OMD for Weddings?

Started Oct 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
sean000
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,967Gear list
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Re: Why not. I would consider it an improvement over my old DSLR wedding rig.
In reply to Dale108, Oct 21, 2012

I have shot some weddings and other events in the past, but since the kids came along I haven't had time for a secondary career on the side. If I do start shooting events (including weddings) again, my ideal kit would actually be a pair of E-M5 cameras... or perhaps an E-M5 alongside a Nikon D300s (since I already own lots of Nikon gear).

For me the one advantage of a semi-pro or pro DSLR is that they typically have dual memory slots that can be configured so that the camera writes to both. This redundancy is reassuring, but is it necessary? The chances of your wedding shoot being lost to memory card failure are extremely small, and the problem could be a camera card writing issue that could impact both cards. Either way you are talking about a small risk as long as you use quality memory cards that have been proven to work (you didn't just take them out of the package).

With that out of the way, I would much rather shoot a wedding with an E-M5 for the following reason: A camera like a Nikon D300, D700, or D3 with an f/2.8 zoom on the front and an SB-800 or SB-900 flashgun on top (with or without a flash bracket for flipping) gets really heavy after awhile... especially when you have a second camera with a telephoto f/2.8 zoom and another flashgun hanging from your shoulder. Wedding photography is physically demanding work. You are on your feet for five hours (ten if you agreed to an all day and night event plus reception and formals), always on the move, carrying a lot of gear around. You are squatting, bending, stretching, and contorting yourself into various positions to get the perspective you want. By the third hour I was always hurting.

I would love to shoot a wedding with the following:

  • E-M5 with 12-35mm f/2.8 mounted and a flashgun + diffuser for times when I want to use flash.
  • E-M5 with 35-100mm f/2.8 and another flashgun
  • 45mm f/1.8
  • 75mm f/1.8
  • Fisheye
  • Standard kit zoom (a backup to the 12-35, which will be perfectly good for shots using the flashgun)

Such a kit, even with the battery/portrat grips attached, would be much lighter and easier to work with for a 5 or 10 hour shoot. I think that list is enough redundancy should any camera or lens fail or become damaged. That can happen, so it never hurts to have a spare of anything you depend on. Years ago I shot one of my first weddings (literally the second or third) using a Nikon D200 and an older Nikon D70 as a backup. Halfway through the event the D70 started to write blank pictures. I had never seen it do that in several years of use. I didn't have time to figure out whether or not it was the camera or the memory card (later I would determine it was the camera's fault). It didn't happen to every photo, but I could no longer rely on that camera, so I put it back in the bag and stuck with the D200 (which required more lens changes since I was working with one camera). Boy... the E-M5 image quality at ISO 1600 is miles better than that old D70+D200 kit

The only downside for me is that the E-M5's continuous AF isn't as good as what a DSLR can do, but that's not something I typically use for weddings. Some people like to use it, but as long as S-AF is fast and accurate, I think that will do unless you have a very active and unpredictable bride & groom

One caveat: You will absolutely run into clients, as well as guests, who will not think your m4/3 gear is professional enough. They may refuse to hire you, or assume that the shots won't be very good because you aren't using a DSLR. Of course the more insightful customers will judge you by your work and not by your gear, but you can't always get insightful customers. I suppose you could take an old DSLR with you and take it out of the bag when you arrive as a decoy Perhaps the E-M5 battery grip will not only make the camera more comfortable for long hours, but it will also look professional

 sean000's gear list:sean000's gear list
Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Nikon D70 Nikon D200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +13 more
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