T1i, T2i, T3i, T4i, xsi, Rebel Wedding Photography (d3300, d3400, d5300, d5500, d5600)
Get Over It
There are going to be a lot of people who will not like, will not agree with, this post. I don’t care. A camera is just a camera. Real talent, real artistry, comes from the mind of the photographer. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again; a good photographer can take great pictures with a lesser camera, and a bad photographer can take absolute crap pictures with the best camera on the market. It’s a fact. It’s not arguable.
There are a lot of photographers out there very afraid of where the industry is heading. They should be. It’s more accessible than ever. Amazing gear is reasonably priced – and that means that more artists have access to great equipment and the gap between professional and amateur is shrinking. That doesn’t mean it isn’t still there. Fear not.
If you are just starting out, don’t let someone tell you that you cannot shoot a wedding using a Rebel. A T4i for example is every bit as good as the Canon 5D original. In fact, on snapsort.com, the T4i scores ten points higher! So to all the anal purists who live in fear buzz off.
What was good enough five or six years ago is suddenly outpaced by a rebel – but yet someone can’t use it to shoot a wedding. That’s just nonsense.
It wasn’t that long ago it would have been absurd to use a digital camera to shoot a wedding. They were all film. Then, people started using the D60 and 10D shooting at 5 megapixels and that was okay.
Fact of the matter is that many photographers took amazing photos using those cameras. So what’s the stigma with the Rebel line and is it true? Well it is true that Rebel users tend to have a bag full of inferior gear – not just the ‘less professional’ camera, and there lies the problem. Where things really stack up against the photographer is with glass and peripherals.
The Other Side of the Coin
Here’s the reality – typically – if you are really into photography, you will want the better professional body cameras – for reliability, a little more dynamic range, and perhaps a dual card slot of security – but the 5D Mark II doesn’t have the last feature, and it was considered the industry standard until the Mark III was released.
On the downside, it is far more likely that a person using a Rebel is also using cheap glass and doesn’t have all the equipment that might be necessary to capture a wedding – like another camera in case one dies on the shoot. Photography is still expensive – professional photography is even more expensive. To take your wedding photography to the next level does require a serious investment. I’m not advocating we all start shooting our weddings with Rebels – Jamie and I use 5D Mark __ series and they suit our needs. Do I have a rebel in the car should everything break or get dropped, damaged – you bet. At times, I have a Rebel on my hip attached to a 70-200mm II f/2.8 to snap some long shots during an outdoor ceremony. I have no need for a 7D and don’t consider it to be a wedding camera (it’s for sports) – I’d rather spend the money on glass and accessories for no fewer shots than I take on the crop sensor camera.
The glass and other gear is still more important than the camera.
A professional wedding photographer has fast glass – from f/1.4 to f/2.8 and lots of backup batteries, cards, backup cameras, speedlites, more batteries, packs, grips, umbrellas, reflectors, light stands and so forth. The fact of the matter is, if someone told me they were going to shoot my wedding, the question I would ask them isn’t what camera they are going to use – it would be, tell me about all your other gear. What lenses do you have? What flash gear will you use? Will you use the flash on-camera only – or do you have remote triggers?
You are not hiring a camera, you are hiring a wedding photographer.
Without beating a dead horse, it’s not the camera that matters. I might repeat and say it’s the glass and accessories, but here, I’ll shift gears and say, it’s the pictures. It’s the portfolio, it’s the references that matter. You do get what you pay for, and that’s not changing. I’d hire me using two rebel cameras and all my additional gear over 1/2 of the photographers out there running around with 1Ds and D3s and D4s – honestly!
Photographers spend too much time, and too much money, worrying about gear and not enough time working on their craft, studying lighting, studying posing and art, and practicing in varying environments. Canon users spend too much time worrying about Nikon technology instead of reading books and blogs, tips and tutorials. Nikon users spend too much time worrying about Canon tech rather than mastering adapting to changing scenes and their settings without ever pulling their eye from the viewfinder.
Below are a few of the pictures we have taken with our ‘backup’ or ‘second’ cameras. Stay here if you are interested in more tips/tutorials/gear.