My Basic Gear for a Multi-Camera Angle Shoot

What is your typical Multi-camera Setup when recording a performance, recital, concert, etc? Well here's a quick look at my most basic gear for three static camera angles. I typically go with (3) Panasonic GH4 cameras as I love the super long battery life, and 4K video recording all day (deliver 1080 but flexible in post for faux zooms and crops).

cheesycam-core-multi-camera-angle-shoot-gear

If i'm doing a 3 camera angle shoot, I find it's easier to match footage when you have the exact same cameras (same color profile, set same exposure, etc).

I also make sure to add a good microphone to each camera as you need really good scratch audio to do a quick sync in post. As a backup I also run timecode on all cameras and match them as close possible for post sync. In the photo you'll see i'll use either a Rode VideoMic Pro or Azden SMX-30.

I also try to use Sandisk 128GB SDXC Cards so I don't have to swap cards during the event, and record each video clip as long as possible. I find it's easier to sync a few long clips in post than a hundred small clips. Once the clips are synced in post, it's easy to cut out all the dead time.

For audio, I make sure to bring a few portable audio recorders (like Zoom H1) and set them up close to Audio Speakers, but i'll bring a Multitrack recorder (like Zoom H6) to plug directly into the sound board. The Zoom H6 offers dual recording in case sound peaks, and worst case scenario I can sometimes grab audio from the cameras (since they are mic'd up).

aspenmics-eartec-ultralite-headset-wireless-communicatorLearn-More-sm Ultralite Full Duplex Wireless Headset Kit

I also break out my hands free wireless headsets for each camera operator to make sure everyone is on the same page. Good communication is key between multiple operators.

Finally and totally optional, i've rigged up a dual monitor setup with Camera Motion Research Connex Wireless Video Kits. Super reliable and long range systems. So while i'm operating the main camera, I can get a feed from the two other camera angles and make sure I have a clear visual what everyone is covering. With our wireless headsets, I can direct the other two operators to make sure we cover the entire performance.

So that's a quick look at the core parts of how I tackle these quick Multi-camera angle shoots. Do you have any favorite pieces of gear of tips you'd like to share?

 10 Comments





10 thoughts on “My Basic Gear for a Multi-Camera Angle Shoot

  1. Post author

    @Apostolos - First, very high end walkies actually need a license to operate (though many people don't bother). Then you have to worry about wearing it as a belt pack, running the wires, and having a small earpiece. And you also have to worry about other people jumping on your channels. Walkies also require a push to talk and is not 'open' full duplex.

    The Eartec system is digital and is on it's own encrypted channel. Nothing else gets in or interferes. (i've used this at the Nascar event and worked even across the entire track while we split up). The Eartec is just a headpiece, no wires no belt pack. Set it down, or put it on. The 'Full Duplex' part is the most amazing as everyone is talking literally at the exact same time. No push to talk buttons. If you want to mute, just raise the mic piece.

    I know what you mean, we've worked with walkie systems for years, but once you try this, it's really hard to go back. I'll do a better review soon.

  2. Any reason why regular walkie talkies with headsets would not work in a wedding? These Eartecs seem nice but they are pricey. You can get high quality walkie talkies and headsets for on fourth the price.

  3. As always awesome content Emm!

    @Chris, we used to use lots of Manfrotto tripods, and they do make some nice ones. This year upgraded to a Sachtler, and never looked back. They are truly excellent.

  4. Bob

    I too use 2 GH4's for my multicam shoots. As such I was interested in your saying you also run timecode on all cameras. Are you actually using a timecode generator like a tentacle sync or something similar? I have never used one and try to set all my clocks a close as possible. I sure wish the Panasonic phone app would allow you to set the camera clock like gopro app does?

  5. Post author

    @VanWeddings - Honestly I haven't been looking. Everyone I know thought the same thing when they saw it wasn't a tiny earpiece. After using it, they haven't gone back to the small earpieces. The single full ear cover blocks out ambient noise so you really hear each other. We took these kits to Nascar which was crazy crazy loud on the racetrack. Other people would stand near each other yelling, we talked normally. You can pretty much whisper and it's clear on the other end. A friend of mine used the 4pc kit while coaching a football team. He said it was the best thing ever as after the game he didn't lose his voice yelling like he normally would. So far, i'm a fan of the full ear cover, and haven't even looked any the earbud stuff anymore.

  6. Ditto on your recommendations, we used a GH4 + GX8 on a film project as a two-camera shoot; the GH4 had a Rode Videomic Go and the GX8 had no external mic. We boomed all of the audio using a Rode shotgun in a blimp connected to a Tascam DR-40.

    Lenses were exclusively Voigtlander f0.95 (nicely matched), usually the 17.5mm on one camera and the 25mm on the other. Our indoor, poorly lit shoot would have been impossible without this.

    All-in-all, was very happy with the results. Audio could have been a bit better (getting levels right on the DR-40 was tricky) but decent and the video all looks cinema-quality, to me!

    For the next shoot, I'll invest in some new high-quality video tripod heads. We have one video tripod head and the shots looked good but not as smooth as I would like. (Of course the current trend is lots of handheld, but I am not a fan of it except in particular types of scenes.)

    While it wasn't too difficult to sync video via the audio tracks. The DR-40 had to have the time set after every battery swap so, many days, the times were off quite a bit. (A small + inexperienced crew, but we still produced a feature-length film with some great footage!) In the future we'll go back to the standard "scene 4, take 5" style of action call (and maybe an iPad as a "clapper"). Often we'd have a bunch of takes and it was difficult to distinguish.

    Crew was generally: director (who called action/cut), DP (me) running the GH4, second DP running the GX8, boom operator. I and the second DP would work lighting as well.

  7. Pretty neat! What wireless system are you using to communicate? I haven't found and affordable and reliable one yet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



RSS Feed Widget


Top Selling Drones