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Portable video monitoring systems

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SkipnoPortable video monitoring systems
by on Aug 13, 2005 at 6:52:37 pm

Hello all,

I was fiddling around with this idea and wanted to know your opinions. How about having a battery-operated, wireless video transmitter and receiver attached to a videographer's utility belt, along with a 2.5" LCD screen, mounted via camera's shoe mount/hot shoe. The LCD would show the 2nd videographer's video output, and would be attached to the receiver. The LCD would also have a battery pack. Each camera would essentially have the same components, so that they can see exactly what the other is shooting.

I primarily shoot weddings, and thought this idea would eliminate the need for a 3rd "backup" videographer, since both people can see both angles simultaneously. I've looked around, and the cost would be no more than $500 per camera. My current setup is two Sony VX2000s and two Eartec TD-900 full-duplex walkie talkies.

Anyone's comments or suggestions would definitely be appreciated!


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David RennieRe: Portable video monitoring systems
by on Aug 13, 2005 at 7:03:03 pm

I use the shot watcher by vortex media. Though in my case it is a "one-way" flow. I do not have a second shot watcher for the B cam. I use a wireless communiction however to coordinate camera movements between the two shots. I find that in most cases this works very well.

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Peter RalphRe: Portable video monitoring systems
by on Aug 14, 2005 at 1:58:04 pm

It doesnt eliminate the value of voice communication - you also need to know what the other shooter is going to do 2 seconds form now

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Jeff CarpenterRe: Portable video monitoring systems
by on Aug 15, 2005 at 7:58:47 pm

I've done something like this, but not for weddings. I've used it for ballets where my other shooter is keeping a good, steady shot the whole time and slowly moving around the stage. Having a monitor allows her to avoid getting the exact same shot I'm getting.

But that only works if one of your shooters is trying to be "good" the whole time. For weddings we'd both need to move quickly at certain points so we aren't able to make use of such a system.

The closest idea that might work is to run BOTH of your cameras out to 2 monitors in the hallway and have a "director" telling you both on headsets what to do. This would allow the director to give a lot of detailed commands...the kind of things he couldn't say inside the ceremony as it would be distracting. That's one step up from having direct communication between the two shooters.

Do you always work with the same shooter? I always work with my wife so we've managed to come up with many different hand signals that mean different things. They're subtle things so they don't distract anyone and we don't have to talk out loud. For example, if I cross my arms and then do the standard "peace symbol" with my right hand on my left shoulder it's not something anyone else is going to really notice. But my wife now knows that I've got "2 people" in my shot, and based on the angle of my camera she can easily deduce that I mean I have both the bride AND the groom in my shot. She can then decide to zoom in on one or the other of them knowing that it will be different from my shot. We've made up dozens and they're all designed to be fairly small movements so the guests eyes aren't drawn to the movement of our hands.

That can only work if you use the same people every time, but if you can make something up and both learn it then it can be a great help.

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