Camera Choices for shooting Weddings
Our editing style is most important to us as this is the final product that our clients see. The edit is made up of many different aspects that all contribute to our overall style. This means we don't rely on a particular element to make our style what it is, we do however love looking at new equipment and what we can get to achieve even better results to the overall project.
We will be looking at cameras in this post; what we currently have, what we like, what we don't like, what others have and also what we'd like to see from future cameras.
At the time of writing this we shoot on a Panasonic GH4. A great little camera that has served us well on many occasions. With the ability to shoot 4K straight out of the camera and Full HD at 200mbps. It was one of the first DSLR's to come equipped with actual tools for shooting video; such as zebras, a histogram and focus peaking.
Having spoken to several different wedding freelancers in the last week or so, it's been amazing to hear back about what people shoot on. A lot more variety than what I thought and it's been interesting to see what people choose from:
- Sony FS7
- Sony A7S II
- Canon C100
- Canon C300
- Panasonic GH5
From our research, we are looking at getting a Sony A7S II. It is a great camera with incredible low light sensitivity which will be a very handy feature to take advantage of when shooting weddings. It is one of the more affordable cameras of the 5 listed above so that also has a bearing on our choice!
Why not the GH5?
I have loved our GH4 from Panasonic and every part of us wanted to buy the GH5 but based on the direction we are going it's not an option. The low light capability is of no comparison to the A7S II and even announcing the GH5S to cater for low light shooting they have shot themselves in the foot by removing the built in Image Stablization!
The fact that to achieve a flat picture profile with the GH5 also means shelling out £80 for the V-Log picture profile is another mark against.
The micro four thirds sensor has been something we've got good and bad things to say about, but we believe having a full frame sensor is the way forward now. Especially now as 4K is natively available in camera on the A7S II.
The GH4 has been a game changer and we loved being part of the revolution but others have caught up and have bettered what the GH4 can achieve.
What we look for in a camera:
4K has to be up there, if not to use now but to future proof us! It's useful for punching in on shots as a digital zoom in post production. The GH4 shoots 4K @ 25fps, 4K @ 50fps would be nice but not essential.
Slow Mo is a massive part of our style. This can be created by shooting at 50fps and then slowing it down by half in post production. The GH4 currently has an augmented 96fps setting to achieve super slow motion but some cameras have the ability to actually shoot at 120fps in Full HD too. The Sony A7S II does indeed have this as an option. The C100 mk II has the ability to shoot 100fps too.
Low light sensitivity. Shooting on a GH4 means you need to have a fast lens or pump a lot of light into the scene you're shooting. Whilst this is doable in a corporate shoot environment, you're limited to what the venue has to offer on a wedding shoot. We can get around this by using LED's but what we'd love is a camera that can push itself to the limit to achieve great low light results. The Sony A7S II is the obvious choice, although the other cameras in Sony's Alpha range can also deliver stunning low light results.
Battery Life. We don't want to be changing and charging batteries all day on a shoot, especially not a wedding! The GH4 wins here, the battery life is superb and can even get through a day of shooting on one battery.
Image Stabilization. As mentioned earlier, the GH5S has removed this feature much to the confusion of fans. If this feature hadn't of been removed, we may well be considering buying that camera!
ND Filters. The C100 has built in ND filters which are brilliant, the flick of a switch turns them on and off. Using most other cameras you have to manually screw one onto the front of a lens which can cost precious time.
Our current set up: GH4, 14-140mm kit lens, 25mm lens, 2 spare batteries, Zoom H1 mic, Rode VideoMic Pro, RodeLink radio mics, 2 64GB class 10 SD cards, 2 32GB class 10 SD cards and a GoPro Session 5.
What we want from future cameras
We can't wait for new equipment all the time! With the A7S II being our camera of choice we are very intrigued to find out what's going to be added onto the A7S III.
There are many rumours about what the A7S III will include but something we'd like to see has actually been added to other Sony cameras recently. The Electronic Variable ND Filter has been added to the new FS7, FS5 and X180/ X160 cameras and potentially could be added into a Sony Alpha camera.
The use of ND filters is necessary in bright situations but hardly a speedy bit of kit to use so having this built into the camera would be a massive game changer!
Having a built in ND filter on a DSLR/ Mirrorless camera would be brilliant.
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