Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
Harbinger_Gr New Member • Posts: 4
Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

Greetings,

Coming next wedding season (pandemic allowing), I plan on becoming a semi-pro, as in, 2nd shooter to a professional event photographer friend of mine (of course with compensation). Which means its time for a big decision on a system to invest in. My budget is obviously not unlimited and essentially going for the 1.5-2k models out there. I should note that I'll be doing something like 70% photography and the rest videography and mostly daylight social events, mostly weddings.

For the last month or so I've tried hard to decode the various systems and figure out which route to go but I've narrowed it down to essentially 3 options.

A7iii, Z6 and X-T4. Coming fresh with no lenses at hand to sway me towards a system. I will be getting an option with a kit lens.

A7iii, pros for me are the battery life, dual cards and huge selection of lens. cons are the screen/EVF combo, ergonomics and shooting process in general, worst kit lens of all 3 (the 28-70 f3.5-5.6) and worst IBIS of all. Initially I'd pair the kit lens with a 50mm f1.8 and and 85mm f1.8. Unfortunately A7iv is apparently far away in the horizon so I don't expect any price drops here.

Z6, better video than A7, comparable image quality, better ergonomics and build quality, better screen/EVF, I don't mind initially using cheap F mount primes with FTZ, possibly the best kit lens (24-70 f4). cons would be single card / expensive cards, lack of a proper grip, worst autofocus (but not by much imo) and the thing that worries me the most is nikon's commitment to the body (firmware etc). Like with sony, I'd pair the kit with a 50 and 85 (f-mounts) and down the road swap to Z. Rumors points to an imminent Z6s refresh which might drive Z6 price down.

X-T4, best video of all, good EVF, good flippy screen, I love the ergonomics (though with a grip extender), awesome collection of affordable primes, above average kit lenses (either the 18-55 f2.8-4 or the 16-80 f4, good autofocus, excellent and proven support down the road from fuji. I shoot raw and film simulations are nice to have but not fussed about em. I'd pair the kit with the 35mm f2 and the 56 f1.2 (or possibly the new viltrox). Down the road I'd quickly add the 23mm f2. The obvious con here is the sensor size.

So, what do you guys think? I understand that no matter my choice they are all awesome cameras for the job. Which is kinda why this is such a touch choice.

To be honest I'd also consider R6 if it was cheaper and I might consider the panasonic S5.

Thanks in advance!

Nikon Z6 Ricoh Caplio R6 Sony a7
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KAAMBIC
KAAMBIC Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

Harbinger_Gr wrote:

Greetings,

Coming next wedding season (pandemic allowing), I plan on becoming a semi-pro, as in, 2nd shooter to a professional event photographer friend of mine (of course with compensation). Which means its time for a big decision on a system to invest in. My budget is obviously not unlimited and essentially going for the 1.5-2k models out there. I should note that I'll be doing something like 70% photography and the rest videography and mostly daylight social events, mostly weddings.

For the last month or so I've tried hard to decode the various systems and figure out which route to go but I've narrowed it down to essentially 3 options.

A7iii, Z6 and X-T4. Coming fresh with no lenses at hand to sway me towards a system. I will be getting an option with a kit lens.

A7iii, pros for me are the battery life, dual cards and huge selection of lens. cons are the screen/EVF combo, ergonomics and shooting process in general, worst kit lens of all 3 (the 28-70 f3.5-5.6) and worst IBIS of all. Initially I'd pair the kit lens with a 50mm f1.8 and and 85mm f1.8. Unfortunately A7iv is apparently far away in the horizon so I don't expect any price drops here.

Z6, better video than A7, comparable image quality, better ergonomics and build quality, better screen/EVF, I don't mind initially using cheap F mount primes with FTZ, possibly the best kit lens (24-70 f4). cons would be single card / expensive cards, lack of a proper grip, worst autofocus (but not by much imo) and the thing that worries me the most is nikon's commitment to the body (firmware etc). Like with sony, I'd pair the kit with a 50 and 85 (f-mounts) and down the road swap to Z. Rumors points to an imminent Z6s refresh which might drive Z6 price down.

X-T4, best video of all, good EVF, good flippy screen, I love the ergonomics (though with a grip extender), awesome collection of affordable primes, above average kit lenses (either the 18-55 f2.8-4 or the 16-80 f4, good autofocus, excellent and proven support down the road from fuji. I shoot raw and film simulations are nice to have but not fussed about em. I'd pair the kit with the 35mm f2 and the 56 f1.2 (or possibly the new viltrox). Down the road I'd quickly add the 23mm f2. The obvious con here is the sensor size.

So, what do you guys think? I understand that no matter my choice they are all awesome cameras for the job. Which is kinda why this is such a touch choice.

To be honest I'd also consider R6 if it was cheaper and I might consider the panasonic S5.

Thanks in advance!

I have one BIG question first, will you be using a gimbal? If not, i wouldn't recommend any of the above. If you are doing paid work, yes, you MUST get twin card slots, cards do fail sometimes and dual writing is just mandatory just in case. But the A7III IBIS is pretty bad, HERE is a video comparing it to a GH5.

Which poses a problem as the Z6 only has one card slot? The Fuji has IBIS and very good video IQ but be careful what lenses you use, many of them are pretty bad for video AF. If you like the Fuji, go look up CAMERA CONSPIRACIES channel, he's done a lot of testing with Fuji video with various lenses.

I've only recently got into heavy video and i passed up an M6II as it had one card slot and no IBIS, and an XT30 as it had no IBIS. XT4 was more than i was spending.  I bought an EM1-II and it does everything i need very well, YMMV.

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Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,236
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
2

Harbinger_Gr wrote:

Greetings,

Coming next wedding season (pandemic allowing), I plan on becoming a semi-pro, as in, 2nd shooter to a professional event photographer friend of mine (of course with compensation). Which means its time for a big decision on a system to invest in.

Just some of my amateurs thoughts

Why not to use the same system as your friend? Better for some exchanges and replacement of failed gear. Also it's probably better for final matching of colours from both camer guys I guess.

My budget is obviously not unlimited and essentially going for the 1.5-2k models out there. I should note that I'll be doing something like 70% photography and the rest videography and mostly daylight social events, mostly weddings.

For the last month or so I've tried hard to decode the various systems and figure out which route to go but I've narrowed it down to essentially 3 options.

A7iii, Z6 and X-T4. Coming fresh with no lenses at hand to sway me towards a system. I will be getting an option with a kit lens.

A7iii, pros for me are the battery life, dual cards and huge selection of lens. cons are the screen/EVF combo, ergonomics and shooting process in general, worst kit lens of all 3 (the 28-70 f3.5-5.6) and worst IBIS of all.

It's weird to me, that semi-pro would limit his choice due to available kitlens. Typical gear is probably f2.8 zooms and 1.4 / 1.8 primes anyway, kitlens will stay on shelf.

Initially I'd pair the kit lens with a 50mm f1.8 and and 85mm f1.8. Unfortunately A7iv is apparently far away in the horizon so I don't expect any price drops here.

Z6, better video than A7, comparable image quality, better ergonomics and build quality, better screen/EVF, I don't mind initially using cheap F mount primes with FTZ, possibly the best kit lens (24-70 f4). cons would be single card / expensive cards, lack of a proper grip, worst autofocus (but not by much imo) and the thing that worries me the most is nikon's commitment to the body (firmware etc). Like with sony, I'd pair the kit with a 50 and 85 (f-mounts) and down the road swap to Z. Rumors points to an imminent Z6s refresh which might drive Z6 price down.

X-T4, best video of all, good EVF, good flippy screen, I love the ergonomics (though with a grip extender), awesome collection of affordable primes, above average kit lenses (either the 18-55 f2.8-4 or the 16-80 f4, good autofocus, excellent and proven support down the road from fuji. I shoot raw and film simulations are nice to have but not fussed about em. I'd pair the kit with the 35mm f2 and the 56 f1.2 (or possibly the new viltrox). Down the road I'd quickly add the 23mm f2. The obvious con here is the sensor size.

So, what do you guys think? I understand that no matter my choice they are all awesome cameras for the job. Which is kinda why this is such a touch choice.

To be honest I'd also consider R6 if it was cheaper and I might consider the panasonic S5.

Thanks in advance!

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
dustyj
dustyj Regular Member • Posts: 244
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

What do you currently shoot with? What have you used in the past? What do you like and dislike about those systems?

 dustyj's gear list:dustyj's gear list
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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Weddings means JPG or JPG+raw.  You need to look at JPG quality because you simply won't have time to process a load of raw files.

Beyond this they are all perfectly OK which is of course why you are in a quandary.

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Andrew Skinner

 a_c_skinner's gear list:a_c_skinner's gear list
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ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

Harbinger_Gr wrote:

Greetings,

Coming next wedding season (pandemic allowing), I plan on becoming a semi-pro, as in, 2nd shooter to a professional event photographer friend of mine (of course with compensation). Which means its time for a big decision on a system to invest in. My budget is obviously not unlimited and essentially going for the 1.5-2k models out there. I should note that I'll be doing something like 70% photography and the rest videography and mostly daylight social events, mostly weddings.

For the last month or so I've tried hard to decode the various systems and figure out which route to go but I've narrowed it down to essentially 3 options.

A7iii, Z6 and X-T4. Coming fresh with no lenses at hand to sway me towards a system. I will be getting an option with a kit lens.

A7iii, pros for me are the battery life, dual cards and huge selection of lens. cons are the screen/EVF combo, ergonomics and shooting process in general, worst kit lens of all 3 (the 28-70 f3.5-5.6) and worst IBIS of all. Initially I'd pair the kit lens with a 50mm f1.8 and and 85mm f1.8. Unfortunately A7iv is apparently far away in the horizon so I don't expect any price drops here.

Z6, better video than A7, comparable image quality, better ergonomics and build quality, better screen/EVF, I don't mind initially using cheap F mount primes with FTZ, possibly the best kit lens (24-70 f4). cons would be single card / expensive cards, lack of a proper grip, worst autofocus (but not by much imo) and the thing that worries me the most is nikon's commitment to the body (firmware etc). Like with sony, I'd pair the kit with a 50 and 85 (f-mounts) and down the road swap to Z. Rumors points to an imminent Z6s refresh which might drive Z6 price down.

X-T4, best video of all, good EVF, good flippy screen, I love the ergonomics (though with a grip extender), awesome collection of affordable primes, above average kit lenses (either the 18-55 f2.8-4 or the 16-80 f4, good autofocus, excellent and proven support down the road from fuji. I shoot raw and film simulations are nice to have but not fussed about em. I'd pair the kit with the 35mm f2 and the 56 f1.2 (or possibly the new viltrox). Down the road I'd quickly add the 23mm f2. The obvious con here is the sensor size.

So, what do you guys think? I understand that no matter my choice they are all awesome cameras for the job. Which is kinda why this is such a touch choice.

To be honest I'd also consider R6 if it was cheaper and I might consider the panasonic S5.

Thanks in advance!

In my humble opinion, I think you are making a mistake in going with mirrorless. I have the A7RIV and I would not pick it for another wedding ever again. I would go with my Nikon D850 or with a Canon 5DV. Those are my top go to cameras for weddings... I know, people say these DSLRs are dinosaurs from the past, but they get the job done better than mirrorless...

 ChelseaPhotographer's gear list:ChelseaPhotographer's gear list
SeaLife DC2000 Ricoh GR III Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850 +1 more
a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

Why?  Just saying that doesn't really help much.  What is the benefit of DSLRs for weddings?  Apart from the noise so everyone knows the photographer is there.

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Andrew Skinner

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ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

a_c_skinner wrote:

Why? Just saying that doesn't really help much. What is the benefit of DSLRs for weddings? Apart from the noise so everyone knows the photographer is there.

Do you actually shoot weddings? My guess from your advice to shoot JPGs is that you probably don't...

There are two main advantages: no lag in the viewfinder and much faster focus acquisition, which are both critical for events like weddings.

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techie takes pics Senior Member • Posts: 1,164
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
2

Either get the same system your friend is using: you can exchange lenses, knowledge and batteries.

Or get something totally different which will complement your friends outfit.  I like the vote for In Body Stabilization.  Olympus has the best stabilization, and your budget can buy you not a decent camera, but a professional one. With unworldly stabilization. And it will be a lot smaller than what your friend is sporting, meaning you can be more agile, move around more, attract less attention, and make different shots than he does.

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Not for a long time.  Weddings were not action events in my day so AF and trifling viewfinder lag were neither here nor there.

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Andrew Skinner

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OP Harbinger_Gr New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Just some of my amateurs thoughts

Why not to use the same system as your friend? Better for some exchanges and replacement of failed gear. Also it's probably better for final matching of colours from both camer guys I guess.

Yeah that's a strong argument there.

It's weird to me, that semi-pro would limit his choice due to available kitlens. Typical gear is probably f2.8 zooms and 1.4 / 1.8 primes anyway, kitlens will stay on shelf.

Nothing weird about starting from scratch with what you can afford and upgrading along the way. Obviously kits will end up in the shelf but my budget can't afford to spend 4k straight away.

OP Harbinger_Gr New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

In my humble opinion, I think you are making a mistake in going with mirrorless. I have the A7RIV and I would not pick it for another wedding ever again. I would go with my Nikon D850 or with a Canon 5DV. Those are my top go to cameras for weddings... I know, people say these DSLRs are dinosaurs from the past, but they get the job done better than mirrorless...

What is/was wrong with the A7RIV for weddings? (besides the ginormous files)

OP Harbinger_Gr New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

dustyj wrote:

What do you currently shoot with? What have you used in the past? What do you like and dislike about those systems?

Nikon DXs.

ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Harbinger_Gr wrote:

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

In my humble opinion, I think you are making a mistake in going with mirrorless. I have the A7RIV and I would not pick it for another wedding ever again. I would go with my Nikon D850 or with a Canon 5DV. Those are my top go to cameras for weddings... I know, people say these DSLRs are dinosaurs from the past, but they get the job done better than mirrorless...

What is/was wrong with the A7RIV for weddings? (besides the ginormous files)

So you have been shooting weddings with a Nikon D5?? And you want to move to something like a Fuji X-T4?!?

Which Nikon exactly have you been shooting with?

The A7RIV is just not fast enough. And I can assure you, it is much faster than the X-T4 and way more accurate. But not as fast as Nikon D850, and definitely not as fast as a D6. I shot two events with the A7RIV, a wedding and a 50th birthday. My clients were happy with the results, but I sure wasn't knowing what I could have gotten  with my D850...

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a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

This is off topic and genuine.  I've not photographed a wedding or indeed been to an non-covid one for years.  What do people want photographed that is so fast moving that good mirrorless won't hit the spot?  The last wedding I was sole photographer for the most action was cutting the cake or signing the register (Nikon FM2n BTW).  My own wedding was snapped with Mamiya C330s.  A genuine question what is de-rigueur these days?

On a more technical point doesn't the (equally inexplicable) urge for video argue for mirrorless.

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Andrew Skinner

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ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 530
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

a_c_skinner wrote:

This is off topic and genuine. I've not photographed a wedding or indeed been to an non-covid one for years. What do people want photographed that is so fast moving that good mirrorless won't hit the spot? The last wedding I was sole photographer for the most action was cutting the cake or signing the register (Nikon FM2n BTW). My own wedding was snapped with Mamiya C330s. A genuine question what is de-rigueur these days?

On a more technical point doesn't the (equally inexplicable) urge for video argue for mirrorless.

I think it depends on your shooting style. I mean, people used to photograph weddings with large format cameras, right?

For me the party afterwards is what requires fast and accurate autofocus in dim light.

 ChelseaPhotographer's gear list:ChelseaPhotographer's gear list
SeaLife DC2000 Ricoh GR III Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS Nikon D850 +1 more
a_c_skinner Forum Pro • Posts: 10,117
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

I was afraid that was to what you alluded.  In my day the last photo was cutting the cake and you generally took a staged image of that so you could get away before the reception.

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Andrew Skinner

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jkokura Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..
1

What about the Nikon D780? Pretty much the guts of a Z6 but in a DSLR package. Way more lens options, at lower prices, and you still get the Video and Autofocus package that you want with Dual card slots.

Jacob

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jshen808
jshen808 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,546
Re: Hard time figuring out a system to get into..

Harbinger_Gr wrote:

dustyj wrote:

What do you currently shoot with? What have you used in the past? What do you like and dislike about those systems?

Nikon DXs.

Recommend taking a look at the Nikon D850 camera, which in my opinion, is a fantastic events camera.

Below are two out-of-camera jpegs from my D850 camera.

D850, sooc jpeg

D850, sooc jpeg

Cheers!

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