Wedding photography has become an extremely popular and lucrative specialty for people to follow. So you want to start doing wedding photography and are researching for the best camera for wedding photographers. Which camera should I buy? will go through your mind.
The requirements from a camera for a professional wedding photography is miles different from landscape, sports, or studio portrait photography. This good article by Techrader gives you their options for The 10 best digital cameras in 2017 Yes, they have mentioned a few top cameras however it is a general indication of the top camera bodies available today on 2017.
Therefore I admit this is an difficult question and every experienced professional wedding photographer will have a different opinion. Today, the mainstream manufacturers of top range DSLR cameras are Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax and Sigma. However you will find that a pros choice still focuses on the Nikon vs Canon cameras. Here are my thoughts which I hope will guide you in making the correct choice.
Firstly you need to decide the budget at your disposal and how much are you willing to spend on getting your wedding kit together. Yes I am talking about getting cameras and at least two lenses. Why this requirement? As a wedding photographer, you are in charge of photographing the most important day of the couple’s life with the photos you take. There will be a ton of pressure on you to capture the event. Remember there will be no retakes, you will not be able to ask the priest to repeat a certain part of the ceremony if your single camera fails. So, carry two cameras on you all the time.
Table of Contents
Things To Consider When Choosing a DSLR Camera For Wedding Photography
Price: This is what it all comes down to: what do you expect to pay? How much will you invest?
Dynamic Range: When photographing wedding you will come across colours of varying ranges. For example, you will have the white dress of the bride and a black tux for a groom. A camera that will record the widest dynamic range is a requirement to capture the fine detail of her white dress to the shadows of his black tux. At Indian weddings where color is paramount you will encounter outfits of varying colour shades, if the camera sensor doesn’t record these how can you enhance them in post processing.
Overall Image Quality: You need to produce images that stand out for the bride and groom. You may need to produce large canvas wall prints and/or wedding albums. So lowest noise when photographing at the high ISO is a must. Most full-frame DSLRs pretty much hit the mark here.
User friendly: What camera body feels right in your hands. What is going to reduce your learning curve of the interfaces on all the digital camera.
Built Quality: At a wedding you will be taking hundreds if not thousands of pictures. You want a camera body that is well made, and generally you have to pay more for a well-constructed body that will take the strain of the demands of shooting a wedding.
System: Over the years Canon and Nikon have become the goto choice for professional wedding photography. Once you buy into a system by buying lenses (even third-part lenses by Sigma or Tamron) it comes more expensive if you opt to change as you may have made a huge investment.
Wedding Photography Equipment Must Haves
- Two camera bodies
- At least two lenses
- One flash (at lease one)
- A set of memory cards
- Batteries for the flash gun
- Spare battery for the camera
- Tripod and light stands optional
- Two or three flashes if you wish to be able to shoot off-camera flash. You will also require light stands, umbrella and flash triggers
So, lets break this down:
Best digital camera for wedding photography 2017
Below are a list of dslr bodies and lens you may want to consider when choosing your perfect kit for wedding photography
Canon DSLR for Weddings
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 6D Mark II
Canon 1D X Mark II is top of the range camera, however I personally photograph with the 5D bodies – one of the most complete DSLRs I had the pleasure of using, having bought into the original 5D. The current mark IV is perfect for low-light capabilities with high ISO range for shooting natural light weddings without the use of flash., especially when couples with fast prime lenses such as the 35mm f1.4, 85mm f1.2, f1.4 or my favourite canon f1.8 due to the sharpness of images and low weight.
When I first started I bought two Canon 5D bodies and 24-105 f4 and 50mm 1.4 lenses and over the years I have invested in other full frames lenses. For me, i wanted to make a living out of wedding photography full-time, so i was investing in my business.
Beginner Canon camera:
- Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D
- Canon 7D Mark II
- Canon EOS 80D
These are the cheaper cameras for beginners in Canon’s range and be honest, I have not used any of these at weddings. You have to start some where so I do not see anything wrong if you bought any of these beginners digital cameras. My personal recommendation would be to buy two if you are going to be shooting weddings – one as the backup.
Nikon wedding photography equipment
- Nikon D750
- Nikon D610
The two bodies above are very capable of shooting in low light conditions especially for many Nikon wedding shooters. However there is the top of the range Nikon D5 if your budget allows but why spent top dollar when the D750 is the main choice for Nikon lovers and in the digital age a new model will be around the corner.
Entry-level beginner camera:
- Nikon D7200
- Nikon D7100
- Nikon D5300
These are not full frame bodies, so you must invest in a different set of lenses. So if your budget doesn’t stretch to two full frame bodies I would use these as backup cameras.
Wedding Video Camera and The Use of DSLRs
Some videographers will use this type of digital camera to film a wedding. They are cheaper than specialist digital video cameras like the Canon C100 or Canon C300, however this article is not about videography. I have mentioned it here as I have worked with many videography teams who use Canon 5D Markiv or order Markiii and some even cheaper Canon 750
What is best camera for wedding photography in India
For me wedding photography is wedding photography. I do not see Indian wedding photography is not different to photographing any other type of wedding ceremony. Yes I admit, each type of ceremony is different but the requirements from my camera equipment remains the same. They have to perform to the best of their ability, so my humble view is the best camera for wedding photography in India, UK, or USA makes no difference. Have a camera kit that will perform in any wedding situation you may encounter.
Perfect Camera for a Beginner Wedding Photographer
As mentioned previously in the article, firstly it will depend on the finances and budget. In the section for which camera for weddings I have indicated some dslrs and lenses options that should help with your decision making.
If there’s one thing every professional photographer should have, it’s a good reliable camera they can trust at every wedding they shoot.