Cameras and Lenses
The 6 best cameras and lenses for weddings
There can never be too many photos of a wedding. Whether you’re the person tasked with documenting the happy couple’s day from start to finish, or simply a friend or family member wishing to capture some memorable moments, it’s important to ensure you select the right camera and lens combination.
Wedding photography involves capturing people in constant motion as they get caught up in the joy of the occasion and let loose. To accomplish this, you need a lens that will let a lot of light into your camera and allow you to get faster shutter speeds in those low light situations you will find yourself.
No matter which camera you choose, it is important that the lens has a maximum aperture of at least f/2.8 and a focal length not longer than 50mm. This will keep your ISO values at reasonable levels, allowing you to get cleaner images with more accurate colours and less noise.
Being a wedding guest is expensive! If after paying for your accommodation and the couple’s gift you find yourself on a limited budget for your camera set up, remember that it’s better to invest in a quality lens first and upgrade the camera body at a later date.
For weddings, a Micro Four Thirds camera will be sufficient in terms of camera sensor, and given how quickly the technology of camera bodies changes, there’s comfort and value in the fact that a great lens will remain great.
Canon EOS M6 Mark II + EVF-DC2 Viewfinder + EF-M 32MM F/1.4 STM
Dimensions: 4.72 x 2.76 x 1.93 inches | Weight: 0.9 Pounds | Sensor Type: 33 Megapixels APS-C | Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Battery Life: 305 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 14 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder Accuracy: 100%
At the time of us publishing this article, the Canon EOS M6 II is the best APS-C mirrorless camera the company has to offer. Besides bringing Canon’s familiar design and user interface, it also includes the highest resolution APS-C sensor ever included in a camera. This means that you’ll be able to get very detailed and sharp photos with the EOS M6 II.
Of course, to make the most out of such a high resolution sensor you’ll need a lens that has good quality optics and that’s why the Canon EF-M 32mm f/1.4 is our main recommendation. It has the glass to handle that sensor, but also a very bright maximum aperture, which will allow you to increase your shutter speeds in low light, but also get less noisy images.
Another strength of the Canon EOS M6 Mark II as a wedding camera is its combination of a very capable Dual Pixel AF system and a burst rate of 14 fps, which can also work while the autofocus is enabled. So, no matter if your friends or family are posing for the photos or are enjoying some dancing, you’ll have a high chance of getting sharp photos of them.
Nikon Z fc + Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S
Dimensions: 5.31 x 3.7 x 1.73 inches | Weight: 0.98 Pounds | Sensor Type: 21 Megapixels APS-C | Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Battery Life: 300 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 11 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder Magnification: 0.68x (35mm equivalent)
Despite only being the second APS-C mirrorless camera ever released by Nikon, the Z fc already serves as a great showcase of what the company is aiming for to compete with other cameras on the market. The Z fc has the look of a retro film camera, an abundance of manual controls, a capable sensor and a fair price point that won’t hit your wallet very hard.
Since the design of the Z fc is heavily inspired by the Nikon cameras of the old, it also, like those cameras, brings physical controls for all the important exposure settings like the shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. There’s also a little screen on the top to display your current aperture, as well a button to initiate the video recording.
And you would certainly want to capture video with the Nikon Z fc. Thanks to its fully articulating touchscreen, Eye AF, uncropped 4K recording and a dedicated mode reserved just for video settings, it’s just as capable of producing high quality video footage as well as still photos. Those photos will look great even in low light conditions, even at higher ISOs.
Sony a6100 + E 35mm F1.8 OSS
Dimensions: 4.72 x 2.64 x 2.32 inches | Weight: 0.87 Pounds | Sensor Type: 24 Megapixels APS-C | Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Battery Life: 420 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 11 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 921,600 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 1,440,000 dots | Viewfinder Magnification: 0.71x (35mm equivalent)
In terms of its features and price point, the Sony a6100 sits firmly between a low end and a mid range camera, but it still manages to excel at one important aspect and that’s focusing. It’s AF system is the best in class and makes it easy for the user to achieve precise focus no matter if we’re talking about capturing moving subjects or recording 4K video.
While the focusing system in question is coupled with a myriad of different focusing modes and adjustment settings, it’s main strength lies in its ability to work great even without any additional input from the photographer. This makes the a6100 a very compelling camera for beginners or even enthusiasts who simply want to enjoy a more straightforward experience.
The Sony a6400 also manages to provide a longer battery life than most of its competition. While the runtime of 420 shots is nothing groundbreaking, it’s still pretty impressive considering how light the a6400 is. The addition of USB charging makes the entire package even more enticing. Just plug in a power bank and you’ll be able to charge it anywhere.
Fujifilm X-T30 + Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R
Dimensions: 4.65 x 3.27 x 1.85 inches | Weight: 0.84 Pounds | Sensor Type: 26 Megapixels | Video Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Battery Life: 380 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 30 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder Magnification: 0.62x (35mm equivalent)
It’s a well known fact that Fujifilm have been doing a great job for years when it comes to producing APS-C mirrorless cameras that offer excellent image quality and designs that successfully merge the attractiveness of a retro film camera with the functionality of a modern one. The X-T30 is one of the best examples of such a company policy.
If you’re after a camera that brings a lot of physical controls, handles great in the hand but is also highly customizable, the X-T30 will certainly satisfy your needs. Fujifilm have also managed to keep the weight down to a level that’s comparable to a lot of smaller sensor cameras, while also keeping the build quality high, despite the lack of weather sealing.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is also a great camera for family photography, thanks to its focusing system that’s very quick at recognizing people’s faces and keeping them in sharp focus. It can also track moving subjects pretty well, as well as keep everything in focus during video recording. The 4K video quality on the X-T30 is also a major improvement over the X-T20.
Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 + LUMIX G Lens 25mm F1.7 ASPH
Dimensions: 5.12 x 3.7 x 3.03 inches | Weight: 1.18 Pounds | Sensor Type: 20 Megapixels Four Thirds | Video Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Battery Life: 290 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 9 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 1,240,000 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder Magnification: 0.74x (35mm equivalent)
If your priorities in purchasing a new mirrorless camera to photograph the weddings of your friends or family lie in the best possible handling for your money, then you should seriously consider the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95. It brings all the advantages of a modern mirrorless camera, but with ergonomics and design that are more reminiscent of a smaller DSLR.
The reason why it resembles a DSLR so much is its deep hand grip and a lot of textured grippy surfaces around it. You can be sure you won’t be at any danger of dropping the G95 even after many hours of shooting and getting sweaty hands. You’ll also be able to enjoy all the different controls scattered around the camera, especially the customizable ones.
The Panasonic G95 also presents itself as a capable video camera, especially at its price point. Besides including 4K recording, it also brings both the headphone and the microphone jack, in-body image stabilization and unlimited video capture. Since a wedding is such a dynamic event, it wouldn’t hurt to have the ability to capture some nice videos, wouldn’t it?
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III + M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8
Dimensions: 4.92 x 3.35 x 1.97 inches | Weight: 0.91 Pounds | Sensor Type: 20 Megapixels Four Thirds | Video Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Battery Life: 310 shots | Fastest Shooting Speed: 30 fps | Screen Size: 3 inches | Screen Resolution: 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder Resolution: 2,360,000 dots | Viewfinder Magnification: 0.68x (35mm equivalent)
In contrast to the previous Four Thirds camera on our list, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III follows a different philosophy, trying to keep the size and weight down as much as possible without affecting the handling, durability or functionality in any meaningful way. We are still dealing with a mirrorless camera that’s comfortable to use and easy to operate.
Despite being very portable, the E-M5 III still manages to include a decently big electronic viewfinder, a fully articulating touchscreen and 5-axis image stabilization, all being important features to contribute to a camera that’s a pleasure to shoot with. There’s also a highly customizable user interface on board, in case you don’t like the default configurations.
Lastly, it’s important to mention the usefulness of the 10 fps burst rate on the E-M5 III. While the speed itself is in the same range of many other mirrorless cameras in its class, the addition of the fast UHS-II memory card slot puts the E-M5 III in a different ball park. This essentially means that you’ll be able to shoot more series of images with it, for a longer time.
Full Frame sensor – Also called a 35mm sensor. It’s the type of imaging sensor found in most professional cameras, but also used as a point of reference for comparing the sizes of all the other sensors found in cameras, smartphones and other devices.
So, when you hear the term “35mm equivalent” it refers to the field of view or focal length of an APS-C or Four Thirds lens as if it were used on a Full frame sensor. If you don’t own a Full Frame camera, it isn’t something you should be worried about at all.
APS-C sensor – The most common type of image sensor found in many mirrorless cameras and DSLRs. It’s smaller than Full Frame, but still big enough to give you very good image quality and great low light performance.
Four Thirds sensor – The type of image sensor that’s half the size of a Full Frame sensor, which generally means that it’s image quality is slightly below APS-C sensors, but on the flip side, allows for even smaller and lighter camera bodies and lenses.
EVF – An Electronic Viewfinder. It will allow you to compose your photos by putting the camera to your eye, instead of looking at the main screen. It often offers better visibility in direct sunlight, makes it easier to focus on your subject and also gives you more stability when holding the camera.
RAW – The type of imaging format that will give you the most flexibility and creative freedom while you’re editing your photos. Your camera will usually produce decent enough images in its default JPEG format, but shooting in RAW will give you more room to adjust the colors, brightness, contrast and sharpness to your own liking, after taking those photos.
FPS – Frames Per Second. It’s a term used to measure the number of images a camera can take in only one second. Since taking photos of moving subjects is never easy, having the ability to take a lot of photos at once will improve your chances of getting a sharp photo that also puts your subject in a position you desire.
Dual Pixel Autofocus – Canon’s focusing technology that was implemented to improve continuous focusing speed in video recording on their DSLRs, but is now used for still photography as well on all of their mirrorless Full Frame bodies.
No matter which camera and lens combination you choose from our list above, you can breathe easy knowing it won’t let you down as you capture the biggest day of the happy couple’s life.
Whether it’s a sunlit ceremony, grandparents getting their groove on late at night on the dancefloor, or the myriad other moments that make a wedding memorable, our guide above will give you stunning results no matter the lighting conditions.
Now it’s up to you and your priorities. Make your purchase based on whether image quality, shooting speed, portability or ease of use is of most value to you. Then, all that’s left is to take the pictures that the couple, their family and friends will cherish for generations. Happy snapping!