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Wedding Photography Equipment

Photographer? Check out our San Francisco Wedding Photography workshop.

Recently I hear much less concerns about quality of digital photography however once in a while I answer questions about equipment wedding photographers use.

The best advice I can give you concerning wedding photography equipment is this: don't worry about it! That doesn't mean you shouldn't make sure your wedding photographer has high quality equipment and knows how to use it. It just means that a specific type of camera should not be your first concern.

Bottom line: the quality of your wedding photos depends much more on the photographer's skill, experience, and judgment than what type of camera is used.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of larger format cameras?

As a rule, the larger the negative, the higher the quality or "resolution." If you want the highest possible quality regardless of price, the 4 x 5 or 8 x 10 view camera is the way to go. The "4 x 5" refers to the size of the negative - four inches by five inches. I know only one wedding photographer who uses those cameras partially for his wedding assignmnets. This won't be a smartest choice for wedding photography. In contrast, 35 mm negatives measure approximately 1 x 1.5 inches, so compared to 35 mm film, the 4 x 5 negative is 13 times larger. The higher resolution of the 4 x 5 is most noticeable with print sizes greater than 20 x 30. Otherwise, a smaller format is all you need.

As far as disadvantages, the following general rule also applies: the larger the format, the higher the cost and slower the speed. If you need really big prints ( ex, 40" x 60"), then a larger format is worth the extra money. If not, ask your photographer what he recommends. Always remember - professional photographers always work with professional equipment and won't change it by request. However, you might have certain expectations from your photographer so understanding what equipment will he or she use, will help to make sure you get what you want.

What about digital wedding photography?

Digital photography has come a long way in recent years, and many photographers are now using digital equipment exclusively with excellent results. Some statistics show about 70% US wedding photographers partially or full converted to digital.

If in doubt as to whether your wedding photographer is using the right equipment - again - ask questions. Just remember that, even though you may have well meaning friends with opinions on the matter, unless your friends are professional photographers, they are not experts. Hire a photographer you feel you can trust, then trust his or her ability to choose the right equipment!

 

 
 

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