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What kind of equipment should my wedding photographer use?


There is no straight answer to this question, since each photographer has his/her own preferences, so instead of answering it, I will provide you with basic information about each type of equipment. Let’s start with the greatest quality 4x5 or even 8x10 view cameras. Those cameras are the oldest models on earth, however they are still widely used in commercial photography.

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Large format

Large format cameras are stationary and have to be installed before use. Main advantage of these cameras is the ability to record images on 4” x 5” or 8" x 10" negative size, which provides the ability to make huge enlargements. Images can be enlarged and mounted on street walls, buildings, freeways, etc.,. These cameras also use superb lenses, which guarantee excellent sharpness and contrast.

Another advantage of this type of photo equipment is ability to manipulate with image during the actual shot by changing angle of the negative position therefore changing the light angle coming in. If used professionally, it will create heart-beating effects in your photographs. 4x5 cameras also known as large format equipment are rarely used for photographing weddings because of their huge sizes, installation and reloading time, which makes them to be much less flexible then their 35mm, medium or digital cameras.

Wedding photographer needs to reload film sheet before each shot, which limits the use of camera for only formal shots. These cameras are mainly used in commercial studio photography in static situations. Other disadvantage is obviously high cost per image shot. Imagine that every picture would cost around $20 and this before any photographers fee.

Order digital SLR camera so you can capture great moments.

Medium format

Many of you probably heard about medium format camera. This format is smaller (2.25" x 2.25") than 4 x 5, but still produces a relatively large film negatives. Those type of cameras also have a wide variety of lenses available. Medium format cameras still used among some wedding photographers.

The advantage of medium format is high resolution. Its 2.25" x 2.25" negative size is roughly three times larger than 35 mm negatives, and images up to 20 " x 30" can be made without loss of detail. Some professionals believe that the medium format creates much sharper and clearer photographs than 35mm, even when it comes to small images. Medium format cameras use twelve or twenty four exposure rolls of film. Reloading takes only a few minutes, depending on the camera model and the photographer's skills.   While medium format cameras can be used in traditional wedding photography with excellent results, 35mm or (even more) digital equipment is now preferred by most wedding photographers.

35mm

Over the past 10 years or so, 35mm cameras have become increasingly popular among wedding photography as a result of significant improvements in film quality. Also, these small, yet very professional cameras are much more convenient to work with when it comes to speedy shooting.

35mm cameras are compact, fast and light, qualities that are of tremendous importance for event photography. Reloading can be done in seconds, and each roll of film holds up to 36 frames, which means that fewer shots will be missed while reloading. The lenses made for modern 35mm cameras are sharp and fast.

Although detailed prints can be made up to 20" x 30" using the sharpest 35mm film, most people almost never consider ordering images this large. Knowing the fact, that most photo albums accept a maximum photograph size of 8"x10", coupled with 35mm low cost and flexibility, it was a widely used in wedding photo industry.

Digital

The recent and very powerful competitor in wedding photography is of course the digital camera. Just as negative size determines picture quality in film photography, size of the sensor, or number of pixels, determines the quality in digital photography. Digital camera sensor quality has improved dramatically, increasing from the 640 x 480 or 0.309 Megapixels cameras of just a few years ago to 40 Megapixels or even bigger sensor sizes today, yielding extremely sharp images that could be enlarged even to a wall sizes (depends on a camera - I managed to get 30"x40" crystal clear portrait from 17 Megapixels camera).

Digital photo equipment has many technological advantages over film cameras. Ex: "zero" reloading time, no processing or scanning and perhaps the most important is that photographer can set the sensitivity (ISO) on the fly.

 

Digital vs. film wedding photography

  • Same or even better print quality (my opinion)

  • Virtually zero processing time (most photographers however will adjust photos in image editing software)

  • No film negatives - no chance of miss processing, damaged film, lost in the mail (however some chances of corrupted data may happen)

  • Time resistant - digital images stored on a disk drive or CD won't fade, and they can be printed over and over again.

  • Fast turnaround time (as low as immediate delivery, however most photographers will post process images)

  • Easy sharing with friends using online galleries and email
  • Album design options
 


 
 

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