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NEED ADVICE QUICK about video equipment

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lisa sermanNEED ADVICE QUICK about video equipment
by on Apr 13, 2008 at 1:50:43 am

I am a wedding videographer. I just got the Steadicam Merlin. I use a Sony PD170 camera. I need to get new on-camera lighting that is powerful enough to film at a dark wedding reception. Since I am using the Merlin, I cannot use any lights that are attached to a battery belt ( as this will mess up the balance of the Merlin). The lights must either plug into the cameras' XLR input or be able to attach a battery to the light. It seems that all I am able to find is a 20 watt battery operated light. I think I need something more powerful like a 50 or 100 watt so I don't have to turn the gain up past 9. Any suggestions?

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Mark SuszkoRe: NEED ADVICE QUICK about video equipment
by on Apr 15, 2008 at 4:18:35 am

This may sound crazy, but maybe skip the camera light... on the camera, that is.

Frankly, after decades of shooting news and events I have really come to hate the on-camera light in all forms. Its easy to abuse, hard to use with subtlety and control, it's best feature is that it is easy and compact. But for many jobs it would look way better if separated from the top of the camera and moved a foot or two to the side, and more diffused.

Maybe you could do this, holding the Merlin with one hand, the light with the other, powered off a coiled cord and a battery belt? Not the most elegant look, then again, you're already walking around with a camera on a stick... but you gain independent control of the lighting. What you do to hold the mic, well, then you're out of hands:-)

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George BurbanoRe: NEED ADVICE QUICK about video equipment
by on Apr 20, 2008 at 10:40:30 pm

I hope you got the vest with that merlin.. Or your forearms are going to be hurting the next day..

Not a good idea to use an on-camera light with the merlin or any other Gimbal system, it exagerates the pendulum type effect and makes the merlin more difficult to balance correctly.

But if you are going to use a light and want a good one, get a powerful one with dimming control. I like the frezzi 100watt dimmer with the softbox. Nice light. The Varilight is also a really nice light, and soft without a softbox.. but larger.. Both lights will be better if held seperately, rather than on the camera, while on the merlin. Once off the merlin, it produces a great light on camera..

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Darrell BeckRe: NEED ADVICE QUICK about video equipment
by on Apr 25, 2008 at 3:48:20 pm

I recently stopped using on-camera lighting for receptions. Look at this: It will allow you to use your Merlin.

But, it is less than 100 watts. You will have to gain up your camera, but it will still keep the mood of the room.

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