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The official To Tony Productions blog. Come here to check out updates on our newest projects and events!

Autumn and Brad 10-14-17

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Our latest video is the extended highlight film from the big day of Autumn and Brad! This was such a great and personal wedding for me. I met Autumn and Brad through my aunt who is close friends with their mother. Through the grapevine once they were engaged they contacted me and I was happy to help with all their video needs. Once I arrived to start filming the familial connection was pretty immediate, just being able to film and have fun with her mom as well as the bridesmaids was great. This is why not only do I love my career but it is these moments that just further validate the amazing moments we are invited to film.

This wedding was a bit smaller on the production scale, just utilizing a homely venue for the reception and a lovely catholic church for the ceremony. What it lacked in grandiose it more than made up for with a great group of loving and fun family. The food was great, the dancing was lively, and it was just an awesome time.

I am very pleased to present this video, our great team including Titus Burrell as my second videographer as well as our amazing editing staff work very hard to bring these videos to life. So without further delay please enjoy our latest video work featuring the beautiful day for Autumn and Brad!

https://vimeo.com/241720982

Random Trivia: In St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) Martin Balsam and Joyce Van Patten, who played Wendy's parents Mr. and Mrs. Beamish, were married in real life from 1957 to 1962.

About Last Weekend...

Still from our Drone at Turf Valley Resort

Still from our Drone at Turf Valley Resort

This past weekend was our first off in a long stretch. It has been a great season this year and is slowly coming to a close. We have at least one wedding each weekend through to the 2nd of December so this short break was a great chance to catch up and also do some much needed photo updates (more on that later this week).

On the last weekend of October though we were in full swing with the wedding of Karen and Jason at the lovely Turf Valley Resort. It was great working with a very talented team of vendors and also this marks the third wedding that we have filmed at this venue. Everything went off wonderfully and we even had a chance to fly the drone when we first arrived which made for some great footage.

Daniel Hess and Samantha Tadelman were the main videographers for the day which made for a great dynamic. Samantha films primarily with a 5D Mark II while Daniel prefers the A6500 at least during the prep and before ceremony photo phase of the day. The great thing about the A6500 and Sony’s Slog-2 picture profile is it allows the camera to color adjust to match just about any other camera it is paired with. Working with Samantha too was great because while Daniel could focus on the wider big scene style, Samantha was able to get more close up, small detail shots.

The two styles colliding at the same moment allow us to pull from big sweeping shots which showcase not only the couple but also the location itself. One important aspect we try and keep in mind is really showcasing a location especially since this is the spot the couple chose for a reason, they saw the venue and something about it really spoke to them. By really showing their interaction with the location we are aiming to help wow them with big wide angle shots. This is all coming from the Sony 10-18mm lens which looks great by the way!

On the flipside having our second videographer (something that will be a standard fixture for all of our future weddings) we can have someone at the same time getting close up details of all the little nuances. This ranges from the couple’s expressions, holding hands, cool small details of the venue, etc. This is where a camera like the Canon 5D Mark II or any professional Canon style DSLR really shines. The skin tones right out of the camera can’t really be beat and while we still shoot a flat image the detail to start is just phenomenal.

Well, that is all for now, just a quick update and break down of the thought process that goes into our wedding coverage at the moment. Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! Check back later in the week to see our recap of our weekend mini photosession.

Random Trivia: In the 1961 Film A Woman Is A Woman Jean-Paul Belmondo character tells Angela and Émile that he wants to watch the movie Breathless (1960) (aka, "Breathless") on TV. The year earlier, Jean-Paul Belmondo played the lead role in this Jean-Luc Godard groundbreaking, French New Wave, film.

Introducing the A7R III

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Oh, hello A7R III. What a pleasant surprise!

 

This year, Christmas comes early. Sony just announced the release of the A7R III DSLR camera out into the world on the tail end of November this year, and what a beauty it is! To start off let’s look at some of the big specs of this guy:

  • 42.4MP back-illuminated Exmor R full-frame sensor
  • BIONZ X processor and new front-end LSI
  • E-mount
  • 4K video recording with full pixel readout, Full HD up to 120fps
  • 10fps burst shooting (with autofocus and auto-exposure)
  • 5-axis image stabilization system with 5.5EV-stop compensation
  • 399-point phase-detect AF and 425-point contrast-detect AF systems
  • ISO 100-32,000 (exp to ISO 50-102,400 equivalents) 
  • 3in tilting touchscreen LCD, 1.44 million dots
  • Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder, 3.69 million dots
  • Two SDHC/SDXC cardc slots (inc. support for UHS-II in one slot)
  • Pixel Shift Multi Shooting Mode
  • 650-shot battery life
  • USB 3.1 port

So, what does this all mean?

Well in short, the A7R III is looking like a great bridge between the A7S II, the A9, and the old generation A7R II. In keeping the familiar buttons of the A9, throwing in the great autofocus of our beloved A6500, and enhancing lowlight functionality to compete with the A7S II, the A7R III is really looking like the all in one camera for filmmakers and photographers of all back grounds, but let’s stay focused on the big day!

Speaking of focus, let’s talk about that 42.4MP sensor. While this is the same as found on the Mark II, Sony boasts that the autofocus is up to 2x faster when paired with the new software. Not only did we keep our 399 phase-detect points, we now have 400 more contrast detect points than the A7R II. The crazy uncle will only bust out the worm for a limited time only. So, did we catch that on camera? Yeah we did! And in focus too.

Winter is coming and the darkness is creeping in earlier and earlier. Grandma always said nothing good happens in the dark. With lowlight capabilities down to -3 EV with a F2 lens, we now can catch that on camera. Even when cranking up the ISO, the improved JPEG color and noise reduction should be able to catch every detail while keeping the noise down.

Personally, we have been primarily using the A6500 as our gimbal camera: the autofocus is incredible and allows so much versatility in the heat of a wedding day to just run and gun. However, our biggest gripe is the limited ISO adjustment of this camera. After about 1250 ISO the image really falls apart. Having a camera like the A7R III that more than doubles this range while presenting great autofocus and lowlight all in one makes me want to adopt this camera as our primary gimbal camera.

From a user standpoint, think of the A7R III as the cousin to the A9 which some are cleverly nicknaming it the “A9s” since it mirrors the A9 both in physical form and in much of its software. While keeping the muscle memory intact with similar button placement, they improved the haptic feedback making them heftier and easier to control. Becoming fluent in its operation won’t need the Rosetta Stone. The Movie Record button has also been placed in a much more natural setting, which is a blessing for all videographers such as myself.

The addition of an extra SD slot allows me to hit said Movie Record button as much as I want, letting me worry less about running out of room and focus more on getting every important moment of the full day. Another thing I won’t have to worry about? My battery dying. The A7RIII really buffed up its battery life, expanding from the 290-shot life on the Mark II to a mind-blowing 650 shot rating. If this still isn’t enough for you, an optional battery grip will double this. Simple math takes this up to 1300 shots.

The A7R III has a starting price point of $3,198 which is about $1,200 less than Sony’s flagship A9. The A7R III having the additional features of lowlight and autofocus make it a great choice for those looking for a solid camera without breaking the bank as much as the A9. While it may not beat out the A9 completely and it won’t have the same lowlight capability as the A7S II it is a great stop gap between both bodies.

Some folks critique that Sony is too quick to pop out new tech, however I commend such fast innovation and we all love that they take each new generation of cameras (as a response to their user’s needs and requests) to listen to community feedback of pros/cons. The surprise release of the A7R III is one I would easily welcome into my camera bag.

To find out even more we have a few links below where you can see some early tests of the camera in action:

Sony A7R III 4k Footage

Sony A7R III 4k HDR Footage

Random Trivia: Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005) - This film is a sequel to a remake of a film that was based on a book that was based on a true story. This means it is four steps away from its source material. 

How was our weekend?

This past weekend was one of the biggest on the books for all of us here at To Tony Productions. On Friday we had a wedding at the Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery which was a great venue with some beautiful landscape views as well as really well spaced reception/ballroom. It was a blast and such a beautiful couple.

Saturday however was the day which went into overdrive mode! We had three different events which we were covering in both the world of video and photos. Our two main gigs were two separate weddings. I myself was covering a wedding for a close family friend which had a beautiful and intimate wedding event. Our second crew was covering a wedding for a lovely couple who was getting married in a much older time in their life. They had a live band, full size limo, the works. And finally our third crew was out doing video and photo coverage for a Bar Mitzvah in DC filming the ceremony as well as the small afterparty. It was a fun event and introduced the world to another awesome young man! Haha

Then on Sunday we had our second crew covering a wedding for a couple that is another close friend to us who is very active in the local Baltimore music scene. All the while I was flying down to Florida for the start of a week long shoot for Inter Rail Transport producing internal training videos.

Needless to say it has been our busy time at To Tony. This season has had it's ups and downs for sure for us but all the support and a great new core team of videographers has made all the magic possible.

Look to our next blog post for the plans for this coming weekend and how things went while down here in Florida!

Random trivia - In the film The House of The Devil (2009) the house used for filming was infested with Ladybugs, something that can be seen in certain shots throughout the film.

2017 Fresh Starts

It has been a while since our last post and that is both a good and bad thing. Good because we have been very very busy this year. Bad because we haven't had the chance to update you guys on all things To Tony Productions! So here is a quick recap of where we stand.

-We have had our busiest wedding year to date, taking on about 50+ weddings from start to finish this year

-We set up our first scholarship fund at Daniel Hess' high school Sparrows Point. We gave a $500 fund out

-We have been busy at work with our largest corporate video project to date creating over 23 training videos for an amazing local railroad client

-We have also been slowly upgrading all of our gear to match with the ever growing need for 4k resolution video production

So that is just a quick taste to how 2017 has been treating us. We can't wait to get back into the swing of updating our blog at least once a week. Looking forward to talking more with all our wonderful clients and for any new potential clients we are always here to help!

Thanks so much everyone!