Spend five minutes reading this tip sheet to ensure you get the most out of your cameras…
The Sony HD camcorders I send out to you are really easy to use. They’ll be fully charged and good to go.
Flip open the screen to turn your camera on (you can rotate the screen for those ‘selfie’ moments).
Open the lens cover using the slider switch near the front of the camera.
To record, press the START/STOP button on the rear of the camera (you’ll see the STBY at the top of the screen, change to a REC.
To stop recording, press the START/STOP button again.
To protect the camera, keep the lens clean and save battery power, close the lens cover and fold the screen back in, whilst not in use.
Leave the Settings Alone (or I kill you)
The cameras’ settings are on automatic (so you don’t have to worry). Please don't change them as it may affect the quality of your video. If you accidentally press the Menu or the arrow button on the flip-out screen, or find yourself in a Menu screen, just close the screen for a couple of seconds. When you flip it back out you’ll be where you want to be.
Charging Your Cameras
If you need to give your camera's battery a boost, use the USB fly-lead that emerges from near START/STOP button at the rear of the camera (the USB plug is stowed in the hand strap). For the fastest charge, use the supplied charger and extension lead. you can use any other USB charger, or you can plug it into any USB socket on a computer or laptop, although charging times may vary.
Hold the Camera Horizontally
Do I even need to say this? Just in case…Keep the camera screen horizontal. This will match the ‘horizontalness’ of the telly or PC screen you eventually watch your final video on. Ignore this at your peril!
Keep the Camera Still (mostly)
Just because it’s movie camera, the actual camera doesn’t have to constantly move, unless you’re following the action, of course! Keep the camera steady as the action unfolds in front of you. Try to hold your position for around 10 seconds per shot, before moving onto the next.
Use the Zoom Sparingly
On the top of the camera you’ll see a rocker switch marked ‘W’ (wide) and ‘T’ (telephoto). This controls the zoom lens. Best results will be had by leaving the camera at its widest setting (ie NOT zoomed in). Doing this will ensure your video is less shaky. Shooting on wide also encourages you to get closer to your subjects, meaning that the camera’s on-board microphones will better pick up your friends’ words of wisdom! So just rock the switch towards ‘W’ to make sure you’re not zoomed in. And definitely don’t alter the zoom whilst recording: frame your shot first.
When in a Darkened Room
Whilst the cameras don't do a bad job in subdued lighting, the auto-focus may struggle to keep up. This is another reason not to use the zoom, as accurate focusing matters less.
What to Shoot
The bride and groom: they are the stars of the day so make sure they figure high on your hit list.
The preparations: At the start of the day, give one camera to the boys and another to the girls, so you can capture those pre-wedding moments. Footage taken now will definitely pay off!
Weddingy stuff: Tour the venue and film all the wedding paraphernalia; room and table decorations, cake, flowers, any little detail that people will want to remember.
The venue(s): make sure someone takes a couple of establishing shots (as we say, in the trade) of the venue(s). Name-signs, and a couple nice wide shots of the building’s exterior, would be nice.
People: How are your interview skills? Get friends and family to talk about the day, the happy couple, how they’re feeling, etc. If you can capture some messages for the bride and groom, so much the better.
The best bits: Don’t drain your battery and fill the camera’s memory with long stretches of the ceremony, speeches, etc. So, as well as all the above, stick to filming the highlights: the vows, the ‘You may now kiss the bride’ moment, entering/leaving venues, confetti throwing, cake-cutting, flower-throwing, the ‘toasty’ bits from the speeches, the first dance, etc. By including all this stuff, your video will be priceless!
Most importantly; have fun! If you have any questions on how to operate the cameras, please don’t hesitate to call or drop me a line.
Tel: 07714 769 369