June 19, 2013
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> Are Two Cameras Better Than One?
Are Two Cameras Better Than One?
Previous Boyd Hughes, Born 26/03/2012
Skiing in Val d'Isere Next
Using two cameras when shooting a wedding can bring added value. I've done it a couple of times. It looks impressive when your photographer has two big cameras almost strangling him as he runs from shot to shot. But two cameras + one photographer can only do so much and they're very heavy. Modern cameras have inter-changeable lenses - its the SLR bit of DSLR - but changing lenses mid-shoot can be a bit of a phaff, hence the reason for two cameras - a different lens on each camera. There are only three lens sizes needed for a wedding; a wide-ish angle, a mid-telephoto and occasionally a long-ish telephoto. I use the EF 16-35 f2.8 L for wide shots, the EF 24-105 f4.0 L as my work-horse mid-range lens and sometimes the EF 70-200 f2.8 L for long telephoto. With two cameras I could use the 24-105 as the main with the 16-35 as the backup for tight shots. There is another option though.
The day before I left to go skiing in Val d'Isere Canon announced the launch of their new model 5D camera; The Mark III. I had barely time to skim the specification before I was whipped off to the slopes but it was an announcement I'd been waiting for for nearly two years. The original model 5D has become a bit of a legend in a world where digital cameras, even professional ones, are disposable. Original 5D's are near impossible to find on the second-hand market - if you've got one you keep it. I'm lucky enough to have one that I bought in 2007 and its served me well in the last five years and I expect it'll continue to do so for a few years yet to come.
The original model 5D was a camera that just hit the spot between the absolute top-end 1D series and the so-called pro-sumer cameras like the 20D (and all of its subsequent variants; 30D up to 60D). It was a true general purpose camera that pros were happy to be seen with and enthusiasts were proud to own. It had a 12mp full-frame (35 mm x 24mm) sensor and could shoot at 3 frames-per-second, fast auto-focus, good metering and it accepted all the "L" series lenses. It carved a market out in weddings, portraits and life-style - just where the vast majority of working pros earned their corn. But it was good enough for some sports, a bit of fashion and commercial stuff. I used it for everything and I even spent many a long afternoon shooting cricket - which requires a fairly chunky drive sequence to get decent images.
Canon knew they were onto a good thing with the 5D and started planning for the Mark II. In September 2008 the Mark II was launched and its been another 3 1/2 years to get the Mark III out. The Mark II failed to create the hype the original model did. Mainly, it added video capability and 75% more pixels but that was it. I decided the Mark II wasn't worth the price and carried on using my 5D waiting and hoping that a Mark III would appear in another 18 months. I was wrong. While the 1D morphed into its Mark III variant and then its new "X" variant, the silence from the 5D stable was deafening. Now that it's out I'm starting the planning to get one.
Late last year I wrote an article about the investment a photographer will put into equipment and skills to shoot weddings.
You can read it here
. The 5D Mark III retails at £2,999 for the body only. Add on the battery grip (essential) and a few spare batteries and you'll just about get enough change from £3,500 for a tall skinny latte - without a flavour shot! So if a friend is going to shoot your wedding ask them if they're using a Canon 5D Mark III - I'll bet the answer is no.
So, to the other option - have a second photographer using the other of the two 5D cameras to capture a different perspective on events of the day. With a second photographer shooting reportage and candids having a free rein to shoot whatever comes into focus, one can concentrate on the bride & groom, wedding party and the formals. I've considered at times using students as assistants to help with lighting and reflectors, to be on hand with changes of lens and spare batteries and maybe shoot a few shots but this isn't a full time job on a wedding day and I've heard of too many stories of students not being pro-active enough during the day.
Two photographers working together must trust one another implicitly and they each must know all the details of the bride & groom, what shots are wanted on the day and what style the bride prefers.They both need to sometimes work in tandem (each getting different shots) and sometimes sequentially (each taking turns on the main shoot). Attention to detail is paramount to make sure the wedding party looks its best at all times plus each must be capable of moving small flocks of guests around in or out of shot as the occasion demands. A strong bond builds up between them and they work seamlessly to create the best possible experience for the couple and usually, having shot many weddings together, they just know what needs done next. Even after the wedding day this continues as each or both will work on post-processing, re-touching, album composition and digital image-making bringing their own personal styles to the finished portfolio. Other tasks include helping develop the web site, contributing articles to the blog and helping the sales & marketing effort. A shared sense of humour and complimentary personalities are must haves. Its no wonder that many such photographers are husband and wife teams.
Now that the 5D Mark III has launched and I'll be in possession of one sometime this year, choosing a second photographer to work alongside me may be an attractive proposition because we'll both each have high-quality cameras to get more from the day. All I need to do now is find someone to work with who I can trust and who's willing to learn.
17th March 2012
This is the website and blog site of professional photographer, Brian Wilson, LSWPP. Brian has attended the Scottish Wedding Show as well as other wedding events in Scotland. Brian wants to provide his brides with the best Scottish wedding experience possible. There are many Scottish wedding directory sites listing other wedding services including wedding make-up, hairdressing and beauty, wedding dresses, wedding cars, wedding flowers and bouquets, bridal shoes and bridal accessories to wear on your wedding day. Brian has included on this site short blogs for many of the other wedding professionals he has worked with over the years.
Streetlife Photography Weddings by Brian Wilson LSWPP is an accredited wedding and portrait photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, serving clients in Scotland, Scottish Borders, Lothian, Central, Fife, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Clackmannan, Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway, Argyle, Clyde, Forth, Highland, Tayside, Angus, Aberdeenshire, Northumbria, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire, North East England and North West England. Brian provides all types of photography including commercial, editiorial, sports, travel, lifestyle, urban, city, cityscapes, landscapes, fashion and art and serves towns and cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk, Livingston, Queensferry, Linlithgow, Bo'ness, Grangemouth, Dunfermline, Aberdour, Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Cupar, St Andrews, Kinross, Perth, Crieff, Dundee, Blairgowrie, Forfar, Carnoustie, Dunbar, Haddington, Gullane, North Berwick, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Kelso, Biggar, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Coldstream, Hawick, Biggar, Langholm, Gretna, Longtown, Carlisle, Hexham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Brian photographs all aspects of weddings and civil partnerships including engagement, pre-wedding, boudoir, preparation, dressing, make-up, hair, manicure, ceremony, cake cutting, formal, informal, reportage, traditional, contemporary, fashion, reception, speeches, toasts, dancing and evening. Post-wedding services include trash the dress, dvd slideshow, album, prints, on-line, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, You-Tube, MySpace and others.
Brian has photographed couples in venues such as Caledonian Hilton Hotel, Balmoral Hotel, Prestonfield House Hotel, Oxenfoord Castle, Aberdour Castle, Famous Grouse Experience Perth, Crieff Hydro, Marlins Wynd, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Parliament Square Edinburgh, Calton Hill Edinburgh. Brian has photographed brides wearing couture wedding gowns from Edinburgh bridal shops such as Emma Roy, Butterflies Bride, Jane Davidson and Susan Gregory.
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