Griffin Hammond of Indy Mogul discusses the basics of wedding videography, from how to get your first gig, through what equipment you’ll need, how to set up your shots and how to tell a story with your video.
This is an excellent peek behind the curtain for any filmmaker, but especially for those aspiring to get into the lucrative wedding industry.
Griffin’s camera and gear set up is excellent. You can’t go wrong with a Panasonic Lumix GH3 or Panasonic Lumix GH2 for shooting video. Griffin also uses a GoPro Hero2 in the video. This is an excellent choice for a 3rd camera as it’s highly versatile and allows you to get lots of cool and unique shots, like the one below…
What will I need to get started?
Here’s some of the stuff that Griffin uses, plus a few recommendations of our own…
This is the best Hybrid Camera on the planet today. The GH3 will deliver top of class stills and video and is the most “pro level” mirrorless camera available. It performs incredibly well in low light, has blazing fast autofocus including advanced features like face detection, and will shoot 1080p video up to 72fps. The GH3 also has Wi-Fi capabilities and can be controlled with your iOS or Android device via the Free Panasonic Lumix Link App. As a micro 4/3 camera, the GH3 (and the GH2) have access to the largest selection of high quality lenses of any mirrorless camera. They’re also the most adaptable.
The former Panasonic Lumix Flagship Camera was, and is still one of the best video recording machines on the planet. The GH2 soundly defeated cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars in the 2012 Zacuto Shootout, and since the release of the GH3 it’s now one of the best values available today. Those who are on a budget might want to start out with pair of GH2s for your two camera setup vs a GH3 and a GH2. In head to head video tests, the GH2 competes fairly closely with it’s successor, but it gets outclassed by the GH3 in the still photos department. Of course, if video is your game then that’s not much of a concern.
The Hero3 comes in 3 different flavors… Black, Silver and White – with the Black Edition being the top of the line, the Silver Edition occupying the second tier and the White Edition chiming in on the entry level. We would highly recommend going for a Hero3 over a Hero2 because the new GoPro cameras have Wi-Fi capabilities, thus making them much easier to operate (>>Here’s a great comparison of all three GoPro Hero3 models and the GoPro Hero2<<). The Hero3 Black Edition now sells for $399, and the Silver Edition goes for $299. You can’t go wrong with either, but if it’s in the budget, we recommend the Black Edition.
Feature 360-degree Panning, 2 Leg Angle Positions for an extra measure of flexibility, a Recessed Center-Column Hook that allows you to hang additional weight from the tripod’s center of gravity for increased stability, a Separate Head and Pan Lock, a Precision Matched Q Series Ballhead, Integral Bubble Head and more. These tripods are compact yet sturdy and they come in 5 funky colors. We’ve actually found these be conversation starters, and when’s the last time you could say THAT about a Tripod? The entry level unit is the MeFOTO 1350Q0 Travel Tripod with Ballhead, but we recommend the MeFOTO 1350Q1A Travel Tripod with Ballhead (Titanium) – which extends a bit longer and can be converted into a monopod. (>>Learn More Here<<)
If you’re going to make videos, one of the most important components is high quality audio, and the Zoom H4n comes in at the top of the class for Portable Audio Recorders. It has 2 built in microphones that are in an “XY” configuration, which is ideal to record ambient room sound, and it has 2 XLR inputs that will allow you to hook up external microphones or tie into a DJs mixing board to capture optimal sound for all the important moments of your event. The H4n takes SD or SDHC memory cards, has a rugged build quality and delivers beautiful HD audio files. We personally use and highly recommend the H4n, but for a lower cost alternative, check out the TASCAM DR-40.
- ULTRAcompact folds easily for transport
- “C” mount detaches for transport; Quick Release features spring loaded ratchet knob
- Threaded 1/4″ holes for standard quick release plates
- Shoulder pad with threaded accessory mounts; Height adjustable Rails
- PTFE inserts ensure mar-free, non-movable handles and mountings
The Gold Standard for professional shotgun microphones. Features include…
- Broadcast recording quality condenser microphone
- Compact design (only 150mm/6 inches length)
- Ultra lightweight (only 85g/3oz)
- 9 volt battery powered, with up to 70 hours battery life (alkaline)
- Integrated shock mounting
- Portable digital recorder to slip into the grooms pocket during the ceremony
- WAV recording from 44.1/16-bit up to 96kHz/24-bit
- MP3 recording from 32k-320 kbps
- Records to MicroSD media (2GB card included)
- Two cardioid microphones with variable angle mechanism to adjust width and angle of microphone elements
To connect to the TASCAM DR-08 during the ceremony
- Good Sound
- Excellent Sensitivity & Feedback Rejection
- Included In All Vhf Body Packs
- Omni-Directional Microphone
This lens and the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 are about to be discontinued (at the time of this post) as Sigma are making new versions of these 2 lenses for their new “Art” lens lineup. Consequently, you can now get great deals on these lenses. I personally own both and highly recommend them. They’re well made, bright, fast, autofocus extremely well (and fast) and product beautiful, sharp images. With an aperture of 2.8, these lenses are great in low light.
This piece of equipment can be your secret weapon. It’s light weight, portable and sturdy and it allows you to easily create eye popping video effects that will separate you from the rest of the pack. Other video sliders of this quality sell for 3 to 4 times as much as the GlideGear, which comes in at only $99 USD. 23.6″ (60cm) Long Aluminum Track that can handle up to a 9kg load. Has self-lubricating rails, a tension adjustment knob with locking feature and a Spirit Level on the sled. Made of anodized aluminum with beautiful super polish finish. This is another piece of equipment that I personally own and use, and it rocks! (>>Learn More<<)
Ok… This is a pretty robust list, and the equipment here will definitely get you up and running with your own videography business. Check back to MirrorlessCentral often to learn more about micro 4/3 and mirrorless cameras, lenses and gear and the latest news, reviews and updates.