Professional Camera

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by stephanie_oropeza|2, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Hello,
    Ok, so I was wondering if anyone can give me help/insight on acquiring an inexpensive (preferably dirt-cheap) pro (or even simi-pro) DSLR.
    For the past 5/7 years I have been dreaming and planning on taking my passion/hobby of photography to the next level, however, every time I think it may happen (aka - I saved up enough money) something usually comes up and I'm back on a financial hardship.
    Shooting weddings is more than a dream to me. And it's not an if, but a when.
    I have shot a quinceañera (with a point and shoot!!!) for a family friend and even assisted a professional on a wedding many years ago. I have also worked at a couple of portrait studios for a few years. I am not oblivious to what needs to be done.
    I just feel like once I get a professional camera, I will become alive.
    Please help. I know renting is an option, but, that can add up...($)...real quick.
    I feel like an artist without a paint brush.
    I need ideas/advise...
    Thank you
    (even if you don't respond, thank you for listening)
    Regards,
    Stephanie ~ The Camera-Less Photographer
    00d8Sb-555043884.jpeg
     
  2. Don't know any 'dirt cheap' pro cameras. That said, you could get an older D700 (under 1K) and work with it until you could afford to purchase a more recent model. Part of the issue is that you'll also need a backup rig = more expenses. Did I mentioned some good optics ? Again, more expense.
    Check KEH, B&H, Adorama, CL (if you must), etc., where you can find good used equipment. I sold my D700 to an aspiring wedding photographer....though she already had a younger cousin D300 camera....so her transition was fairly smooth.
    Good luck.
    Les
     
  3. Stephanie,
    I have bad news for you.

    First, in terms of image quality in particular, there's no such thing as a "professional" camera. It's a fiction of the marketing departments at Nikon and Canon. The lowest-level interchangeable lens camera you can buy today — something that is marketed to amateurs — runs the rings around the "pro" cameras sold 10 years ago for about 10x more.
    Now, there are features pros do (and don't!) want on their cameras, so it's fair to say that pros prefer some cameras over others. Let's say that pros typically share these character traits:
    • They know how to use their cameras
    • They want to be in control of their cameras rather than let the camera make decisions for them
    • They are more likely to shoot raw and take time carefully processing images on their computers afterwards
    • They are more likely than amateurs to need to print their images, often at fairly large sizes
    • They need to be able to work quickly on their cameras
    • They will use their cameras a LOT, often in challenging conditions
    And so on. For these reasons, experienced pros — or for that matter, just about all serious photographers, whether they make money with their cameras or not — will prefer cameras that (for example) have two control dials rather than one; have more buttons on the outside so changes can be made to the settings quickly without requiring a dive into menus; can be configured to suit the photographer's personal preferences about the placement of functions; have sturdy (preferably weather-resistant) bodies that can withstand bad weather and/or getting knocked about; have the ability to support a battery grip that allows them to shoot longer without changing batteries; have multiple card slots so they can save photos to two cards at once (for safety); etc. Every camera that meets those criteria is going to shoot raw, so that shouldn't be a worry. Megapixels shouldn't be a worry either. Virtually everything on the market will shoot at least 12 MP, which is plenty for nearly all uses. I shot for almost 2 years with 24 MP bodies and have now gone back to 16 MP.
    But it's not even a requirement that the camera have two control dials. I'd wager that virtually ANY interchangeable lens camera on the market today that costs over $600 can do perfectly capable wedding work — in the hands of somebody competent, of course. Actually, I'd say that, for a beginning photographer with no reputation, one of the most important qualities of a camera is that it look serious. Buy a battery grip.

    The problem with buying a camera isn't the camera: It's the lenses — and the whole system (which includes peripherals like flash units, radio triggers etc). The other problem is that there are TOO MANY ATTRACTIVE CHOICES today. Once upon a time, it was easy. Not too long ago, you'd just buy Canon, or, if you wanted to be an iconoclast, Nikon. But now there are other very good choices, including Olympus, Sony, Pentax, Fuji, etc.

    Now, to the other part of the bad news — the more serious part. You don't sound like you're anywhere near ready to make the move you are contemplating. I want you to understand that I'm saying this not to discourage you, but simply to help you make your next steps intelligently.
    You say you feel like an artist without a paintbrush. Well, an artist who's never owned a paintbrush is just possibly not quite ready to quit his day job and move to Montmartre. Photography right now is not just absurdly competitive, it's an industry in the midst of a revolution. Since you've made it clear you're on a tight budget, I urge you — for your own sake — to proceed cautiously both with your purchases and with your business plans. It may be that any camera on the market today will do, but if you're going to take somebody's money to shoot their wedding, you'll need not just one camera but (at least) two; and you'll need multiple, good lenses; and multiple flash units; and top-quality software like Lightroom or Perfect Photo Suite to process your images; and a reasonably powerful computer to run that software one, along with a color-calibrated monitor.
    And equipment's just the easy part. Knowledge and experience are much more important. And I'm afraid you can't buy those.
    So what I would urge you to do at this point is try to become a better photographer. You say you love it? Then do it for love before you think any more about doing it for money. Get a good camera and a couple decent lenses, or even just ONE decent lens. Start shooting everything you can. Get involved in your local camera club, or better, join your local PPA at the 'aspiring' level and start attending meetings. There's a LOT more to this than you can imagine.
    I wish you luck.
    Will
     
  4. Thank you, Will.
    I definitly appreciate your response, I needed to hear that. everything you said was right-on. I guess I have a lot to learn
    still.

    Steph
     
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You can see that Will is an experienced and excellent wedding photographer, it's good to listen to his advice.

    Speaking as a professional photographer that doesn't usually shoot weddings, when I do, I hire an assistant who has several hundred weddings of experience, both as a second shooter and as a primary. He picks up things I wouldn't spot.
    I recommend following Will's advice. When you have some confidence in your shooting, get some experience as an assistant and/or second shooter. You'll know when you are ready.
     
  6. Better think about two entry level bodies than one "pro" body when you're going professional. Spend the money you save this way on lenses, flash, etc. And a course on the business side of photography.
     
  7. Thinking ahead is a good thing, Stephanie, but jumping in then learning how to swim can lead to disaster which is what William and Jeff is emphasizing in kinder words.
    Whether you go pro or not, indeed an aspiring photographer will still need a camera to practice and learn with, but since you did not mention a budget or what you've been using, I will just say that a full featured DSLR, ignoring arguments about image quality and such, can be had for as little as $200 for a full kit on the used market; maybe even less if you shop carefully.
    It will be quite a boost with such a kit if you've never had your hands on one. With it, you can learn everything from the rudiments to advanced photography techniques through practice from any number of online resources including members here who will always be more than happy to help.
    So, if you want specific recommendations on a usable DSLR on a shoestring, let us know your absolute maximum budget and we can start the ball rolling.
     
  8. I just feel like once I get a professional camera, I will become alive.​
    That is what every camera manufacturer, retail store and most websites and forums will have you believe.
    But it's not true.
    A good camera just makes capturing photos easier and with higher image quality but it doesn't make your photos any better.
    A DSLR is the choice of most pro photographers so if you don't have one you should start with that. As been mentioned before just about any DSLR will do for starters.
    Being a good wedding photographer is a lot about being in the right place at the right time, being able to work under pressure and being able to catch good moments. Those skills have nothing to do with the camera.
    Being a professional (getting paid and doing it on a regular basis) you have to be able to deliver good work every time, regardless of what happens and regardless of the circumstances. That puts a lot more importance on what gear you have. But everyone shoots slightly different and like different things so this will affect their choices as well.
     
  9. Some very good advice here Stephanie. I was just going to stress some of the points already made. If you plan on charging someone for your services you need more than one camera (I always suggest 3). Other things needed as well, like glass. A good glass collection often can exceed the cost of a single camera. Of course, the good news, once you start collecting that glass, it'll last forever (as long as you take care of it).
     
  10. As others have said, Will's advice is spot on. However, given your aspirations, the vagueness of your statements alludes to little more than a 'will'. While if there is a 'will' there is usually a 'way', that 'way' usually involves a specific approach, quantification of the needs (both in relation to your skill set and the equipment), and a (reasonably) detached view of the costs associated with those needs. I see no evidence that you have done more than defined a 'will' at this point.
    So lets help you.
    Camera: you don't need a 'professional' camera in any way shape or form. The cheapest new DSLR will allow you to produce results that are surprisingly good - as Will said, better in a large portion than the best in the world a decade ago. However, a camera is a tool. And there is a heckuva lot of difference in how easy and efficient an 'el-cheapo' tool is to use, than one well designed, and well engineered (rather than designed solely with cost/size in mind).
    Given your likely budget, experience, and current needs, I'd probably go for a 'semi-professional' used crop sensor one 1-3 generations removed from what is current (ie, if you were shopping for Canons, a 7D, 60D, or 50D). these can be had for as little as a few hundred, and will give you nearly all the interface/control options of a 'pro' camera. I would add a battery grip to it, as, not only does it extend shooting time, but, (more importantly) even a decent one will add a shutter button, a main dial, and AE buttons for easy vertical shooting.
    Lens(s):
    I would start w/ a wide->normal fast zoom, again, for as little as a couple of hundred (a tamron 17-50/2.8 in this case), you can have a lens capable of producing stunningly good results. Spending more for specific lenses should wait until you've identified more specific needs (such as a 50/1.8 or 85/1.8, maybe an older 70-200/2.8 3rd party zoom, or maybe even an ultra wide angle zoom), but such will serve immediate needs, and allow you to LEARN.
    Accessories:
    a speedlight (or two) can be had for as little as $50 ea, but upgrading to a more fully capable unit is very benefitial. ~$125 will get you a Yongnuo 568 ex II, which is very nearly as completely capable as the 'top of the line' speedlights made by Canon and Nikon. Regardless, whatever you choose should at a minimum be capable of elevating and swiveling the head (so you can learn to bounce, and drape the light), and have manually adjustable power outputs.
    Computer and software:
    You'll want a fully capable software suite paired with a reasonably modern computer. Adobe's suite will give you (for $10 a month) access to Lightroom and Photoshop, which are two 'professional' pieces of software, and fully capable of doing everything your heart could desire (currently). Even on my (oldest) 5yr old dell laptop (w/o an SSD mind you), both run fast and pretty efficiently (even at the same time).
    And there you have it. a short list of the best bang for your buck. With those tools, a knowledgable and skilled photographer is capable of producing imagery at a very high professional standard, and while you may hit the ceiling of what (particularly a 50D) is capable of in challenging lighting/situations... in getting there, you will LEARN both what you want and what you NEED to further your aspirations.
    IMPO, your critical shortcoming is likely experience and knowledge. Those are best resolved by practice and training, neither of which can be done without a paintbrush in your hands. Get what you can afford now, and start shooting (albeit NOT using the 'evil green box' aka 'full auto' mode) NOW.
     
  11. THANK YOU, ALL
    I am overwhelmed (in a good way) with the responses here! I should've posted here years ago! :)
    Steph
     
  12. Q: What makes a digital SLR camera “professional.”
    A: You do.
    Q: What can I do to my camera to make it take better pictures?
    A: Wear it out.
     
  13. Cameras are not professional. People are professional.
    You need to have a tool that is adequate for the job you intend to do. Get the best equipment you can afford and learn to use it. I do not mean that sarcastically. Your ability to fully take advantage of whatever piece of equipment you have to work with is important.
     
  14. Well I have to disagree about the camera's. I only use camera's that hold dual cards. For example, camera's
    that use CF cards and also have another slot to hold an SD card. The reason is simple. If one of the cards
    goes bad you have the other card as your backup. Doing this you've just saved yourself from a wedding
    disaster, not to mention a lawsuit, as well as breaking the hearts of your brides for life.

    Cards WILL go bad, the question is when! The SD cards are easy to break, just by putting them in a card
    reader they can bend and the plastic covers can snap. Even when they are new! If this happens you are
    dead.

    Buy a cheap backup camera like a Canon 20D for about $150 or less. Then buy a camera such as the Canon
    5D mark 3 that holds 2 cards. Don't forget about the new Canon thats not out yet, but it has a 50 megapixal
    sensor for only $3500. Shooting just 2 or 3 weddings pays for this very top on the line camera. It's the very
    first 35mm camera to have such a huge sensor. There's nothing on the market that comes close to this. The
    image quality should be equal to most of the medium format cameras.

    It is my professional opinion that Canon may have to make better pro quality lenses, mainly their zoom lenses,
    to match the quality that a 50 megapixal camera can put out. Folks, Canon did it! They've made a 35mm
    camera eqaul to the quality of some of the medium format cameras. WOW!

    Whats a 50 megapixel camera able to do. Without much effort you can enlarge a print to at least a 40X60. It will produce wonderful billboards.

    Sorry folks if you disagree with me. If we go pro, lets do it the right way and do whatever is needed to give
    every bride their perfect wedding. I've shot a lot of weddings since 1988 and my camera's have died, cards
    died, but I never blew a wedding, because of being prepared.

    Also don't forget to buy good flash units. At least 2. I carry 3 lights and I carry 3 camera bodies with dual
    cards.

    Hope this helps! Think like pro's! bob
     
  15. If one of the cards goes bad you have the other card as your backup. Doing this you've just saved yourself from a wedding disaster, not to mention a lawsuit, as well as breaking the hearts of your brides for life.​
    If shooting a wedding (which the OP is not doing yet), having a backup (and using it!) is far more important than having a camera with two cards. Having a dual card camera is not the panacea it's cracked up to be. While your logic is unarguable in it's limited application, in practical terms, a complete camera failure is far more likely (by several orders of magnitude) than a complete catastrophic spontaneous card failure - especially with a card of good quality, which has been fully tested.
    An electrical fault in that 5D3 could easily kill BOTH cards. Keep in mind that the life span of the power source of that camera is measured in hundreds of cycles (not the hundreds of thousands cycles the card is measured in). If that is the only camera you've been shooting with all day, it wouldn't matter how many spares you had in the trunk of the car - you'd have still lost, absolutely, every image you'd have shot thus far.
    For example, a few years back, locally, we had a shooter (using a Nikon of some sort) have a catastrophic battery failure. The damage to her hand was pretty severe, and both cards were lost utterly (I saw a picture of the smoking hulk of the camera). She had backups, but she wasn't shooting with them. If she hadn't have had a 2nd, the wedding would have been a complete loss.
    Personally, given that the statistical likliehood of an absolute card failure as a singular event is significantly less than getting struck by lightning, I would advocate that it is far more important to learn to shoot with 2 cameras, than to focus on a single camera w/ 2 cards... Given the price difference, a 2 camera setup can be a fraction of the cost as well.
     
  16. Richard, I agree with most of what your post says, and while the price of the gear is largely nitpickery IMO, the principle is absolutely spot on.
    However, I found that when I was trying to shoot w/ more than 2 cameras, the camera management became extremely cumbersome. While I was able to ameliorate that by eliminating the camera straps, and using spider holsters instead, simply having the 3rd camera on me became an exercise of diminishing returns when I was shooting rapidly, and in a dynamic environment (like, say, a wedding). I would end up missing fast shots because I grabbed for the camera with the wrong lens (say the UWA, instead of W->N , or vice versa). Instead, I found that 2 cameras, one w/ a 24-70, and one w/ a 70-200 fulfilled 99% of my desired compositions, and significantly increased my ability to respond - yielding the ability to switch cameras and still shoot (with ideal composition and framing) in ~ a second. Of course, trying to do that w/ the straps was an exercise in frustration, and lead to many exposures with a fuzzy camera strap caught in the lens hood!
     
  17. >>the price of the gear is largely nitpickery<<
    I am working press, so a nice new camera is nice for about the first five minutes I've got it. Besides, my newspaper doesn't have the budget for new gear, so I make used gear work, and work well.
    As far as working with three cameras goes, I got used to doing it before the zoom era, so I've got a system worked out. But for me, the big downside to three cameras now that I am old is fatigue. Lighter loads are working better for me in recent years.
     
  18. I'm not focused on weddings and didn't turn pro yet. - But as others told: a camera shouldn't matter much in the entire budged. - Means: Burning 3k+ on the greatest Nikon and spending 200 or less on a pair of 1980s 3rd party screwdriver AF zooms and a same vintage Metz flash doesn't sound like a healthy ballance at all. - 2 cameras should cost less than the rest of the kit.
    Good gear has a price and its the lenses that matter, when the light gets dimmer.
    I (reluctantly) suggest to settle yourself in the middle field, maybe even with yesterday's equipment. As an example: a pair of Samsung GX 20 wirth kit zooms (<-backup! - they are essential) should be less than 500 and comes with in-camera shake reduction, that makes a heritage prime as handholdable as the f2.8 VR /IS zooms which would be most likely blowing your budged. If you skip a super wide zoom you could get (somewhat) ready with $1000 burned in total, about $250 at a time, but of course you might spend more on your way.
    The approach has 3 drawbacks (at least): Lack of AF performance, moderate high ISO capability (compared to the latest & greatest's image quality up there). You'll have to replace everything and get used to different controls when you switch to Canikon. And while doing this on a shoestring budged you might have to cope with autothyristor flashes and manual focus lenses.
    With that old kit I would be very reluctant to take the responsibility to shoot weddings on my own. I feel lacking the firepower that allows others to capture over 500 frames to hand over. But if you team up with another, you should have a chance to contribute learn and be somewhat covered if you make mistakes or gear lets you down.
    The Pentax k-mount stuff (that Samsung was a rebadged K20D) mentioned above, is the most capable I own (although not my best camera). I feel it can do a good enough job covering events or shooting concerts, where it isn't essential to nail every present nose in at least 5 frames and a missed key moment doesn't break my neck. I have fast primes (I'm not too happy with IQ wise) for it and own tiny system flashes and big heritage ones. Things take a bit longer than with a borrowed Nikon and I have to be able to invest a bit of patience to get shots.
    Weddings were and are shot with worse equipment too. - The big issue I am seeing: Folks who did it in the past probably had a lot of routine + the confidence to use state of the art gear. - If we start out now, we know what we aren't offering.
    On the popular backup issue: I believe preparing for one camera to fail entirely is the right shooting policy, thats why I suggested 2 kit zooms for the formals and a 2nd shooter in general.
    Since I am using a fair share of not too heavy primes and suffered from sluggish image writing, like 1min freeze after a burst of 5 frames, when I started with digital, I got used to juggling 3 cameras.
    Disclaimer: - Elderly (and current) Pentax gear doesn't appear like the necessarily best choice. - So since you have been dreaming of a wedding career for a while, maybe simply buy your first dream camera now on the used market? - I'm not well informed but guess EOS 5D Mk1 might have dropped far enough? - Before I get stoned: I totally agree with others that it is no longer up to date, but I recall it being the tool of the trade in its time. I also believe that its furtile to rent a camera that you don't know at all for a paid gig. - Getting used to the rental's anchestor should help there.
    Any more current entirely entry level DSLR is probably a good enough choice too, if you are only working as a 2nd shooter since its controls are too hard to access to not miss shots in between. (I guess that fact didn't change since I bought one.)
    There are countless approaches to getting started. All seem to involve buying "something" & whatever you'll choose will become wrong sooner or later.
    Side note: 4 coworkers' weddings happened without me. That means: owning gear and being ready gets you nowhere on its own, even if you'd be content to gain just some leftover cake. - I hope you'll find something else to enjoy in the photographic field too or a way to successfully market yourself. - Good luck!
     
  19. I sort of have to agree with Bob on this one. There is a price to be paid for any business start-up and cameras are the tools we need. I do not think it is necessary for her to go buy two D-810s or two D4s'. She could make due nicely with two D7100's for the price of a refurbished D3. They fit all of the requirements. Good performance across the board. They are fine wedding cameras and there are appropriate lenses available for them for not all that much money. Still it would take a good $4K for two of these cameras and two lenses. 70-200 F/2.8 used and a good Sigma or Tamron 17 - 50ish lenses. You can cover about any wedding with that. Maybe slip a 50 mm F/1.8 in your pocket.
    I also agree that she needs two very good flashes. Add another $600.00 for that. A dozen cards add another $400.00. Some bags, modifiers, filters, software....maybe $1500.00.
    So we are talking a minimum kit of well over $6000.00. And that IS the cheap setup.
    As so many here have said though, the most dearly purchased piece of you kit is your experience. Talk to you local priest. Tell him you would shoot weddings for free for the experience for people who can't afford anything for a photographer. Use the best camera you can afford. But work every shot you give them as if you were shooting George Clooney's wedding. Shoot charity events. Shoot them like they were the Oscars and you are the only person with a camera. If you really do "love" photography every one of these 'assignments' will be pure joy. And while you are learning your craft (don't forget the business and sales skills too) you can save up for the equipment.
    Just before I wrote this I was laying out my kit for a major sporting event I am shooting tomorrow. I have been doing this for a long time and had a pretty good selection. One of the cameras I left on the shelf was a battered old D2H. I can remember when I was thrilled to get this camera and then the D2xs. Both still in my stable. It occurred to me that I could shoot this event tomorrow with either of those cameras and the editor would never know the difference. And the pictures would be beautiful. So, of course, you want the best equipment you can afford but try not to become a gearhead. If you have a D800 you don't need a D810. If you shoot auto racing and have a D3 you probably don't "need" a D4s. Get the best you can afford and get shooting. That is the most important thing you can do.
    Good luck!!!
     
  20. I also tend to agree with Bob.
    Marcus said: "... given that the statistical likliehood of an absolute card failure as a singular event is significantly less than getting struck by lightning ... "​
    I know no one who has been struck by lightening, but know many photographers that have lost images due to card failures (including myself). Personally, I have had more card failures than camera failures.

    When a camera fails you usually know it immediately ... when a card fails you often do not know it until you try to download after the wedding. BTW, since the migration from CF cards to SD cards in many new cameras, the chances of recovering images from a corrupt or damaged card has become less sure. Also, card failures can happen anywhere along the imaging chain, not just in the camera. There are just too many instances where failure of the card, camera, reader, computer can happen due to physical error, or human error ... (the latter being more likely given the hectic nature of wedding photography).

    My two main wedding cameras shoot to two cards , and a third auxiliary one doesn't. I do not shoot anything that cannot be lost with the aux camera.
    Having two or more cameras at a wedding is extremely important and essential, but it is a different issue from cameras with dual card slots.
    A Canon 5DMK-II shoots to two cards and can be had from reliable sellers for around $1,200 used X 2 = $2,400. Add two new Phottix Mitros TTL speed light kits for Canon @ $299 each= $600. Then one used Canon 24-105/4L in 9+ condition @ $650 then for back-up with the added value of lower light shooting using a set of primes: a new Canon 28/1.8 @500; a new 50/1.8 @ $125.; a new 85/1.8 @ $420.
    Total for a very well equipped newbie shooter: $4,700. Get the primes, used and it'll drop to under $4K ...
    - Marc
     
  21. Dual cards in the real world is a MUST.
     
  22. LOL well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the subject of using only 2-card cameras, however, I would add two things, one is that most often when a card starts to go bad, there are usually very strong indications well before the whole thing goes to hades. ie. you get corrupted images here and there, maybe even small groups. These are most often attributable to either poor handling, or inadequate testing prior to putting into service, or, of course, cheap cards. I've had all three happen.
    ...and 2, the loss or deprevation of any single camera means that it doesn't matter if there were 8 cards inside... they are ALL still gone...
    I have suffered the loss of several cameras, but never a sudden spontaneous card failure which resulted in a complete loss of images. I, however, have known numerous photogs who suffered a complete loss of a single camera while shooting (whether do to a snatch and grab, a running flower girl while shooting on a pier (that was me) - can you say "ka-plunk!" ?, or even an unfortunately placed stick and a puddle)
    So, I guess while I would agree that a dual card camera is not a bad thing to have, if you have to pick between a single dual card camera, or two single card cameras, the latter is inevitably a better, more reliable, choice. Professionally I don't consider a dual card camera to be a requirement for wedding work. Especially when a professional work and skillset is far more likely to save your behind than a single dual card camera.
    However, I am curious... My 5D mkIIs (which as you say are available used now for $1200) do NOT have dual card capabilities... In fact, that was a strong criticism for the ubiquitous use of them for wedding work if I recall... Is there a 5D mkII(d) (d for dual card) which does that I'm not aware of?
     
  23. My bad Marcus ... the 5D-II is NOT a dual card slot camera while the MK-III is. Apparently the criticism of the MK-II for wedding work that you mentioned was heard ... (the criticism sort of proving our point about dual card slot cameras for weddings/events : -)
    I'd agree that having a second camera far outweighs the need for dual card slots. However, it is worth looking for a dual slot camera if you have the funds.
    - Marc
     
  24. Well, photo.net deleted my entire post before I could post it...but the summary is this:
    I had about $3500 in camera equipment before I even attempted wedding photography as a second photographer. It was very limiting and I wouldn't do it again unless I had to.
    Multiple camera bodies = 100% must for wedding photography as a HIRED photographer. I've had at least 2 camera failures during weddings, including a newish camera, in the past several years.
    I've been using 5d2s for 4+ years I think. Still my most reliable cameras for weddings. I have a 5d3 that I strongly dislike (except for the silent shutter mode) and a D750 that I like quite a lot, but the 5d2s are still my "bread and butter" cameras. I would probably transition to 2-3 Nikon D750s and maybe a D810 alongside (for portraits) if I could afford to.
    Don't cheap out for wedding photo gear unless you want to miss tons of important shots like processionals, sudden/unexpected moments, etc., and then later have to explain to the clients that it was your equipment's fault.
    Gear opens up doors, but you have to walk through them yourself.
     

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