Which camera is in for weddings?

Anonymous (not verified)

So I will be new to wedding videography. I'd like to call what I'm going to do, wedding cinematography. My question is as follows: In you experience as a wedding videographer which up-to-date camera would you recommend to make the possibilities for an event timeless, and capabilities and editing potentials jaw dropping. Because I do believe that the original quality of the video captures is significant, along with what media it is recorded on in conjunction with its ease of post production use and time consumption. Camera versatility is also a concern.

The cameras I'm currently looking at are the following please provide suggestions in these areas or freely from your experience. SonyHVR-Z7E, Sony PMW-EX3, Canon XLH1Sa.

Thanks for all your information in advance.

VideoJeff's picture
Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 5:39pm

Hey Bill,

Great question. Of the cameras you mentioned, I'd go with the EX3 but others are good too. However, If you want to provide an amazing video with an affordable price tag. I'd go with an HDSLR like the Canon 7D, 6D mark 2, or 60D. It gives you the "Hollywood" look and feel. It's definitely where video is going.

I just bought the Canon 60D a few months ago and love it. I'll be shooting a wedding next weekend with it. There is a learning curve to it, but it produces a stunning video image.

I have a podcast and website that teaches people how to run a wedding video business. I just interviewed someone who uses HDSLR's on his wedding videos and has stunning results. It should be up in the coming weeks. Check it out now, along with the podcasts that are already up there.


Best of luck,

Jeff Long

Jaimie's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/14/2009 - 1:25pm

You might also look closer at the Sony Z5-Z7 units. While I think shooting with a DSLR has a nice look, it is also more difficult. I have been using both the Sony Z series and the Canon 60D and I prefer the Sony units. They are easy to use, have full CD quality stereo sound recording ability (more difficult on the HDSLRs) and can record on chips and/or tape. I use both. I archive all original footage and tape provides that at a low cost. I use chips to transfer the footage to the editor because it's a lot faster.

Shooting a wedding video is a lot harder than most people think and is more difficult than shooting stills. Besides having to capture scenes instead of just moments, you also have to capture excellent sound which is a lot more difficult than image. Aside: don't go "dirt cheap" on your wireless mics.

Finally, consider that you will probably shoot other events so plan accordingly.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

I'm sure some others will disagree with me, but I suggest -- since you've never shot a wedding -- that you forget all about the cameras you reference and buy a used Sony PD170 from B&H. Use it to learn how to deal with the problems of wedding videography.

The camera is easy comparatively easy to use; all the manual controls you'll need to shoot the wedding are readily available. Its low light capabilities are excellent; you'll need this for shooting at the reception and it will probably come in handy during the ceremony as well.

You can use 83 minute tapes and not have to worry about tape changes or down-loading memory cards during the ceremony.

Sure it's "old" technology, but it's a solid choice for learning; that is, you don't have to fight the technology while you're on the job, and you'll be able to edit in a format that doesn't require intermediaries or a super-powerful computer. And since you're almost certainly going to deliver your video on an SD DVD, a format the bride and groom will take for granted, HD can wait until you've mastered the basics.

You say "I have to buy a sh*t load of extraparaphernalia; lights, mic, stands, tracks, batteries, tapes, etc....," all the more reason to begin with a tool that's proven, reliable and reasonably quick to achieve competency with. You can always sell it back to B&H when you're truly ready to move up.

Ryan3078's picture
Last seen: 12 years 3 months ago
Joined: 12/27/2005 - 3:48pm

I've had good success with Panasonic's HMC150. It uses SDHC cards, so you can get 90 minutes of full HD on a 16GB card, which are cheap as dirt these days. Plus, you can bring a laptop with you and dump all your footage in a matter of minutes - sure beats playing back tape into the computer!

I've found that the HMC150 is much better in low light than the XHA1, which is definitely something to consider, as most receptions are poorly lit.

If you're actually considering spending about $8000 on the EX3, you could save money and get an HMC150 or other "real" video camera, and grab a DSLR like the Panasonic GH1 ($500) as a second camera for more coverage. I just started doing wedding cinema with this combo, and it's very effective. You can set your real video camera in the back on a wide angle, and put all your audio connections into that, and use the DSLR for moving beauty shots.


Harlin Brookes's picture
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 06/16/2009 - 6:28pm

Nice work Ryan!!

Bill, I would have to agree with Jack..Get something tried and true and learn the basics. Then get the big guns. I shot with sony 2000 cameras for years. my demos here are with the 2000. www.hbrookes.com I also do photos and DJ..my mind is a very crowded place, Luckily I can section it off and multi task. Iam alsoa musician...geez..

Ive recently upgraded to the nx5 and learning the deep deep menus and settings..I have a hi def wedding this week. I will post some hi lites.Good Luck.





Give the Bride What She Wants!

MediaFish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 05/25/2011 - 2:06pm

We are successfully using Canon 7D and XF100 cameras to video weddings (2 each). Both serve us well and the 7D also acts as our still picture camera.

Jeff Media Fish Productions