Wedding Videography

What is the best camera for wedding videography?

Buying the best wedding camera isn’t going to be cheap; however, if you’re looking to invest in a serious hobby or even career being a wedding photographer and videographer, you’ve come to the right place since we chose our favourite cameras of all time suitable for wedding venues of all types. In most “best camera for (insert use here)” cases, we like to provide a range of not only different camera types, styles, personalities and of course, price-points. Today however we don’t ever recommend grabbing a camera to shoot weddings under the thousand-dollar mark. So before we provide our picks, let’s get into a few more aspects to keep in mind aside from just money.

The word digital camera can be very broad, so today in our case we’re going to recommend only a chosen few when it comes to the calibre of the camera. Typically there’s a “median” or “average” for what the standard of “quality” in a camera should be. However, with weddings, in particular, we say go big or go home, considering you’re capturing probably one of the biggest moments of somebody’s life (and of course, more than one person — this also includes their partner as well as each individual’s families that will need to refer back to these ‘photos’ as essentially the biggest events of a generation). With that being said — no pressure!

We only recommend going with a DSLR or mirrorless camera for weddings. Even more specifically, a full-frame camera is key here. This means that their sensor size (the component inside the camera that is responsible for capturing light and converting the data for the development of your photograph or video) is bigger than other “standard” cameras — in particular, equivalent to 35mm film (exactly 36 by 24mm). This is the largest sensor you can buy until you move up to the beastly medium format cameras (which is recommended as well if you’re able to afford it, but even most amateur wedding photographers can get away without going that big). The reason a bigger sensor is crucial for weddings is to ensure one thing — quality.

Don’t forget your extra gear — frequently those starting in the camera technical realm. We forget that most “advanced” cameras not only require money to invest and time to learn but other gear as well, such as lenses, tripods (most wedding photographers carry by hand with a strap), photo editing software, flashes, external microphones (if you’re doing videos, too), and more.

Which Video Camera Is Best for Weddings: Key Considerations.

A professional video camera for weddings will have to correspond to a number of key requirements but remember that there isn’t a universal solution for wedding videographers. Venue choice, the time of the day, the video style that your clients are looking for, and the number of videographers that will be working alongside each other will determine the camera selection criteria.

To give your clients a good outcome every single time, you should consider getting a couple of the best wedding video cameras. Alternatively, choose one good camera and an extensive selection of lenses that will give you creative freedom and excellent footage in all kinds of conditions.

The world of digital cameras is broader than ever today, but to limit the number of choices, you may want to set a price range in advance. Pinpointing the characteristics of the best professional wedding video camera that matter to you the most will further narrow down the equipment choices to explore and help you complete the process fast.

Some of the wedding cameras feature to pay attention to include:

  • Image sensor
  • Resolution
  • Built-in filters
  • Sound input
  • Storage space
  • Battery type and battery life
  • Wireless connectivity (if that matters to you)
  • The availability of a source of light, compatible external flashes
  • Connectivity input / output options

With these basic guidelines in mind, let’s take a look at some professional wedding video equipment that’s worth investing in or at least researching.

Camera

Things to consider before choosing for the Best Video Camera

Buying the right video camera, you’ll need to make sure that you pick the one which meets all your requirements and purposes.

If you are migrating from an existing camera system, you might want to pick equipment that is compatible with lenses, camera bodies, and other accessories you already have. This can be an easy transition and much cheaper than starting over again.

4K UHD vs Cinema 4K Video Quality

What people refer to as 4K is, in fact, UHD, or 3840×2160 pixels, which is not exactly 4,000 pixels wide and has a 16:9 aspect ratio as Full HD. While the Cinema 4K called, DCI 4K has a resolution of 4096×2160 pixels and a lightly wider 17:9 aspect ratio.

Fixed or Interchangeable lens

This feature can serve a long way for a professional video shoot. An interchangeable camera offers the flexibility of employing a diverse set of lenses for superior quality and better aspect ratio. While on the other hand, a fixed lens might be a good option for a specific use – with a single lens attached which can be an inexpensive option.

Camera bodies are changing every day, but the lenses have a longer life and are very significant for specialised professional video production.

Cine lenses

Normal lenses are fine for video, but they lag behind the cine lenses which have special adaptations that can boost video making. They utilise T-stops rather than F-stops, with ‘de-clicked’ iris/aperture rings for silent and smooth exposure adjustment. Others feature toothed rings capable of professional pull-focus mechanisms.

DSLR, Mirrorless or Camcorder

In 2020 the most important choice videographers will have to make either to go with the time tested DSLR camera options or the mirrorless. Though still, the top-notch DSLR cameras have their advantages but the fact that the SLR (Single Lens Reflex) design was invented long before digital sensors. The mirrorless utilises the ‘live view’ captured by the camera sensor to produce an electronic viewfinder image. The dispensation for the need for a mirror and the optical viewfinder, however, in my opinion, may sound very compelling still hasn’t reached the pinnacle stage to replace the older DSLR camera system. Who knows how soon we’ll get an advanced and improved version of the mirrorless camera, beginning the end of the DSLR era.

The camcorder can produce exceptional video quality with ultra-high-definition, equipped with specially calibrated zoom lenses and focus capabilities, have strong built-in microphones and strong audio inputs not seen in traditional cameras. However, low-light video recording is where they lack as most of them have smaller sensors.

Video quality/control

Control over the settings and quality of the video can be a key feature in professional work environments. The latest cameras of 2020 that can shoot 8K and up have many features and options available at hand for the videographer to control the frame rate, customise tone curves, and many other options. All this refining can make any video look professional.

Zoom

A good zoom ratio can allow your video zooming in and out with the least bit of image distortion. A camera with excellent zooming quality can refine the video shoot with an appropriate level of zoom to get the job at hand done.  

Autofocus

Nowadays, you will find a fast hybrid phase and contrast-detection autofocus systems. Though some manufacturers still use the contrast-detect autofocus in live view and during video recording. Depth from Defocus (DFD) contrast-detect autofocus, from Panasonic, is fast. Still, most of the videographers favour manual focus.

Bit depth

Most cameras out there capture an 8-bit video, which has its limitations and can break up and show posterisation effects with heavy editing. Some high-end cameras can capture 10-bit video with high scope for editing later.

Bitrate

It’s the level of compression applied to the video footage. As a rule of thumb, higher compression produces smaller files but with lower quality, while lower compression creates larger file size but better quality.

Camera sensor

When selecting the finest video camera, you need to make sure you get the gist of camera sensors and how they affect the video quality and the camera size. Generally, the larger the sensor is, the better it will be its performance, capturing more details, even in low light conditions – this gives more quality and consistency to the video. 4K crossover cameras come with a variety of sensor sizes, like full-frame, Micro Four Thirds, APS-C. Super 35mm sensor size is used in cinematography and some professional video cameras.

There are two standards in terms of image sensors for video cameras – CMOS and CCD. CMOS tends to be the most used as they are much cheaper and consume drastically less power than the CCD variant. At the same time, CCD sensors are more sensitive to light and produce clearer, crisper footage, even in low light conditions.   

Colour sampling

Video is recorded as a luminance channel and two chroma channels. Compressing the colour data is rather less harmful to the image quality quoted as a ratio. Ideally, the cameras would record 4:4:4 video but generally the chroma (colour) channels are compressed, for instance to 4:2:0 or 4:2:2.

Microphone

Most cameras have an internal microphone, but the stereo will not have a good quality sound or directional sensitivity for video. This makes an external mic an essential accessory like directional ‘shotgun’ mics or wireless lapel mics.

LED lights

Generally, flash is no good for video, so you’ll need to employ continuous artificial lighting. LED panels are the topmost choice for video as they run for a longer period while offering high levels of lighting and low heat. Some lighting offers a variable colour temperature for matching the different light sources.

Live view

Mirrorless cameras are better as they offer a full-time live view both on the rear screen as well as in the viewfinder. DSLRs, on the other hand, only offer rear screen viewing.

Memory

For video, you’ll need a memory card with minimum sustained speed and not the maximum transfer speed, which is useful for gauging the performance. The bare minimum for a 4K video is 10MB/s, 30MB/s is better (UHS Class3, V30), and 60MB/s is perfect (V60). Though with camcorders the video is recorded directly onto the internal storage of the camera which serves better for a longer duration of the recording.

How serious are you about Wedding Videography?

You’re here because you find interest in filming weddings? Filming weddings is a challenge but super rewarding in the end. If you’re someone who is up for a challenge to see the great reward at the end, then this is your niche when it comes to weddings. There is a little more that goes into filming a wedding than what camera should I use for wedding videography? I don’t want you to be an “okay” wedding videographer. I want you to be the best, and you can be a wedding videographer. A wedding videographer that can film exactly what they envision in their minds with their camera. That’s when it becomes rewarding!

The best camera for weddings

Nikon D810

Simply put, the Nikon D810 is by far one of our favourite picks as the best camera for weddings. Equipped to deliver high-resolution as well as impeccable detail, this is a revolutionary camera that is perfect for capturing those important moments people don’t want to miss. This is a professional full-frame DSLR camera that comes with 36.3 million megapixels with no optical low-pass filter (typically included in some cameras to prevent aliasing; however, this results in softening and blurring images slightly, which ultimately sacrifices the detail). Although this comes as a pricier camera, there are zero sacrifices with this one if you wanted to grab a beast that will be suitable for every single wedding venue you’ll come across, not to mention act as an investment for years to come. You can also film in 1080p at 60fps (uncompressed to an external device or compressed to an SD card), attain high-quality audio control in the camera (we always recommend external mics. However weddings we don’t usually like audio and put music in post-production anyway).

Lastly, their EXPEED 4 image-processing adds on to that whopping sensor and MP to retain beautiful images (ISO is 64 to 12,800 for great light adaptability). The cameras 35.99 mm x 24 mm sensor size displays a noticeable difference when comparing your image to a lower quality DSLR or mirrorless camera. If your wedding date is in need of high-quality photos and you have the cash (we recommend saving up for this if you don’t know as of now — or keep reading, we have a few cheaper models), the Nikon D810 is a beautiful pick as the best camera for wedding photos and videos.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Here we have Canons newly designed 22.3-megapixel full-frame camera that is offered with amazing image quality and high-resolution to capture all of those perfect moments in a ceremony. It’s equipped to take more photos per second than your average high-tech camera to provide a superior selection of images and shooting performance — you can never have too many. If you do, you can always sift through them post-production. Advanced sharpness features as well as great technological advancements that include an intelligent Viewfinder, High Dynamic Range, and Multiple Exposure mode make this a perfect multimedia tool.

There is no doubting that this is an exceptional camera selection, and one of the best cameras for wedding photos and videos (yes, 1080p\60 fps here as well). You also get 22.3 MP with a full-frame CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion with a great ISO range (100 to 25,600), and a beautiful DIGIC 5+ image processor for more than enough power in that photo and light conversion process. Not as many MP as the previous pick, but the internal build of this one sets it apart from many others — the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is truly first in its class when it comes to versatility. There’s an IV version out now, but it’s a lot more expensive.

Nikon D750

Here’s another high-quality Nikon camera for wedding photography, and this high-resolution camera has all that is required to deliver your images in an ideal fashion. 24.3 megapixels as well as 6.5 FPS continuous shooting, makes this camera as advanced as they come and will surely give you the freedom to capture your images regardless of the setting. Features inspired by the D45 and D810 enable the 750 to provide you with all the capabilities that just about every Nikon camera offers with a unique touch. Equipped with cinematic video capabilities as well as built-in Wi-Fi connectivity makes this a camera that is easily shareable with friends and family.

Sony Alpha a7S II

Up next, we have a mirrorless camera that’s beautiful in design and quality. Suppose your special event is seeking both unparalleled photographies as well as high-quality videos. In that case, the Alpha a7S II is an advanced one and a definite pick as the best cameras for weddings, banquets, or any high-class event that you can think of. Equipped with a Full-Frame EXMOR Sensor and a Bionz X image processor in addition to a large individual pixel size, this is an ingenious camera that is optimal for low-light conditions. The BIONZ X image processor is really what makes this camera so great as you now have expanded sensitivity to ISO 409600 as well as continuous shooting to 5fps.

Nikon D5

Now here is a behemoth. If you’re going to high-end and expensive weddings and you want to make sure you’re up there with the best of the best (literally), the D5 is insane. Built to capture your perfect memory, this camera comes with high-tech advancements which makes it one of the best cameras for weddings or really, any event you may be at. Equipped with an upgraded AF system that contains 153 focus points as well as 99 cross-type sensors, this is made to make sure you don’t skip a beat and always have a superior result. On top of that, for videos, you have 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) to enable further video recording options if you are looking to not only photograph your memories but record them as well. If you’re thinking about having professional quality wedding photos taken, the Nikon D5’s FX-format DSLR offers an innovative approach and a higher-level performance.

Fujifilm XPro-2

A new and improved version of its prior and quite a popular camera, the XPro-2 has great quality, affordability, and a few extra features we love such as an advanced hybrid multi viewfinder that will leave those wedding moments etched in stone. This is a high-quality camera that is offered at a reasonable price for the usage today and typically hits right at the thousand-dollar mark to claim its title as best “budget-friendly” wedding camera.

Sony Alpha a7R II

Now another beast and this one here has a faster and more intuitive processor as this is a camera that is the world’s first back-illuminated 35 mm full-frame CMOS image sensor that comes with a huge 42.4 megapixels and shoots in 14-bit uncompressed RAW format. The full-frame mirrorless camera’s incredible image sensor is going to do more than capture every detail that you expect in your photo. Combine this all with something called XGA OLED Tru-Finder (an extremely clear Viewfinder) as well as Sony’s 5-Axis SteadyShot (a specially designed internal component to help with camera shake and image stabilisation) makes it unmatched to many if you can afford it.

Nikon D500

Up next we’ll take a look at yet another one of the best cameras for weddings made by the famous Nikon. Designed for condensed power, this is a fully equipped camera that is designed with impeccable ruggedness and versatility. This is a durable camera that can withstand a lot of bumps and bruises, which makes it a perfect travelling companion. Let’s talk some specs: a 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS sensor, EXPEED 5 image processor, 3.2″ touchscreen LCD, and a whopping 4K video recording (only up to 30 fps). The specs continue to read solid with an ISO up to 51200, but it can also extend to 1640000 if needed.

Canon EOS 6D

Yet another Canon wedding camera here if you weren’t feeling the previous picks, and this one here is another one of our favourite “budget-friendly” picks if you weren’t interested in spending more than a grand or so (at least for the body) on yours. Equipped with all of the necessary features than enable crystal clear image quality, the EOS 6D is the ideal camera for photographers looking for a portable, versatile and capable camera. Like most professional cameras in here, the EOS 6D contains 20.2 Megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor for some nice high-resolution image quality.

Check out our post on Wedding Photography and Videography Tips & Ideas

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Last but not least, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is another highly advanced camera for weddings with a system that consists of new and improved technology and features that enable the user to enjoy an incredible photographic result. Up to 18 frames per second of sequential shooting make this camera perfect for multiple shots to fully capture your perfect moments and all of this comes with very high-resolution, especially in low light which is far superior to your standard DSLR cameras (those will work, too; however, if you’re concerned or foresee yourself in darker venues in the future, this will be better).

These are just some of the choices currently available on the wedding video camera market. You can opt for an alternative like Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus or the less expensive Canon models.

It’s also a good idea to keep track of the latest developments in the tech market. These could offer a much better price to quality ratio than the camera you’re using right now. Also, new cameras have functionalities and modes their older counterparts could be missing.

What matters the most is understanding how the camera will work with your unique videography style. Based on these personalised considerations, you can pinpoint the characteristics that will help you produce stellar wedding videos every single time and make your clients happy.

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