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Top 4 Nikon Cameras for Wedding Photography

Top 4 Nikon Cameras for Wedding Photography
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When you're hunting for the right digital camera for wedding photography or videography, the search can lead to a huge headache.  First, you don't always need to nicest, newest camera to take amazing photos!  But at the same time, you don't want a low-end camera that will have poor focus, poor image quality, and hold your photos back, either.  In this post, we'll dive into solving the problem of which is the best camera for your business for the right value.

First off, the recommendations in this post come straight from wedding photographers who started with old Nikon cameras and worked their way up to the latest and greatest.  You can bet photographers find their favorite tech!  When questions come up like: "What is the best camera for wedding photography (Should I go mirrorless?  Does it have the lenses I need?  Does it have good ISO for nighttime shots?)", the real question is actually right behind it-- what camera will allow me to take great photos both day and evening, not have focusing issues, and be a good value?

Whether you're new in the game or already several weddings in and desperately looking to upgrade from your old clunker, we've included useful summaries on each camera to help you better decide what will be the best choice for weddings.  Below, we ranked the cameras based on customer reviews, features, and ability to handle everything from busy 8-hour wedding days to long, dirt-filled adventure elopements in the desert.  As a note, if you see any terms you're less familiar with (like Full Frame vs. Crop Sensor), we've covered them down under the FAQ section. 

Side Note: ALWAYS go Full-Frame.  Crop may seem to save money, but after one wedding with family photos or landscape-worthy shots, you'll find yourself upgrading out of pure frustration alone.  The cameras below will all be Full-Frame.

Wondering which to pick-- Canon or Nikon?  Here's our review.

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#1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR

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Award-Winning Photographer Ashley Harmon using Nikon D850

Summary: Your first question may be: why this model?  It's not the highest tech nor the newest camera body.  That would be more like our #2.  We selected the D850 because even after all this time, it's still one of the easiest, best bodies on the market.  The images are crisp, the focusing system is top-notch, and the ISO is ideal for nighttime shots. 

If you want the latest and greatest tech, our #2 option is the way to go!  But if you're fairly new in the game and not ready for a $5k investment drop yet, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than this model.  This is a life-saver for most newer (or upgrading) photographers.  And as an extra bonus, some photographers buy this at the beginning of their career and never feel the need to upgrade again.

Nikon D850


-Perfect Image Quality: 45.7 MP 
-Full Frame: Essential for weddings 
-Clean Menu: Easy to use
-ISO:  Amazing ISO for nighttime shots   

-Focus:  Excellent autofocus


 -Weight: A little heavy at 2.02 lbs
 -Battery Life: While still good, it's not as high as some models.  You'll want to bring a backup battery to an 8-hour day.

Want to take a closer look at this camera?  The images below were taken with the D850 (the "splash" photo actually won an award on Shoot & Share).  Want to see where to buy this camera?  Here's a link to the Nikon D850 on Amazon.

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#2. Nikon Z9 FX-Format Mirrorless

Summary: Ever been at a quiet ceremony and are painfully aware your shutter is making a lot of noise?  That comes from DSLR cameras.  Among their many benefits, Mirrorless cameras are MUCH more discreet.  

That brings us to the king of Mirrorless Nikons: the Z9.  People who love this model say it's because it's an absolute powerhouse of a camera with every function you could need. For videographers, it shoots in crisp 8k video and can record for longer than the average camera.  The Nikon Z9 is one of the most user-friendly due to its clean menu and has one of the best focuses among Nikons.

At the price tag of $5,496, it's not your cheapest option, but it is one of the best due to its updated features and incredible image quality.  You also wouldn't likely need to upgrade for the rest of your wedding career, making it a one-time investment.

Nikon Z9


 -High Res Images: 45.7 MP
 -Full Frame: Essential for weddings 

 -Clean Menu: Better organized than its competition
 -ISO:  Amazing ISO for nighttime shots   

 -Focus:  Excellent autofocus


 -Weight: Heavier than your average camera at 2.95 lbs
 -Price: Not the most affordable option

Here's a link to the Nikon Z9 on Amazon.

#3. Nikon Z 7II-Mirrorless

Summary: If you want to go mirrorless, but the Z9 is a little out of your budget, we feel you.  That's why we included this camera, the Z 711.  It's Nikon’s most popular mirrorless camera that still boasts a full-frame sensor. More and more adventure photographers are making the jump to mirrorless because they're known to be lighter than the traditional DSLR. 

So honestly, if a lighter camera is what you've been begging for, this is a great way to go to solve your problem and still give INCREDIBLE image quality.  
Wondering if mirrorless is worth the extra cost?  This is the article you'll want to read.

Nikon Z7II Mirrorless


 -High Res Images: 45.7 MP           
 -Light weight:  1.9 lbs
 -Full Frame: Essential for weddings    


 -Balance: Some customers complain about weight distribution

Here's a link to the Nikon Z 711 Mirrorless on Amazon.

#4. Nikon D750 (Top Budget Choice)

Summary: This camera was released in 2014, but it remains one of the top-performing full-frame cameras on the market today. You'll notice it's been reviewed over a thousand times with great feedback from users, and there's a reason.  While it may not have the bells and whistles of more recent Nikons, its image quality still holds up quite well, especially when you're editing in Lightroom or Photoshop. 

It's not quite the future-proof level of the D850 and you may find yourself wanting to upgrade after a year or two, but for the price, it's a great starter choice for new photographers who want to start off with a good camera until they can level up.

Nikon D750


 -Full Frame: Essential for weddings  

 -Weight:  Fairly light at 1.65 lbs   


 -Lower Res Images: 24.3 MP (not terrible, but a little dated)
 -ISO: Good for its time, but not up to the standards of the models above

Want to get a look at this model?  Here's a link to the Nikon D750 on Amazon.


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What is a Full Frame Sensor?

Gives you your full mm from your lens.  Highly recommended.  See full Answer Here

What is ISO?

Controls light in indoor/outdoor situations.  The higher ISO a camera can handle, the less grainy they usually appear.  See full Answer Here

What does a Mirrorless camera mean?

Quieter, electronic photo capture rather than mirrors used in traditional models.  See full Answer Here

What is a good Megapixel (MP) for a camera?

At least 24 MP resolution, though 45 MP is becoming more common.  See full Answer Here

If you're planning to be a photographer for destination weddings in Southern Utah, Arizona, Nevada, or anywhere in the Southwest with an epic venue (indoors or out), we hope this has been a valuable list to help you find the perfect camera for your wedding photography business.

We earn a commission through the links above. However, these were selected based on their commitment to customer satisfaction and recommendations based on experienced photographers.

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