I have 2 of the Benro s6 tripods. They're fairly light and sturdy. There's also a half ball head under the fluid head for easy levelling. The head itself is good for tilting (being that its counter balanced) but the panning is terrible. Basically unusable for actual panning movements.
I found the quality control of both tripods to be bad. I constantly have to tighten up the screws on the flip locks. One of the heads is totally unusable after a couple of years of very light use. The plate system on one of the heads was very loose when it arrived. If the QC was better I'd recommend them (despite the panning).
The A7s is a fantastic camera for weddings. I use them and although I would love to upgrade to an A7s2 it doesn't make sense to me (cost wise) because I shoot the majority of the day at 60p anyway (just so that I always have the option to slow a shot down in the edit to add emotional impact). Until I can do 4k at 60p I probably won't upgrade. The A7s series do have bad jello but you really won't notice it in 98% of your shots. Its gonna be obvious with a whip pan, of course, but its not often you'll be doing that in a wedding!
The image is not ugly at all, I think it has perfect sharpness (with the sharpest dialled down) and if you possess moderate grading skills you'll be able to get a fantastic image out of it. You might be able to buy 2 used A7s' for the price of a new A7s2 and having 2 cameras would always be my preference so you have the opportunity to capture more moments.
Ninja, people can charge what ever they want. Its between them and their client. You have no business suggesting otherwise. Its also his risk to take on a new type of project and the clients' risk to hire someone with little experience. Its sounds like both parties know the score so there's really no problem there.
As far as hiring people with little experience, I've found it to be a largely positive experience, and certainly not something I do on a "whim", what ever that is meant to mean. When I have someone who's new to the team I have them work as a 3rd shooter for half a day on a few weddings to get them up to speed. I do a few training sessions with them too to get them to shoot the way I want them to. Conversely I've hired people who are "experienced" and more often than not they give me the same old footage that they give every other videography company they work for, not matter what feedback I give them. Thats my experience and I now have a method that I've developed it for a few years now. You are more than welcome to do things your way all day long! Best of luck to you.
I don't know how much he's charging. Or much about the conversation he's had with the clients so I can't pass judgement. But as long as he's being upfront with them I don't see a problem. He also said he's also not in-experienced. If he's honest with the clients and charging an appropriate amount based on his current experience as a videographer/film maker/editor then whats the issue? Many people start out filming friends weddings either for free or for a lesser amount. I know thats how I started, just doing a few every summer for a few years to earn some extra $. I always charged because I had already spent several years filming and editing broadcast packages professionally. Of course, you will improve more quickly by working with more experienced professionals (just with any job) but you can also take on your own projects yourself and develop your own style. I actually think having a fresh approach can be great because its very easy to pick up bad habits from long-serving videographers who make cliched wedding videos. In fact I make a point of hiring assistants with little or no wedding experience for that reason. There are always different approaches to developing a career. Each to their own I say. Be bold, try stuff out and operate with honesty and integrity.
The fact that you care about this project is the most important thing. Be interested in it and be interested in them. I think some people over analyze weddings and throw the term "story" around without really thinking about it. When I shoot weddings I think more in terms of "personality". Who are these people? What makes them interesting? And how does their wedding reflect that? Weddings are usually a reflection of the couple's personality and its your job to capture the moments and details that reflect that. What are the emotions of the day? Amplify those. The hardest thing about filming a wedding is constantly being aware of what happens next. Then being able to very quickly figure out how to shoot that in an interesting and flattering way, preferably with nice lighting. My advise to you would be to watch a ton of videos and look out for things that you like. Love24fps.com is a good resource. Copy the links of videos you like and paste them into keepvid.com and download them. Then make a little 3 minute (or so) edit of your favourite bits. Put that video on your phone and have it has reference for your the day. Its a great way of having some ideas for great shots on hand as well as a quality bar reference for yourself. Its about as best as you can do for having storyboards for a shoot. It might sound like you're copying other's work, but thats OK. Just think of it like starting out in a band and doing covers until you start riffing on your own. Thats what I did when I started out (something I learned from doing commercial work by the way). I wouldn't worry about loads of equipment or having multiple people filming. You can totally shoot a wedding by yourself. Obviously having a 2nd pair of hands is very helpful. This is a wedding I shot a couple of years ago. By myself, one GH4, a 50mm and a 12mm lens, a monopod and a glide cam. And one lav mic with a zoom h1. You can see it here: https://vimeo.com/102902170.
As far as "story" goes. Most of this can come from audio that you record on the day. Make sure to get good audio from every part of the day. You can also do a little interview with the couple. I sometimes do this (not that often though). I stay away from the "how did you meet?" type question and instead try to explore emotions. "How did you feel when you met?" - thats a better question to ask. Make it more of an informal chat. And, as I said above, just be interested in them. Really really giving a shit is what will make you better than the other guys they spoke to.
Macbooks are more expensive than a similarly specced PCs however the up front cost does not equal cost of ownership. I usually update my laptop every 2 or 3 years. I never buy new, either used (less than a year old so I have the option to extend apple care, although I never do) or refurb direct from the apple store (about a 15% discount). Normally I'm buying a top-ish spec macbook for about $2200 and selling 2 years later for about $1200. So roughly a $500 a year cost of ownership (not including what I've written off against my taxes).
To be honest I've never used a PC laptop for editing so I wouldn't discount it, I just know that I have a reliable, portable editing machine, I can edit in FCPX, Premier or Avid on the road (all my jobs are one of the 3) and I can deliver pro res (which is what most of my clients require). Given that it costs me less than $10 a week I wouldn't try anything else!