In this post I hope to explain why, for my style, the A7rii is almost the perfect wedding camera.
I have now been using the A7rii for almost 6 months and find it a perfect fit for me; infact I have just ordered my second one last week. Strangely enough, mainly due to the earthquake that happened in Japan some months ago, this second A7Rii is going to be more expensive then the first one I bought 6 or so months ago.
I would like to re-emphasis that this post is related to my style and therefore other wedding photographers will find that the A7rii is far from what they like or need. I define my style as a vintage looking journalistic wedding photography. I only use prime lenses, shallow depth of fields and try to avoid using flash as much as is possible.
For this reason, the strengths of the camera are just in line with what I need. The following are the aspects which work out pretty well for me:
- Amazing dynamic range
- High ISO performance
- 42MP may be a bit too much but I can crop!
- The lenses I need are available (35 and 85)
Let me quickly discuss the above points... the camera has an amazing dynamic range and also the shadow recover ability is fantastic. Apart from that, with such a good high ISO performance (upto 12800 easily) I rarely need to use a flash. This makes the setup even lighter. Remember, I always have 2 cameras strapped on, so less stuff the better. The files are large, but on the other hand this is a plus since I do not use zoom lenses, and therefore I can crop if necessary.
All in all the camera did well. I do not use the 24-70 f2.8 lens, as that would probably nullify the advantage of using a small body. The autofocus was quite fast in most occasions. This could also be due to the fact that I used fast primes (which make the sensor read more light and therefore focus faster).
Also, I work in Malta so the weddings are mostly in a dry weather and therefore rain is rarely to be expected (the A7rii is not full water sealed though I have read that it can withstand some rain). I also noted that I had to set the camera to overexposue the shots at +0.3 and some times +0.7 as the camera seems to be underexposing.
However, this does not mean that there is nothing which can be improved.... the following are my list of things which need to be added to the camera in the future:
- Dual SD Cards please!
- Water proof and splash resistant
- Slightly faster autofocus in lowlight.
- Could we have a faster wide angle autofocus lens please?
I currently use the 35 f1.4 and the Zeiss Batis 85mm (f1.8). I was tempted to get the GM 85 but it is at least double in weight and also larger in size, so I am holding onto my Batis. Also for wide angles I use the 25mm Batis (f2) but would love if Sony or Zeiss came up with a 18-22mm wide angle lens with an f1.4 or f1.8 and autofocus. Well I can dream on... :)
Although on the internet you will find mixed opinions on whether one can shoot weddings with the A7rii, I firmly believe it is extremely possible. You will get some out of focus shoots in low light when the action is fast - as the tracking and focus capability of the A7rii is probably not upto the DSLRs.
However, if you do take the necessary precaution and shoot a bit more then necessary during the low light action you will get the moments you need.
You will however realise at the end of the 9-10 hour standing frantic wedding that you are less tired and therefore you have managed to take more creative and challenging photos then you would have taken with a heavier DSLR.
For me, mirrorless is the present and the future.