Are Nikon Mirrorless Cameras Ready for Wedding Photography?

As Nikon continues to push into the mirrorless market, the Z 6 and Z 7 are finding their way into the hands of more and more photographers. Wedding photography is one of the most demanding of all genres, and many Nikon shooters are wondering if the cameras are up to the task. This great video review seeks to answer that exact question.

Coming to you from Taylor Jackson, this excellent review takes a look at the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras, specifically in a wedding photography scenario. Mirrorless cameras hold a few distinct advantages for wedding shooters, perhaps the most notable being truly silent shutters that allow photographers to shoot in the quietest of churches or venues without issue. Nonetheless, not everything is improved just by switching to mirrorless, and Nikon's DSLR ecosystem is far more mature than their mirrorless realm, meaning there are caveats you should definitely consider before making the switch. And of course, remember that while you can use an adapter, Nikon's mirrorless lens lineup is certainly not as fully developed yet. Check out the video review for Jackson's full thoughts to see if the Z 6 and Z 7 are the right choice for your work. 

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21 Comments

"Are Nikon Mirrorless Cameras Ready for Wedding Photography?"

no, to me they are not. gen 2 and 2 card slots will be for sure.

EL PIC's picture

I wonder what the Kickbacks are for Fstoppers and others to promote this Wireless Scam..

kickbacks only for this post? surely you jest? almost every articles has a motive to make money. good or bad thats how it is.

if they didnt get money you wouldnt have a place to rant about kickbacks.

Fritz Asuro's picture

It is ready, and I love it. I'm actually happy that my gamble of trading up my beloved D850 paid off.

In other news: Sony A7R IV was just announced.

Considering that weddings were shot with glass plate cameras at one time I would deign to let a 21st century camera shoot a wedding today.
The single slot canard is but a slight risk considering a decade of weddings were shot with one slot cameras with most failures stemming from the dorks using them.

Daniel Medley's picture

"...with most failures stemming from the dorks using them."

Human error is more likely than card failure. Simple redundancy is only logical. Two slots is simple redundancy.

Second camera is too. Card write failure to two cards gives you two bad cards. Of course a dork with two cameras is still a danger to society.

Daniel Medley's picture

Again, human error is far more likely than card failure or write failure. A second card slot is far less expensive than another camera. Does it cover everything? No, but it covers most. A second camera is not proper redundancy to mitigate lost images. What, take a pic, swap cameras, capture another pic as close to the first as possible?

Kind of like having a spare tire on your car. I suppose you could tow along a second car in case a tire goes flat on your primary car, but a simple spare tire will cover almost every tire related contingency. But, hey.

It's amazing to me the lengths at which people go to try to downplay how beneficial a second card slot is

michaeljin's picture

WTF are you even talking about?

Tomash Masojc's picture

I have tried my Nikon 85mm 1.8G and sigma art 50mm on z6 with adapter and in dimmer light on af-c it was focusing way slower than my d810. It was second half of May with new firmware. Eye focusing was working,

Leigh Miller's picture

I think they will be fine for whatever.

Canon EOS 5D classic....shot many weddings with poor focusing, terrible lcd and moderate resolution.

end debate.

Yeah, and a ton of shots were out of focus, and most of the in-focus shots had the subject's face placed smack-dab in the middle of the frame. Good times. I shot the 5D back when JPG was the only way to get through a big wedding because 1GB memory cards cost a fortune, but now I've been shooting raw for +10 years. Times change!

Leigh Miller's picture

User error....I've seen more than enough "exhibition" images for new cameras and lenses that were out of focus.

I've used those cameras and they are worlds better than the 5D Classic...in the hands of a good photographer they will be just fine.

michaeljin's picture

Just about any camera can be suitable as long as you understand the capability and the limitations of it. Just adapt your shooting to what your camera can do and you'll be fine. The lack of dual slots is certainly a bit of a risk, but the only way around that is to use a different camera so yeah... The Z7 wouldn't be my first choice camera if I had to shoot a wedding (I'd choose the D850 for a number of reasons), but I have every confidence that I could make it work if I needed to.

True, however, all professionals have a responsibility to their clients, and sometimes when you "understand the limitations" of a certain piece of gear, the responsible thing to do is not to just make do with it, or "adapt", but to simply not use that piece of gear, and instead opt for something that gets the job done more safely and reliably.

For me, considering things like autofocus and dual card slots, I'd rather have a D750 any day instead of a Z6 or Z7.

michaeljin's picture

There are still wedding photographers who charge a premium to shoot exclusively on film. There are also plenty of photographers who get their start in wedding photography with lower end cameras serving clients on a budget. Certainly, if you are regularly shooting weddings that should factor into the gear that you get and that would include dual card slots if only to help protect yourself from being sued by an angry client... The situation isn't always so clean, however, and weddings just come up for some photographers. I've certainly had offers and I've turned them all down for reasons unrelated to gear, but plenty of other photographers are braver in that regard.

If it's a choice between a Z6/Z7 vs. a D750, I would agree with you that I would take the D750 to a wedding, but that's a scenario that assumes that I own both cameras and more importantly, that I'm familiar with both. If it was a choice between a Z6 that I own and use daily vs. renting a D750 that I've never touched, I'd go with the Z6 all day because you're far more likely to lose shots to user error than a corrupted memory card.

No, the Z6 and Z7 are not the ideal cameras to use for a wedding from a performance standpoint, but wedding have been successfully shot with cameras that perform far worse. We didn't always have cameras that locked focus in near dark with ease and photographers managed for decades. So while I wouldn't go out and purchase one if weddings were on my mind, I wouldn't fear going into a wedding using one if it came up... at least not now that I've owned the camera for a while and gotten used to it.

I got my start in wedding photography with a film SLR, and I also shot for many years on DSLRs with single memory card slots.

You're absolutely right that familiarity with gear is far more valuable when it comes to making sure you're able to "deliver the goods"... Heck, I'd rather shoot a wedding with a Canon Rebel that I know like the back of my hand, than a D85o I've only held for 30 minutes, even if the client was covering the cost of the rental etc.

It's definitely all about experience and knowing your ability. I've photographed plenty of weddings with what would be considered "junk" gear by today's standards, because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, what the client was expecting, and I know how to keep my cameras, memory cards, and backup workflow all extremely secure.

So, I'm speaking to anyone who 1.) has little experience, and 2.) aspires to shoot weddings specifically, and often. If you're in this boat, then if you don't already own a D750, you can get one used for under $1K, plus used Tamron 24-70 and 70-200 VC's might be found for about $500-600 each if you're patient. You might get a whole wedding-ready kit for less than a single Z6 body without any lenses.

I'm certain that the future is mirrorless. I already appreciate the benefits of an EVF, and on-sensor hybrid AF, when it's a Sony lol. If anyone is an aspiring photographer looking to invest in their first system that is the most future-proof, and NOT immediately going to be shooting tons of weddings right away, ...then yeah, the Z6 and Z/S lenses are a great investment...

As a wedding photographer of 15 years, who has spent the last 4+ years testing all the mirrorless options, I can say with confidence... NO.

Bottom line: I spent a few months with the Canon EOS R, a few with the Sony A9, and then a few more with the Nikon Z7, and I would place the Nikon behind both the Canon and the Sony in terms of autofocus reliability with any lens, adapted or native, and for me as a wedding photographer, autofocus reliability is a huge priority. I'd rather go back to my D750 than shoot more weddings with a Z7, at least those weddings that involve any type of low-light shooting. Maybe there are 100% daytime, outdoor weddings out there, but mine always involve a lot of shooting in the dark. And on the dance floor, the Sony A9 just destroys the competition.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

It's not ready. If you think it is, text your couple that you went from an insurance plan of to cards to one just so you could use a busted v1 mirrorless non-pro system. Fucking irresponsible. Both Nikon and Canon will have a PRO version in under a year.

Wedding photography cameras should have interchangeable lenses, manual modes, RAW shooting and a hot shoe slot for flash. But that leaves several dozen mirrorless and DSLR options.

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