Posts Tagged ‘Photographer’
Bubbles are probably the most popular of the releases for weddings. The more bubbles the merrier. One warning about bubbles is to be aware of the surface of the floor. If your party is blowing bubbles indoors, the floor surface is usually hard and smooth. This presents a slipping hazard. The soap from the bubbles is very slick. Your usually safer outdoors with a rough concrete surface. The photographer and videographer must check & clean their lenses after the bubbles.
Balloons released into the sky makes it beautiful for pictures. The photographer & videographer must be warned and ready. The release is very quick and easily missed, if not prepped. Some people say that balloons are a hazard to the environment. The average balloon is made out of latex, which is biodegradable. Three hours after the balloon is released, it rises approximately five miles into the atmosphere. It then freezes and shatters into small spaghetti-like pieces. When it falls back down to earth, ground gases and microorganisms attack the latex. The shiny balloons are not biodegradable.
Birds released at wedding are usually doves. What’s hard to believe and quite fascinating is that the doves, after the release will beat the owner home. The doves could be hundred miles away and still they find their way home. Its important that the photographer uses a fast shutter speed to capture the grace of the doves. Otherwise it’s a white blur.
Butterflies released are beautiful as they flutter by. What is not beautiful, is when the butterflies are given to the guests in little cardboard containers. The butterflies seem to suffocate in the containers. When released they just hit the ground, looking stunned. Its actually disgusting to watch. The best way to release butterflies is by birdcages. They are free to fly, when the door is opened. Having the flower girl or ring bearer open the door adds an extra touch.
There is an urban legend that if birds eat the rice, the birds will explode. The thinking comes from the fact that white rice is dehydrated. When ingested by the bird, the rice will begin absorbing water upon entering the moist gizzard. So the rice supposed to actually make the bird insides swell up not explode. However, that is not true either. In fact, birds safely eat wild rice as well as other grains such as wheat and barley that expand in moisture equal to white rice. So don’t worry about the birds. Worry about the people instead. The floor surface is very important. People could slip if the surface is too smooth. Don’t forget the clean up and the rice in your hair. The last problem is the people, that still believe the birds will explode are going to restrict you from using rice. Here is a link that explains the bird and rice issue in more detail. http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/birds/a/wedding_rice.htm
Rose pedals are pretty trouble free. There is no slipping or biohazards and rose pedals are easy to get out of your hair. You need plenty of quality rose pedals for some beautiful pictures.
Cans of silly string is colorful fun release on the bride & groom. People love it, especially kids. However, make sure there are no flames present. Silly string is very flammable. When ignited, it puts out a toxic gas.
Long Form Edited V.S. Short Form Edited For Chicago Wedding Videos. (There are advantages and disadvantages to both forms.) A Short form wedding video is usually from 15mins to 1 hour long in length. The unedited version is sometimes supplied separately for viewing in its entirety. The wonderful advantage is that, you don’t have to sit through all of the boring parts of the video footage. It is like watching a movie of your wedding day, capturing the drama and beauty within a tightly edited form. The music is usually mixed in with the ambient audio. Typically, short form videos are out of chronological order of the wedding day. There are there are some companies that put all the scenes in chronological order. Short form videos take longer to edit than long form and are generally more expensive. Long form wedding videos are usually between 1 to 3 hours long. All of the scenes are edited in chronological order. It starts with a pre-ceremony section. The selected music mixed in with the ambient audio. The ceremony is in its entirety. There are chapter points to the processional and vows that make viewing more efficient. The post-ceremony section is set to music and ambient audio .The contents of the post-ceremony consist of the picture session on the altar, park footage and cocktails at the reception. The reception includes all of the speeches and important dances.Interviews with the bridal party can be included because some people still like interviews. Long form videos can have a highlight, which could make up for the fact that it’s a long video. The highlight can be watched on Facebook for everyone to enjoy. Which is better? It depends on the creative work of the videographer. It is advisable to hire a videographer with outstanding reviews, and finally, a videographer with a good personality to get along with everyone and the wedding photographer.
Chicago wedding video highlights
Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session (in the western suburbs extra charge for downtown engagement photos $100) with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an 8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Adler Planetarium: Adler is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone ‘s wedding website.Adler is awesome for the Chicago wedding couple who want their photos shot if front of the Chicago skyline. This is an awesome location to shoot engagement photos for the Chicago skyline. This day it was hazy making the Chicago engagement photo session a good one.
Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an 8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Churchill woods: Churchill woods is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone ‘s wedding website. Churchhill has the rustic look of a camping trip and a lake. It is awesome to do engagement photos of the outdoors minded engagement couple.
Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an 8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Lilacia Park: Lilacia Park is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone
Cafe La Cave Banquet hall.
Milestone Photo and video has done many wedding at the Cafe La Cave Banquet hall. Randy Sutter has been instrumental in making his couple’s dreams come true. We at milestone Photo and video share that vision in satisfying our customers. We received the wedding wire brides choice award for 2011 based on being in the upper 5% in customer satisfaction. We are highly experienced Chicago wedding photographer and videographer.
One of the most popular and celebrated wedding locations in all of Chicagoland, La Cave banquets truly provides a beautiful and sophisticated setting for your once-in-a-lifetime event.
With a stylistic decor and setting of unmatched beauty, La Cave banquets is the ideal place for your enchanted wedding reception and intimate dream ceremony. With the unique attention to detail La Cave banquets can customize your wedding in many different ways.
Come experience our exquisite hospitality.
We promise to make your wedding unforgettable.
As a family owned business we would like to extend our most gracious welcome to the La Cave Banquets, located in the Chicago land area. Here you will take a magical journey into a fairy tale era of utter opulence.
La Cave Banquets has stood for the very best in cuisine, service and the attention to every detail for a successful celebration. Our guests have come to appreciate and expect the personalized attention, cordial service and quality of food La Cave is well known for.
You will experience the glamour from the moment your guests make their entrance into a soaring gilded lobby that recalls all the splendor of Versailles. Feast, dance and romance among ballrooms resplendent with our sparkling chandeliers and exquisite detailing.
Let us make your dreams come true.
- Gus Sutter
- Randy Sutter
- Kimberly Sutte
The following wedding video highlight has the reception at the Cafe La Cave.The package at Milestone photo and video that give you a highlight is $1399 Check out our prices for video at: Milestone
The Following wedding highlights are “Fusion” highlights. This means the Milestone photographer actually shoots video at the same time as photos and he can make a wedding video highlight while the same photographer is also shooting video as well. We charge $1899 for shooting unlimited photography and you also receive a highlight wedding video as well as the rest of the footage with chapter points and menus, Check out prices here.
Questions for engaged couples to ask a Chicago wedding Photographer.
- Does your wedding photographer allow you to keep and own (on DVD) all the photos he shoots? Milestone does with every package (even short day). Some wedding photography companies have hidden charges or have minimum orders (some as high as $3000) for the couple to own the photos on DVD.
- Does your wedding photographer correct in Photoshop all the photos he takes? Many times the photo a bride likes best is considered a reject by the photographer. Milestone does not assume what you will like and they correct AND provide all the photos that the Chicago wedding photographer takes.
- Does your wedding photographer create Jpeg files in 2 RESOLUTIONS? Having your photos in 2 resolutions has the best of both worlds. Use the large files for making prints that are over 8″x10″. Use the smaller files for quick viewing, archiving, emailing, slow computers, situations where hard drive space is at a premium. Milestone gives you photos in 2 resolutions, no one I know of else does.
- Does you wedding photographer make you order all the wedding photos off their website? (TRICK QUESTION) When you order from THEIR website the wedding photo company can charge any price they want for reprints. Check their price range per photo (8×10′s for $8-$12) and compare with the completive prices at Wal-mart (8×10′s for $2) and Shutterfly. Milestone Photo and video allows the bridal couple to post the photos anywhere they want for the most completive prices for reorders. We require that you list Milestone as the photographer on your shutterfly page to give us photo credit.
- Does your photographer include a video photo montage on DVD of the best 150 to 300 photos set to music? Milestone includes a wedding DVD of the best photos that the photographer took during your wedding day set to music with chapters and menus.
- Is your Photographer experienced with taking wedding photos at your particular church or reception hall? Check out our photo gallery, it is arranged alphabetically by reception hall.
- Is you wedding photographer capable of shooting different styles of photography? IE: Traditional posed, Avant-garde posed, corny/cheezy posed, semi-posed, still life, Dramatic/deep focus, photojournalist.
- Does your wedding photographer charge extra for stops along the way between the ceremony and the reception? Milestone will go to up to 7 locations through out the day.
- Does your photographer experiment with all types of lighting techniques? Many other photographers use just one lighting technique for all situations. Basic flash for all photos makes for boring and flat looking photos. Or I have seen some who shoot with existing light for all photos, which looks cool and natural sometimes, but at other times can be grainy and unflattering on older people. Milestone uses many types of lighting techniques, IE: on camera flash (with diffuser), bounce flash, existing light, existing light with fill flash and Flash backlighting which has a halo of light surrounding the bride and groom.
- Does your photographer allow your guests to shoot their own photos during a wedding photo session? Many of the largest companies in Chicagoland (that charge extra for wedding photographs) do not allow guests to shoot over the photographer’s shoulder. Milestone will allow other photographers to shoot the same poses.
- Does your photographer do research on the internet to find out what are the newest, cutest and most innovative poses out there? Milestone does this research and we bring examples with us printed up to show the bridal party how to pose on some of the more innovative and complicated poses that we do.
- Does your photographer use flash diffusers to mellow the harsh flash and make wrinkles, pimples and lines look less noticeable? Milestone uses the Gary Fong Lighsphere light diffuser and the Lumiquest 80/20 diffuser.
- Can your photographer take extra shots of young children while they are behaving, and photoshop those children’s photos into group shots for posed shots that the child was not present for? (or was misbehaving during a photo session) Milestone does this often and this can be seen on our website galleries
- Does your photographer have a super-wide fisheye lens that can take ultra-wide 180 degree photographs or entire rooms? Milestone is equipped with several of these lenses that can distort reality, let leave people looking normal and not fat. We have a gallery dedicated to this type of extreme creative wide angle shot.
- Does your photographer have the ability to bring different height stools to layer people for photographs of large groups. This is important at reception halls that have no stairs. Milestone has these stools. Just let us know if there is no stair case.
- Does your Photographer know the area with (26 years wedding experience) of your wedding or reception an will he be able to suggest a cool outdoor photo location between the ceremony and reception?
- Does your wedding photographer shoot the posed altar photos in “Camera RAW” for better quality? This enables his pictures to have more dynamic range, ability to blow up and crop, and the ability to change exposure by a full 3 f-stops. Milestone uses camera RAW for posed altar photos.
- Does your Chicago wedding photographer give a large discount when you also book videography from the same company? Milestone discounts combining photo and video by $100 off the top. Then Milestone video will include a free unmanned second video camera a $150 value!
- Does your wedding photographer shoot a free OUTDOOR engagement photo session? an outdoor engagement photo session will look more natural and modern than an old fashioned portrait in front of a background in a studio. We shoot these at Lilacia park in Lombard or Churchill woods forest preserve.
- What is the size of the provided print of the engagement photo that the wedding photographer makes. The bigger the photo the better. Milestone prints the largest engagement picture and mat for signing at the reception . Our print is 19″x 13″ and the black sign able mat is 20″x30″.
- Is your Photographer equipped with plenty of back-up camera bodies, lenses and flashes?
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
Tips on how to plan a time efficient and cost cutting wedding to get the most our of your time and money.
- Make an itinerary on what is happening on your wedding day, make this schedule realistic and make sure there is enough time to do all the things on the list. This schedule should be given to all your vendors. If you can’t keep to the schedule don’t fret it is just a guideline to know what activities are important to you.
- Find a reception hall that is somewhat close to your church and possibly also near an outdoor photography location too (see our other blogs). This way all the locations will be quick to get to and a lot of time is not wasted on traveling from one place to another. This will same on some gas and limo service as well.
- Don’t cut corners with your only two records from this most important wedding day. Wedding Photography and wedding videography are your only record of the day.
- Do a (practice) drive from one location to another on the same day of the week as your wedding day. This will give you a guideline for how long it takes to get from one location to another. Use this information in your itinerary and invitation.
- Consider hiring wedding vendors that offer multiple services. Many companies offer big discounts on booking multiple wedding services on the same day at the same location. Milestone offers $250 in savings a for couples who book BOTH wedding photography and wedding videography on the same date.
- Shop for your reception hall on a Saturday during the normal wedding season. Dress properly for a wedding and you can check out these halls like a guest. Take a look in the rooms and see how they are decorated and how the food is served.
- Have a tasting at the hall on an actual wedding day to see how the actual food will taste. Bring others to have then give their opinion on the taste of the food.
- Consider writing and printing your own invitations. You must use expensive paper or parchment to give an expensive look.
- Wedding consultants and planners are great for organizing your wedding day, however they can be expensive. Some consultants require a “kick-back” from the vendors that they recommend. These “kick-back” consultants should be avoided because they should recommend vendors based solely on the vendors service quality not a “kick-back”. Consider hiring a less expensive “day of” wedding consultant. They will help with making an itinerary and getting things to run smoothly on your important wedding day. Another idea is have a friend who previously had a well-run and memorable wedding be your guide. She will make YOUR wedding day just a well-run and memorable. Friends have some great suggestions.
- Make a note of what romantic songs are important to you. That way you can make good suggestions to your DJ, band or videographer on what music to use on your most important wedding day. DJs play an average of 45 songs during an average wedding reception, so choose wisely.
- Make sure your wedding photographer allows you to keep and own your wedding photographs on DVD. Some wedding photography companies require that the couple order a certain amount of photographs (sometimes $3,000 worth) for the couple to have full rights and a DVD of the corrected wedding photographs.
- Consider having your wedding on a Sunday or Friday instead of a Saturday which is more popular. Also consider having your wedding in a slow month between November and April. Having your wedding on these less demanding times will earn you 10% discount for an off season or Sunday/Friday wedding. To save even more have your wedding on a weekday. This can save you up to 40% as well. Also your guests will have less conflicts when your wedding is the only one on a certain day. Milestone Photo and Video has offered may discounts for this in the past.
- If you are having trouble affording Limousines, consider hiring the limo starting AFTER the ceremony and having them just drive you to the reception and the service would finish at the beginning of the reception. Limiting the amount of time of the limo service (and the mileage) will lower the price of the service. The photographer will still have to limo for photos after the ceremony and at the reception.
- For a great way to entertain your guests at the reception consider showing a photo montage of old photos of the bride and groom growing up over the years at the wedding reception. This can be presented on a monitor during the cocktail hour or projected on a big screen during dinner. Milestone can do a montage and show it during the reception
- Send a “save the date” pre-invite card out before the actual invitation. This will make sure that your guests will reserve your wedding date BEFORE they receive your formal invitation. These “save the date” cards consist of a 4″x6″ photo usually an engagement photo of the couple and the date of the future wedding they should be sent about 9 months before the wedding date. Milestone Photo and video has made some great “save the date” cards in the past for a nominal charge.
- Consider picking out bridesmaids dresses that don’t look like obvious bridesmaids dresses. That way your bridesmaids will feel more comfortable and they can wear their investment on another occasion saving your bridesmaids money on clothing.
- Don’t plan your wedding on Super bowl Sunday or other day that may distract your guests or cause them not to show because of a date conflict.
- Instead of an expensive photo booth, have your photographer bring a separate photographer who only shoots portraits and group shots all over the reception and prints the photos at the reception just like a photo booth. Milestone can provide this service as well.
- Portillo’s makes great chocolate Chicago wedding cake. This cake is much less expensive than other wedding cake alternatives. You will need several Portillo’s chocolate bunt cakes depending on the number of guests at your wedding.
- You do not need to pay (directly) for a meal for your wedding vendors (photographer, videographer, DJ). You need to tell you hall that you have 2 or 3 vendors that need to eat but don’t include them in your guest count. On the wedding date these vendors will take the meals or places of your no-shows. In the event of all people showing the hall should still be aware that these vendors need to eat and they should be able to accommodate these vendors.
- A lot of time is wasted getting guests from ceremony to the reception. Consider moving the wedding ceremony to the reception site. This is especially good for couples who do not regularly attend church or are not very religious or are short on time for their wedding. Rev. Phil Landers, of I do weddings a professional wedding reverend, can be a perform a scripted and personalized wedding ceremony that the guests will remember.
- For your honeymoon trip, book an all inclusive package so there are to surprise charges for room and food.
- DJs charge much less than Bands, and do a better job of keeping the wedding well structured. Bands offer a more personalized service, but choose one that gets things done according to your itinerary.
- If the couple likes the look of chair covers that cost as much as $6 per chair. Try to find a reception hall that will throw it in as a bonus.
- To save money on a sign in book; hire a photographer who provides a free sign in Engagement photo that the guests sign around the edge of the engagement photo. Milestone makes an 19″x13″ engagement photo mounted on a 20″x30″ black matt that guests sign with gold and silver pens.
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
Worth Metro Water Reclamation District.
Worth Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Worth IL. It is located at 115th & Harlem just of the bridge on the east side. This place is awesome, it is free to use for wedding photographers in Chicago, you just need to call 312-751-5600 and get permission to shoot there. There are several bridges, several layers of water falls, and many weeping willow trees. There is also a building that has posts and a cool vanishing point in the shade. PROS: Free use, waterfalls, not used as much as other places, it ahs many places to shoot with waterfalls, lakes, trees and bridges as scenery. This is a great place for a Chicago wedding photographer to shoot wedding photos in the sounth Chicago suburbs. Cons: none Check out: http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Georgios_Orthodox/ and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Garden_Chalet/
Oak Lawn City Hall Gazebo
Oak Lawn City Hall (Gazebo), Oak Lawn IL. Oak lawn city hall is located just north of 95th street at 9446 South Raymond avenue, Oak Lawn IL. The actual Gazebo is right behind the City Hall. Please call 708-636-4400 for info on permission to shoot here. I love this place, though it is not very popular so you won’t have to fight the crowds to shoot here. I took this picture around Christmas and it looked awesome. There is a large field lined with bushes and at one end, a huge gazebo, decorated with Christmas lights! PROS: Gazebo is great for shade, Located right by 95th street, Christmas lights lend a mood for night shots. I do not think there is a fee to shoot there. CONS: Not alot of shade aside from the gazebo: check out the photos athttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/
Lake Katherine Palos Heights IL, It is located off Route 83 at:7402 Lake Katherine Drive Palos Heights, IL For permission to shoot there call (708) 361-1873 there is a $75 fee to shoot there. Lake Katherine is a great place to shoot Chicago wedding photography in the south Chicago suburbs. It features Gardens, a great multi-stage waterfall, wooded areas. a bridge and some nice shady areas. PROS: Shady, waterfall, beautiful flowers, grassy areas. CONS: It costs $75 to shoot there. Chcek out Milestone photo and video’s photos there http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g114/
Fabyan Forest Preserve Geneva:1925 S. Batavia Ave. (RTE 25) Geneva IL. Fabian Forrest preserve is on the eastern banks of the scenic Fox River in Geneva. This pretty yet Unknown park features Scenic views of the Fox River and mini lighthouse, trees, shade, huge lawns, a bridge over the river and a beautiful restored Windmill built in 1875 and (featured on a famous stamp) that really works and you can even explore its workings. Pros: Shade, River views, Beautiful Lawns, Windmill is one of the nicest in Chicagoland, Undiscovered site has very few others taking pictures (no waiting) Cons: Long walk to picture area.
Philips Park Aurora
Philips Park is located at 901 ray moses drive Aurora IL. Philips park is a multi use park that has a zoo, golf course and sunken gardens.Thease sunken gardens are beautiful and are quite famous. However there is no shade there, so shooting on a sunny day can be tough to put people in the shade. This park can be better on a cloudy day. Pros: Cool location for photos with great flowers. Cons: no shade, possible fee for shooting.
Boy Scout Island, Saint Charles IL. It is located on the east side of route 31, about a half-mile north of North Avenue in Saint Charles IL. Boy scout Island is a peninsula that is used to launch boats on the Fox River in Saint Charles IL. This peninsula juts into the water to enable some great River views with the pretty and scenic views of the town of Saint Charles in the background of the river. This spot is beautiful at dusk as the lights of downtown Saint Charles glimmer and dance in the reflection on the water. Hotel Baker a beautiful hotel just south of the peninsula, it has similar views with a tiny Gazebo right on the edge of the water. Pros: Great river and city views, no fees, Cons: Small parking lot, not a lot of versatility with just the river view.
Island Park, Geneva Park District. Is located at Routes 25 & 38 in Geneva IL. Island Park is a peninsula that extends south of Roosevelt road and is between two tributaries of the Fox River. This park has many trees, flowers, ducks and beautiful river views. And there is a view of the Roosevelt avenue waterfall north of the bridge. Pros: Versatile place with many views of river, flowers, trees,; Lots of shade. Cons: park on Roosevelt and walk quite a ways to the pretty places for photos.
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
The most important decision that someone can make when purchasing a digital Camcorder is. What digital format should I get? Mini DV? HD SLR? DVD-R? Hard Drive? Flash Media? HDV? ACVHD? Which is best for a Chicago wedding videographer? I will help to explain which format is best for different uses. What would be best for one user is not best for all. Please read below to compare recording formats.
MINI DV camcorders:
The earliest digital recording medium. 6MM matchbook size tape cost $3 for a one hour tape. Record time 60 minutes Standard SP speed 90 minutes LP speed. Camera cost range: $250-$3000. Designed for someone who wants to shoot video to be edited later (Maybe months or years later) on a non-linear editing system IE: Imovie, windows movie maker & Adobe Premiere. The footage is digitized into Imovie by hooking the camera up to the IEEE 1394 “Firewire” connector on a computer and digitized onto a hard drive on the computer in real time.
Advantages: Oldest Digital recording format yields the most compatible equipment and software for editing. Highest quality picture and sound (in standard resolution) least compression than the other recording formats. There is not signal loss when digitizing mini DV footage. Lower battery drain because the tape drive uses less power than DVD-R and Hard Drive units. Easy and inexpensive archival of footage IE: The tapes are inexpensive and they do not need to be re-used for another shoot. With other formats (like Hard Drive recording) the media in the camera is reused and the footage must be archived before editing (or re-shooting on the reusable media) can commence.
Disadvantages: The tape must be played on the camera itself to watch the footage, unlike DVD-R cameras. The tape has to be digitized in real time IE: 1 hour of footage takes 1 hour to digitize into the hard drive of the computer. You have to pay $3 for camera tapes; record time is either 1-hour in Standard Play or 90 minutes on Long Play. The picture quality is the same for both record lengths, but Long Play gets a glitch during edits done in camera.
Bottom Line: Mini DV is great for someone who is going to edit their work and they do not have to archive the footage elsewhere if editing is not going to commence soon. People who do video for a living or can’t edit stuff right away and work on more than one project at a time will like mini DV. Most Professional videograohers who shoot wedding videography use Mini DV or the next category HDV Mini DV. This is the norm in Chicago, New York, L.A. and most of Illinois and the Midwest.
HDV Mini DV Camcorders:
HDV is a high definition version of mini DV. The cameras range from $950 to $9,000 for a high end pro model. HDV cameras can shoot on standard mini DV or HDV High Definition using a more expensive special Mini DV tape that costs $13 to $20 as opposed to the $3 tape that mini DV uses. The Camera shoots a special version of high definition that is compressed using “MPEG2” compression that allows 4 times the resolution of a high Definition signal to use the same 25 megabytes per second data rate that standard mini DV uses. There are several Professional camcorders from Sony, Cannon and JVC that shoot HDV on a mini DV tape they range in price from $2600 to $9000
Advantages: Same as mentioned for Mini DV, The picture is quality is better and is more compatible with editing systems than “ACVHD” (a different version of compressed High Definition). HDV footage can be converted to standard resolution for viewing or standard editing. HDV footage can be converted to either HDcam, HD DVD or Blu-Ray DVD so it is the most compatible or the High Definition formats and editing systems.
Disadvantages: Uses more expensive tape than Mini DV. The cameras are more expensive than “ACVHD” high definition camcorders. Battery drain is more than mini DV but is still less than Hard Drive and DVD-R cameras. All high definition cameras (HDV included) are worse in low light than standard definition cameras because they have more pixels (4 times more) sharing the same amount of light coming through the lens. Editing HDV footage puts more strain on the computer, so there are more technical problems on computers that edit HDV footage, many times computes must be upgraded to edit HDV footage. In order to enjoy the footage in full high definition you must burn either a Blu-ray or HD DVD Disc and both the burners and the blank discs are pretty pricey.
The Bottom Line: HDV Cameras are for the professional or serious video consumer who wants to “future proof” his camera purchase and be compatible with high definition technology. The purchaser should bring extra lights for High Definition shoots because the camera needs more light. Milestone Photo and video an expert wedding videographer in Chicago uses HDV.
Hard Drive Camcorders (HDD)
Hard Drive Cameras are a newer technology than Mini DV. They range from $400 to $1500. The Hard Drive camera replaces the tape drive of the Mini DV with an 8 Gigabyte to 80 Gigabyte non-removable hard drive for recording. These cameras don’t require media because you reuse a built in hard drive every time you shoot video. When you want to edit a your footage, you hook a USB2 cable to the camera from your editing computer and transfer the footage into the computer’s hard drive at 4 times “real time” or you can edit using the built in hard drive on the camera. These camcorders can shoot at different quality levels. On a 30-gigabyte camcorder, you can shoot 7 hours of High quality footage, 15 hours at standard quality & 37 hours at economy quality. Some hard drive cameras can also shoot on High Definition as well. These cameras are knows as “AVCHD” which is yet another compressed version of High Definition that uses “MPEG 4” which is a lower quality type of compression than the previously mentioned “HDV”. More about “AVCHD” later.
Advantages: variable quality levels variable record times. Some of these cameras can do simple editing without a computer connected. The record time without changing tapes is the longest. You can shoot a 12-hour concert without changing tapes or missing a beat. No discs or tapes to buy for a shoot. Footage is transferred to an editing non-linear computer editor at four times “real time” or better (on lower quality settings).
Disadvantages: Since you are re-using the record media for every shoot, once you have used up the camera’s internal hard drive, you cannot record any more footage until the internal camera hard drive is transferred to another hard drive for archiving. If the editing session is delayed for months the footage must take up valuable space on the hard drive of the editors computer. There is no non-volatile archive of the footage like tape based shooting (mini DV) If the camera is bumped while recording, the hard drive can “crash” which may ruin all the footage that is recorded on the internal hard drive on the camera. The battery drain is worse than Mini DV, Mini DV HDV & flash memory but is better than DVD-R
Bottom Line: Consumer or hobbyists who want to record long programs without interruption, and are only working on one project at a time will like Hard Drive Camcorders. It would be nice if the hard drive on these cameras was switchable by the camcorder’s user to make it easier to archive footage since hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper. Alas these camcorders require a technician to replace a hard drive. There are some external professional hard drive units that can attach to mini DV camera’s “firewire” connector to make a camera be both a Mini DV camera and hard drive camera that gives those cameras the best of both worlds.
Flash Memory Camcorders: SD, Compact Flash, Memory Stick, P2 cards
These are the, smallest, newest and most robust technology for camcorders available. Although HD SLRs use flash memory too, I treat them separate below because they are quite a different animal. They range from $60 all the way up to $12000 for the newest High Definition Flash memory pro camera from Sony and Panasonic and RED. The recording device of these camcorders is flash memory, identical to the memory used in consumer digital camcorders. This solid-state chip records footage digitally similar to (previously mentioned) hard drive. This chip has no moving parts and the data is not lost when the re-usable media is removed from the camera and replaced with a fresh card. Secure Digital (SD Card), compact Flash or Memory Stick are the most popular types of cards used. Since flash cards (at the time of this article) can be up to 32 gigabytes (cost of an 8 gig card $85) the record time is less than with hard drive cameras (also they usually compress the video more to fit more data). They are loaded into a computer for editing much like a digital camera loads photos. Once the footage is in the non-linear editing computer the card may be erased and reused to shoot something else. The media is reused similar to a Hard drive Camera except the media can be switched with a blank memory card when blank media runs out. Some flash memory cameras can also shoot on High Definition as well. These cameras are knows as “AVCHD” which is yet another compressed version of High Definition that uses “MPEG 4” which is a lower quality type of compression than the previously mentioned “HDV”. More about “AVCHD” later.
Advantages: This technology makes it possible to make the smallest and most robust camcorders possible. Similar to hard drive cameras these cameras have variable quality levels variable record times. The advantage over hard drive camcorders is that flash Media camcorder’s record media is user replaceable, so multiple SD cards can be used to archive footage, with hard drive camcorders you can’t switch hard drives. Also you can either transfer footage into a computer using the camera and a USB 2 cable or you can put the actual secure digital card into a fast card reader for lightning fast transfer into a computer. Since the chip has no moving parts it has the least battery drain of all camcorders; sharply hitting the camera while recording cannot cause the flash memory chip to “crash” like on a hard drive. This is the most robust of all recording media but the cost per gigabyte (or minute) is the highest. Some of these flash memory units can also do some simple editing without a computer. Some expensive plasma TVs have a slot for flash media, some units can play video directly from the flash memory onto the plasma screen. The price of flash memory is dropping faster than the cost of hard drive memory, so media will cost much less in a year or so.
Disadvantages: These cameras use expensive reusable memory that must be purchased before using the camera; unlike hard drive camcorders that come with the hard drive media included. The price of an 8-gigabyte memory card is $84 and it will record at the highest quality for about 3 hours and the lowest quality for 15 hours. Because the reusable media must be archived on the editors computer; that means the if editing session is delayed for months, the footage must take up valuable space on the hard drive of the editors computer. Because flash memory is more expensive than hard drive camcorders, most users shoot at lower quality levels than users who use hard drive camcorders. If you want to shoot a lot of hours without downloading to a computer in between shots, be prepared to spend a lot of money for memory. This may be a moot point because the prices of flash memory are falling very fast.
Bottom Line: Flash media is the future of digital video and music; just look what it did to digital cameras and MP3 players. Consumers and hobbyists who don’t need a lot of record time, want a small camera that is robust and inexpensive, and can archive their footage on an external hard drive, will love flash media camcorders for their speed, simplicity any small size. One note: When flash memory drops to the point of being less expensive than a hard drive memory, hard drive camcorders will be obsolete. In the future all camcorders will use this technology for recording.
HD SLR Still Cameras that also shoot super high quality HD Videos (Newest addition!)
HD DSLRs have been around since January 2008 and are the latest technology for the Wedding videographer, photographer or filmmaker working in Chicago New York or LA. DSLR’s This type of Camera shoots Photos and high quality HD video using the same camera and the same flash based recording media. DSLR’s have a HUGE image sensor that is 20 times the size of many professional 3-chip digital video camcorders. The difference is the DSLR has only ONE CHIP, a really BIG chip that enables the use of higher optical quality glass lenses that are used in SLR digital photography. The advantage is that since the image sensor is larger, the video created has better resolution, better dynamic range and less lens distortion than smaller chipped 3-chip camcorders. Since the Photo/Video cameras can take all Canon Or Nikon photo lenses (depending on camera model), many different photo” looks” (using photography lenses) can be applied to wedding videography. One of the best uses of these dual use cameras is to shoot using a wide open F-stop that yields a shallow depth of field. This feature makes the wedding videographer capable of having a bride and groom be in focus in the foreground and have the background be very out of focus. This out of focus area is called Bokeh. The wedding videographer can also rack-focus from a close foreground object to a distant giving a cool cinematic look that is difficult with a standard 3 chip video camcorder. Most of these dual use cameras record onto SD or Compact flash using the AVCHD format (see AVCHD below) which is a version of MPEG 4 and H264. These cameras do not record very good sound quality (some cheaper units have no external mic input) and most wedding videographers use a separate audio recording device and sync the sound latter. The Canon 5D mark II is the highest quality HDSLR from Canon it is the only HD SLR that uses a full size image sensor. The Canon 7D and the Nikon D3100, D5100, D7000 all shoot HD video but have a smaller image sensor with a 28.8 mm diagonal image sensor. The Canon 5D mark II has a 33 mm diagonal image sensor.
Advantages: HD SLRs get better raw picture quality than any other type of video camera. The ability to change lenses and use incredible capable photo lenses makes these cameras only as good as the lenses you are using. The ability to control focus and aperture is better than most video cameras. The ability to switch between shooting photography and videography with the very same camera makes a wedding photographer able to shoot photos and video with the same camera and same expensive lenses. This shooting photo and video with the same camera is called “photo and video fusion”. Milestone photo and video is one of the fist companies to shoot both photo and video fusion with the same camera!
Disadvantages: HD SLRs us a photo CMOS sensor. These sensors can get hot from extended video shots causing the sensor to overheat for longer shots. The first generation HD SLRs could only record for up to 5 minutes per shot, like the Nilon D90. The newer HD SLRs can shoot up to 20 minutes, this is a problem for shooting longer programs. Also some of the AVCHD files these cameras create, can be difficult for some non-linear editors to handle. Other things that may pose a challenge for a videographer are: the cameras do not record very good sound, so most wedding videographers opt to record the sound on a separate camcorder or sound system. Also, since still camera zoom don’t have a power zoom, you can’t smoothly zoom into our out of an object. Zooming should be done between shots. The autofocus system on the Nikon HD SLRs have autofocus that is not as well adapted for video than a real video camera. All the Canon HD SLRs can’t use the autofocus on the camera or lens at all. This makes the wedding videographer/cinematographer have to focus constantly to keep the objects he is shooting in focus. These cameras work best when used with other conventional camcorders. Also the form factor is not made for shooting video. The ergonomics of these cameras are not made for shooting video. You must get a LCD magnifier (hoodman or Zacuto) or hood for shooting outside and to see if you are in focus.
Bottom Line: These cameras get better picture quality than anything else out there. The ability to use (and change) photo lenses gives these cameras great optical powers. There is a trade-off with the disadvantage of recording on separate audio equipment, not being able to zoom smoothly and the limited recording time. These cameras are best used in conjunction with other types of camcorders on this list.
AVCHD Compression used in flash, HDD and DVD-R camcorders:
advanced video codec high definition. This is a high definition compression format that compresses the high definition video so it can be recorded (for presentation) to an inexpensive DVD-R media instead of the much more expensive Blu-Ray media. This is the only way to record a video for presentation, without using a pricey blu-ray burner, which costs $800. Also the blu-ray media itself costs $20 for a 25-gigabyte disc. This less expensive type of high definition video uses inexpensive .40-cent discs but they can be played on expensive ($400) Blu-Ray high definition disc players at a lower quality than HDV footage converted to Blu-ray disc. These AVCHD recordings are intended to be played on a Blu-ray payer or on a computer equipped with special software. This compression technology is incorporated into some of the more expensive hard drive, flash media and DVD-R camcorders so you can burn a direct output of your unedited footage directly onto a standard inexpensive DVD-R burner at high definition quality.
ADVANTAGES: AVCHD enables the cost conscious consumer to shoot and present unedited high definition video without needing expensive blu-ray media ($20 per disc) or an expensive blu-ray burner (burner cost $800) Because the data rate is low, an inexpensive AVCHD flash media camcorder can shoot 43 minutes of high definition on an inexpensive 4 gigabyte secure digital card.
Disadvantages: AVCHD signals are not intended to be edited later although imovie intends on adding AVCHD support to their next upgrade. AVCHD is much lower quality than HDV compression for high definition discussed earlier. ACVHD has a data rate of 15 megabytes per second and HDV has a data rate of 25 megabytes per second. ACVHD is not compatible with blu-ray competitor, HD-DVD. However HDV high definition MPEG 2 compression is compatible with BOTH blu-ray AN HD DVD. Like all High definition camcorders, you need extra light to get an acceptable picture from these camcorders.
The Bottom Line: Although AVCHD is a cost cutting way of presenting high definition videos without the cost of Blu-ray media, when blu-ray becomes more popular and cheaper. I think that AVCHD may fall by they wayside except with small flash media camcorders that need a lot of compression to record to a small flash memory card.
Mini DVD-R, Mini Blu-Ray optical drives:
These camcorders are meant to shoot a finished product that is ready to play on a standard home DVD or Blu-Ray player. MINI DVD-R camcorders use media that not meant to be edited later. They use a mini 1.4-gigabyte mini version of a full size 4.7 gigabyte DVD. They range in price from $250 for a basic DVD-R model to $1400 for a Blu-Ray high definition model. If you are the kind of person who just wants to shoot video and enjoy it right away without doing any editing, this is the camera recording format for you. The record media is reasonably inexpensive for the Mini DVD-R about $2.50 for a disc that will record for 30 minutes the cost is $5 per hour (media cost) compared to $3 per hour cost of mini DV. The media for Blu-Ray discs is not readily available but when available it will be quite expensive. All Blu-Ray disc camcorders can also burn Mini DVD-R discs.
Advantages: These camcorders can play on any home or computer based DVD player the mini DVD-R sits in the inner ring of any DVD player. These DVDs can be copied and archived to any other DVD media in minutes including less expensive full size DVD-R media. These camcorders have a similar purpose to full size VHS camcorders of the 90s whose convenience is popular because homeVHS and DVD units are ready to watch the footage almost instantly.
Disadvantages: These Camcorders are not for shooting programs that will be edited later. It is a pain in the neck to try to digitize DVD footage and some non-linear systems force you to hook up a DVD player’s analog output to the analog input of the non-linear computer for editing purposes. If you will edit do not get DVD-R or Blu-Ray . DVD-R camcorders have the worst battery drain because the constantly spinning DVD uses the most power than any other camcorder format including hard drive camcorders.
Bottom Line: Although DVD-R camcorders are among the best selling in the consumer market, many people get them because they are impatient and want to see the footage on a home DVD player instantly, for these people DVD-R is great. Some of these impatient people may later realize that they want to edit their footage with imovie or some other non-linear system. It is then; that these people who choose DVD-R realize that one of the other recording formats would have been a better choice.
Multiple Format Camcorders:
After all this information is thrown at you, you might be thinking: I am confused, do I want flash media or DVD-R? Do I want DVD-R or hard drive? Some companies answer this question with versatile multiple format camcorders. Hitachi makes camcorders that record on both DVD-R AND Flash media; they also make a model that records on both DVD-R and Hard Drive. Sony makes several camcorders that record on BOTH a hard drive and flash media when the hard drive is full. Panasonic has a flash media camcorder that has an external 40 gigabyte hard drive that runs on batteries and it can back up the footage from a smaller flash media card in the field. Sony makes a battery operated external portable DVD-R recorder that can be hooked up to any mini DV camcorder so you can record on DV or DVD-R or both. For professionals, Panasonic makes a $6000 camcorder that shoots on mini DV tapes for standard resolution. If you want high definition you can shoot on “P2” 32-gigabyte flash cards at various high definition resolutions.
The Bottom line: Before everyone switches to the latest technology: Flash media, many people will be buying digital video cameras that give the amateur or professional a choice in recording formats. This feature will make the choice of which camcorder to buy easier for the wary consumer.
8 Millimeter and Digital 8 camcorders:
8MM is the last analog format to die a slow death at the stiff competition from the many digital video formats listed above. 8MM camcorders are similar to mini DV camcorders but the quality is much worse because they are analog. The cost savings over mini DV camcorders is only $30 so I would not recommend 8 Millimeter cameras or their bastard brother “Digital 8”, which uses analog 8 MM tapes and records them digitally using mini DV’s type compression. The problem with Digital 8 camcorders is very few people have digital 8 so if you break the camcorder, you have to find someone that has this unusual camcorder to do anything with the footage. People who have alot of old 8mm tapes may like this type of camera because it can play their old tapes, but the lack of compatibility may spell the end of digital 8.
Hopefully I haven’t confused people who are trying to decide which camcorder to get.
Copyright 20011by Robert Busch no copying or reprint without my written permission.