Can You Use Micro43 Cameras for Wedding Photography
The micro43 camera sensor. Maybe calling it micro wasn’t such a great idea.
You don’t have to use a 35mm camera sensor to photograph weddings. You can use APH, APS and micro43 camera sensors very successfully and thousands of professional photographers have already done so. If you read the photography forums and the threads on them you’ll find lots of armchair wedding photographers (they never have any wedding photographs to show anyone) happy to give you their expert advice. I strongly suspect some of these experts haven’t ever actually photographed a wedding professionally but love to loudly give their expert advice. They go crazy if anyone isn’t using a 35mm camera to capture weddings. In the next breath, they’ll talk about digital noise and depth of field.
It wasn’t that long ago when anyone photographing weddings not using a medium format film camera wasn’t considered a real wedding photographer.
35mm sensors were considered the micro43 sensors of today. How wrong were they then and how wrong are some today about this subject!
Modern-day marketing has a part to play in this misconception. Full frame is “the term” you’ll see written down not 35mm. Well psychologically “full-frame” must be better than cropped or micro43 sensors. I mean it’s full! You can’t get better than full, can you? It’s very clever. It’s conditioning you before you even think about it.
A 35mm sensor does offer less digital noise than a smaller sensor. Eight years ago, that was quite a big difference. In late 2018 going into 2019 that difference isn’t as big anymore but it’s an undeniable fact. Secondly, 35mm sensor cameras offer a shallower depth of field. With regards to that who cares. For a wedding photographer having that two times depth of field fact is an advantage whilst being able to let more light in and having a lower ISO is an advantage.
Take the instance of photographing a bride and groom from the side at the front of the church. To ensure both are in focus a photographer using a 35mm camera may need to at 1/125s at f4 at 6400 ISO. On a micro 43 camera to get the same exposure and the same depth of field I would need to be at f2 and 1600 ISO.
1600 ISO is no problem on a micro43 camera. The bigger camera sensor here has no real advantage.
The following images are from real weddings using the Olympus EM1.
Yes, you can see noise in the 6400 and 12800 ISO images when viewed at 100% on my screen. But what I see on my computer screen doesn’t translate into prints. Prints come out perfectly. As a plug for the EM1, the auto white balance is the best I have ever used.
Using a 35mm (full-frame camera) camera doesn’t make you a professional photographer, nor does using micro43 make you any less professional.
Advantages of the Micro43 System
- Great lens selection.
- Three excellent f1.2 aperture lenses (17.5, 25 and 45).
- Fast and accurate autofocus.
- The sharpest lens I have ever used the Olympus 75 f1.8.
- In-camera stabilisation.
I started using the Nikon D70 for photographing weddings with great results. The current micro43 cameras would wipe the floor with that camera now.
Any DSLR or CSC camera can be used by a professional wedding photographer today to get great results at weddings. The choice of camera sensor will not have any part in the measure of your success.
Everything in photography is a compromise. Using micro43 is a compromise. Using a Nikon D5 is a compromise. There is no best camera, just the camera you are happy to use. I’m simply saying you can use micro43 and hold your head up high and be confident in your choice if that is the one you make.
The photographer makes the image, not the camera. Be a photographer.
Nick Ghionis has just started to use the Olympus system for his wedding photography. I think if Nick can use them professionally I think you can be assured that you can too.
A colleague of mine has been using micro43 since the EM1 was released. You can see more of Gary’s documentary wedding photography on his website at Gary Simpson Photography. Have a look and tell me you can’t use micro43 cameras for weddings.
Gary is also based in London at Stonebridge Photography and can photograph your wedding anywhere in Europe. Give him a call.