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How much memory needed for a wedding?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by reignmkr, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. I have 10gb of memory in CF cards (2x 1gb, 2x 2gb & 1 4gb). Is that enough to shoot RAW for a 4 hour session? This includes pre-ceremony, ceremony and reception. Outdoor wedding and with 200 guests if that matters. I'm thinking 400-600 is a good range. I'll only be chimping to check exposure, WB and shutter speed. No erasing photos at the event.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. A very high-end pro wedding photog friend of mine typically shoots 800-1000 images for a wedding event.
  3. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    8gb would get you around 400 images. Be sure and number your cards.
  4. I shot 16 gb and 3 rolls of film for the last wedding. There's usually no time to review and chimp with so many candids, so you shoot a couple of each to get rid of goofy looks, blinking, etc. and during the ceremony you're using short bursts for critical moments - bride hugs her dad, the kiss, etc. You end up with way more than you thought you might at the end of the day.

  5. I just ran a test for you. I took two shots of the same scene.

    In RAW, the file size was 16,238KB... about 60 pictures per GB of memory.
    In compressed RAW, the file size was 9,970KB... about 100 pictures per GB of memory.

    If you shoot in compressed RAW, you'll be able to harvest 1,000 shots, which should be plenty enough for a wedding, formals, and reception. But if you're still concerned, stop by Costco and pick up another 4GB card for less than $40. But I'd worry more about having enough battery power to take all of those shots.
  6. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    +1 on the battery power, especially shooting a D200. My D200 eats batteries for breakfast, while my D300 can meek out about 1,000 shots on the same EN-EL3 battery even with some chimping.

    I wouldn't bring less than THREE fully charged batteries (and the charger to keep one in rotation), and if you have the MB-D200 bring a full AA adapter stuffed with charged NMHd batteries just in case. A backup battery never hurts.

    Like an airplane landing; you only get one chance to do it right. Redundancy is key to success!!!

    All this, of course, is assuming you're the primary photog for the event. If you're just going to a friends wedding as a casual shooter, you can obviously travel quite a bit lighter.
  7. hellogan


    Nov 26, 2007
    i'm sorry, but what does chimping mean?
  8. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
  9. menbrial


    Apr 30, 2006
    bring a laptop wit u and u wont ask this question anymore
  10. I rarely use more than 12gb of cards with the D3 or D300 shooting NEF, but I carry about double that.
  11. I think that you will need more than 10 GB to shoot a wedding. Even if you have a laptop and a backup HD readily available in which to quickly dump images and then clear the card to re-shoot I wouldn't take less than 20 GB.....but that's just me. I tend to shoot a lot, and as mentioned, bursts will really eat up the memory in a CF card. The prices for memory cards have dropped significantly and to me it would be well worth it to buy a couple more cards, a few more gigs of memory so that you are not caught short. A wedding is someone's once-in-a-lifetime day. You don't want to be unable to shoot some important aspect of it because you don't have enough memory cards!
  12. I will have my laptop, but I just can't see myself plugging in my CF card, downloading to save then reformatting it for the next use. I'll have an assistant, but I'll need him with me and for other stuff.

    Does this work well for you?
  13. Thanks Connie, Frank and everyone else for your recommendations. Off to my local shop Monday for more CF cards. Someone mentioned redundancy, which I think was the best advice for wedding photogs. I anticipated that and will be renting some gear just in case.

    Thanks again!
  14. Would it be inept to shoot fine jpegs for the reception and other candids? I'm only asking because I don't think there will be much PP with these photos. No stupid questions right?
  15. There's nothing wrong with that idea, plenty of pros do it.
  16. kays


    Aug 9, 2008
    If it's your wedding, the only memory you'll need is the date - and don't ever forget it! :biggrin:
  17. PeteZ28


    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    Nothing wrong with JPEG's at all. As long as your exposure and WB are correct there won't be much of a difference.
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