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GH2 for wedding videographers.
  • Every few years a friend asks me to cover their wedding. For free. I'm always happy to do it, but I'm no wedding guy and would never want to be one. Too much stress and too hard to control the environment/set. I think a GH2 is a less than ideal camera for weddings. Here are few reasons I feel that way:

    1. lack of built ND. Wedding was outside, but had to bouce back and forth inside, constant removing and attaching ND filter. At one point I set the ND on a counter top and couldn't find it. 5 panicky minutes before I located it.
    2. Dynamic range. Most people say GH2's DR is just "Okay", nothing exceptional, but good enough. I had wedding from hell, Shadows and bright sunlight dicing up the whole scene, dark skinned groom, lilly white/blonde bride. Everyone was either dressed in black or white. I had to pick my poison, decided to expose the bride since it's her day. She was shaded, dark skinned groom in bright light. So he ended up with a bunch of hot spots. Clipping. And it created a gliche I've never sceen, the clipped area on his forehead created a weird green tint on his skin. What's going on with this? Anyone familiar? background overexposed slightly. Anyway, a 5d might be a better wedding camera or something lelse, I dunno. I need more DR.
    3. ergonomics. I used the $49 polariod gun stock grip. But I used it as a shoulder style mount. Maybe other rigs are fine, but 8 hours with the Polaroid becomes tiring. Also when fatigue sets in, the method of half pressing the shudder button to focus isn't good. Half the time it pauses the camera. Anyway, GH2 is awesome, but I don't think weddings play to its strenghs. ymmv.
  • 35 Replies sorted by
  • I've used the GH2 on a couple of weddings. Sure, it's a pain to get it perfect but I've found out a couple of solutions.

    1. Fader ND.
    2. Protect your highlights. Bring up shadows in post. Driftwood settings works for me.
    3. Manfrotto 560 monopod with Velbon PH-368

    Or use ISO 160, Aperture priority with legacy glass outdoors. ISO 800, Shutter priority indoors (if you get troubles with light frequency) Save them to C1 and C2. Cheap monopod (Velbon UP 400 DX) with belt pouch and neck strap. I removed the handle and used it like a still camera with the EVF.

  • Sure, a Canon XF100 would be ideal. But where's the fun in that? ;)

  • I'd use an FS100 with a Mattebox and ND set for weddings as a bare minimum. FS700 with built in ND better, but mega bucks.

    5D would be a nightmare. But it's all doable to be honest, just the risk of messing up starts to get much more possible.

  • The fader ND's fade all the far to clear? I've never seen one, I assumed they went from ND1 to 4 or whatever. I love monos, but would've limited me, I was crouching and ducking behind the alter and in the bshes like some sort of combat videographer.

  • I agree with all you say - having posted elsewhere on this forum that I've used older camcorders in situations where I need to be sure I waste as few frames as possible. And that focus-half-press thing is a royal pain in the ass when it stops the camera. Even using the 14-140 that thing is just too slow to focus. I think there are great places to use the GH2 but I'm really not convinced I'd use it on something continuous / important. I love the image of the "stealth" videographer.

  • GH2, @shian 's ColorGHears, and After Effects. Fader ND and a shoulder rig. Incredibly manageable. Long cut coming together right now.

  • I discovered another oddity with this shoot. One GH2 kept stopping -- right at the critical moment btw, during vows. I changed media card, problem persisted. Never ever happened before. My rigs aren't even hacked. I thought maybe too many in-cam card formats had caught up to me. The offending GH2 had the Zuiko 14-54mm 2.8 which uses a Panny smart adapter. All my GH2's have about 1/16th of play when the lens is attached. Running around the ceremony, one hand on lens causes a little movement in the lens, just enough to confuse the GH2 to shut down. This is the only lens that does it. Absolutely horrifying experience.

  • @oscillian please don't anyone ever recommend the Canon xf100. my partner and I went in on one and sold it the very next day after watching the footage next to gh2 and 60d footage. In our opinion xf100 footage was on par with a good camera phone, no joke, really, no joke. We were pissed when we realized we'd just spent 3000 dollars on a camera phone with xlr inputs.

    And that mxf 4:2:2 they love to tout as pro was embarrassingly bad. gave us the worst greenscreen key of the 3 cameras by faaaaar.

    And the most annoying part, is that if u put the 3 cameras in front of a client, they'll ask u to use the xf100 cause it costs more.

    canon how hard is it to put a $800 60d sensor in a $3000 xf100 body. oh yeah, $16,000 dollars hard i forgot.

  • @woodybrando "In our opinion xf100 footage was on par with a good camera phone, no joke, really, no joke. We were pissed when we realized we'd just spent 3000 dollars on a camera phone with xlr inputs."

    +1000 everything you said. The XF line looks horrible. I thought I was the only one. I cut a bunch of weddings for freelance work and going from 7D or 5D footage to the XF master-shot looks like hidden security camera footage...

    "canon how hard is it to put a $800 60d sensor in a $3000 xf100 body. oh yeah, $16,000 dollars hard i forgot."

    Yep. Canon can go *@!& themselves. And even the C300 has a video look to it. The processing is just old and crappy. I don't like the look of that 50mb/s 4:2:2 codec at all. It's just numbers and smoke/mirrors. Although, people won't shut up about how "broadcast approved" and "professional" it is. They're most likely just in denial about dropping $16,000 on 4 year old technology and desperately want a camera that's going to make them feel special and "pro" again. But, those days are gone-zo...

  • @Artiswar That looks good! And the bride is hot. Maybe GH2 is fine for weddings if you have the right accessories. I'd say, good shoulder mount, battery pack, ND fader for starters. And since wedding shoot are so f'ing long, Cineroid would be something I'd invest were to I to decide to be wedding shooter all of sudden. I still think the GH2 shines brighter in controlled environments

  • Perhaps try a one of those low-contrast filters? I've been meaning to get one and try it out...

    Also, vintage lenses tend to be on the lower contrast side. I get much better results with my GH2 in daylight when using older lenses like my Enna Munchens and Nikkors. My Tamron 17-50mm isn't bad, but it's just a bit too crunchy for broad daylight shooting. Panny glass is even worse... contrast wise.

  • @woodybrando Thanks for the warning! I haven't used the XF100. The Philip Bloom review had me fooled.

    @bwhitz +1 on legacy lenses. My Canon FDs on the GH2 is really helpful in getting that low contrast look.

    I shot this with legacy lenses: FD 50 1.4, Vivitar 28-90 2.8 Wide shots indoors with Tokina 11-16 2.8. B-roll with Sony HX9V (excellent in good light!) 720 50p Smooth -2-2-2-2 Stock settings (17Mbit?) Delivery 720 25p

    Sound ZOOM H1 with lavs

  • @oscillian How many cameras did you use for the church stuff, were all of them manned? Looks good. I think shooting weddings is difficult. Lots of pressure, no take 2, and it's a long day, then you end up with all this footage to deal with.

  • @artiswar Looking great! @brianluce My fader ND goes from ND2:ish-total black. I use it with a rubber hood instead of mattebox. Being low profile is a must for me, otherwise the guests get scared. Most recently I go "naked" and only change exposure with shutter/aperture on the fly ;)

  • @brianluce The church was with two GH2+Vivitar 28-90 up front. I manned the "bride" camera and my second DP followed the couple entering with the Sony HX9V and then ran up to the second GH2 on the groom for the remaining ceremony.

    Oh, we used tripods in the church (Velbon C-600)

  • @brianluce Yeah the pressure is intense! But I find that if you plan ahead and know what's going to happen, then you can pull it off. I usually prepare a lot before a shoot, scout locations and have the couple fill out a questionnaire with all the details. I would hate to just show up thirty minutes before ceremony and wing it.

  • Hi all. I haven't shot a wedding yet. But my wedding last year was shot using 3 60d with a crew of about 5 people. I saw one on a tripod. One on a monopod with feet. And another on a glidecam/slider.Looks like it takes a lot of planning and manpower.

    My friends wedding had the same number of cameras and more crew and lights inside the church.

    All the wedding videographers in my country use dslrs so I'm sure shooting with a gh2 is possible. They even make a same day edit which is shown at the reception which is around 3-5min long.

    Here's the guy who shot my wedding Here's the guy who shot my friends wedding

  • @ipcmlr A couple of advantages to weddings in the Philippines: Filipinos know how to throw a party! and, affordable labor! 5 man crew? Magbanua is basically a national celebrity over there. Btw, the wedding I shot yesterday was Fil-am.

  • Seems like you're just highlighting the GH2's poorer qualities! But hey it's for a friend they're prob not going to berate you for less-than-admirable DR.

  • @brianluce Yup. Labor is cheaper. Btw, Jason is not cheap at all :p He's a celebrity and the most well known but there's a lot of very good wedding videographers back there like phoeben teocson and bob nicolas.

    Anyway you can get away with dslrs as shown by them but you do need manpower. 3 seems to be the minimum where you can breathe easier and cover the event. For my wedding I saw 3 people shooting. One person editing furiously to be able to show an sde during the reception. And 1 overall in charge.

    Looks like artiswars video is also Filipino. Saw the national costume in the vid.

    Hope I can see your video soon Brian. I'm sure it's better than you described.

  • @bwhitz good to hear another voice of reason

    @oscillian yeah I think the philip bloom review was one of the main reasons we bought the damn camera in the 1st place.

  • Perhaps I should have titled this topic "GH2 for Filipino weddings..."

    A few years ago Jason was charging around 50,000 peso for weddings, I'm sure his prices have gone up as his stature has grown. 50k is A LOT for the Philippines. And his vids are really good.

  • @brianluce The GH2's are great storymaking machines. Weddings are a real challenge. If you work hard to find the light and get your framing right you can achieve some nice results...but you're right it does take some work. Your friend is truly lucky to have you give such a gift. @ed_lee83 is right...I don't think they'll be upset with the GH2 DR limitations either : ) Cheers mate. This was shot using manual Pentax Takumar 50, Tamron 17-50, Samyang 85, Panny 20mm with two shooters.

  • if you are in doubt whether GH2 is suitable for wedding videos have a look at this video of our forum member @pop24. Great job, Paul.

    what I like very much of GH2 is EVF and shooting just with the camera without any additional stuff. You can stabilize it easily with two hands hold the camera, both ellbows to your body and viewfinder at your head. Focussing works fine with the 25mm Voigtlander and EFV. You can work quite discretely and that's a big advantage. No need to doubt image quality not at all.

  • You can stabilize it easily with two hands hold the camera, both ellbows to your body and viewfinder at your head.

    You are a better man than I. I've never got good stuff without support -- let alone for shooting 9 hours of a wedding.