Canon 7D for wedding?

Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Hello folks,

I'm doing my first wedding soon for a friend of mine and was wondering what the views were of using a 7D for weddings?

My friend knows it's my first wedding and knows the quality of my work (as I did some band pictures for his group - appreciate that it's completely different to this but at least we've worked together). I have however ensured that we have a contract in place and while I'm not charging that much I will be charging for the wedding.

I am meeting them at the venue tomorrow to 'scout' the location and to discuss mine and their expectations on the day, particularly as I am a single shooter. Thankfully the bride is getting ready at the reception venue and the ceremony is taking place there. Part of my chat with them tomorrow will be around the types of pictures I am wanting to take and what they would want taken - so effectively drawing up a shot list.

The equipment I have available:
Canon 7D
Canon 40D
580exii flash
24-105 f4
70-200 2.8 is II
Batteries and CF cards!

I am also considering hiring a 16-35 2.8

So, back to my question - views on a 7D for weddings? Any other tips most welcome too.
 
Messages
761
Name
Andrew
Edit My Images
No
#2
7D from experience is pretty poor at ISO over 800 , crop factor will leave you wanting with only a 24-105 which is also going to be a big struggle if you cant use flash at f4 ( it will go over 800 iso most likely) , and you should probably have a back up flash too , oh and for your first wedding you would be much wiser with two photographers. Apart from that all good ;)
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
Thanks Andrew. Would dearly love to have two photographers but doubt I'll achieve this. It'll be part of the chat I have with them tomorrow, highlighting the possible limitations of one photographer.

I am hoping that I might be able to use a friend's 5DMk3 but that's not guaranteed so I have to make allowance for using the 7D. Good shout on the backup flash - will source one.
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Thanks Iain, I'll be very interested in his views (and tips).;)
 
Messages
3,256
Name
Pete (really)
Edit My Images
No
#6
My second camera used to be a 7D with the 24-105 always attached, providing you know what you're doing, you shouldn't have too many problems, low light aside.
 
Messages
23,267
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#7
Graeme, IIRC @DG Phototraining Dave uses Canon 7d's in his wedding photography and does well with them.
Ive tagged him so he may pop in to confirm or deny this :D
Dave shoots with Nikon.

I shot weddings on 7d's for years, still have one as my 2nd camera. As above the high ISO is pants, but... that's in comparison to other modern cameras. Your bride isn't comparing your shots to other cameras, so IMHO it's a moot point,

A bigger issue is the 24-70 f4, it's both the wrong focal length and slow. If you're going to hire a lens, hire the 17-55 2.8, it'll transform your camera.

But you really need a backup camera if you're taking this at all seriously.

And I hope you're covered re everything else you need to know, because alarm bells ring round here when someone's taking on 'a job' and they ask about gear.;) The general consensus being; if you need to ask about gear for a job, you're not up to the job.
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Thanks Phil. I appreciate that alarm bells ring when people ask about gear, I'm just interested in other's views on equipment. I guess that sometimes that can be counter productive in some respects. As you say...
I shot weddings on 7d's for years, still have one as my 2nd camera. As above the high ISO is pants, but... that's in comparison to other modern cameras. Your bride isn't comparing your shots to other cameras, so IMHO it's a moot point,
Interestingly I've seen blogs where photographers have shot a wedding on an iPhone to prove a point that it's about the photographer and not the equipment. I could only wish I was that skilled!

Do I think I have the ability to pull this off? In a word, yes, otherwise I wouldn't have agreed. Am I nervous? Hell yes! I've done a lot of research as to what pictures I would hope to achieve, possibilities of rubbish weather etc. I appreciate 'research' means nothing in comparison to actual experience but one has to start somewhere. Ultimately as long as the couple are happy with the pictures I'll be content - the couple are certainly not camera club members who pixel-peep expect everything to be clinically composed. :)
 
Messages
984
Name
Kyle
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
Dave shoots with Nikon.

I shot weddings on 7d's for years, still have one as my 2nd camera. As above the high ISO is pants, but... that's in comparison to other modern cameras. Your bride isn't comparing your shots to other cameras, so IMHO it's a moot point,

A bigger issue is the 24-70 f4, it's both the wrong focal length and slow. If you're going to hire a lens, hire the 17-55 2.8, it'll transform your camera.

But you really need a backup camera if you're taking this at all seriously.

And I hope you're covered re everything else you need to know, because alarm bells ring round here when someone's taking on 'a job' and they ask about gear.;) The general consensus being; if you need to ask about gear for a job, you're not up to the job.
echo what Phil said about hiring a crop "specialised" lens, consider the sigma 18-35 f1.8 as well. @Oj9400 has one and raves on and on about it paired with his 7D :LOL:
 
Messages
3,928
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
No
#10
ill echo what others have said, a fast lens that's has a nice shortish length on a crop body. Double up on a flash all it takes is for it to be knocked, dropped and you will be shooting with no fill flash for later on in the day and unless the room is well lit you will be ramping up the ISO to get shots.

Essentially double up on everything, you will only get one shot at it. Don't fill your memory cards, replace them at each stage of the wedding so that if one gets lost you have only lost one part of the wedding and not more.

The 7D is quite capable if you understand where its limitations are and how to get round them.
 
Messages
4,705
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
Graeme, IIRC @DG Phototraining Dave uses Canon 7d's in his wedding photography and does well with them.
Ive tagged him so he may pop in to confirm or deny this :D

You are soooooo close to getting a SLAP !!! :D

And yes - crop - recently moved to the NIKON D7200 :)

Dave
 
Messages
23,267
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#15
@DG Phototraining
Sorry Dave :D
Should have known that being a Nikon shooter myself.
It was just that I remembered that you shot weddings on a crop sensor and it was to make the point to the OP that it shouldn't limit him, notwithstanding the Canon 7D's ISO limitations which I didn't know about :D
The 7d's high ISO limitations are often exaggerated, I've printed large images from lesser cameras. People like to make dramatic claims on forums.
 
Messages
4,705
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
People like to make dramatic claims on forums.
Really ??? I have NEVER in a hundred million years of being on internet forums heard that before

Dave
 
Messages
23,267
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
#18
As has been mentioned above, I think the OP is going to be more restricted in the low light lens department.
F4 and the wrong focal length... I wouldn't want to.

On crop my most used lenses for a wedding:
17-55 2.8
85 1.8
10-20 3.5-5.6
70-200 2.8
90 macro
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,530
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
This is a first wedding I think I would be looking at the venue where I could make tbd most of the light. The op has capable equipment might have to move away or closer but he should be able to do the job with what he has.
 
Messages
789
Name
Al
Edit My Images
No
#20
I'm making an assumption on your skills here (so apologies if I have this all wrong!), but forget about the gear. If this is your first wedding then the camera isn't going to be the limiting factor.

Any DSLR made in the last 5 years, coupled with a reasonable lens will be more than up to the job.

Every camera is a compromise, and the 7D is probably better suited to sports. But that'll play to your advantage for moments like the confetti shot.

Best of luck dude - and enjoy it!
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#21
Thank you all for all your advice. Today I'm visiting the location with the couple to scout the location for both good and poor weather conditions. I plan to keep it as simple as I possibly can with my shot list.
 
Messages
308
Edit My Images
Yes
#23
I agree with the others.
Your gear list is fine. You just need
- a second flash
- a second set of lenses to cover you if one of your lenses is dropped.
- insurance
- a contract
As long as you know the limitations of your gear and can produce good flash work then you will be fine.
 
Messages
761
Name
Andrew
Edit My Images
No
#24
I had a second who shot with a 7D and his shots were pretty noisy from about ISO400 compared to the 5Dmk2 - iso1600 on the 7D was pretty diabolical especially in churches with no flash.

However it may have been his camera , I have not used another 7D myself so if you guys who use it are happy with it then maybe my assistant had a bad one.

As Jim has said though that is pixel peeping and most clients are not likely to do that.

Going forward if you are looking to get into Wedding Photography seriously then a full frame camera will do you well , it does make a world of difference in quality.
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#25
Thank you. Ultimately I would aim to go FF if I could and it is certainly part of my long term plan. Have insurance, have had the contract signed and the couple are fully aware of my ability (and lack of experience) and expectations and limitations on the day. We have scouted the location for both good and bad weather and agreed on how things would run in both situations (I fully appreciate that things are likely to go out the window on the day!).

I'm pretty happy with my 7D up to 1600 and regularly take pictures at 1600 and above so that I can learn and experiment with the ISO limitations.
 
Messages
1,429
Name
Vince
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
The key here is that both parties are aware of your inexperience. You have good glass and a good camera as your main body. The 7d is a bit crap at medium to high iso but if your shutter speed will allow try and over expose by a third or so and knock it back in post production. I take it you are shooting in RAW.
 
Messages
984
Name
Kyle
Edit My Images
Yes
#28
The key here is that both parties are aware of your inexperience. You have good glass and a good camera as your main body. The 7d is a bit crap at medium to high iso but if your shutter speed will allow try and over expose by a third or so and knock it back in post production. I take it you are shooting in RAW.
:agree: good hack to reduce amount of noise (in the shadows). There's always the option to apply moderate noise reduction in PP to not destroy the details; and walla, the noise becomes artistic grain :D
 
Messages
2,091
Edit My Images
No
#29
FWIW, I shot my first solo wedding with the same gear - 7D & 40D. That said I didn't have any really challenging lighting conditions as the ceremony wasn't in a church and there was no evening disco etc.

Even after getting the 5D3, I still used the 7D as a second body, although I must confess I hardly used it and found myself swapping lenses around far too often. I finally sold the 7D earlier this year and replaced it with a 6D. Still have the 40D though as an emergency spare.

As mentioned above, glass is where you need to concentrate. You need something wide as 24mm on a crop just won't be wide enough a lot of the time and also something fast for shallow DoF work and better low-light capabilities, as you won't be able to push the ISO too much.
The Sigma 18-35 looks a very good idea if you're not concerned about moving to FF anytime soon.
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#30
Thanks Vertigo. Thankfully the ceremony is taking place at the hotel where the reception is and it well lit with plenty of windows around (almost in a large bay window effect).

I am looking to borrow a friend's 16-35 2.8 mk2 so hopefully that will be wide enough (and fast enough for what I need).
 
Messages
2,091
Edit My Images
No
#31
Although not essential, I'd consider getting a fast prime too. Either pickup up a used Canon 50 f/1.4 for around £200, although this may be a little long on a crop but good for tight portraits and detail shots of stuff. Alternatively maybe hire a 24 or 35 f/1.4 for the weekend. Like I said, not essential but fast primes can produce some beautiful images and it'll be fun and good experience to muck about with one for a bit :)
 
Messages
699
Name
Jack Valentine Parkinson
Edit My Images
No
#32
I couldn't wait to put the 7d to rest.. The ISO was dire it made it almost impossible to use at times. I'd look at getting a 6D for the day, might be cheaper than the mark iii, as that will be much better. If you can shoot with flash indoors you'll be okay I guess.
 
Messages
984
Name
Kyle
Edit My Images
Yes
#33
Thanks Vertigo. Thankfully the ceremony is taking place at the hotel where the reception is and it well lit with plenty of windows around (almost in a large bay window effect).

I am looking to borrow a friend's 16-35 2.8 mk2 so hopefully that will be wide enough (and fast enough for what I need).
The well lit with windows part is good news! Use them to your advantage for side/45 degree front lit portraits. I find they usually give nice smooth light coming from the side of the subject, adds depth to the photo (y)
 
Messages
886
Name
Jay
Edit My Images
Yes
#34
The crop factor can have benefits - you can get nice shots from further back so you intrude less on the event. I have done weddings using a 5d and a 7d and swopped between them depending on how close or wide I want to get (was mainly using primes) and that worked out well for me, so would prefer if using 2 cameras to have one crop and one full frame.
 
Messages
177
Name
Stephen
Edit My Images
Yes
#35
I have shot 10 weddings using two 7d's. I agree with what has been said that my most used is often 10-20, 17-50 2.8 and 70-200 f2.8. Plus have a flash on each camera. Plus a load of back up gear as well. I try to keep under 800iso. But will use 1600 when I have to.
 

aTog

Suspended / Banned
Messages
111
Edit My Images
No
#36
Thanks Andrew. Would dearly love to have two photographers but doubt I'll achieve this. It'll be part of the chat I have with them tomorrow, highlighting the possible limitations of one photographer.

I am hoping that I might be able to use a friend's 5DMk3 but that's not guaranteed so I have to make allowance for using the 7D. Good shout on the backup flash - will source one.
if you aren't 100% sure about doing the job, don't be afraid to say no.
 
Messages
1,836
Name
Meeten
Edit My Images
No
#37
Thanks Vertigo. Thankfully the ceremony is taking place at the hotel where the reception is and it well lit with plenty of windows around (almost in a large bay window effect).

I am looking to borrow a friend's 16-35 2.8 mk2 so hopefully that will be wide enough (and fast enough for what I need).
How'd it go?? Have you done said wedding?
 
OP
OP
Grayman
Messages
1,112
Name
Graeme
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
No, the wedding is at the end of October. Will post some of the photos when done.
 
Messages
152
Name
Nick Roper
Edit My Images
Yes
#39
Graeme I can only echo what everyone else has said, lenses need to be f2.8 to allow that extra light in as the ISO is pants. Good luck though buddy, its a brilliant camera otherwise
 
Messages
2,091
Edit My Images
No
#40
If it's the end of October, be very aware of available light and the schedule of the day.
 
Top