Fellow travel photographers: are you thinking about expanding into wedding photography?
One question that often comes up is whether you need a full frame camera for the job. In most cases, the camera you use can make all the difference, especially when capturing special moments (like weddings).
In this guide, we will explore what full frame cameras are, how they differ from other types, and whether they are ideal for professional wedding photographers.
A full frame camera refers to a digital camera that has a sensor size equivalent to traditional 35mm film. This means that the sensor captures the entire image projected by the lens, resulting in higher image quality and better performance in low light situations. Additionally, full frame cameras usually come with a higher pixel count, which leads to improved dynamic range and overall image quality, such as the Nikon Z 6II, which has a 24.5MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor.
The short answer is yes; many professional wedding photographers do prefer using full frame cameras. The reasons behind this choice are rooted in the advantages that full frame cameras offer, particularly in a demanding and fast-paced environment like a wedding.
First and foremost, full frame cameras excel in low light situations. Weddings often take place in dimly lit venues or during evening receptions, where a high ISO sensitivity is crucial to capture clear and noise-free images. The larger sensor size of full frame cameras allows for better light gathering capabilities, resulting in cleaner images even at higher ISO settings.
Additionally, full frame cameras offer a shallower depth of field, which is desirable for wedding photography. This allows photographers to create that beautiful blurred background effect, also known as bokeh, that adds a touch of artistry and draws attention to the subject. The ability to achieve a shallow depth of field is particularly important when capturing portraits or intimate moments during the wedding ceremony or reception.
Furthermore, full frame cameras offer a wider field of view compared to cameras with smaller sensor sizes. This wider perspective can be advantageous when photographing large groups or capturing the grandeur of the wedding venue. It allows professional wedding photographers to include more of the scene in the frame without having to step back or use a wide-angle lens, which can sometimes distort the image.
In short: iPhones or cheap DLSRs are sufficient for travel blogging, but they simply won’t do for weddings. If you want to go pro, we strongly recommend investing in a full frame camera.
While full frame cameras offer numerous advantages for wedding photography, there are other considerations to take into account when choosing the right camera for this purpose.
One important factor to consider is the cost. While full frame cameras have more advanced features and perform better than smaller sensor sized cameras, they may not be suitable for photographers just starting their wedding photography journey or those on a tighter budget.
Another consideration is the size and weight of the camera. Full frame cameras, especially mirrorless ones, tend to be portable and compact. This can be a factor to consider, especially for wedding photographers who need to be mobile and agile throughout the day. Carrying around a heavy camera and multiple lenses for extended periods can be physically demanding and may impact the overall experience and quality of work.
If the cost, bulkiness, and weight of a full-frame camera make them a non-starter for you, consider getting an APS-C camera. They are more affordable, lighter, and offer great image (despite playing second fiddle to full-frame).
Full frame cameras are not an absolute necessity for wedding photography. But they do offer advantages that make them a popular choice among professional wedding photographers.
Superior image quality, better performance in low light, and the ability to achieve a shallow depth of field are all factors that contribute to stunning wedding photos.
And when you hit the road again, they’ll deliver travel shots superior to the iPhone snaps that litter countless travel blogs.