While choosing the best camera for wedding photography might seem easy enough, the truth is not all cameras are created equal and some may not be up to the challenge of wedding photography.
After all, there is some pressure when shooting a wedding. Not just because it is someone’s special day, but because you’re faced with a few split-second opportunities to get it right the first time.
You not only need to know your kit inside out so you don’t waste precious time fiddling with settings, but you want a kit bag only containing necessary, reliable equipment so you can get the best results possible.
Below are five of the best cameras for wedding photography on the market right now, as well as a buyer’s guide of key features to look out for.
Best Camera For Wedding Photography – Comparison Table
The ultimate DSLR for wedding photography, the Nikon D850 has medium-format like 45.7MP to capture every little detail of wedding portraits, and you can save memory thanks to the D850’s ability to shoot smaller RAW files.
The BSI sensor also offers an ISO range of 64 to 102,400, a first for Nikon DSLR, and means you’re able to shoot with faster lenses (larger apertures) in brighter daylight.
Every wedding photographer needs good AutoFocus, and you’ll certainly get this with the D850, as it uses the same super accurate AF system that you’ll find on the D5, with 153 focus points, 99 cross-type sensors, and a dedicated AF processor offering 7FPS at 45.7MP.
The innovations keep coming with the D850, as it also has a tilting touchscreen LCD – a first for a Nikon DSLR. This lets you focus and shoot with a simple touch, particularly useful if you like to get high or low compositions. The large viewfinder too offers more comfortable and precise shooting.
The addition of the XQD memory card format is divisive, because although it is undeniably faster it is more expensive than a simple SD card.
Full frame image sensor – No optical low pass filter.
45.7MP – This number of megapixels offers extraordinary and an outstanding dynamic range.
Excellent AutoFocus – Allows for up to 9 fps continuous shooting.
Tilting touchscreen – Perfect for high or low compositions.
8k6 and 4k time lapse movies – Provides new levels of sharpness and detail.
XQD memory card – Faster, but more expensive than an SD card.
Aside from the major improvements in the camera’s AutoFocus, the Mark IV also has an impressive dynamic range, better ISO performance, continuous shooting speed, and more megapixels.
Not to mention it features built-in wifi, a touch screen and 4k video, all packed into a light, easy to carry camera.
A feature that is particularly useful when it comes to wedding photography is the speed of the AutoFocus using the touchscreen LCD.
Just by touching the subject’s eye on the rear LCD the camera quickly grabs focus, or lets you take the shot without needing to press the shutter button.
If you’ve ever tried to attempt to control the focus point using buttons during Live View, you know it’s pretty frustrating. But if you rely heavily on Live View to preview exposures, then the Mark IV is the camera for you!
The only slight letdown with the Mark IV is its lack of a tilt-screen LCD, and while the dynamic range improvements are an upgrade over previous Mark models, it’s improved sensor isn’t really anything to write home about.
But what is a significant improvement is the ISO noise. With the Mark IV you can underexpose to protect highlights, then boost shadows in post to achieve an image that has a wide, dynamic range.
The advancements in dynamic range may not quite be at the same level as Nikon or Sony cameras, but the new technology and head-turning features of the Mark IV still make it one to beat.
CMOS sensor – The Mark IV’s CMOS sensor allows for versatile shooting no matter what the light.
Superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF – Allows for responsive and smooth AF during video or live shooting.
Full touchscreen interface – LCD monitor also allows you to select the AF area.
Excellent performance – The Mark IV has up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed with high-performance DIGIC 6 as well as an Image Processor for improved speed and excellent image quality.
EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software – You can turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam with this software available for Mac or Windows.
No tilting touchscreen – While the Mark IV does have a full touchscreen interface it does not have a tilting touchscreen unlike its rivals.
While the Sony A7R III delivers in AutoFocus and high ISO performance, it does lack high resolution. But while huge 42.4MP files do slow down post processing, being able to crop into files without losing much detail also does save time.
Additional megapixels are also useful if you need to do some serious cropping while editing. The high ISO performance and dynamic range is probably a bit much for wedding photography, but there is actually very little difference in sensor performance between this and some Nikon cameras.
The in-body image 5-axis stabilization lets you hold the a7R III at slow shutter speeds while still producing super sharp images. Plus, it’s nice to know the ISO can reach up to 102,400 if you really need it.
The eye AF is also mind-blowing, with the camera locking onto a subject’s eye with a scary amount of precision.
The a7r III is proof that mirrorless cameras are the future, quickly overtaking the ageing DSLR. The 4K movie recording also allows you to extract still images while editing that still look high-quality.
For a camera for wedding photography that offers medium-format like resolution in a compact body, then the Sony a7R III may be for you.
Excellent detail – You can shoot high speed subjects at up to 10fps with continuous, accurate AF/AE tracking.
Optimal light – The back illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor with gapless on chip lens collects more light.
Speedy image processing – The BIONZ X processing engine boosts processing speeds up to 1.8x.
Stunning HD video – With the a7R III you can record clear 4K video for editing and viewing.
Impressive bundle – Features power cord, charger, cable protector, shoulder strap, body/shoe caps, eyepiece cup.
While you can’t go wrong with a Nikon camera for wedding photography, the D750 in particular has everything you could ever want.
It shoots clean images in almost complete darkness, thanks to the native ISO of 102,400, which you can even extend to a dizzying 3,280,000. You can fire off a series of shots in a matter of seconds too, thanks to the incredible 12FPS for 200 shots with AE/AF.
Plus, the D750’s buffer will never fill, no matter how hard you push it. This is because the Nikon D5 was designed for sports photographers who need to fire off hundreds images at once without buffer delay. It’ll make snapping the bouquet toss a piece of wedding cake.
What’s more, the D750 was built to last. It’s a tank of a camera, and will look just as good as the day you bought it no matter the bumps and scrapes it has along the way. Despite it’s bulky build, it also has fantastic ergonomics so you won’t tire of holding it.
It may be a bit on the expensive side, but its robust build, shutter life-cycle of 400,000, incredible ISO performance, outstanding image quality, uncompressed 1080p video output, and whiplash-inducing frame rate make it so worth the price.
The touch screen rear LCD is also incredibly useful, with full touch implementation in Live View and in both menus. But while shooting with Live View can be frustrating, the D5 makes light work of it with speedy start up time and responsive touch functionality.
Despite its weight, it’s comfortable to hold with ideal button placement.
If you want to go for a DSLR camera, you can’t go wrong with the D750.
Full frame 243 megapixel CMOS image sensor with expeed 4 image processor.
Built-in WiFi connectivity – With full compatibility with the WT 5a plus UT 1 communication unit.
Can shoot up to 65 fps at full resolution frame size (pixels): 1920 x 1080.
Manually control ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
Heavy – While the design is compact, it’s still quite heavy. However, its ergonomic design means it’s still comfortable to hold.
Aside from it’s gorgeous, sleek and rather stealth-like design which allows you to remain unseen while you take some snaps, the design of the X-Pro2 is also very practical.
This is because when you raise the camera to your face, your left eye is free and not covered by the camera. This gives you a clearer view of the moment you want to capture.
When you’re focusing on composition, the hybrid viewer also comes in handy.
Design aside, the X-Pro2 features the excellent 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor that many photographers love about Fujifilm.
The hybrid viewfinder that we mentioned above also gives you a unique way to view your shots, as you can use it as an optical format, a digital EVF, or a combination of the two.
Meanwhile, the 85 fps refresh rate ensures that the EVF is as life-like as possible.
While there is a decent AutoFocus, it doesn’t really compare to what’s available with Sony’s mirrorless offerings, and while the high ISO performance is great for APS-C it still doesn’t compare to the full frame mirrorless cameras out there.
Aside from the ergonomics and design of the X-Pro2 and the beautiful film-stimulation JPEGs, the Fujifilm system gives you access to a range of incredible Fujifilm lenses.
While Sony does have great e-mount lenses, the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 can produce creamy bokeh from a relatively small package.
Plus, Fujifilm cameras are incredibly user-friendly, especially to beginners. Their menu system can’t be beat, especially when compared to Sony cameras.
24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor – Reduces moiré and false colors, dramatically improving image quality.
X-Processor Pro – Increases response times and achieves faster AF and improved color reproduction.
Advanced hybrid multi viewfinder – The multi-magnetic function automatically switches viewfinder magnification according to the lens.
Electronic shutter maximum speed of 1/32000 sec.
16 Film simulation modes – Including the ACROS monochrome mode and grainy effect.
AutoFocus – While there is decent AutoFocus it is lacking compared to other brands.
Best Camera For Wedding Photography – Buyers Guide
As you have probably noticed, there are a lot of features to consider when choosing a high-quality camera for wedding photography, but there are some features that are more suited for other scenarios. But what features are the most important when photographing weddings? Below, we’ll take a look at some key features.
This is one of the most important features when choosing a camera for wedding photography. Sensor size dictates the image quality, which means a good sensor is critical.
You should opt for full-frame sensors rather than crop sensor cameras, and take design and megapixels into consideration too.
The larger the sensor, the more light the camera can capture. Larger or full-frame sensors are excellent for shooting inside dark churches or other venues where there isn’t much light.
Meanwhile, smaller sensors or crop sensors are more budget-friendly and come with more affordable zoom lenses.
But while full-frame sensors are the best option, they are quite expensive and you don’t have to necessarily start with a full-frame camera. Many wedding photographers achieve great results with crop sensors.
Just remember that full-frame lenses will not work on a crop sensor camera and vice versa.
While it’s easy to be distracted by megapixels, they are nowhere near as important as your camera’s sensor size. If you like to crop your images in post-production, however, then the resolution is still important.
The higher the megapixels the more options you have to crop later. Resolution is also important in low light situations, as well as printing larger images like big wall-sized canvases.
Recently, wedding photography cameras have improved their autofocus. This is because when photographing a wedding it’s crucial to capture certain moments such as a bouquet flying through the air, first dances, cake cutting, and clinking champagne glasses- i.e. a lot of movement!
And it’s important these moments are captured as clearly as possible with little to no blurriness.
Therefore, an accurate AutoFocus tracking system is crucial when choosing the best cameras for wedding photography.
Look at the camera’s tech specs for how well it focuses in low-light settings. AutoFocus with a range starting at -3 EV is better in low light than one that starts at -2.
Professional wedding cameras usually have a high ISO range to make the most of dark reception halls and dimly lit wedding chapels. You need to be able to crank up the ISO into the thousands while keeping the noise to a minimum.
Your image quality shouldn’t suffer, as DSLR cameras have really evolved to handle low light situations well. If you have a DSLR camera that is 5 years of age or older, consider upgrading to any of the cameras above.
Ease of Use
It’s important to remember that you will be holding your camera for a long time, and will be travelling with it too. You’ll be trying to capture shots of the bride and groom, and weaving through the chapel, reception, and hotel.
To avoid fatigue, it’s advised to choose a camera that is lightweight and ergonomic.
Before you purchase your camera, go to a store and hold and touch the camera you were thinking of buying. How does the grip feel? Is it comfortable?
Consider what hand and neck straps you will use. If you expect your camera to have some bumps and scrapes, consider a sturdier, heavier DSLR camera that can take a few hits. If you have back and neck issues, then a mirrorless camera may be better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do wedding photographers use flash?
Yes, usually in dark reception halls, churches, or any other wedding venues that are dimly lit.
However, the trick is to make the flash look like natural light, which is something that comes with practice and experience.
What lens do wedding photographers use?
Usually, wedding photographers use 50mm F1.4, 85mm f1.4 , 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200m f2.8, 14-24mm f2.8 wide-angle, 16-35mm f/2.8 wide-angle lenses, and 90-100mm macro lens for close-ups on things like rings.
Can you bring a camera to a wedding?
Yes, you can bring a camera to a wedding to take photos of your friends and family, unless the couple have requested otherwise.
However, it’s rude to step in front of or get in the way of a professional photographer who has been hired to photograph the wedding. The couple have hired the photographer to capture big moments, so it’s best to avoid taking any photos that may obstruct that.
Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates
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