Like any BEST CAMERA thread given time EVERY camera ever made will get a mention
For me the best camera(s) for doing that sort of work is a 6x6 medium format SLR ,for example I have been using the Bronica SQ series SLRs and the image quality is to die for I also like used a 4 x 5 large format.
Yes I did do weddings and every thing else with these cameras
I won't name off anything explicitly. However for weddings and concerts high ISO/Low noise is VERY important, I'd go with FF and do your research on noise levels. (I said I wouldn't ) But I've seen the Canon 1Dx do insane levels with very little noise. The 5D Mk ii/iii is great (no experience, but I've seen/heard) as well. Also think about spending money on some lenses that are going to give you a lot of light, probably at LEAST F/2.8 or lower. Hope this helps!
I was thinking about saving some money and going with a couple prime lenses to start out with. i enjoy using them and I've used my 85mm a lot and am pretty comfortable with them. I'll be starting out with regular portraits so hopefully by the time I start on weddings I'll have the money for a faster zoom lens. The prime lenses I was considering to start with were the 135mm F/2L and the 35mm f/1.4L. I *think* this is a good plan since they appear to be great lenses for portraiture and considering I probably won't need a fast zoom right off the get go. Plus I think they'll make great additions to any lenses I buy in the future. I haven't done much pricing but renting could be a good option too if I found myself in a tight spot where I needed a fast zoom before I owned one. Also I think I'm pretty settled on the Mk ii for now. Anything more is just a little costly for me right now if I want to have any money for lenses.
I think the 135 and 35 would be excellent to start, and especially if you're only doing portraits, the advantage being you're less likely to miss once in a lifetime with portraits, whereas I think a good zoom is important for a wedding due to the fact you may not have the time to zoom on your feet ya know? That camera will be great I can only imagine! One thing though, for weddings, a backup body and even having a second body is a great idea, even if you had two good bodies with the 135 and 35 and just had the lenses on either one you might not even need a zoom, just a thought I wish you all the best in your endeavors!
Thanks! I was going to use my Rebel xsi as a backup body. It's not going to perform like a Mark II but I think it could get me out of a tight spot. I'll probably save for another full-frame body though in the future, when I get more serious about weddings.
Full Frame, because whenever I've shot events, weddings, and concerts, I've had to use a high ISO, and a FF sensor will be able to handle that better than a crop sensor.
I believe the new price point on the 5D Mark II can't be beat, so that would be my suggestion. As for glass, the 24-70 2.8L does a fantastic job for weddings and events, and I think it'll make a great addition to the 70-200 you currently have.
Thanks! I'm really liking the Mark II right now, especialy the price. I was thinking the 24-70 also, and the price difference will definitely help go towards that. My 70-200 is an f/4, in your experience do you think that's going to be much of a limitation?
Cool I do like my 70-200 a lot so that's good to hear. It's size is a lot less intimidating too. I'm thinking about initially supplementing it with a couple prime lenses for portraits. I'm considering the 135mm F/2L and 35mm f/1.4L. I think they'll be good for portrait work. I'll just be doing regular portraits at first so I'll have time to save for faster zoom lenses. Trying to make the most of the little bit of money I have to work with.
The 35mm is going to be a bit too wide for portraits because of distortion to the face, but great for full-body / fashion work. The 135mm f/2 is fantastic, though. You don't necessarily have to go with L-glass, the 85mm 1.8 is still an amazing portrait lens and much less expensive than the other options.
I rented the 70-200 f/4 and it is waaaaaaay lighter than the 2.8 version, it's ridiculous. I took this picture with the f/4:
That's a really nice photo. I think the f/4 will serve me well.
I actually already have the 85mm 1.8 and I really like it a lot. I was going to buy the 135mm first. The 35mm might be a good lens to not go with L glass right away. Like you said, I'll be using it for full-body stuff mostly. A 50mm could be a good option too? I have a 1.8 50 that takes nice photos but the f/1.4 isn't terribly expensive. After reading the reviews for 135mm I think I would really like to have it. Would be nice to have a portrait lens of that quality. Do you think there's something else I may want before the 135mm since I already have an 85mm?
f/4 for weddings and portraits is fine...for concerts however, even at very high ISO, you'll still struggle with slower shutter speed. If it is the image stabilized version, you'll manage, otherwise I'd trade it for a stabilized version, or even better, a stabilized f/2.8
that's what i was kinda thinking. my 70-200 is image stabilized, but portraits and weddings are my main concern so that's good to know. i'm wondering if a 24-70 f/4 would do for portraits/weddings also then. The price difference is pretty considerable, but I also wouldn't want to upgrade it in the future.
Yeah, the 24-70 f/4L IS would do pretty good, but I'd wait for it to drop in price a bit before buying one, or at least wait till the reviews start coming in...if it's not that much better, I'd get the 24-105 IS f/4L instead...or maybe the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC? which is the only stabilized 24-70 f2.8 in the market at the moment, and from what I've seen, is offering good results.
i think I'm pretty much decided on the 24-105mm at this point. I could also get it as a kit lens and save a little money by waiting to get them together. How important is the speed of the UDMA card? How much noticeable improvement is 600x over 400x? How much space you typically find yourself filling up at weddings (raw)? Also, I have a 430ex II flash head. However, I read in a review of the Mark II that it only supports rear curtain sync when used with the 580ex II. I've used it on my 430ex II and can see how it would be useful at a wedding. Am I going to really want an extra flash or is my 430ex II likely to suffice? Maybe for location portraits? I wouldn't mind getting a 580ex II. I don't know how much more powerful the 580ex is but it would probably be nice to control other flashes and if the rear curtain sync is actually a problem then that'd be a good reason too I suppose. I have a flash bracket also.
Oh yeah, get it as a kit lens if possible, saves quite a bit of money.
Hmm, I still use my old 200x cards, and seem to do just fine, although when the buffer is full, it does take a while to write it down, but that's never been a problem for me except during that one time I shot sports. I'd say you'd be fine with 400x. Although, if you could spare a few more bucks for the 600x, I'd get that. Hmm, in my 5D mark 3 I have 2 16GB cards, and they are usually enough for me (I shoot only RAW, not RAW+JPEG). That said, you never know, so I usually keep another 2 8GB cards with me, just in case.
The 430ex II should do you just fine, only update it if you find you need more power. Personally, I use the Metz 58 AF-2 (similar output to the 580ex II) flash for on camera stuff, in ETTL mode, and for the location portraits I use a Yongnuo YN-560ii on a stand, shot into a Lastolite umbrella, triggered by Yongnuo rf-602 radio triggers. Pretty basic setup (all manual, no ETTL), and it has never failed me during the 1 and a half year I've been using them. I think there's only 1 stop of difference between the 430ex II and the 580ex II. The 430ex II might be a bit underpowered for midday location shooting, but you could always get a manual only flash from Yongnuo for pretty cheap, or get 3-4 and use the Lastolite adapter that lets you use 3 or 4 flashes on one light stand for all the power you'll need.
As for a flash bracket...never really use them, don't find the need. I find them quite bulky and heavy. Inside I just bounce the flash, and use a fill card, and outside I just use direct flash, with EC -1/3 or -2/3 stops, and this is the result I get: [link]
Portraits, events and concerts is pretty much what I do and I use 5Ds. Still using the 5DMkI as a backup body and getting great results, the 5D MkII performs brilliantly in every situation I've thrown at it so far. Couple them with some great glass and you're pretty much sorted.
(sorry for double post) but speaking of lenses, if i might ask, what are some of your most commonly used lenses for different scenarios you encounter? I've been trying to educate myself as thoroughly as possible so I can make smart choices when I drop big money on lenses. The only L lens in my bag right now is a 70-200mm F/4 and my 85mm usm isnt an L but seems to take beautiful photos.
Yup, love the 85mm 1.8. I've also got the 50mm 1.4 (both great for low light, no flash shooting). I've used these to shoot bands with just stage lighting and they've worked beautifully. You do have to get really close though. I also have the Sigma 28-70 2.8 which is nicely versatile, a Sigma 12-24 4.5-5.6 when I need really wide angle (haven't used it much for anything other than landscapes, but I did use it at an Alice in Wonderland themed club night and used the distortion to get some pretty trippy photos, had to use the flash though). And then there's Lenscalibur! ...ahem. Ok, that's just what I call it, really it's the Canon EF 70-200 2.8L MkII. Long enough so you can stand out of the way and you're not pissing off the Vicar and opens wide enough to take great shots in a dark church. I wouldn't do a wedding without it.
One other thing. If you haven't already, get some black clothes and learn to shoot without flash at gigs. The best way to piss off the lighting guy is to stand in or on stage in a white T Shirt and firing off you flash every 5 seconds. I've actually seen one photographer get physically dragged off stage for doing just that. Conversely, the very same lighting guy loved me for my ninja skills and if he spotted me aiming at a particular band member he'd throw some cool lighting at them. The band are cool to hang out with, true, but you'll get better results by being friendly and polite to the backstage crew and the bouncers.
The 85mm has been my go-to lens for concerts so far, I'd use my 50mm more also but it doesn't focus nearly as well as the 85mm in low-light so that's why I'd like to get the 50mm 1.4. It'll be a lot different on a full-frame though. Standard lenses have been really good to me so far though. I don't know that I wouldn't mind having a 135mm 2.0 USM. That's about what my 85 shoots at now with crop and I really like the focal length. I'll have to buy at least two 2.8 zoom lenses eventually, but hopefully with money I earn with the Mark II and a new lens I can afford sooner. I think I'm going to get the 24-105 IS f/4 to get me started. I have no EF lenses in that range now. I was incorrect when I said earlier that my 70-200 was image stabilized. I love it a lot but I'm finding myself in low light turning to the 85mm, which will probably continue to help me out a lot between these f4s and 2.8s.
That's all great advice for shooting concerts too. Thanks!
The 5D Mark III is a great camera, but, I've been using the Canon 7D and it has served me well. Besides animals (as can be seen in my account), I work as a musician photographer in LA, shooting live concerts and portraits for rockstars. The 7D has been fast, has a fantastic auto focus, and the ISO is doable in those difficult low light settings. Mine was something like $1500 back when I bough the camera.
Full frame, for the better ISO performance. Best would be the 5D mark 3 (1Dx is overkill, and is geared more at sports and wildlife) for the AF system and phenomenal ISO performance, also it has a silent shutter mode which is great for weddings, but that's an over $3000 body. For under $2000, your best bet is the 5D mark 2, but you need to do a lot of focus recomposing, or the 7D, but you have to deal with the higher noise levels.
That said, you do need to also have fast lenses to make the most out of the body for those situations.
With less than $2000 budget you won't have a ton to work with. Any camera can make good images in the right hands but for shooting an event like a wedding to be able to do it reliably the investment would likely by higher than $2000 simply because of the cost of lenses that can handle low light. This is especially important if you plan to charge for those weddings since if your gear fails you can open yourself up to a lawsuit.
That said to get started you could probably do ok with a set up like this:
Nikon: D7000 : $1100 : Nikon's top end DX Camera, you won't get a full frame under $2,000 unless you want to get a really old pro body like a D2. It isn't a bad camera, it has a great sensor but is built out of plastic so won't be as reliable as a pro body. 50mm F1.8D : $110 : For $100 you can' go wrong. 35mm F1.8D $200 : you will need something wider for those group shots. This lens has great performance and a reasonable price tag 80-200mm F2.8 : $1,079 : You will need a fast telephoto zoom, there is really no way around it. Most pros use a 70-200 F2.8, which costs over $2000 on it's own. This is the next best thing. Tamron also just released a 70-200 F2.8, haven't seen any reviews yet but it is also in the $1000 range.
If you keep an eye on the use market you could probably get it all in great shape for about $2,000. Canon likely has a similar viable set up if you prefer them but I am not as familiar with their lens lineup. But just be VERY careful about shooting paid weddings with a rig like this. If your camera fails mid ceremony and you don't have a backup handy you could be looking down the barrel of a life altering lawsuit.
Also you probably will want to budget in other accessories like 2-3 memory cards and AT LEAST 2 extra batteries. A speedlight is pretty important too.
That said, for shooting portrait work, the above set up is awesome and you will be equipped to take amazing portraits once you get good.
It's hard to argue with the 1Dx as the top Canon camera for the vast majority of uses - the 1Ds mk III might edge it out for a few things (mostly things that can use the extra resolution). For what you're asking about the better AF and high ISO performance will be meaningful for weddings and concerts, and the extra resolution probably isn't needed for portraits.
Obviously, both of those are more then $2k. Under that price, I'd go with the 5D mk II. The only real competitor is the 7D (the 6D both not being out yet, and being a hair over $2000). There are cases where the 7D's better AF would matter, but the 5D mk II trumps it in low light and the larger sensor gives you more options with depth of field, both of which matter more for the use cases in question.