You’re just beginning your wedding photography career and looking for the answer “which camera is best for wedding photography”? This photography gear review will be useful if you don’t know what is better: a DSLR or mirrorless camera body.
Before buying this or another camera body, you should realize what do you need and what camera characteristics matter exactly for your purposes. The price doesn’t necessarily define the best camera for wedding photography. What’s the point to take a model for $7,000 if you won’t use its full capabilities? You need to choose the wedding photography gear in accordance with your shooting style.
What is the best camera to use for wedding photography? Do I need to have several camera bodies in my bag? The choice is rather difficult. There are many brands, types of cameras at various prices, so I selected 15 best examples for any taste and purpose.
A key element of the camera with a mount for Sony E lenses is a full-frame CMOS image sensor with a resolution of 24.2 megapixels. The manufacturer estimates its dynamic range at 15 exposure steps, specifying that this value is obtained in special conditions with a low sensitivity rate. By the way, the photographer can use 100-25600 ISO sensitivity range, which can be extended to 50-204800 ISO. The first word that comes to mind when evaluating Sony A7 III is “reasonable.” It may not offer enormous A9 shooting speeds, A7R III extreme resolution or A7S II weak capabilities, but instead, it is a very well-balanced camera that combines most of A-7 series “key specifications into a single and very accessible whole”. Its silent feature is simply impressive, and it gives the opportunity to take photos where photography was previously prohibited or inappropriate (for example, for photos at the altar, where you mustn’t interrupt the moment with the sound of the shutter). This feature really makes Sony A7III one of the best cameras for wedding photography. In silent mode, you can rise to ten full 24-megapixel frames per second, even in RAW with a huge A7 III buffer, and no one will notice.
Sonnar T* FE 55 mm F1.8 ZA
Standard 55 mm lens recommended for Sony cameras.
It's hard not to conclude that Sony A7R III is by far the best camera for wedding photography of the mirrorless type. It sets new standards in the market for high-resolution full-frame cameras, showing that such models can be used not only to shoot perfectly detailed images with good lighting, that is, studio or landscape works, but also other, for example, reportage. Sony A7R III is the next step on the way to an absolutely perfect camera without flaws: 10 frames per second with a decent buffer, a slightly improved work in the dark, the built-in stabilizer, and a battery of sufficient capacity. Perhaps the main disadvantage of A7R III is its image processing. It is much better than the previous models have, but still, there are some quirks and weaknesses. Some photographers may also find A7R III too small for comfortable use.
Sony FE 16-35mm f / 2.8 GM
Is one of the best lenses for portrait photography that has excellent sharpness and unusual bokeh which differs from similar lenses of other companies. It is the most affordable portrait lens for E bayonet.
Sony Alpha E-Mount FE 85mm f/1.8
Is one of the best lenses for portrait photography that has excellent sharpness and unusual bokeh which differs from similar lenses of other companies. It is the most affordable portrait lens for E bayonet.
At first glance everything is simple and standard: familiar GX8 sensor, a lot of logical improvements in video recording and increased size. But many minor improvements create a picture that is atypical for Panasonic. This is not just the best camera for wedding photography, but a full-fledged hybrid device. If you want to get 4K video with a minimum quality lose at an affordable price, GH5 is the best variant. But GH5 also acquires the important features of a powerful camera for taking photos and videos. The quality of RAW and JPEG has been improved in many aspects (color rendition, details, dynamic range, etc).
Only photosensitivity hasn’t been improved. The developers added a modern tracking mode for video recording. They also added the second SD card slot. Now, you can transfer the image to your smartphone via Bluetooth LE. Overall, I can say that the built-in image stabilizer is the most important update.
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4.0
This is a universal photography lens with a variable focal length of 12-60 mm (35 mm film equivalent: 24-120 mm) for digital mirrorless MFT cameras.
The powerful sensor (20 Mp) makes the model one of the best cameras for wedding photography. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II can compete even with advanced amateur and professional cameras. In addition, the high shooting rate, stabilization, a single-frame autofocus make Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II a great device for complex reportage shooting. The functionality of Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has been enhanced with protection against dust and moisture. The stabilizer work is very effective. Now, even a two-second shutter speed allows you to take pictures without blurring. In addition, stabilization is great even while video recording. In my opinion, E-M1 Mark II gives the best photo quality of all Olympus cameras. Noise at high ISO has been significantly reduced. I also found a lot of positive changes in ergonomics and the E-M1 Mark II interface.
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8
Panasonic Lumix G X has a dual image stabilization system, a diaphragm control mechanism to smoothly change exposure parameters for video recording and an improved focus. The lens case has been equipped with frost protection to -50 ° F.
Nikon D810 is a modern full-frame DSLR, designed primarily for those photographers, who need high image quality for printing. Landscape, wedding, advertising photography are these genres, in which excellent color rendering and the highest image detail provided by Nikon D810 are especially useful. Thanks to the 36-megapixel matrix without a low-frequency optical filter, D810 provides the sharpest detail among all digital DSLRs and is called the best Nikon DSLR camera for wedding photography. The control interface of D810 is designed for an experienced photographer and may seem too complicated for beginners. But the efficiency of control is awesome due to the abundance of individual buttons and selectors, as well as the possibility to adjust many of them. Thanks to a relatively high shooting speed and an excellent autofocus, you can use D810 for reportage shooting. Don’t be afraid of a high resolution. While shooting in the insufficient lighting, you can carry out noise reduction more effectively. In addition, you always have the opportunity to take pictures with a lower resolution, for example, in S-RAW format.
Sigma 50mm f / 1.4 DG HSM Art
The lens is very sharp and versatile. You can use it for different photography genres and get images of pro quality.
This is the best camera for wedding photography Nikon, a full-frame body at a relatively small price. It doesn’t differ from the previous D600 version and the most visible changes relate to the increased speed of the continuous shooting. The device is equipped with a fast shutter, which allows taking up to 6 frames per second in a continuous shooting mode. Besides, this parameter can be adjusted. Autofocus in Live View mode has become faster at a wide angle. Autofocus is based on 60 points, which are evenly distributed across the frame, and it works well even in the low light. In general, the camera was professionally updated, but the design, menu, and basic characteristics are practically the same. Of course, there is a question – what is the point of such an insignificant upgrade? Advertising D610, the company representatives did not mention the main problem of D600 – there was too much dust and splashed oil on the sensor surface, which becomes noticeable if you use the camera for a long time. This problem was the reason for such a fast upgrade.
Nikkor AF-S 50mm F1.8G
In the full-frame condition, this will be a 50mm, universal lens. Besides, this is the best lens for portrait photography, as a shooter can switch to DX mode and get 75 mm large shots.
Until recently, there was no analog to Nikon D700 that has disappeared from the market. The problem is that the update is not much different from Nikon D610. The only significant difference is that there is the 51 points focusing system. Nikon D750 is half a frame per second faster than Nikon D610. It has an updated focusing system (in fact, the one that Nikon D700 features). Weight, size and everything resembles the D610. Nikon D750 may be undoubtedly called the best Nikon for wedding photography. It is equally good for an amateur, who decided to go the full-frame, and for a commercial event photographer who earns a living by event or artistic shots, including making videos. Its scope of application can be limited only by a minimum shutter speed of 1/4000, which is not too short if you work with ultra-high-power optics. Besides, the size of the buffer isn’t very big.
Sigma AF 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
This is just a terrific lens. Sharp, with a stunning "bokeh", a 1.4 working aperture and, at the same time, at an affordable price..
Nikon Df is a very unusual full-frame camera, made in the classic Nikon design. On the web, you may find the information that the camera belongs to the professional segment. There are no automatic modes but the price is rather high, sometimes even surpassing some professional cameras. This means that ordinary amateurs, and especially beginners, will avoid this device. Thus, the camera is designed for advanced enthusiasts, who are good at photo equipment and who won’t be confused by the control only in manual and semi-automatic modes. In other words, they don’t need purely professional gadgets and functions. It is bulky, but at the same time convenient, with such control that everything you need is always at hand and with such a matrix that you can shoot even in complete darkness. Though it lacks the professional nuances, such as a dual memory card slot, shutter speeds of 1/8000 s, a continuous shooting speed of 12 frames/s, a more capacious battery, it is considered to be the best Nikon camera for wedding photography among amateurs.
Nikon 24-70mm f / 2.8E ED VR
This lens can be found in the toolkit of diverse shooters. The basic characteristics of the previous version have been improved, so the results you get will be stunning.
This is the first full-frame camera with a five-axis stabilizer based on the matrix shift and the first camera that can simultaneously use the lens stabilizer and its own stabilizer. I am really impressed with the Sony A7II and its stabilization system, so for me, it is the best Sony camera for wedding photography. The stabilizer even works with lenses of other manufacturers, including manual lenses without microprocessor contacts. Initially, the base model of Sony A7 was positioned as a compact camera. Its mirrorless build allowed it to be quite thin, light and small, but in the end, we get controversial control with inconvenient handle. But Sony A7II already has a much larger body and resembles SLR cameras in size and design. The manufacturers failed to make a compact camera with a full-size sensor. The compactness of a mirrorless system with a full-format matrix is rather a myth, since the lenses themselves, which are necessary to cover the matrix, are quite large. The full-frame matrix provides the highest quality of pictures both in the afternoon and in the evening. The ISO range extends up to 6400 points inclusive. The camera has a very thoughtful and fine control, although if you are used to shooting DSLRs, you’ll need some time to get accustomed to this camera. However, the camera has certain disadvantages. There is still a 1.5-second delay when you turn the camera on.
Sony FE 28-70 mm F 3.5-5.6 OSS
Standard 2.5x zoom with optical stabilizer, one low dispersion, and three aspherical elements.
This is an example of a classic SLR camera with a large 24x36 mm full-frame image sensor and a resolution of 22.3 megapixels. It allows you to shoot at high ISO (sensitivity range up to 25600 with an extension of up to 102400 units). The camera has a rate of up to 6 frames/s and is also equipped with the same autofocus sensor as the professional Canon EOS-1D X model. Canon 5D Mark III provides excellent image quality even during shooting in poor lighting. You can take pictures with an extremely low depth of field (a very important feature for portrait shooting) due to the large size of the sensor. The camera autofocus is really powerful: focus points cover most of the frame. This allows you to take not only portraits with high-aperture optics but also dynamic reports with tracking autofocus.
Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZF.2
The lens was included in the list of the best Canon lenses for portraits. The manufacturer reports that the lens cannot be damaged by dust and moisture and the metal frame provides high structural durability.
This is the best Canon camera for wedding photography that solves the most complex tasks. The camera sensor reproduces a wider dynamic range than previous models. Typically, this plays a key role for night shooting. In some cases, the pictures look great even at ISO 12,800. The noise level has been reduced. Auto focus works without complaints. It is fast and quick. The touch screen display allows you to control the focus area in Live View mode. The new sensor contains by 1.5 times more image elements and supports Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology in autofocus mode and for storing more information about pictures.
Canon EF 85mm f / 1.4L IS USM
Having tested the camera, I can say that this is one of the best lenses for portrait photography. The lens has its own individual design and provides beautiful bokeh. The blurring is done in a form of beautiful highlights and textured background.
The manufacturer of this model has limited its functionality in order not to compete with Canon 5D Mark III. Probably every photographer will notice a simplified autofocus system. A large number of focus points is needed for shooting fast dynamic events. The buffer size, low burst speed (by modern standards) and a small shutter resource prove that Canon EOS 6D is not a reportage camera. But despite this, Canon EOS 6D has more advantages than Canon 5D Mark III. The noise level is lower while shooting and also the dynamic range is wider, which allows you to focus even at night. In addition, 6D has smaller dimensions and weight. Wi-Fi and GPS modules will pleasantly surprise every customer.
Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Canon EF
This is a great modern lens for portraits. Autofocus works fast and easily finds objects. There is a switch on the lens to limit the focusing distance. The autofocus motor in this lens is practically silent. The front lens does not rotate in process. Consequently, the filter doesn’t move.
Tamron SP 24-70mm F / 2.8
The lens has an almost triple zoom and a constant aperture of F / 2.8. The abbreviation SP in the title means that the model refers to the best lens for portrait photography, known as “Super Performance”.
Fujifilm experts didn’t create a new model, they only improved the original and added advanced features. Virtually every camera detail has been changed (a new sensor, comfortable body, new metal buttons and dials, hybrid viewfinder and an excellent autofocus system). I liked that Fujifilm X-Pro2 works more naturally during shooting. Besides, I saw that clients and photographers really liked its retro design. The camera system is fast and efficient. The new shutter works up to 1/8000 in mechanical and up to 1/32000 s in electronic mode. These are excellent indicators to work with high-aperture optics. Autofocus with phase detection sensors on the matrix is fast and accurate even in difficult shooting conditions. All controls are easily adjustable. Shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation are regulated with separate selectors. The matrix upgrade has greatly improved this model: the image resolution has increased 1.5 times. The speed of continuous shooting increased to 8 frames per second, the video "rose" to 1080 / 60p. You can use 2 memory card slots to record all pictures.
Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4
I think that 35 mm is the perfect focal length for Fujifilm camera. I can hardly imagine a photography genre, where this lens will be useless. I took lots of close-ups with Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R and created different portraits. Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R copes with all tasks thanks to its high lens speed.
This is one of the best cameras for wedding photography with a very effective optical stabilization system. In addition, it gives excellent image quality! Flexible RAW processing, low noise level, and reasonable price make Pentax K-1 one of the best in this segment.Pentax K-1 is suitable for various types of shooting. You can use the camera in the expedition or for art portrait photography. This camera can be used in many genres of professional photography: wedding, subject, interior styles. In addition, this camera has a large arsenal of tools. K-1 RAWfiles have a huge dynamic range, allowing you to work with a file as with clay. The color rendering differed from the one I got with Canon. Spend a couple of minutes in the converter and you will get everything as you want. In general, I can say that this is the best camera to use for wedding photography.
Sony E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
Ultrasonic SDM motor allows you to focus smoothly and silently. In case of installing lenses with an SDM motor on a PENTAX K10D, SDM focusing is automatically connected.
Panasonic again made an excellent mirrorless camera. The developers added 4K video recording mode, which is not present in the cameras of other brands. G7 works fine not only with 4K but also gives high quality general material. G7 brilliantly manifests itself in auto focusing with poor light. It can even focus in the dark. But the focus is not the fastest possible in good lighting. In this aspect, Olympus OM-D E-M5 is more powerful. The speed of continuous shooting isn’t the highest either. The auto settings work well both in the artificial and natural light.
Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f / 1.7
This is a universal lens for everyday use (landscapes, walks, portraits, macro). At the same time, a small and compact “glass” has a fairly large lens speed.
As you can see, there are a lot of best cameras for wedding photography. Please note, that you won’t find an excellent option among cheap models. Even crop-cameras are expensive today. Can you use Nikon D5100 or Canon 600D for wedding photography? - Sure! Should you do it? - Nope.
All the best cameras for wedding photography 2017 are presented in our list. You can choose any of them!
|Sony a7IIICHOICE OF FIXTHEPHOTO||VIEW MORE|
|Sony A7RIIIBEST IMAGE QUALITY||VIEW MORE|
|Panasonic Lumix GH5BEST VIDEO QUALITY||VIEW MORE|
|Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II BEST OF MICRO 4/3||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon D610BEST FOR SERIAL SHOOTING||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon D610||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon D750||VIEW MORE|
|Nikon Df||VIEW MORE|
|Sony A7II||VIEW MORE|
|Canon 5D Mark III||VIEW MORE|
The cameras for wedding photography must have interchangeable lenses, manual modes, RAW shooting and a slot for a flash.
A standard digital camera is equipped with a sensor, which is aimed at determining the picture quality. A large sensor gathers more light from a shot. That’s why such sensors are for low light wedding photography. Besides, the background will look softer. On the other hand, smaller sensors are more accessible. Crop or ASP-C sensors make it easier to find a lens with a large zoom.
Most wedding photographers look for full frame sensors, as they need to capture lots of light. Those, who look for more budgetary options, choose crop sensors, which are still quality enough to produce pretty nice background blur. If you try to understand, which camera is best for wedding photography, keep in mind that different sensors require different lenses.
You need a camera with the most accessible controls during photoshoot. It’s too bad that many photographers completely forget when they choose the first camera, to check if they can conveniently work with this model? You should be able to change any of the possible settings, like ISO or aperture without distracting from the viewfinder. You should have a mechanical control of these indicators, so do not choose models in which you need to look at the screen to change these parameters, because it is not very convenient, and you can miss a good frame. Also, pay attention to the setting wheels.
You need a fast camera that won’t keep you waiting. Check how long it takes a camera to turn on. For example, the best Nikon camera for wedding photography is ready to work in several seconds. It is impossible to keep the camera constantly turned on, as your battery won’t last long. If the camera works slowly and you have to wait several minutes until you can take a shot, such a model isn’t a good variant.
Besides, it is important how fast your camera can shoot. Five frames per second in RAW is the minimum for a wedding photographer. Thus, you will be able to take great lifestyle pictures.
Previously photographers didn’t have such a choice and had to use only heavy DSLRs to get quality photos. Nowadays, there is lots of photography gear you may choose from. The production of the mirrorless cameras has been rapidly developing and such cameras are on the same level as DSLRs. We can take a new Fujifilm GFX 50R camera as an example. This is a compact medium-sized model with a 50-megapixel sensor. But this limits the number of photography lenses you may use. There are significantly fewer lenses for the mirrorless cameras. The weight of the best camera for wedding photography also matters. A large, often high-quality lens weighs from 700g and can reach several kilograms. So if your camera also weighs a lot, the whole wedding shooting will turn into a tedious activity.
Sometimes a brand is important, sometimes not. Personally, I favor the best Sony camera for wedding photography, but I don’t say that Canon, Nikon, Fuji and the rest are bad products. You must choose the camera that is convenient for you, as each company has great options. Olympus and Panasonic offer only a micro 3/4 camera sensor, but they perfectly stabilize the image. Nikon and Canon are big DSLR players, while Fujifilm and Sony make excellent SLR cameras.
There are also some issues concerning the price. Hasselblad for $6,000 (camera body) is a good camera, but it’s definitely not suitable for a wedding photo session as it is too slow. Buying an APS-C or Micro ¾, stick to the middle and upper price range. For full-frame cameras, even the “entry level” one will satisfy the needs of most beginning wedding photographers.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.