Why You Need a Wedding Cinematographer

Congratulations, you're engaged!

If you're a guy, you finally saved enough to get your girl the ring she always wanted. And when you asked her to spend the rest of her life with you, she actually said "Yes!"

If you're a girl, your man has finally grown up and gotten it together. He just got down on one knee in front of all of your friends and family and asked you to be his. How can it get any better?

And now comes the hard part…

Budget. Choices. The guest list. Very few engaged couples out there have a bottomless pool of money to spend on their Big Day, so tough decisions need to be made. Where do you splurge? In what areas do you cut back?

From my experience, when things get tight for potential clients, the first thing to get downsized, or cut completely, is the budget for wedding cinematography.

Now if anything that I just mentioned sounds familiar, or if you're just on the fence with whether or not you even need a wedding film, I think this entry will help you make a decision…

 

IT’S FOR YOU

The wedding day goes by quick. If you’re the bride, you wake up at the crack of dawn for hair and makeup. You barely eat. You have a million little thoughts going through your head. Before you know it, it’s time to say your “I do’s.” Then you blink, and you’re cutting the cake. And before you know it, you’re hitting the dance floor with your new husband. And at the end of it all, you’re thinking –

“Where did the time go?”

Hiring a wedding cinematographer let’s you step outside yourself and relive the entire day. You get to see all those little moments that you missed. You get to admire all of the details that you invested in, from the cake, to the flowers, to the venue.

And that rush of emotion you felt when you said “I do?” It’s forever captured, and you get to re-live it each time you watch your wedding film.

 

IT’S FOR YOUR FAMILY

We all have family members that live out of state, or for some of you – out of the country. And when you’re getting married, not everyone that you invite can make it out to your Big Day.

Having a professionally made wedding video allows you to share the biggest day of your life with the loved ones that couldn’t make it. And if done right, watching the film will make them feel like they were physically there.

A couple of years ago, one of my brides was sad because her grandmother fell ill right before her wedding. She would pass on a few months later, but not before the bride was able to share with her the films that captured her Big Day.

Memories are so important, and we need to treasure them and share them with those that we love.

 

IT’S FOR YOUR KIDS

One day, a few years from now, you’re going to have kids. Those kids are going to call you “mom” and “dad.” And for a good chunk of their lives, they’re only going to know you as their providers – the ones that put food on the table and clothes on their back. For a long time, it will be hard for them to see you as anything beyond that.

It will come as a shock to your future children that you were once young. A step or two quicker. A few pounds thinner. What will be an even bigger surprise is that you weren’t always married.

You were single, and then one day, you decided to change that.

Let’s change gears just a bit… We live amongst a YouTube generation. People today consume videos, not pictures, at an alarming rate. And this is a trend that’s going to grow as years pass.

Showing your future children your wedding film will do two things… First, it will let your kids watch one of the biggest days of your life (and ultimately, their life) through a medium that they are familiar and comfortable with. Secondly, it will remind them that their parents are actually…. People.

 

WHAT WE DO FOR YOU AT MOKA VISUALS

Here at Moka Visuals, we take documenting your Big Day seriously. We frame every shot cinematically. We will take the audio and video that we capture from your wedding and creatively handcraft a story… Your story.

We want to create a film with you and your fiancé as the stars.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Then how much more valuable is a film made up of thousands of individual frames?

Well that’s my two cents. I think I've said enough on the subject.  =] If you have any questions or comments, please let me know! We're eager to hear from you!

-Myron

HANDS ON WITH THE SONY FS5 -- MY THOUGHTS

After months of debate, research, and comparisons with other camera models, I finally purchased the Sony FS5 on January 12, 2016!

(Feels a bit like I'm announcing my newborn baby.)

Here’s a rundown of my thoughts so far –

THE FS5 VS THE FS7

Why choose the FS5 over the FS7? For me it came down to the cost verses the benefits.

Size Comparison: FS5: $5599.99 vs FS7: $7999.99

Size Comparison: FS5: $5599.99 vs FS7: $7999.99

In terms of cost, we all know that buying the camera body is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you tack on the necessary accessories and adapters, the price can take leaps above the sticker price of the camera.

Even though the price was a bit steep, I have to say that this is a perfect camera when it comes to shooting run n' gun. Weddings. Documentaries. Journalism. Events. This camera has you covered.

DECIDING FEATURES

  • It’s great to see that the camera takes SDXC Class 10 U3 cards, which means that the majority of users out there won’t have to upgrade their re-writeable media.
  • The ELECTRONIC VARIABLE ND is one of the main reasons why I purchased the FS5. It’s the first on a Super35mm system, and it works perfectly.
  • CLEAR IMAGE ZOOM is seriously a nice touch… When using my trusty 24-105mm Canon lens, there would be moments when I would want to punch in just a little more... and what do you know... I CAN – with zero loss in quality. 

WORKING WITH FS5 FOOTAGE

When it comes to the codec, the XAVC-L has been easy to work with in post-processing. Most computers should be able to handle the codec, with some possible lag when dealing with 4k resolution footage.

I’m still a bit of a newbie when it comes to working with Sony’s color science. I’m used to color grading Panasonic GH4 footage, along with clips out of a Canon 5D, C100, C300. Luckily, the footage is easy to work with, and you can match different cameras with just a wee bit of effort.

CAMERA ISSUES

I have found certain issues that I hope will be addressed with future firmware updates. The main problems have to do with macroblocking and noise in the footage. I filmed a test video that confirms what many other FS5 owners are experiencing –

However, it is still relatively early in the camera’s shelf life, so I expect Sony to fix the bugs very soon.

EDIT: Looks like Sony is on top of things. They are aware of the cameras issues and commits to having everything resolved by the end of February –

http://www.newsshooter.com/2016/01/27/sony-acknowledge-fs5-issues-aim-to-update-firmware-by-end-of-february/

PARTING THOUGHTS

Overall, I’m happy with the camera. Even with its current issues, Sony has heard our cry and responded with an immediate investigation to insure their loyal customers get the best quality and results this camera should provide.

Maybe someday I will purchase the FS7 for studio work, but the way the FS7 is set up, with it's menu delay, ergonomics, weight, and not to mention the extra cash I would have to invest...it just didn't fit the bill.

If you have 5500 to invest and you’re in the need for a new camera, definitely go buy this camera. You can’t go wrong with it!

-William Kil

 

 

 

Why I'm Switching from Canon to Sony

In the last two years, there has been a massive shift in the pro-sumer video market, as cinematographers and videographers have been switching from Canon to Sony cameras as their main tool for image capture.

I’ve been a faithful Canon user for many years, starting with the T2I (my first DSLR), going all the way to the 5d Mark III, and the C100 that I still occasionally use now. Their cameras have always been easy to use and presented a cinematic image that was easy to work with and pleasing to clients.

The Canon T2I... The camera that started it all for me!

The Canon T2I... The camera that started it all for me!

Now with all things in life, I have an aversion to change.  And true to form, I was one of the last of my compadres to make the switch to Sony. And even though I’m still in the midst of making the transition, I don’t think I will be going back.

Below are some of the reasons why I’ve made the switch –

FEATURES

Canon is notorious for crippling in-camera features to protect the sales of their higher-end cameras.

Take the original C100 for example… It’s one hell of a camera, except for one major flaw – NO SLOW MOTION. (WTF, right?) This really is a simple feature to include, hell, even most of the DSLR’s in Canon’s product line have it.

What was Canon thinking to not include this simple feature in a $5000 camera? Well I’ll tell you –


 The Canon C100 -- a great camera, yes. Overpriced? Double yes.

 The Canon C100 -- a great camera, yes. Overpriced? Double yes.

They want you to pay thousands more and get the C300.

But then here came Sony, offering feature-packed cameras for a lot less $$$.

Look at the A7S mark II. This little camera has it all, and a big of chips. You want internal 4K recording? Check. Slow motion? You get 60fps and 120fps. Log mode? You get Slog2 and Slog3. How are the low light capabilities? You can film in Sicario’s border-crossing caves and not even need night-vision goggles.  (A slight exaggeration, but you get my point. Helluva movie, by the way.)

The A7S II -- big things in a small package!

The A7S II -- big things in a small package!

And what’s the cherry on top? Internal image stabilization, which works REALLY, REALLY, REALLY well. I love it. Let me say it again – I love it.

PRICE

Canon’s C-series cameras are overpriced. Plain and simple.

Don’t get me wrong --  they’re ergonomic, produce a great image, and are very easy to use.  Their cameras also have that “special sauce” which makes skin tones look totally killer, even in run & gun shoots where lighting is far from optimal.

But come on – $4500 (after a recent price drop) for a Canon C100 Mark II, which doesn’t even record in 4k?

And how much would 4k cost in a Canon camera, you may ask? The Canon 1DC will run you $8000. And what’s worse – the C300 Mark II comes in at a not-so-cool $16000.

$16000?!?!

$16000?!?!

Yes, that’s right, you would need to sell your car to buy one.

For the sake of argument, I will say that Canon released a more affordable camera that captures 4k video footage – the CANON XC 10… But they decided to cripple it with a non-interchangeable lens (which is absolute $h*t, by the way) and a very small sensor.

I’m still scratching my head over this camera, by the way, and I know many of you are, too.

The Canon XC10... A whole lot of "shoulda-beens" in a little black box.

The Canon XC10... A whole lot of "shoulda-beens" in a little black box.

Compare these cameras with the feature packed Sony A7S II, which comes in at $3000. Or even the Sony FS5, which comes in at $5500.

For all intensive purposes, the FS5 looks to be the C100’s bigger, stronger, taller, more athletic, smarter, better looking older brother.

If the FS5 is Michael Jordan, the C100 is…everyone else. (Perhaps a slight exaggeration once again.)

I think you get the picture.

She's a beauty, ain't she?

She's a beauty, ain't she?

CUSTOMER CARE

I’m going to bring the FS5 back down to earth… Just a bit...

Early camera adopters have reported image issues, such as macro blocking and artifacts, in low light situations. Now issues like this are common with new cameras, but what’s really impressed me is how Sony is handling it.

They’ve been responding directly to user complaints as well as online blogs, letting everyone know that the issues are being researched and that they’re working on fixes.

Another example of Sony’s responsiveness is how they handled the “black hole sun” issue on the A7S II.

Let’s back track a bit -- in certain situations, when filming with the A7S II, the sun would appear as an unpleasant black spot in the frame.

Once Sony was aware of the issue, they immediately released a firmware update, fixing the problem, right-quick.

Bravo, Sony.

What does Canon do to address their problems? The answer to that is a bit complicated --

Out of the box, Canon cameras seem to do what they do with very little issues or problems. They work great. In fact, most of their customer complaints involve users venting about the crippled features in their cameras, or how everything is completely overpriced.

Canon and Sony seem to have two very different philosophies when releasing their cameras.

Sony seems to be dropping a camera every month. Unfortunately their products seem to be 95% of what they could be when they release, and they ask for customer patience while they work on that last 5 percent.

Canon, on the other hand, waits until their cameras are 100%, but they are unwilling to release significant updates or add features once they drop.

I can’t speak to what other consumers prefer, but I’m fully on board with the Sony philosophy.

WHAT CANON CAN DO TO WIN ME BACK

Canon has been all about protecting their bottom line. But from recent reports, their philosophy seems to be backfiring. They’re losing money. And fast.

What can they do to win customers back? I have a few ideas –

-Release a C200 with internal 4k at a competitive price ($6000) … If Canon were to do this, I guarantee that they’ll win back all of the users that left them to buy the FS5.

-Release the 5d Mark IV before the end of 2016. Make sure it records 4k internally… And make sure not to charge more than what the Mark III cost when it was released.

- Release an upgrade to the Canon XC10…let’s call it the XC20… and make sure that users can mount interchangeable lenses on it. And once again (I’m probably sounding like a broken record right now), please price it competitively.

Canon, if anyone out there is listening (which they’re probably not), all is not lost. You can win us all back.  Just don’t abandon the pro-sumer video market that you STARTED with the 5d Mark II.

You are the sleeping giant. It’s about time you wake up.

-Myron


Our Very First Post!!

Hey everyone out there in the blogosphere! You’re reading the very first post on our recently revamped website.

In the future, we will be telling you all about the equipment we use, as well as our thoughts on the new tech that seems to always be coming out. We will be bringing you the stories behind our shoots, and will probably even throw out a few random things here are there that we think are interesting (We hope you will, too!).

Whether we get one reader, one hundred readers, or one hundred million readers (One can hope, right?), the point of all this is not to be read, but to share.

This is our soapbox! And we hope you like what you see!!

-Myron