The Best Gear for Successful Wedding Photography in 2019

This gear will make wedding photography that much easier for you, and your clients will love the results.

Wedding photography is one of the most demanding, most challenging genres of photography around. Photographers usually find themselves in dimly lit churches, cathedrals, and gathering places, and they usually have a list of demands from their clients as long as Mt. Everest is tall. There are things we can do to make it easier on ourselves, but perhaps the best thing we can do is use cameras, lenses, and accessories that can not only cope with the rigors of wedding photography, but that can also make it easier.

In this wedding photography gear roundup we will take a look at some of the most tried and tested cameras, lenses, and accessories that we recommend to anyone just entering the wedding photography field, or to those who just want and need that extra edge to make their work standout.

 

Canon 5D Mk IV

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality, though we still feel we can do MUCH more with Sony and Fujifilm files when it comes to color. But Canon’s dynamic range is pretty darn good.
  • Ergonomical feel reminds me more of the old 5D Mk II than the Mk III, and we like that.
  • Fantastic autofocus
  • Touchscreen, finally
  • Quiet shutter is nice
  • Weather sealing

Cons

  • Price point (at the time of review)

Buy now ($2,799): Amazon

 

Fujifilm X-T3

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pro

  • Brand new 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 Sensor
  • Brand new X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Very solid build quality
  • Excellent image quality
  • In body RAW processing with built in film simulation profiles
  • Versatile RAW files
  • Amazing video capabilities
  • Dual SD card slots (if your workflow requires it)

Con

  • Battery life can use some improvement
  • Lacks in body image stabilization
  • Low light performance is improved over the previous generation X-T2, but hit rates during high speed, low light situations still leave much to be desired

Buy now ($1,399): Amazon

 

Nikon D750

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Deep grip
  • Intuitive and well laid out control scheme
  • Renders amazing detail and color
  • Clean files at ISO 6400
  • Usable images up to ISO 10000
  • Built-in Wi-Fi transmission
  • Tilting screen

Cons

  • Plastic front plate

Buy now ($1,296.95): Amazon

 

Nikon D810

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Probably the only DSLR you’ll ever need
  • Absolutely, positively, amazing high ISO performance
  • Great color output
  • Some of the most versatile RAW files that we’ve ever seen in Adobe Lightroom
  • Fast autofocus in great lighting even with third party lenses
  • Build very solidly yet isn’t too heavy
  • Small RAW mode can be a lifesaver when you don’t have high capacity cards
  • Same old simplistic Nikon menu system
  • Quiet shooting mode makes this one of the most stealthy DSLRs that we’ve tested. But the shutter is already much quieter than previous Nikon DSLRs

Cons

  • Price point (at the time of the review)
  • Autofocus in extremely low lit situations (we’re talking about candlelit events) is inconsistent and requires lots of thought to carefully place a focusing point on a high contrast spot
  • A tilting LCD screen when shooting timelapse videos would have been really, really useful
  • AF assist lamp is in a weird spot that doesn’t always help enough
  • Wish there was WiFi transmission built in instead of needing to use an external dongle

Buy now ($2,796.95): Amazon

 

Pro Tip: A full day of shooting a wedding will lead to you having thousands of images to cull, organize, edit, and print. We all know that this can take hours upon hours of work. One way to speed things up in post is to use Lightroom presets. Presets are not a bad thing at all. They can help give your images a consistent look and feel. They can be applied with a single click, and tweaked to your liking. There is no shame in using presets, and honestly the time you can save in post can be used in other areas of your business. The best thing is that this preset bundle doesn’t cost much at all.

 

Sony a7 III

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best battery life of any Sony or Mirrorless camera I’ve ever tested
  • A fair amount of resolution and versatility in the RAW files that can be realized with Capture One
  • Nice feel to it
  • Consistency with all the other cameras in terms of menu system
  • Autofocus can acquire a target in near darkness
  • Essentially feels like a scaled down Sony a9 and Sony a7r III.
  • Not a bad price point

Cons

  • Mount and certain lenses may allow for dust to get in onto the sensor. It isn’t as tight as the a7r III’s

Buy now ($1,998): Amazon

 

Sony a7r III

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of RAW file versatility
  • Sony a9’s autofocus
  • Nice ergonomics
  • New battery makes shooting with it for prolonged periods of time so much better
  • RAW files work fantastic with Capture One
  • Touch screen capabilities for shooting
  • Fast shooting capabilities
  • Silent shooting abilities

Cons

  • No one is going to actually use the Pixel Shift imaging mode because it’s so complicated to work with and few people want to use Sony’s own software
  • We’d love a top LCD screen
  • We’d love to be able to navigate the menus with the Touchscreen capabilities
  • Sony got rid of the PlayMemories apps and therefore all abilities to do more with the cameras such as the touch-less shutter. It absolutely baffles us as to why Sony doesn’t just put all that stuff into the cameras.
  • Wireless flash capabilities need to be enabled via the menu in order to use them

Buy now ($2,798): Amazon

 

Canon 35mm F2 IS

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent build quality, it feels better than the L version
  • The addition of IS is a nice touch
  • Fast aperture
  • Fairly compact size
  • Excellent image quality
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Perhaps the absolute best lens for every wedding photographer on a budget

Cons

  • A tad more pricey than we’d like it to be

Buy now ($549): Amazon

 

Fujifilm 23mm F1.4

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Superb image quality
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Lots of great sharpness with even a bit of what seems like micro-contrast
  • Well built
  • Snap back focusing ring

Cons

  • Expensive (at the time of the review)

Buy now ($649): Amazon

 

wedding photography

Pro Tip: Having a great camera and great lenses is one thing, but having a great bag to carry them and all kinds of other gear is essential when it comes to wedding photography. There are a lot of bags on the market, but one of the most versatile is the WANDRD PRVKE. It’s an excellent choice for wedding photographers, especially destination wedding photographers; it will handle just about anything you throw at it. It has enough room for multiple camera bodies and lenses (size dependent, of course) and, because of its roll-top design, you can carry a couple speedlights, extra clothes, snacks, or whatever else you may need to make it through a long day. It also has room for a laptop, tablet, and other important accessories. It’s also pretty affordable.

 

Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 LM WR

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Solid image quality
  • Nice bokeh, sharpness, and color rendition
  • Weather sealed
  • Fujifilm’s best general zoom lens yet
  • Fujifilm gave this an actual aperture ring instead of what they did with their previous kit lens zooms and gave the user a switch

Cons

  • Feels weird in the hand even with the XT1
  • An internal zooming mechanism would have made this feel better in the hand
  • A steep price

Buy now ($1,049): Amazon

 

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Internal zooming keeps things reasonably compact
  • Wonderfully sharp images
  • Very nice bokeh, if that matters to you
  • Tripod collar makes for a good grip
  • Weather-sealed

Cons

  • Prepare to drop serious cash. This lens ain’t cheap
  • Focusing ring moves a bit too slowly

Buy now ($1,499): Amazon

 

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Extremely sharp
  • Fast focusing
  • Stellar build quality

Cons

  • May need some micro adjustment out of the box
  • No weather sealing

Buy now Canon ($736.29): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($717.29): Amazon

Buy now Sony ($771.18): Amazon

 

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Incredibly sharp lens
  • Great build quality and feel
  • Fast focusing
  • Beautiful bokeh
  • Nice saturation of colors

Cons

  • Everyone and their mother is going to sit here and compare it to the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus. It’s not really a comparable lens since this isn’t fair due to the price point and the fact that if someone wants Zeiss glass, they’re going to go for it no matter what
  • Pretty large for a 50mm f1.4; but all the new 50mm lenses that have been coming out are also quite big

Buy now Canon ($704.90): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($699): Amazon

Buy now Sony ($795): Amazon

 

wedding photography

Pro Tip: You may have the art of capturing stunning images down, but the financial side of running a wedding photography business is incredibly complex. It’s vital that you have a solid business plan, know what your costs are, what your contracts entail, and that you have a sound scheduling and payment system in place. This can be a lot to manage, especially for those who are just getting started. This Wedding Photography Bootcamp will help you get set up for success. After going through this affordable course, you’ll be able to stop stressing about numbers, and you’ll be able to focus more on getting beautiful images for your client.

 

Tamron 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD

 

Here are the prod and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Super sharp image quality
  • No focusing issues with the Canon 6D or other Canon SLR cameras
  • Fast focusing
  • Weather sealing
  • Nice feel in the hand
  • Vibration compensation built in is a godsend
  • Fantastic color
  • A unique look that makes everything seem like it’s got quite a bit of Clarity in Lightroom increased
  • Beautiful bokeh

Cons

  • Quite honestly, not a single thing is wrong with this lens

Buy now Canon ($749): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($749): Amazon

 

Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fantastic sharpness
  • Great colors if you white balance and edit in just the right way
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Image stabilization
  • Weather sealing
  • Feels good in the hand
  • Very versatile
  • Not too heavy
  • Not badly priced

Cons

  • Tamron’s colors may not be to your liking right out of camera

Buy now Canon ($1,199): Amazon

Buy now Tamron ($1,199): Amazon

 

Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 Di VC USD G2

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Good for skin tones
  • Delivers lens flare nicely
  • Sharp output
  • Fast autofocus capabilities
  • Weather sealing
  • Fairly lightweight
  • Image stabilization built in

Cons

  • While I like the lens flare, others may complain about it

Buy now Canon ($1,199): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($1,199): Amazon

 

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD Sony E Mount

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Sharp optics
  • Fast focusing in pretty much any situation
  • Nice bokeh
  • Small and lightweight
  • Considerably under $1,000
  • More than good enough for what most photographers will need to do: there is going to be much less measurbation in this review than normal

Cons

  • Some folks may gawk at the fact that it isn’t a Sony G Master lens and will fetishize the G Master series in the same way Canon shooters put L glass on a pedestal vs many others

Buy now ($879): Amazon

 

wedding photography

Pro Tip: As great as cameras are these days when it comes to High ISO performance, and as great as fast lenses are, you simply cannot substitute having a good, powerful flash at your disposal when it comes to wedding photography. The venues you’ll be in will be dimly lit and may well go into the evening hours, which means you’ll need an extra kick of light outdoors. Fortunately there is a great option that won’t break the bank, and there are versions of it for all major camera platforms. The Godox TT685 is a fantastic flash that’s powerful, easy to use, and very reliable. The great part is that it’s incredibly affordable!

 

Sony 85mm F1.8 FE (Sony E Mount)

 

wedding photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Fast focusing with the Sony a7r II and in good lighting it will focus quickly with the Sony a7
  • Nice feel; though not as great as the G Master 85mm f1.4 lens.
  • Weather resistance built in
  • Compact size

Cons

  • Honestly, not a darn thing

Buy now ($548): Amazon

 

Sony 70-200mm F2.8 OSS G Master

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Nice bokeh
  • Fairly compact for a 70-200mm f2.8 lens.
  • Good build quality
  • Can focus pretty fast with the latest cameras

Cons

  • Pretty pricey

Buy now ($2,598): Amazon