i thought was a little surprising, although i have been told from others (as you say Chris) that on-camera lights are almost practically useless.
    I think i will bare in mind also of what you say Chris about keeping the shots tight and not trying to get too much in shot at the same time, that sure does make plenty of sense in the cirmumstances.
    Thanks 'tonsofpcs' for that advice about those Frezzi's, i'm having a look at there website right now.

    Cheers guys

    Colin

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