Wedding photographers have a tough job adapting to all the different environments and photo opportunities that weddings present. They must have the versatility to shoot action and stills, portraits and landscapes, all under changing lighting conditions and during the general chaos of a wedding. That’s why it’s important to get the best camera for wedding photography that your budget allows. The better the camera, the less that stands between you and the perfect shot.
To make our list of the 5 best cameras for wedding photography, we selected tried and trusted cameras with the broad range of features and capabilities wedding photographers need. These cameras will take stunning shots whether you’re shooting place settings before the reception or the new couple dancing under candle light.
Essential Camera Features for Wedding Photography
Which camera you choose will depend on a lot of factors, including your experience, style, and budget. Still, there are some features that all the best cameras for wedding photography share in common:
- Full Frame Sensor. There’s no way around it; every professional wedding photographer’s primary camera should use a full frame sensor. FX format is considerably more expensive than DX, but all that extra space comes in handy for group shots and landscape photos.
- Reliable Auto-Focus. The perfect wedding shots are often the most candid and spontaneous. For this reason, wedding photographers depend on quick, multi-point, phase detection AF that can keep up with the action.
- ISO Range. Light is rarely under your control as a wedding photographer. For the versatility you need in any lighting, the best camera for wedding photography should have a wide ISO range with high effective ISO of 1,600+. Being able to shoot at a high ISO means you won’t have to whip out the flash at inopportune moments during the celebration.
- Weatherproofing. In addition to being ready for any outdoor lighting situation, the best camera for wedding photography should also be splash and dust proof for when the weather inevitably stops cooperating. A sturdy, thick metal body will also protect the camera’s components against drop damage.
Best Camera for Wedding Photography Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Cameras for Wedding Photography
It may be a bold move to snub Nikon or Canon for a first place spot on our list, but if any camera deserves the honor it’s the Pentax K-1. This camera will make you think differently about “off brand” DSLR cameras, but don’t take our word for it. Just listen to what this amazing camera is capable of at a fraction of what Nikon or Canon would charge.
Starting with its remarkable 36.4MP FX sensor, photos from this camera can be generously cropped without losing definition. When you need to make use of the entire frame, enjoy the 33-point AF system that ensures all your subjects are sharply in focus. This camera’s AF is snappy, intuitive, and works very well with moving subjects and continuous shooting. The Pentax K-1 also includes 5-axis image stabilization that will even work with older lenses. This makes for a smoother experience when shooting by hand.
The Pentax K-1 uses a 3.2” LCD monitor that can be tilted up, down, left, and right so you can get that perfect angle without having to lay on the ground or stand on a chair. An LCD flash also helps for spontaneous photography, giving you natural looking lighting with high speed syncing up to 1/200. Shutter speed for this camera ranges from 30 seconds to 1/8,000 so you get the versatility you need for both long exposures and quick shots.
The Pentax K-1 has so many great features that we can’t fit them all in this review. The only downside is that native video resolution is a dated 1080p, but considering how cheap 4K cameras are these days that shouldn’t be a problem. Check it out for yourself to see why this affordable DSLR is the best camera for wedding photography and beyond.
If you’re used to Nikons or are otherwise loyal to their brand, the D750 is available at the same price as the Pentax with similar features. While its sensor boasts the lowest MP count on our top 5 list, a lower pixel count doesn’t necessarily mean lower image quality. All 24MP in this camera’s sensor produce spectacular definition and color clarity across the full frame of a photo.
Weddings can go on for hours, making comfort a real issue for wedding photographers. The Nikon D750 has you covered with its lightweight design and exceptional ergonomic handling. All buttons and manual settings can be reached from beside the adjustable 3” display in the back, or around the trigger. That means no more blindly searching with your pinky to change manual settings on the fly.
Despite being light and easy to carry, the Nikon D750 is a rugged camera body that’s splash, dust, and weather resistant. Safely use this camera outdoors and make use of its incredible 51-point AF system to shoot impeccably focused landscapes and group shots. This comprehensive AF system also works particularly well in low light situations, and this best camera for wedding photography dependably produces noiseless images at up to 6400 ISO.
Nikon has a ton of accessories and camera lenses to choose from, and it’s easier to get service in the US than with Pentax. If these issues are important to you, consider the Nikon D750 as your next camera for wedding photography.
Some people think mirrorless cameras will overtake DSLRs in popularity one day. Sony is at the helm of innovation with their full frame mirrorless offering, the a7R II. Mirrorless cameras have some great features to offer wedding photographers, including quieter operation, smaller form, and lighter weight. The a7R II in particular has many more features that any wedding photographer would love to utilize.
Yes, you read correctly, this camera’s sensor employs a stunning 42MP for the most richly detailed and ready for print photos imaginable. Take large photos confidently, especially thanks to the hybrid AF system. Instead of simply using contrast detection like other mirrorless cameras, the a7R II also employs phase detection. The result is a breathtaking 399-point AF system with speed, accuracy, and customization like you’ve never experienced.
At the height of technology, the Sony a7R II can shoot true 4K video, and you may even take stills from video with no loss of quality. Both video and photos are made smooth thanks to the internal 5-axis stabilization. This best camera for wedding photography is quiet, stable, and takes shake-free photos with its reduced vibration shutter. All this means you’ll have steady photos no matter what’s going on around you.
The Sony a7R II is the perfect camera for those who are interested in the future of mirrorless. It outperforms competitors in almost every way, except that there are fewer available accessories. The versatility of this camera means you can do a lot more with a lot less, however, making it a smart choice if you have the budget.
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