Weddings are big business, with couples now spending more money than ever on their special day – including, increasingly, hiring a professional wedding videographer to record the day's events, alongside a stills photographer.
"We've seen an increase in the number of couples recognising that both creative formats offer something beautifully different to enable them to remember their wedding day," says photographer and videographer Andy Mac. "In our business, we're helping preserve precious memories of a deeply important, emotional moment in people's lives with the people they cherish most around them."
While still photographs record the event in their own unique way, wedding videos offer another dimension, and Andy enjoys shooting them. "I love the storytelling abilities that video allows," he says. "The context of a moment, movement, sound, music, time, tempo – all these factors provide something a little different to what [still] photography provides."
Like Andy, Canon Ambassadors Julia Blumenthal and Gil Gropengiesser found that video was a natural extension of their still wedding photography. "We're a photographer couple, so we're always attending the wedding day together," says Gil.
"Sometimes we have a bit more time than a photographer who attends a wedding as a single person, so we decided to collect some video moments from every part of the day, and put them together. This is how we got our feet into videography and from then on we offered our clients photos and video in one package."
The ability to shoot professional quality video is a valuable addition to any wedding photographer's skill-set and – once you've learnt the techniques required and got to grips with a different workflow – gives an advantage in a highly competitive industry.
Along with the growth of wedding videography, the range of Canon camera formats offering the ability to shoot high-quality video is also increasing – there's now the option of using Cinema EOS, DSLRs or full-frame mirrorless cameras. Here, three wedding videography specialists reveal the Canon kit they use, and explain why the camera format and model suits them and their clients' different needs.
British wedding photographer and videographer Andy Mac started out as a stills photographer, shooting commercially before he began specialising in weddings. He provides a luxury wedding stills and video service through his company Andy Mac Photography & Filming, for clients including celebrities and royalty.
Andy says: "We use the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV because it is very versatile for both stills and video. One of the main reasons we use it is the ability to switch between the two mediums on the same camera body.
"Having everyone working on the same system with native Canon lenses helps to make my team highly efficient and still blend in. Using the same camera system also helps in the edit, so we can achieve a consistent look and feel to the day. I like the natural vibrancy in colour that the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV provides for us to edit the colours easily, and a natural vibrancy with colour does suit our wedding style very well.
"We found the EOS 5D Mark IV was a real transformation from its predecessor with the ability to follow-focus with video, particularly face-detection mode. This means a far greater number of shots are in pin-sharp focus even while moving and at a shallow depth of field. Touchscreen focus was also a game-changer to aid with this.
"4K shooting and improved versatility on higher frame rates have allowed us to shoot with slower motion shots in mind and/or a greater technical quality in the eventual image. Other positives include that it is relatively small (in comparison to a cinema camera), it is robust, and the dials and buttons are set out in an ergonomic way for rapid control.
"Why would we use an EOS 5D Mark IV rather than a Cinema EOS or mirrorless camera? The size and versatility of the EOS 5D Mark IV provides us with the ability to be responsive to fast-paced situations and move in environments where logistics can sometimes be challenging. Having the capability to switch between shooting stills and video if a moment requires is very reassuring in an environment where so many other elements are out of our control."
Leipzig-based Canon Ambassadors Julia Blumenthal and Gil Gropengiesser are destination wedding photographers and videographers who like to work in a natural and spontaneous way.
Gil says: "As documentary wedding videographers or photographers, we don't want to fake or set up scenarios. We want to put ourselves in all those different situations on a wedding day. People move and situations go by very quickly, so we don't want to think about our gear, it just has to work. And that's exactly what the EOS R and Canon gear in general is doing for us. When shooting video, we use the same settings as we use when we take photos, so it's very easy.
"The smaller size of the EOS R makes a difference to us, because the bigger the camera, the more scary it is for the people in front of it. So it's good when cameras get smaller but still have an amazing quality. For us, when we're travelling a lot and we try to focus a lot on video, we don't want to carry a DSLR all the time. So, for us, the EOS R is the perfect solution for doing the work we need to do for our clients and also for the work we do for branding and marketing on social media.
"We shot video [above] on a pre-wedding shoot in Barcelona and tried it in many different lighting situations, from harsh light to shadow light as well as indoors and outdoors. We were blown away by the autofocus. It was really quick and, as wedding videographers, it enabled us to miss way fewer moments on a wedding day. At one point I was running with the EOS R and the couple we filmed were running towards me. We also had the sun coming directly through the lens. But the autofocus was like glue on the couple. It was amazing to create the video and to see the footage on the computer afterwards.
"The fully articulating touchscreen is an advantage for us because we take a lot of photos handheld and like to try many different kinds of angles. We may shoot from ground level or just raise our arms and try to get some shots from above.
"The footage was also easy to deal with at the editing stage. The colours were beautiful – I love the skin tones – and we had loads of flexibility in the grading. The EOS R gives us everything we need to produce the stuff we love."
Marco Abba is based in Rimini, Italy, and has been shooting wedding videos since 2009. In partnership with his wife, Stefy, he specialises in destination wedding cinematography, both in Italy and locations worldwide.
Marco says: "I started shooting weddings with the Canon EOS 5D Mark II but I've used Cinema EOS cameras for several years. They have included the EOS C100 Mark II and the EOS C300 Mark II, but I currently use the Canon EOS C200. It has many benefits. The camera is ergonomic to use, the batteries have a long life and the dual SD card slot enables us to have a real-time backup of footage. Also, the main functions are easily accessible through the appropriate keys (such as WB, ND, Zebra and Waveform).
"Using ND filters, we always have a shot angle of 180 degrees with a frame rate of 50fps, even in strong light conditions. We're not forced to close the diaphragm to avoid overexposing our images or even forced to set a shutter speed that is too high. So our images are always very natural and soft.
"Another feature that I could not do without is the dual pixel autofocus. It's fantastic, always works and is useful in strong light. I'm always sure to have the subject in focus even if I do not see the display clearly because I'm shooting in full sun. We just have to worry about getting the right shot and doing the right moves, because we know the camera will keep the subject in focus. The AF works well even with the face detection option. It is useful when, for example, we shoot the bride's father's speech during the reception. He might move around, but the AF will remain stuck on his face and therefore he will remain in focus, even in low light conditions.
"We have also found that the EOS C200 has an excellent roll-off on highlights and a wide dynamic range. The quality of the images is really high. If we use the right exposures and we are good DOPs, we will get cinematic images.
"Also, C-Log 3 [a feature that produces footage with extra-wide dynamic range] is a big advantage. Compared to C-Log 2 it has a slightly lower dynamic range, but the grading in post-production is easy and fast and we still have a lot of creative possibilities in the colour grading phase. C-Log 3 gives us a cinematic image and allows us to give our favourite look to our work.
"We use the EOS C200 because it is relatively light and discreet for a cinema camera and we can record internally on SD cards, all in 4K to 50fps. The internal codec XF-AVC is light and efficient and I never have problems during my editing."