These are our favourite gear picks that’ll help keep you light, agile and able to capture every spontaneous shot on the big day…
It’s the end of wedding month here at Olympus. So far, we’ve taken an in-depth look at getting your focussing right in the tricky lighting conditions weddings often throw up, and how to use Olympus’ pro capture mode to guarantee you hit the critical moments. If you’re just starting out in wedding photography, we’ve also highlighted what those critical moments might be.
All you need now is a booking or two and a decent camera. We can’t help you much on the first one (but submit a few pics to Instagram with the hashtag #OlympusUK and you never know who might see them), but we’ve definitely got you covered for kit.
Modern Olympus gear takes great images in all kinds of light, and has an extensive lens catalogue that will cover you for tight depth of field portraits, wide crowd shots and low light, big aperture frames.
It’s also super lightweight – and as every seasoned wedding photographer knows, less is definitely more when it comes to heavy gear.
In the market for a new camera and some awesome new glass? We’ve got you covered.
1. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Let’s start by stating the obvious – Olympus’ flagship pro camera is good. Up to 60fps with 121 cross-type autofocus points gives you a huge advantage in capturing the moment. And its in-camera five-axis image stabilisation allows you to carry on at unbelievably long shutter speeds.
The 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor provides plenty of sensitivity, and the E-M1 Mark II’s High Res Shot mode lets you generate 50-megapixel files.
For those with an eye on the future, the E-M1 Mark II’s ability to shoot video in either 4K or C4K at 30 or 24fps means you can add great quality video to your business.
2. The E-M10 Mark II
Perfect for those dipping a toe in the Olympus water, or if you’re looking to add a high-quality, ultra-lightweight mirrorless DSLR to your kit bag, the E-M10 Mark II is a true featherweight at just 390 grams.
But behind its smart, diminutive exterior beats a heart professionals will love. The 2.36 million pixel OLED electronic viewfinder makes framing up a doddle, and the 16-megapixel sensor has five-axis image stabilisation to keep things sharp.
Up to 8.5 frames per second in continuous mode means you can keep shooting while the action’s unfolding and, of course, the E-M10 Mark II is compatible with the huge range of Olympus pro lenses.
3. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12‑40mm 1:2.8 PRO
Allow us to introduce the 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO. If you currently own an Olympus body and a kit lens, this pro-spec, all-metal beast is an amazing update.
Its focal length runs from wide-angle – great for those scene-setting frames of the venue or the crowd – to a short telephoto, making it perfect for those tight depth of field portraits. All from one lens! That bright maximum aperture of f/2.8 is consistent throughout the lens’ focal length, so it doesn’t stop down and get darker when you zoom in, allowing you to keep your exposures consistent as you reframe.
4. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 45mm 1:1.2 PRO
Prime lenses are great. These staples of pro photography don’t zoom, so you have to recompose by moving your model or your camera. This leads – we think – to more thoughtful compositions and better images, to say nothing of the fact that prime lenses tend to be very, very sharp. The 45mm 1:1.2 PRO is an awesome case in point. Its 45mm fixed focal length is a short telephoto, which allows you to create frame-filling beauty shots without getting in the bride’s airspace, or allows you to shoot quick candids from across the room.
That f/1.2 aperture is amazing as well – not only is it incredibly bright, allowing you to use quick shutter speeds in poor lighting conditions, but it produces gorgeous bokeh so you can get your focus absolutely bang on and let the rest of the scene dissolve into creamy nothingness.
5. A good flash
We love shooting in great natural light. Give us an afternoon wedding in June, and just as the sun begins to dip, the light picks up, the shadows grow longer and we’re approximately the happiest wedding photographers you’re ever likely to see. But great natural light can’t be depended on, not least because of the vagaries of British weather.
Of course, most weddings will have at least a little of the action inside – often the most important bits – so you’ll need to add a splash of light of your own. Olympus kit is compatible with a great range of off-camera lighting, including big studio lights and wireless triggers, but a fantastic place to start is the FL‑900R. It’s an adjustable, manual, weather-resistant flash with a guide number of 58, which means using just a single FL‑900R can help light very dark rooms.
As your experience with flashes grows, you can add more – the FL‑900R can be used to trigger other flashes wirelessly, allowing you to truly customise the light you’re working in.
Invested in some great new kit? We want to see your images! Let us know what you use and where you shoot, and upload the images to Twitter or Instagram, tagging them with #OlympusUK so we can have a look. Enjoy wedding season, folks!