Camera of Wedding Photographer

What’s the best camera for wedding photography?

Being a wedding photographer requires tremendous skill, talent, and patience. But to be able to produce beautiful images that perfectly capture every emotion, every happy moment, and every glorious detail of the bride and groom’s most special day, there is one thing that every wedding photographer needs: the best camera for the job.

Afordable wedding photography is a demanding job that requires a high-performance DSLR camera designed and built to not only meet but exceed the photographer’s needs in terms of speed (to capture those important fleeting moments that can never be repeated) and image quality.

 

With that said, full-frame DSLR cameras such as the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or the Nikon D800 are the best and most logical option for wedding photography. Due to their large sensors, full-frame cameras produce the sharpest, most detailed images, which is crucial in wedding photography, where perfection is of the utmost importance.

 

Whether you’re a seasoned wedding photog or just starting out, at some point, you’ll want a camera with features to serve your business. That can be a tough call since capturing still images at weddings requires some of the features you’d find in a sports camera or for portraiture and others you’d want for nature or landscape work.

 

The right mix of features spans those subjects and much more, like the bride and groom, wedding guests, and the beauty of the ceremony and event venues.

 

There is no single best choice in terms of camera type or sensor size, either. As you develop your skills, you can shoot with a variety of equipment and have the results turn out well. You’ll be prepared for sunny outdoor settings, dimly lit interiors and everything in between with your Yarra Valley wedding photographer.

 

If you’re looking for the best camera for wedding photography and you focus on stills, we have a list of options for you. For each type of camera and specific sensor category, we bring you the best overall and a close runner-up, and believe me, these were close. Here’s our list of the best wedding photo still cameras.

 

Things to consider when choosing a DSLR camera for wedding photography:

Price: Expect to pay around $2,500-$3,500 for a new primary camera, but be prepared to double that if you want to go for the flagship model.

 

Dynamic Range: When photographing a bride and groom, you need to capture everything from the fine detail of her white dress to the subtle shadows of his black tux. The camera with the widest dynamic range, and the highlight and shadow sliders in post-processing of RAW images, are your best friends.

 

Overall Image Quality: This is, of course, most important when marketing your large keepsake prints. You will want the lowest noise at the highest ISO option available, so this makes full-frame DSLRs pretty much a requirement.

 

(Note: Image quality scores quoted in this article are based on independent tests performed by DxOMark Labs, and are used with their permission.)

 

User interface: This is less of an important feature because, with experience, you can get used to any layout. At this level, you can customize your camera to fit your preferences. That said, moving up to the latest version of the camera and brand, you already have reduces the learning curve, and many photographers find that to be a big benefit.

 

Durability: You want a well-made camera with a well-constructed body and a shutter that is rated for hundreds of thousands of clicks because you’ll be taking a lot of pictures.

 

System: Canon and Nikon have the most extensive lens, flash, and accessory systems geared for professionals. Sony is catching up. Pentax doesn’t have a full-frame DSLR yet, but it does have a new version of its 645-format digital camera for under $10,000; image quality is extraordinary, and while the lenses for this camera are excellent, the system is more limited.

 

I’ve also included a lower-cost backup body for the Canon and Nikon systems because if there’s one thing every professional photographer should have, it’s a good, reliable backup camera.

 

DSLRs vs. Mirrorless Full Frame Cameras

Before we get into the best full-frame cameras for wedding photography, let’s get up to speed on the two main types of wedding cameras: DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Both have pros and cons, a few of which we’ve listed below.

 

DSLR

The DSLR camera is the more traditional option. It uses mirror technology: so, as the light comes through the lens, the mirror reflects it towards a prism, which, in turn, shows the image in the viewfinder. When the shutter is pressed down, this powerful mirror tilts up, opening the shutter and facilitating light to paint itself on the image sensor, giving you the final image.

 

Pros:

  • An almost endless amount of lenses they’re compatible with.
  • The ability to physically look through the viewfinder and preview the image.
  • The viewfinder of a DSLR is better for low-light situations.
  • Better battery life.

 

Cons:

  • Larger and bulkier. Due to the physical mirror in the camera, DSLRs have a wider body.
  • Far heavier than mirrorless cameras. With this plus a bigger lens, you’re looking at a far heavier setup for a professional wedding camera.
  • Much louder than their mirrorless counterparts.

 

Disassembling and repairing a DSLR is usually more expensive, due to the mirror and more complex components.

 

Mirrorless

The mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mirror (obviously!), so when light passes through the lens, it goes directly onto the image sensor, which displays a preview of the image on the screen.

 

Pros:

  • No mirror equals more space. Mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter, so they can be better for convenience and mobility.
  • Fully silent.
  • Less parts mean lower costs. With no mirror, it’s far easier and cheaper to keep clean and at full operational capacity.
  • Better for wedding videography due to wonderful phase detection.

 

Cons:

  • Poor battery life. Because the LCD screen and EVF (electronic viewfinder) need to be continuously powered, battery life gets depleted quickly. We’re talking around 300 shots per battery charge while DSLRs are around the 800 marks.
  • Lack of lenses. Though mirrorless technology is improving exponentially every year, they’re still not quite at the level of DSLR lens selection.
  • Continuous autofocus and subject tracking is lacking. Mirrorless systems are still quite weak in terms of continuous autofocus. This means that they’re not great for sports and wildlife photography, and in some cases, certain wedding moments.

 

Writing about the best cameras for wedding photography will always be a contentious topic. While there’s no such thing as specific ‘wedding photography cameras’, you will find that wedding photographers do tend to gravitate towards certain models.

 

In 2020, the number of cameras for wedding photographers is at an all-time high, with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, full-frame, crop sensor, film, and even medium format being used by pros all over the world.

 

There’s no right or wrong camera for wedding photography, but there are those that will certainly make your job as a wedding photographer easier. Let’s dive right in.

 

If you’re looking for the best camera for wedding photography and you focus on stills, we have a list of options for you. For each type of camera and specific sensor category, we bring you the best overall and a close runner-up, and believe me, these were close. Here’s our list of the best wedding photo still cameras.

 

Best Mirrorless Overall: Sony A7R III

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame 42.4 MP
  • Lens Mount: Sony E (over 100 natives)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.

 

This camera is a perennial favourite for so many kinds of shooting, and it consistently lands at or near the top of almost every list.

 

Let’s begin with the 425 focus points in the autofocusing system, mirrorless silence, articulating touchscreen for settings adjustments, and long battery life for a mirrorless (650 shots) as reasons why it’s great for wedding work. IS and video 4K are others, along with the RAW file capability to help with your post-production adjustments.

 

The expandable ISO range makes this camera one of the few mirrorless bodies that can work well in low light. Some users complain about noise or graininess at the edges of the ISO range, but that does not appear to be a consistent problem. This Sony saves and cycles quickly, allowing you to keep on shooting without pause.

 

You might want to invest in a touchscreen shield, as ease of scratching and damaging it are regularly reported. A few reports of weather sealing failure also hit the reviews. Overall, this professional-grade camera will be a model you grow into, and you might never want to replace, and that’s why it’s at the top of our list.

 

Mirrorless Runner-Up: Sony A7 IIIsony a7 iii

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Full-frame 24.2 MP
  • Lens Mount: Sony E (over 100 natives)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs.

 

What’s the difference between the best mirrorless and runner-up? It comes down to sensor resolution. To compensate, this model has 693 focus points, topping out its sibling significantly.

 

All the other Sony benefits are here, including long battery life for a mirrorless (610 shots), IS and RAW, and a solid line-up of a7 lenses. Two memory card image storage slots and weather sealing sweeten the deal. Honestly, so many wedding photogs call this model a tie with the other Sony pro camera on our list that either choice will be a good one.

 

Users note the touchscreen can only be used for focusing, not other setting adjustments. Generally, Sony menus are not thought to be intuitive, and people find it hard to adjust if they’ve previously used other brands. Consumers love the precision and ergonomic ease of this model, and state that it can make you a better photographer without much effort.

 

Best DSLR Overall: Nikon D850

  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: Full-frame 45.7 MP
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F (over 300 natives)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

 

Expandable ISO range for low light situations and a super-long battery life of 1840 shots are two of the reasons why wedding pros love this camera. The 153 focus points and 99 cross-type focus points is another, along with the extensive D850 lenses list. It also has two storage slots for memory cards.

 

This Nikon sports a longer than usually shutter life cycle expectation, which means greater durability and longer overall camera life. The do-not-disturb setting is said to muffle camera noise and vibration for those times when you need to stay silent. It has weather sealing for outdoor work.

 

This is a heavy body by itself, and it is large, which means ergonomics for those of us with smaller hands might be an issue. Users are disappointed that it lacks IS, and others are not completely satisfied with knob and dial placements. Overall, though, this is a semi-pro body that might only be surpassed by the new mirrorless models in the Nikon line – but only maybe.

 

DSLR Runner-Up: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: Full-frame 30.4 MP
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF/EF-S (over 270 natives)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs.

 

This runner-up in the full-frame DSLR class is so close to the best overall, and it’s a photo-finish. This Canon has slightly lower sensor resolution and slightly fewer lens options, but it’s also lighter in weight. For many users, it comes down to which brand you prefer.

 

Reviewers note the 61 focus points and 41 cross focus points make it easy to find the sweet spot with this semi-pro body. It features a long battery life, 900 shots, a range of 5D Mark IV compatible lenses, and has two memory card storage slots. Besides being great low light performance, the ISO can be boosted well into the dim interior shot range.

 

The touchscreen does not articulate, which some users find disappointing. While the video system includes the ability to grab stills from recordings, overall its quality is not on par with other cameras. For wedding stills, though, its sharp rapid autofocus and selection of great optics make it a strong contender for best wedding camera on many lists.

 

Canon EOS 1 Dx

This full-frame camera has the best overall image quality for Canon with clean, noise-free images going well into the ISO 2000 range. The Canon EOS 1 Dx is a beast in low light and is built to handle anything, whether indoors or outdoors. Apart from wedding photography, it’s great for studio and location portraits, as well as candids using existing light. Don’t be put off by its 18MP lower resolution sensor—you can still get amazing blow-ups, plus faster processing time (12fps continuous shooting) with this camera.

 

Other pluses include improved AF performance and a maximum ISO 51,200 that can be pushed to 204,800. Sensor performance is also a significant improvement over its predecessors.

 

Canon EOS 6D

Adorama price: $1,499.00

The best dynamic range of any professional Canon DSLR with over 12 stops, outstanding colour depth (23.8 bits), and high-quality construction—although it is not as durable as its pricier siblings. But then again, this means that the camera is significantly lighter, which will make a difference when you’re shooting a wedding. Its low-light high ISO performance is closer to the EOS 1 Dx than the 5D Mark III. The shutter is tested to last through 100,000 cycles, the camera is dust- and weather-resistant, and it is the only full-frame Canon DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi.

 

Nikon D750

Referred to by many photographers as the rightful heir to the D700, the D750 is one of the most sought-after and reviewed cameras when it comes to wedding photography cameras. Weighing significantly less than the D850, the Nikon D750 is a stunning full-frame, 24.3MP workhorse with a classic tilt-screen LCD that gives you great creative control.

 

The Nikon D750 is roughly $1,500 for the body (more than half the price of the D850), yet is hailed by many wedding photographers as the perfect wedding camera. After a few wedding gigs, you could buy another D750 body and start dual-wielding cameras like a pro. Speaking of dual-wielding, the Nikon D750 comes with two SD slots, so you could conceivably shoot the entire wedding on two 64GB SD cards and not worry about the dreaded “full card?!” moment during important moments. Rocking two SD cards is key when it comes to backing up photos on the go. Cards fail—it will inevitably happen to you at some point—and two SD cards ensure you don’t lose important images. All in all, this is one of the best Nikon cameras for wedding photography: affordable, yet extremely versatile and powerful.

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2

As someone new to photography, this camera may be the perfect one for you. There’s the price point, the ease of use, the quality, the sleek retro aesthetic. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is around $1,700 and arguably one of the prettiest cameras out there. Plus, its ergonomics are fantastic.

 

While it is not a typical full-frame camera like some of earlier options, this APS-C sensor camera would be a wonderful choice as a second wedding camera. We’re talking clean, high-quality ISO that is amazing when it comes to darkly lit conditions. The extremely small size would also allow you to jump on the dance floor and get award-winning “Macarena” candids.

 

The Fujifilm X-Pro2 may not quite hit the mark as hard as Sony mirrorless cameras do, but, for beginners or as a backup for professional cameras (even for a second shooter), it’s definitely one of the best cameras for wedding photography.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Like the Fujifilm X-Pro2, this Olympus sits around $1,700. It offers a 20MP live MOS sensor, a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system, a three-inch LCD, a weather-sealed body, and phenomenal 4k video. This, too, would be the perfect camera for a beginner or as the second camera for a professional.

 

One thing a lot of new photographers forget about weddings is the quieter, smaller moments. That’s when the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II shines. Its silent shutter is perfect for both intimate moments during the ceremony as well as sneaking around to capture some of the best candid shots possible. Get this: the silent shutter can capture 20MP RAW image files at an almost unheard-of burst shooting of 60fps.

 

Like the Fujifilm X-Pro2, the Olympus brand has a long way to go before it can catch up to the big three. However, for those looking for an alternative, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is still an excellent choice when considering wedding cameras.

 

Best Small Sensor: Olympus OM-D E-M1X

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: Four Thirds 20.4 MP
  • Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds (100 native plus more third party)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

 

Small sensor cameras are generally not selected by the bulk of wedding photographers because they capture less light, making them a poor choice for shooting church interiors and darkened reception halls.

 

However, they are often a more affordable option for photogs starting in the biz. In the case of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the wealth of available wedding photography lenses makes an argument for their selection.

 

This new Olympus boasts an updated image stabilization system which should give you even greater shake reduction than those from the big full-frame brands.

 

The electronic shutter speed is the highest available in this class, 1/32000 of a second, and the electronic viewfinder gives you the same feel as focusing through a DSLR. Adjustments to settings can be made quickly through the fully articulating touchscreen.

 

Small Sensor Runner-Up: Panasonic Lumix GH5

Camera Type: Mirrorless

  • Sensor: Four Thirds 20.3 MP
  • Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds (100 native plus more third party)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs.

 

This would be a time when finding a recommendation for a pro camera as a beginner’s model might appear to be laughable, but given the many features of this Panasonic, it isn’t out of line.

 

Ease of use bordering on point-and-shoot adaptability is the primary reason it makes our list (for even simpler options, check out our compact event cameras guide). Its menus are said to be intuitive, and you can adjust settings on the fully articulating touchscreen that is the largest in its class.

 

Another huge advantage is the range of GH5 lenses available, both Panasonic natives and hundreds by third-party manufacturers like Olympus and others. The electronic shutter speed of 1/16000 of a second is one of the fastest out there. IS compensates for beginner jitters and the 225 focus points help you find the right composition and click on it quickly.

 

So, you’ve gone through all the options, and you have it narrowed down to two or three — but you still can’t decide. Now what?

 

If you can’t make up your mind, or you’re toying with the idea of switching brands and the change will be quite pricey, try renting the camera first. A number of websites offer camera rentals for reasonable prices, and some even allow you to buy the camera that you rented for a discount if you decide you like the camera.

 

At the very least, find a brick-and-mortar camera store and go try out a few of the cameras that are on display. Once you have the camera in your hands, it’s easier to pull the trigger on such an expensive decision.

 

The best cameras for wedding photography need to be able to keep up with the pace of the day from those getting ready shots to the very last moments of the reception.

 

Considering factors like sensor size, low light performance, speed, autofocus, size and the available accessories will help you choose the camera that meshes best with your photography style and budget. You should also check out our article on wedding photography lenses for more tips. You might want to check our article on must-have film cameras too.




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