I recently was talking to an aspiring wedding photographer about gear. She has a ::amazon(“B0007QKMQY”, “Rebel XT”)::. I wrote her an email that outlined what gear I thought she should be looking to get.
As it happens, I my first DSLR was a Rebel as well.
Here’s the order in which I would upgrade my equipment if I were you:
1. ::amazon(“B000NP3DJW”, “Canon 580EXII flash”)::. This is a must. You cannot shoot a wedding (or anything for that matter) with the built-in flash. A 580EX is fine but nothing lower because the head won’t pivot as far and versatility is a must when you spend your life bouncing flash. You will also need a good bounce card and possibly an omni-bounce. A good wedding photographer almost never shoots with the flash facing forward.
2. Fast glass that zooms. You need to be able to shoot from 18mm – 150mm at 2.8 or lower. The difference between 5.6 and 2.8 is amazing in terms of natural light and available light. Many pro’s will scream that you simply must have a 300mm lens at 1.8 with IS. It’s nice but not a deal breaker. Before I spent a grand on that lens I would buy:
3. ::amazon(“B000V5P90K”, “Canon 40D”):: or better. There are many reasons but off the top of my head I would say that LCD size and controls are the most obvious (I don’t even know how to adjust the f-stop on a Rebel XT in manual mode and you will be shooting in manual mode 95% of the time). ISO noise is better, focus is better, functions are better, more mega pixels means closer crops, better build means it survives a fall. It is the entry camera for wedding work. There are certainly better camera’s in the Canon line but nothing that gives you this much bang for the buck. I debated a long time on my camera choice, basically trying to decide between two 40D’s or something more expensive with my Rebel XT as backup. Eventually I decided that I would rather have two identical camera’s so that I wouldn’t play favorites or cheat my customers on quality when my main breaks during a shoot and I down-grade to my backup.
5. Backup flash.
That’s what I would consider the minimum for shooting second camera at a wedding on a regular basis.