Wedding Videography Equipment For Cinematic Wedding Films

I filmed my first wedding in 2010 with two Canon XHA1 camcorders, a set of wireless mics, and a bunch of DIY support gear my roommate helped me build.  It’s incredible how far technology has come since then.  Not only has the wedding videography equipment gotten more advanced (hello drones), it’s gotten smaller and cheaper.  The barrier to entry for wedding videography is much lower than it used to be.

When I shoot weddings my prime objective is to tell a compelling story through the use of highly cinematic visuals.  My wedding videography equipment is lightweight with quick setup so I can focus on the important things happening throughout the day without getting slowed down.  The last thing you want is to fight with your wedding gear.  It should essentially stay out of your way.  Here is my current equipment checklist:

CAMERAS

  • Panasonic GH5 and GH5S are my cameras of choice. The GH5 has incredible image stabilization. Even though I use tripods, a gimbal and other support gear, it’s reassuring to know I can easily go handheld if necessary. There are many unexpected moments during a wedding, so having a camera that facilitates great stability is imperative. It shoots 4K60, 10 bit, and has a nifty “selective focus” function for perfect rack focus shots on the first try! I will soon be picking up a Sony a7siii, as well. Stay tuned!
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro is my aerial drone of choice. It has a large 1″ sensor and allows me to achieve stunning landscape and venue shots from a high altitude. It’s also super stable in high wind conditions.

AUDIO EQUIPMENT

  • Zoom F6 is a compact beast! The 32 bit float bit depth allows for extreme audio levels without distortion or noise. This is ideal during the reception when the volume goes from super loud dance music to softly spoken toasts and speeches.
  • Tascam DR-10X is what I use to capture audio from the DJ’s mixing board during the reception. It’s a great backup to my Zoom F6.
  • Tascam DR-10L is a tiny audio recorder that I use during the ceremony and as backup for speeches. The units are placed in the jacket pockets of the groom and officiant. I also have a white one that I place on the bride’s dress or on a white suit. Zoom recently announced their Zoom F2 recorders, so as soon as they become available I will switch to them. Just like the F6 recorder, they record in 32 bit float.
  • Sanken COS-11D lav mics are far superior to the stock lav mics that come with the Tascam units. They are crisper sounding and have more sensitivity. I use Bubblebee wind protectors for them for outside ceremonies and first looks.
  • Sony UWPD 12/30 is my go-to wireless handheld mic system. I use this for receptions as a backup to the DJ’s mic. I also bring a quick release mic stand for the folks giving toasts.
  • Art PROSplit Microphone Splitter is a handy device for taking a microphone feed at the reception and sending one signal to the DJ and the other to my Zoom F6. This allows me to bypass any FX and level adjustments the DJ makes on the fly.

LIGHTS

  • CAME-TV Q-55S Boltzen 55w Bi-Color LED’s are my current lights for illuminating the dance floor with gorgeous light for entrances, first dances, and speeches. I recently switched from the Aputure 120D for a few key reasons. They come with built-in fresnels for focusing the lights between spot (speeches, cake cutting, grand exit) and flood (dancing, bouquet/garter toss). Built-in barn doors allow me to shape the light and control spill. They are also bi-color, so it allows me to quickly alter color temperature without messing with gels. The most important reason I chose these over the Aputure is that they run off of two Sony L-Series batteries instead of a giant V-mount battery hanging off my stand. This not only reduces weight and instability, but it gives me more peace of mind that they aren’t an accident waiting to happen.

SUPPORT GEAR

  • Manfrotto 190X3 is my tripod of choice. I have two of them. Handheld videography seems to be all the rage currently, but I’ve gone back to primarily using a this tripod for classic timeless filmmaking.
  • Manfrotto 561bhdv-1 is my monopod. The updated model is the XPRO, but I’m still using the OG model. A monopod is a tripod with only one leg, although the base of it does have 3 little feet that fold out. That makes all the difference between it and cheaper monopods.
  • Zhiyun Weebill-S is in my opinion the best gimbal for wedding videography. It’s super compact for shooting and folds down and locks for easy storage and transport. It’s a great piece of kit for trucking/following shots and orbitals around subjects.
  • Edelkrone SliderONE Pro is the icing on the cake. I use this slider to get beautifully precise shots of the bride’s accessories and of the reception details.

COMPUTER & SOFTWARE

With the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking gear, this list will be constantly revisited and updated as my wedding videography equipment gets refreshed. With this set of wedding gear you’ll be golden for any wedding or event, but I’m by no means a brand loyalist (other than Apple). Canon, Fuji, Blackmagic, and other manufacturers make excellent comparable gear.

~Patrick

Like this blog post?  Check out some of my other favorites!

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