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A "Pro" wedding shot with the help of micro 4/3

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by flash, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Hi All,

    Sorry about this. It's going to be a long one with lots of pictures.

    I'm particularly interested in (and enjoying) the ongoing discussions regarding micro 4/3 and their applications in a professional environment. I have been a working professional for nearly 20 years and I make my entire living from what I do. I love my work. Always have. And I'm still passionate about photography. Over the years I've always had a camera that was just for fun. For me. Not for "work". I've had a few of these over the years. A hassleblad Xpan, a Mamyia 7II, an old 8x10 and currently, micro 4/3.

    For my wedding work I use a large 35mm kit. Currently it has two pro bodies and 8 lenses. I also have 6 speedlights , pocket wizards and a whole bunch of stuff. It's about 15 kilos (35 lbs) and I'd love to drop some of that weight, as i feel its impacting on my freedom to create the images i want. Now, there are lots of things m4/3 just can't compete in. Nothing made is going to reproduce what I can do with my 50mm 1.2, 85mm 1.2 or 135 f2. Or a Canon 5D2 at 1600 ISO. But I also carry a few things that get used rarely. I have a 16-35 that I use for maybe three or four shots per wedding. A 90mm macro I use rarely and a fisheye I use once every 5 weddings. I figure I can drop 2 bodies and three lenses and replace them with m4/3 gear with no disadvantage to myself or the client.

    However there's only one way to prove the theory. Shoot an actual wedding with m4/3. A real live paid wedding.

    So that's what I've done. I've taken a small m4/3 kit to yesterday's wedding. Two bodies, four lenses and a FL-36R flash. In addition to our regular gear.

    A few things to note:

    - I still took my regular kit and shot with it. No way was I going to use a client as a test dummy.
    - I shoot with a partner. Between us we use 4 bodies with 2 more as backup.
    - I was primarily wanting to test the 9-18 and 45-200 as replacements for the canons I carry. However they would be kept in the car, if needed.
    - the images are all shot on an EP-1 or EPL-1. I used the 9-18 on the EPL-1 due to the lower shutter speeds it has.
    - these are real clients. They paid for this. I'm looking for opinions on both sides. I'm happy for discussions on any point and criticism of the images, but not for any comments about the couple, their hair, dress, religion etc. Keep it all above board.
    - All the images have been processed using Lightroom 3.4RC. I wanted to see how they held up next to our regular stuff. I have no interest in straight out of camera images.
    - I'm doing this for my own benefit. It's not a blanket recommendation or otherwise. You should do your own tests to see if it would work for you.

    So here they are. Let the discussions begin.

    9-18
    001-Flash_Gordon_Photography.
    45-200
    002-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    003-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    004-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    005-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    006-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    007-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    008-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    009-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    010-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    012-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    013-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    014-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    015-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    016-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    017-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    018-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    019-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    020-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    021-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    023-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    45-200
    024-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    9-18
    025-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    PL 25 1.4
    026-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    PL 25 1.4
    027-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    PL 25 1.4
    028-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    20 1.7
    029-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    20 1.7
    030-Flash_Gordon_Photography.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 14
  2. Kade.Sirin

    Kade.Sirin Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Sep 23, 2010
    Las Vegas
    Your links.. are kinda broken.
     
  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    fixed now. sorry.

    Gordon
     
  4. I guess the problem with using m4/3 in the professional arena is not so much the capability of the equipment but the perception of the client who may see such a small camera as just a 'toy'.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    Beautiful work!

    Honestly, the gear never got in the way. Your posing and framing are very creative and artistic. If the gear had gotten in the way, it would have been a tragedy. In no way did this gear hamper what turned out to be some great shots!

    I particularly love my 45-200 lens and it appears as though you do as well. I know some people complain about it, but honestly, I've gotten some of my best m4/3 images using it.

    As for the camera looking like a toy (penguin's comment) - I agree. I've been hesitant to use mine on a "real" shoot for fear of it looking bad. Though, every time I've used my EPL1 in public, I've gotten entirely positive results. People consistently ask about the camera. The GH2 looks more like a pro body (in fact, other than the space for the mirror, it's the same size as my Sony A33).

    I'm considering using my GH2 on wedding shots this year. I would find the 20mm lens particularly useful on indoor candid shots. Crank the ISO to 800 and blast away with no flash needed!

    Thanks for the great write up and pics!

    J
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. There is obviously no problems with the results (as seen above). I'd just be concerned about what the average Bridezilla would think when she saw a camera NOT the size of a bazooka being waved around at HER dream wedding.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    I think the photos are fantastic. Nothing else needs to be said.

    Regards,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Great photos! I enjoyed them.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    From the look of it, the :43: outfit did the part. But the question is, how does it prints compared to your regular 35mm gear, and does those pictures blend seamlessly into the whole wedding portfolio (ie, can a casual looker tell some pictures came from a different camera) ?

    Great photos anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Bravo! Very nice photos. I am suprised by the results. I can see mFT being used during a reception or during a more casual time during a wedding, but not for the most critical shots, during the wedding.

    Again, Bravo!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Bluebear

    Bluebear Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Feb 23, 2011
    Agreed!!! :2thumbs:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Feb 28, 2011
    Excellent! You know what you are doing! As per the size of the outfit, I would not mind.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Firstly, those are nice shots. Secondly, looking at internet images is not an accurate comparison between µ4/3 and .... a FF or APS-C/H sensor. (But the internet is all we have ...) Thirdly, who cares? Truly, does it matter that a µ4/3 is used or can be used for professional work? Why are some people so concerned about having the µ4/3 declared a professional camera/format? I don't get it. I guess people assume that the image impact and image quality will be better if a camera/sensor is declared a professional camera/sensor over a less-than-professional camera/sensor.

    What is important is that the µ4/3 meets or exceeds the photographer's expectations and in the case of professional work ... meets or exceeds the expectation's of the client. In actuality that's all that is important.

    For more than a decade and a half I worked full time, deriving all my income as a photo journalist. I have only used a GF1 in the µ4/3 genre. With my limited exposure to µ4/3 I can see an advantage of using a µ4/3 for some assignments ... for most others I woud prefer a FF sensor w/ through the lens optical viewfinder, high FPS and acceptable noise at elevated ISOs. (Remember that images for newspapers and the internet require a lot less resolution than ... say ... an 11 x 14 wedding print or a 16 x 20 architectural photo.)

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Lovely photos, but you can tell the difference in tonality and acuteness that a larger sensor would be able to deliver. These photos, as nice as they are, seem a bit lifeless and flat to me. And that's just a personal opinion that means nothing to anyone but myself. That said, as long as the wedding party if happy with the quality that's all that matters.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Feb 28, 2011
    to OP: could you post some pics taken with the DSLR at the same wedding? Thanks!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    It is perfectly possible to use m4/3 as a second camera at at wedding, as indeed flash proves with his excellent images. For the last year of my wedding photography I did the same, using a GH1 in addition to Canon DSLR's.

    I had no trouble with either camera reliability or image quality and indeed found the m4/3 images very sharp and vibrant compared with the somewhat "subdued" output that comes out of Canon DSLR's.

    The brides and grooms agreed, picking many of the m4/3 shots for the various albums, prints and A3 calendars they ordered.

    I never once had anyone question either myself or my partner over the cameras we used at all of those weddings. In my experience people choose photographers for their weddings primarily because of their portfolio, their approach and their manner, and not for their cameras. Everyone who booked my company just saw the battery of equipment we own and use and moved quickly onto the much more important consideration of seeing what we did with it. People pored over our sample work intently but only ever gave a brief glimpse, if at all, at the equipment.

    That was very much the case at the events themselves. People took us just as seriously whether we pointed a Canon 5DMkII with grip and flash or a GH1 with 20mm f/1.7 at them. If you demonstrate by how you behave that you are "in charge" of the official photography, people will respect you and what you do, no matter what you choose to photograph them with.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    This raises a good point.

    For weddings, I generally prefer an APS-C sized sensor. It gives good image quality (granted, not as good as Full Frame or medium format) and it extends the reach of some great glass. It gives me the ability to get a 70-200 f2.8 for a reasonable cost and actually shoot at 300mm at 2.8 without sinking $6,000 into a 300mm 2.8 Minolta lens.

    That's why I do wish Pan or Oly would release some good, fast glass for these cameras. The image quality is good. Surprisingly so! Yes, I know I'd add massive weight and size to a compact body, but I could only imagine strapping a good 70-200 2.8 lens on the GH2 and now shooting a 400mm 2.8 lens! Granted, the GH2 doesn't represent the "small" in the m4/3s format, but it is what I prefer with regards to size.

    Just some thoughts.
    J.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. elshaneo

    elshaneo Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Jul 26, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Lots of great image examples of what a great wedding photographer can do, no matter what camera was used :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Spectacularly good wedding photography!

    Wonderful imaginative images, combined with modern stylistic posing that is so en-vogue these days.

    Camera Shmamera, you're a good solid pro, delivering, as out friend Gary likes to say, results that exceed the clients expectations!

    Good stuff, nice "show off" of our popular (little) format.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Alan
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Plimsol

    Plimsol Mu-43 Regular

    112
    Mar 29, 2010
    Belgium, Antwerp
    I like them very much,
    Just for information? did you use the 9-18 also on the 9mm?
    Just asking because mine give a lot of distortion when using for people shots.
    What is the minimum distance you can go to people.

    grtz from Belgium.
     
    • Like Like x 1