A photo of the Nikoon Coolpix AW130
The Nikon Coolpix AW130

If you’re lucky enough to be heading off to a destination wedding this year, and you’re thinking about buying a new camera to capture some blissful moments of sun-drenched ‘amore’, then I’ve got some suggestions for you.

The Nikon Coolpix AW120

When I think about a destination wedding, I invariably picture a beach ceremony on a sandy shore with waves lapping gently nearby. Not necessarily the ideal place to bring hi-tech, hi-spec camera equipment. So my first suggestion is a waterproof, shockproof, point-and-shoot camera from Nikon. The Coolpix AW120 is waterproof to 18m and can withstand a fall from about 2 metres. It has Vibration Reduction technology which will give your sharper images in low-light situations. It also has onboard GPS so you’ll know exactly where you took your shots—a really handy travel feature. It is Wi-Fi enabled which means you can instantly share your photos with friends and family. The Wi-Fi capability also allows you to control the camera remotely, which is really handy if you want to set the camera up on something like a JOBY GorillaPod and discretely shoot images of the ceremony. Finally the AW120 has a nice, slim profile, so it will fit comfortably in the pocket of your linen pants.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The next camera I want to mention is essentially another point-and-shoot, but with a twist. The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 looks a little bit like a DSLR, and it packs a pretty remarkable 60x optical zoom. The fact that it’s an optical zoom means that you’re not losing precious resolution when you zoom in (like you do on your phone). You’re basically getting a 20-1200mm lens here, a focal range that doesn’t actually exist in a stand-alone lens. The reason I like this camera for a destination wedding is because you can get fantastic close-ups of the ceremony from basically anywhere. And after the wedding you can get wicked close-ups of any exotic wildlife you happen to spot—and I’m not ruling out the dance floor at the after party!

A photo of the Panasonic Lumix FZ80
The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 has a 60x optical zoom

One of the key limitations of a point-and-shoot camera however is the sensor size. If you are hoping to make nice, big enlargements of your best photos (which can be an awesome wedding gift), then you might find yourself limited by the file size that a camera like the AW 120 will produce. You’ll be able to print 8×10 for example, but anything bigger will be a stretch.

The Fujifilm X-T4

If you want to make bigger prints, you need to start with a bigger sensor, like the APS-C format sensor in my second recommendation, the Fujifilm X-T4. Fujifilm has had something of a renaissance in recent times, producing some of the top mirrorless cameras on the market. And by embracing a classic look and feel, coupled with technology capable of producing fantastic images, they have become a huge hit among photography purists. Fujifilm has eschewed minimalism in favour of more dials and knobs, giving you quicker access to key settings like aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

A photo of the Fujifilm XT-4
The Fujifilm XT-4 is one tough camera

‘T’ as in ‘tough’

The ’T’ in X-T4 actually stands for ‘tough’, because this is a camera designed to withstand some serious mistreatment. Fujifilm also produces its own excellent range of lenses, some of which are weather-resistant (look for ‘WR’ in the name) which are designed to keep dust and water out, so you’ll have some peace of mind when you take your camera to the beach. Aside from the fantastic X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, the X-T4 has some other key features that make it worth your consideration. It has 5-axis in-body image stabilization which will help you get sharper images, and also a brilliant autofocus system which is amongst the fastest on the market. Face and eye detection is also included and this is ideal for wedding photography because it’s all about capturing those joyous expressions. Make sure to read this review to learn more about this camera.

The Canon 5D Mk IV

Now if you’re getting serious about your photography and this destination wedding is something you want to shoot for your portfolio then I’ve got just the camera for you: the Canon 5D Mk IV. The 5D has long been one of the leading cameras on the market, and with good reason. Canon has a well-earned reputation for making cameras that not only perform brilliantly, but also age magnificently. A Canon DSLR is built to last and I would take the 5D Mk IV into a war zone quite frankly, because this thing is a tank. And with a full-frame sensor you will be able to make absolutely massive prints.

A photo of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Full Frame DSLR Camera with EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM Lens
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM Lens

The Sony A7 IV

It seems that no conversations about camera options is complete these days without a mention of Sony, who have dropped some absolutely amazing mirrorless cameras in recent years, all culminating in the recent A7 IV, a camera that sent jaws racing to the floor. The A7 IV packs too many great features to mention (including a gorgeous new menu—just saying!), but if you want to learn more be sure to check out this review. The reason I bring it to your attention in the context of a destination wedding, however, is because it’s a dual threat, capable of delivering stunning images and also phenomenal video. I mean this camera is easily capable of shooting an indie movie or a wicked music video. And one of the key weapons in its arsenal is the ability to shoot 4k video at 60 frames per second, which means you can make some super cool slo-mo shots with room to crop and recompose.

A photo of the Sony A7 IV
The new Sony A7 IV

Final thoughts

Shooting photos in an exotic location is one of the most fun things you can do in photography, particularly if you’re a Canadian photographer! I hope I’ve given you some food for thought to help you choose your next camera, but remember, there are many, many more cameras to choose from at BestBuy.ca so be sure to check out the full range here!

Justin Morrison
I am a professional photographer, working in motion and stills. I create portrait, lifestyle and documentary work, and I strive to tell real and authentic stories. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia.