Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by ryan_kieft, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Happy holidays. 6 months ago I began taking pictures and I am now ready to purchase my 1st DSLR! Within the next 1-2 years, I will be
    getting into wedding photography. I am trying to decide what body to buy and my options are: Canon 5D-Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 60D,
    or Canon 6D. Which camera is best for a beginning wedding photographer.

    Please help me decide...
    I appreciate the feedback:)

    Just so u know....even though I am just a beginner I have been learning photography at a fast pace due to ample time & training videos.
  2. Ryan, please note that pnet has a policy against double posting. Mod: Second post removed.
    WRT gear, it is not the camera but the person behind it. Also consider a backup strategy, lenses and flash. I can't decide for you, my choice would be to go full frame, 6D because it is a newer model but YMMV.
  3. I am not a Canon user so I won't comment on the gear.
    You are setting a very fast time table for getting into wedding photography. Continue having fun learning, be very careful you are ready, before doing a wedding. Weddings are an important event to your customer, even if you are doing it for free they deserve a photographer that is confident based on some experience.
  4. Hi Ryan Welcome to Photo net . Agree with the above comments On the main page you have a blue tab Learning . Scroll down to weddings and check the forum comments. Also look for comments from Nadine O Hara and other s . I do not do weddings But the advice ... " You must have belt and braces policy" is correct .. Two of everything at least... How about asking the local Wedding photographers if you can assist them ? you might have to do it for free but what you learn would be worth its weight in gold experience. We can help if you post your current work up for critique , put it in the beginners section , as the comments there will be designed to help you. Best of wishes Miken
  5. Ryan, walk before you run. Wedding photographer is a demanding job, and taking "good photos" is really just part of it. Owning the right gear is an even smaller part of it.
    A second thing is that using a DSLR effectively is something you need to learn about as well, and starting out with professional or near-professional model might not be your best bet. Also, maybe you already tried, but why restrict yourself to one brand already? Go to a store, and try the other brands for sure. The biggest difference between a Canon and a Nikon (to me) is how they fit my hand, and how they handle. Now this is important to get right, especially when you're using a camera all day. So, I won't comment on any of the models (also because I am no Canon user), but I would suggest to give other brands a try too, and to consider cheaper models to get started. It's the lenses where the big money will go.
    And if you really want to go pro, you need two bodies, two flashes at least. Plus the usual raft of lenses - usually f/2.8 zooms. So, consider if getting a $2000 body now is a good idea - you'll need the money hard enough for all the other things.
    All in all, 6 months of experience in taking pictures is, honestly, not a lot. Take it easy and focus on developing yourself. Work with a professional photographer for a few times to understand what the job is about, and how demanding it can be. Put up some photos here for critique, and/or find other photographers nearby to give you critique - and honest, straight, constructive critiques.Family and friends will always say your photos are nice and goodlooking. Paying customers, however, are a whole different game.
    (For the record, I am not a pro, but I shot some weddings and learnt there and then to respect the pros that do this work!)
  6. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    “Canon 5D-Mark II, Canon 7D, Canon 60D, or Canon 6D. Which camera is best for a beginning wedding photographer.”​
    Any of those 4 cameras would be suitable for Wedding Photography: personally I would choose the 5DMkII as one of my main working cameras and my main reasons for that choice are:
    • Nice high ISO range
    • 135 format (aka ‘Full Frame”) allows maximum exploitation of Shallow DoF
    • 135 format allows use of fast, wide lenses.
    • Good choice of very suitable and fast key working lenses, both Primes and Zooms.
    You will require at least two cameras: I’d suggest you have at least three.
  7. PS Ryan. It is also a wise move to take a Business course .. takes in the legal side .. contracts ... pricing .. how to set up a business model ... etc.. if you get that right.. the photography side should grow alongside that. Are you a good person to person character.. how would you deal with some of situations mentioned in the learning tab under weddings ? Can you think " on your "toes" without stepping on others on the big day .. please accept this in the spirit it is given as we know little of you as a person.. it is not cold water on your motives or skills .. just advice in the cold light of day Miken
  8. I am joining Wouter. The very first thing you need to do is learn. You are not going to become a good wedding photographer by watching videos and reading books though both are very important. You need to apprentice yourself to a wedding photographer who has an established business. After carrying her gear and following her around a couple of times maybe then you can do some second shooter tasks. Snag two of your friends and dress one in black and one in white and take their pictures under all kinds of lighting until they hate you. Photograph black folks in white suits and white guys in black suits. (You'll see why I mention it. I can hear the other photographers groaning about these mistakes we all have learned the hard way.)

    So if you don't have a camera now I also agree that you could consider starting with a less ambitious camera. Full frame is nice but the most important thing is lighting and glass in that order. Then look at the body you can afford only in the context of all three.

    You will need to have Photoshop or perhaps Corel Paintshop Pro. (Photoshop is not cheap.) You will need appropriate clothing for a variety of venues. You will need a computer suitable for running those comfortably and quickly. Workflow will very quickly mean a great deal to you.

    You will need courses in business management and SELLING. Photography is what a wedding photographer does at a wedding. SELLING PHOTOGRAPHY is what a wedding photographer does for a living. There are talented amateurs on this sight who are far better photographers than I am but I am a pretty good salesman and that gives me the work I want.

    Finally. Read every word on the wedding photography section of this sight. You will learn tons from the wedding photographers who post here. You will learn to head off problems before they get you.

    Then you can buy any body you can afford as long as it is fitted with the right lenses and flash.

    There are some who think we should stick to the gear questions when they are asked. That would be unkind. It is rash to recommend equipment until we are sure of your skill level and needs. You can't buy a game.
  9. A rule of thumb is made to be broken, but crop frame sensors (7D, 60D) are better for sports shooting where the extra "magnification" you get from the smaller sensor gets you longer reach. By contrast, full-frame sensors (5D-II, 5D-III, 6D) give you access to shallower depth-of-field and better low-light performance, both of which are useful for weddings and general people-photography.
    The 6D is aimed at non-professionals and has certain key technical limitations -- most notably a very slow flash sync speed of 1/180 of a second, which complicates off-camera-flash use outdoors -- that makes it less desirable for weddings than a 5D-III. However, it's a very good first DSLR (far above average as a starter), and a suitable back-up camera for weddings, so it wouldn't be a waste of your money.
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    There are some who think we should stick to the gear questions when they are asked.​
    For the sake of the archival record of this thread - and in particular just in case that’s a comment in response to my post above: I have no objection to starting other conversations and joining into them - I do that often.
    Others, preceding my post did a good job at doing exactly that and warning the OP about matters about which he did not ask and there was not much I could add to those posts.
    It is rash to recommend equipment until we are sure of your skill level and needs.​
    I disagree.
    On the other hand it is just simply polite for the forum to answer the question as it was asked - and if you read through the posts, that wasn't really addressed early on.
  11. Thank you for the guidance William Miken
  12. I want to respond to everyone is is questioning my situation and avoiding the question at hand. First of all, I have a B.A. In
    Business & my business partner has a B.A. In Marketing. In addition, my stepfather has a M.B.A. in Business & a P.H. D
    in Business. He is a professional business consultant. My partner and I meet with him weekly. He is our mentor.
    We are in the process of creating our business & marketing plan.
    I am a part time nursing student & I do not work. I have lots of time to learn photography. My camera goes everywhere
    with me. I currently have a Rebel. I like it but I want to upgrade to a DSLR.
    For 2013, I have 3 engagement shoots and 3 glamour shoots as well as a multitude of regular shoots scheduled to do for
    free. In every situation, the people know that I am just a beginner. That being said, they love the photos that I have taken
    so far. Obviously, I am trying to build my skills as well as my portfolio.
    I plan on practicing like crazy for the next 2 years. I know that I will not be a wedding photographer overnight.
    Ok. So back to my original question - for wedding photography - what do people recommend => Canon 7D, Canon 60D,
    Canon Mark II, or Canon 6D.
    I understand that I need lenses and other photography equipment. I just would like people's opinion on what body to buy.

    I appreciate everyone taking the time to respond to my question.
  13. William's advice is, as always, sound and to the point. I'm a Nikon user (for now), but understand that the 6D offers much of the functionality of the 5D Mk3 at a much lower price point. I'd go for a 'full frame' option. However, you WILL need two of each of the critical components, especially bodies and flashes plus double coverage of key focal lengths (in my opinion, 24mm, 35mm and or 50mm, & 85mm full frame).
    On the body/lens front, focus speed, accuracy & flexibility will be important. High ISO capability on modern bodies is pretty much a given. I'm guessing Canon is OK in all these areas. On/off camera flash control is also important - I'll add that learning lighting is one of the most important thing you can do (mastering your camera controls being another given).
  14. Ryan, my apologies if my post seemed off-topic all the way, but there are many threads starting with "I have a camera since a few months, everybody tells me my images are great, so now I go pro". In itself, nothing wrong with dreaming about going pro, but it's not an easy market. You sound a whole lot better prepared than many.
    If money is no objection, go for full frame. I'll leave it to the Canon users to state whether the 5D Mk.II or 6D makes the better choice of the two - I know too little of them.
  15. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    . . . one point I was thinking of when I was writing my original reply – but then forgot, was to mention that it is best to think of the Kit as a WHOLE.
    Certainly, each individual item has its value and there are criteria for choosing it – but there is another set of criteria encompassing how the WHOLE kit will work.
    I would still recommend you to buy the 5D MKII (also considering that there are still such good deals on it now, at least here where I live): but it important that you don’t micro-focus on just the camera when choosing what camera to buy.
    Criteria for the Kit, when making a Camera selection, includes the two points I’ve already mentioned about Lenses and DoF . . . and also includes these other key factors but is not limited to them:
    • Dual or Single Format System
    • Number of working cameras (i.e. simultaneous carriage and use of single or multiple cameras)
    • System Redundancy
    • Interchangeability of lenses
    • Interchangeability of accessories (for example: Batteries)
    • Total Weight
    • Total Storage and Carriage (space)
    • Appearance (i.e. how ‘showy’ or ‘professional’ one might wish to appear)
    (Obviously) you have little idea exactly what will be the final kit that you will have in two or three years’ time – but if you plan out now (with what is available now) what that WHOLE kit is, I believe you will make fewer errors in the individual selections of items.
    With the added information you have provided:
    Whilst you should NOT choose items and build this new “Wedding Kit” predicated upon the Rebel (and lenses) you presently have being a part of the final kit or not – equally you should NOT dismiss using the Rebel and the lenses you have to fill in as a stop-gap for a period of time: In this way you might better leverage the TIME LINE for your purchases.
  16. If you want to use this camera for professional work it would make a lot of sense to choose a camera that has two memory slots. That might save your skin one day,
    You might also want to have a look at Nikon as Canon and Nikon or the two most used brands. The D7000, D600 and D800 are the ones that might be interesting.
  17. i would recommend considering a dual card camera when you actually start doing jobs. I have used both the 5d m2 and 7d both are great bodies. The way I like to shoot fast a 7D and complete lens set would suit me but I have a friend that works in a very deliberate fashion that I think the 5d is better for him.
  18. Ryan See my post in the other thread Regards miken
  19. I have a tendancy to ramble and answer questions that are not asked.
    Given the options...I would stick to the nursing career.
    You had better be a great marketer and a good photographer. The camera is only a lightbox. Choices today may be head slapping stupid a year from now. Immerse yourself into taking images and then worry about equipment later. You must mold the talent you have or become a great technician.
    I'll give you my best blueprint at how to succeed from scratch novice to professional. Having done something similar and failed miserably, take it FWIW...
    1)Read and watch less.... pick up your camera and shoot 1000 images a week (advice borrowed from another PNet veteran when asked the same question laletly)
    2)Visit the Strobist website and immerse yourself in flash. Start with simple one strobe off camera flash. Mastering flash will be the most important thing you can do between now and the day you launch. You can't get that experience on the internet. Every day you can't find a willing model, take your camera, a lightstand mounted with a flash, a couple pocket wizards and shoot random street portraits. Walk the streets and shoot street photography/PJ style.
    3)Find a weekly newspaper that needs sports, event, news coverage. A press pass is a great opportunity to build a diverse portfolio shooting a couple of times each week. You gain experience, you shoot thousands of images, you get published, you win awards, and it gains you confidence. Hidden benefit is it allows you to network/market.
    4) Most importantly, second shoot for a wedding photographer couple of years. Maybe in time, you discover you can make more working 5 hours shooting portraits as opposed to 40 hours it takes to complete a wedding.
    5) Malcolm Gladwell said we all need 10,000 hours to master something. Take that to heart. It took a few hundred images to simply bounce a flash off the ceiling to gain an acceptable candid moment at a reception. Shoot every day you can!
    6) Never let your client (newspaper, bride, facebook friends) see an unfinished image or an image that you couldn't sell.
    7) Never, never, never use someone's wedding as practice. You will rely on word of mouth and you could just as easily kill your chances before you start. There are plenty of avenues to gain experience.
    8) Don't become a commodity. Yes, shoot for free is acceptable to a point, but understand the value of your work. If you don't value yourself highly you won't attract the clients that will value your work.
    9) Understand copyright and ownership of your images. never give away the rights to your images.
    10) I read that 90% of all photography business will fail. Many in that 90% are surely seasoned, talented photographers drown by the flood of the weekend warrior offering everything on a disk for $500. Find other photographers to regularly critique your work. Ignore the bottom feeders and shoot for the moon.
    11) There are no short cuts. Some are born with the eye of an artist and many become technicians. It still takes incredible atention to detail from the business side. Equipment can help to some extent, but it can't take great images for you...
  20. Oh my goodness, the poor guy just asked for advice on buying a camera body, people. I know it's a sore subject, new photographers picking up a camera and hanging out a shingle, but the guy at least seems to have his head screwed on reasonably straight (despite the vagueness of the opening comment).
    Let's just relax with the overwrought life advice until someone asks for it.
  21. First of all, I have a B.A. In Business & my business partner has a B.A. In Marketing. In addition, my stepfather has a M.B.A. in Business & a P.H. D in Business.​
    Good. Now all three of you take a salesmanship course. Salesmanship is not the same thing as marketing. Nor is it business management. You ned to study the words to say to clients.
    I want you to succeed. Read William W. and Rob Caswell's posts again. Let me chime in and put one important point very simply. You need two of everything. Or at least backup for everything. If you shoot for long a camera will fail duriing a shoot. If it is a wedding........Please Please take my advice and Rob's advice to heart and master the strobe. It is critical...
  22. I just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and the time it took them to write their response. I entirely understand that I am years
    away and I need to improve vastly. I do get that.
  23. I keep forgetting -- what kind of typewriter did Hemingway write his stories on?
  24. Every business has its own risk. It will be very nice if your job is also your hobby, you're getting paid for doing what you love. Wedding photography is a lot of fun. Just enjoy it but be prepared and always learn.
    I recommend at least 2 full frame bodies (either 6D or 5D Mark II or Mark III if money is not a problem) and for sure nice lenses and flashes. Even the original 5D is great and can be had for less money.
  25. Any of the cameras you mention will take photos good enough for even the most discriminating bride. What I find important is how the camera feels in my hands, how its controls respond, whether I can make it an integral part of my hand/arm/eyes/brain. That means handling each of the ones you are targeting and finding out which one feels best in your hands. A camera that "feels wrong" will just inhibit your creativity and the smoothness of your shooting workflow. No one can tell you which one feels better, you have to try them yourself.

    I would also try a couple of other brands to see if the expression of their design philosophy feels better in your hands. For me, the Nikons always felt better better everyone's hands are different.
  26. Wayne Decker [​IMG], Dec 22, 2012; 07:13 p.m.
    I keep forgetting -- what kind of typewriter did Hemingway write his stories on?​
    The drunken kind. Also, as appropriate as your analogy is, next time you might want to pick someone with more 'commercial' appeal like Agatha Christie, as Hemingway was the sloppy, weirdo artist of that generation's writers. If you photographed like Hemingway wrote, you'd never get another job.
    Then again, you'd probably get to sleep with at least one bridesmaid.
    Ryan, business experience and your photographic eye notwithstanding, you're at a very low experience level, asking for advice entering a field that is primarily people with low levels of experience and cheap gear, and people with high levels of experience and nice gear. While we can rattle off exceptions for days, the fact is that there are comparatively few people in between those two main types.
    So who do you expect to compete with? Do you think that buying a bunch of nice gear will put you in direct competition with the type that has a lot of experience? And do you really want to invest a whole bunch of money in new gear to compete with the type that has cheap gear, and thus a much lower overhead than your own?
    As far as I can see, spending too much money on gear right now would be a no-win situation.
    The best bet would be to buy a couple things that you absolutely will want no matter what. I'd recommend a flash, a 50mm f/1.4, and whatever 70-200 f/2.8 fits into the budget. Obviously the Canon is best, but if you need to save money then Sigma and Tamron make great versions too. I think the Tamron takes nicer pictures than the Sigma, but the Sigma definitely focuses faster, and is available with their version of IS.
    These are things that you'll own, in some version or another, no matter what if you do weddings. I'd buy the best that fit into your budget now, and keep using the Rebel. Do a few cheap weddings, compete with the other novices, get paid diddly, and see how it goes. Get as many BS screw-ups as possible out of the way with the cut-rate clients, and use them to figure out what camera body to buy.
    Some people have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. If that turns out to be you, then the fact that the 6D doesn't autofocus as well as the 5D3 won't matter. The better ISO performance of the 5D3 won't matter either, if it turns out that you're always in the right place at the right time. If that's the case, then you could shoot everything with primes.
    Some people aren't in the right place at the right time, but are friendly enough, and willing to ask for help, that DJs, planners, and other people will tell them what's going on, and where they should go. If that's the case, then that's just as good as being in the right place at the right time.
    Some people try to get as many pictures as possible, and to catch everything that's going on. If that's you, then you absolutely need the best AF, and the ISO boost will help you make better use of zoom lenses.
    You should experiment a little, and take some time to find out what sort of photographer you are before investing too much money. Regardless of how good your photos may be, there's simply know way that you know enough about photography to understand your needs at this point.
  27. Regardless of which camera you buy, learn to use flash properly and get a good tripod and use it.
  28. Having been down this road before, instead of buying the latest prosumer DSLR, I recently spread my money around and picked up a used D200 for $280. Then I picked up a tattered and used 35-70 AF-d for $275, then spent $300 on three used pocket wizards, and picked up a couple of SB28's for about $150. I already own a nice tripod, some prime lens, and my next purchase will be heavier quality light stands.
    My advice is along the same lines, which is to buy an older generation 5D for $600+/-, buy several pocket wizards, quality lightstands, two or three flashes. When your skill level increases buy a second and third used 5D.
    I would spend the big bucks on glass. A 50mm f/1.8 is the best $100 you will spend, but there are faster and better (subjective opinion) in the Canon 50mm lineup. A professional wide-mid range zoom will be something you will always own. A 70-200 f/2.8 is the cadillac of long zooms and standard pro bling.
    If all fails, the glass will retain its value the most and is easier to sell. Camera bodies are like cars, in that they lose value quickly.
  29. +1 Dave Wilson. Flash is extremely important and can be used creatively.
  30. Ryan, do you have a digital rebel or a film rebel? saying you want to move to a dslr makes me think you are currently working with film? If not, why are you looking to move up to a new body right now? Once you answer that question we can likely be more helpful. I can tell you the progression of my own biz with equipment.
    Started out getting a rebel Xsi in 2007 as a present, had shot film most of my life before that. bunches of friends got married so I started taking some shots as a guest. They liked the shots a bunch. I got married and saw areas that I thought I could improve and places where I could learn. I had my 35-80 from my original film kit rebel from the 90s and a 70-300 variable aperture piece of crud and a 50 1.8. I assisted and second shot using only my 50 1.8. After my first 2nd shooting gig I got a 24-70 2.8 and a rebel t1i in 2010 and a 430exii. After my next 2nd shooting gig I got a 580exii. I shot with this set up as a 2nd shooter and a primary for VERY low budget weddings for the first 9 months. Then with what I saved up I got the 5dmkII. I made this jump for the full frame sensor and better ISO performance and slightly better AF. It was great for those low light churches, but for scenes that were not low light it really barely made a difference. At this point the 5dmkII was my primary and t1i was back up body, and xsi as third string.
    Then after getting some advice from people on pnet I got the 50 1.4 and the 135 2.0 L with the 1.4 tele-extender and a 12mm extension tube. I'm small so hand holding the 70-200 just plain wasn't a viable option. After that I got the 16-35 2.8 for dance floor shots and wider angles. After that after playing with my 2nd shooter's 7D and seeing that I didn't know when the 5dmkIII was going to come out, I got the 7D to replace my t1i as my back up as I no longer felt it was a suitable back up for the level of photography I was doing. This was back in early 2012. The 7D's autofocusing is FARRRRRRR better than the 5dmkII. I found myself using the 7D more and more and the 5d only when I had to for low light situations. I got another 430exii and a set of pocket wizards. I eventually sold the pocket wizards for cheaper radio triggers as I was mostly using them in manual mode anyway, so it was just a waste of money for me. Then I got another 580exii while my other one was in the shop, figuring since they were being discontinued to take advantage of the sale and have a good backup. Finally my 5dmkII was getting up there in shutter clicks and my 2nd shooter got the 5dmkIII allowing me to play with it a little and see the IQ on his files. The decrease in noise was astonishing. Having so many more cross type focus points was very appealing. It was on sale, I went for it in early December.
    Along the way I picked up a color checker passport, and just today for christmas got an expo disc for on the job color correction (I do a same day slide show and can't wait just for post for good color). I've also added an ND filter to the mix.
    So which should you get? Well it all depends on why you want the camera. I've seen people who only know how to use their 5dmkii on green take miserable shots and I've seen people who have rebel xs who have skills get fab shots. So my advice is don't move up to a new body until you need one, and then buy what you need plus just a little more so you are fairly current. But before you do that, get a name brand flash and some good lenses. Learn to use those REALLY well. Then after that, I'd consider a new body if your work flow necessitates it.
    If you are buying a body now with the anticipation to use it for shooting wedding photography professionally, and already have some good glass and flashes, then buy the best camera you can afford. If you are in a region where you will likely be shooting zillions of dark church weddings go with the 5dmkiii if you can afford it, if not then consider the 5dmkii or 6D. I haven't shot with the 6D but I hear it's high iso performance is amazing. But also hear it's autofocus is crummy and more like a rebel's. 7D is great for starting out 2nd shooting. As a 2nd shooter you often are shooting from further away so that crop factor is helpful. The autofocus is great. The high ISO performance is better than a rebel's but still nothing compared to the 5dmkii.

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