If you’ve ever wondered how to become a concert photographer, one of the very first steps in getting the right equipment. You’ve probably been to a concert or festival and seen music photographers carrying tons of gear like two boxes and huge lenses. While it’s certainly ideal for a pro to have that many things (and more), most beginners or amateurs don’t need that much gear at all to get started.
Read on for some of my suggestions on how to prepare to start doing gig photography.
Best Cameras For Concert Photography 2022
It can be quite difficult to get a good clean shot of the stage at a live concert. Apart from the hustle and bustle and constantly changing dynamic conditions, most events take place outdoors in dimly lit areas, making cameras with low ISO sensitivity problematic.
On the other hand, given the abundance of attractively priced cameras, it’s not hard to get lost in the camera market.
Our list of the best cameras for concert photography includes great cameras from well-known manufacturers that deliver beautiful images under a variety of lighting conditions.
Best Cameras For Concert Photography | Comparison Table 2022
Top Quality | 5 Star Pick | Great Prices
|Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Body Only,Base Configuration,Black||Sony||Check Price|
|Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body||Canon||Check Price|
|Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR Body||Nikon||Check Price|
|Panasonic LUMIX S5 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, 4K 60P Video Recording with Flip Screen & WiFi, LUMIX S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Lens, L-Mount, 5-Axis Dual I.S, DC-S5KK (Black)||Panasonic||Check Price|
|Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera w/ 18-55mm Lens Bundle + Canon 75-300mm III Lens, Canon 50mm f/1.8 & 500mm Preset Lens + Camera Case + 96GB Memory + Battery Grip + Speedlight Flash + Professional Bundle||Canon||Check Price|
|Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K, 20.3 Megapixel, 4K Digital Camera, Touch Enabled 3-Inch 180 Degree Flip-front Display, 30X LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens, WiFi (Black)||Panasonic||Check Price|
|Nikon D500 20.9 MP CMOS DX Format Digital SLR Camera Body (1559B) with 4K Video - (Renewed)||Nikon||Check Price|
|Panasonic LUMIX LX10 4K Digital Camera, 20.1 Megapixel 1-Inch Sensor, 3X LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX Lens, F1.4-2.8 Aperture, POWER O.I.S. Stabilization, 3-Inch LCD, DMC-LX10K (Black)||Panasonic||Check Price|
|Fujifilm X-T10 Silver Mirrorless Digital Camera Kit with XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II Lens||Fujifilm||Check Price|
Best Cameras For Concert Photography | 2022 Products Overview
Which lenses to choose for concert photos?
In addition to a camera, there is obviously the question of the choice of lenses. You should keep in mind that concerts are usually places with little light. This is why it is better to opt for bright optics. If you can afford lenses that open at least f/2.8, that’s ideal.
Regarding the number of lenses to have, it is better to invest in a good general-purpose lens than several fixed lenses for example. Variable optics will allow you to have different renderings without changing lenses each time.
Even if it is said that fixed optics are generally of better quality, know that nowadays very good variable optics exist. They allow you to be less loaded and to have certain ease when shooting, especially when the possibilities of movement are restricted.
What type of camera do you need?
First, invest in a solid DSLR camera. While there are point-and-shoot cameras that could arguably get the job done, you need the lens choices that come with DSLRs. It doesn’t really matter which brand you choose. What matters is being comfortable with its use and knowing that you have a wide variety of lenses to combine. Canon and Nikon are two of the biggest camera brands most loved by concert photographers.
Crop sensor or full-frame?
When looking for DSLR camera options, you will have the choice between investing in a crop sensor or a full-frame camera. The differences between the two types of DSLR cameras are better explained in this article.
To quickly recap, crop sensor cameras are generally smaller and much cheaper than full-frame cameras. The main disadvantage of crop sensor cameras has to do with their smaller sensor size which will impact the available ISO options, resulting in slightly noisier or grainier photos than full-frame cameras.
In short, start with a crop sensor camera if you’re on a budget and try to upgrade to a full-frame camera as you progress in your gig photography career.
Other Elements to Consider While Choosing The Best Cameras For
Concert Photography | Ultimate Guide 2022
There are many factors involved in delivering a quality image and choosing a camera because it offers a high number of pixels is not necessarily a good thing.
This should therefore not be the main purchase criterion because a high pixel density will allow large format prints or cropping but will not ensure good image quality.
Also, keep in mind that the higher the number of pixels, the better the lens should be.
The sensor is very important for the quality of the images. In concrete terms, it must be remembered that the larger the sensor, the higher the quality, the greater the dynamics, the shallower the depth of field, and the better the management of sound.
The quality of the lens will affect the image quality. It will therefore be necessary to prefer lenses with a large aperture.
The creative possibilities
Before buying your camera, check the basic functions present on the device. These are essential for the success of your photos.
The creative modes available should allow you to adjust shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sensitivity. On the best devices, you will have access to Manual, Program, Shutter Priority, and Aperture Priority modes.
The best format is the RAW format according to the comparisons. Few compact cameras offer it. It is mainly found on SLR and bridge cameras. It is a format that allows you to rework and print photos while maintaining high quality.
Opinions are unanimous: photography is an investment. If compacts are around 50 to 70 euros, SLR cameras can easily exceed 400 euros.
Concert Photography Rules
Before we kick things into high gear, let’s talk about your typical concert photography setting. Whether you’re shooting a big arena show or a small, casual performance in a bar, the rules of concert photography are more or less the same. You can only film for the first three songs and cannot use flash or strobes of any kind. With these two rules in mind, that means you need gear that allows you to adjust and shoot quickly and shoot in low light.
Best Cameras For Concert Photography | Infographics
Concert Photography | Video Explanation
Q: What is the best setting for concert photography?
A: Choosing the right settings for concert photography can be tricky for experienced photographers as well. First, it is best to choose a manual exposure mode because concerts have different dynamic ranges. The camera metering system may not expose well to deep shadows or flickering light.
Next, you need to shoot at the maximum f-number of the lens. This is necessary to get more light in dimly lit situations. On the other hand, the shutter speed should be at least 1/250 for bright live-action shots and between 1/100 and 1/200 for shallower live-action shots. This shutter speed is necessary to stop motion and eliminate camera shake. It is also recommended that you increase the ISO sensitivity to 3200 to get high-quality photos. Other settings can also be adjusted to maximize the performance of concert photography.
Q: What lens should I use for concert photography?
A: Concerts are often held in dimly lit rooms, so the maximum aperture of the camera should be between f/1.2 and f/2.8 to get more light into the lens. A lens with multiple autofocus points is important for tracking constantly moving subjects, but you can also use the full manual control option.
Also, lenses should have multiple focal lengths or a long-range with built-in image stabilization to capture phases over large areas.
Q: What is the best aperture for low light photography?
A: A camera’s ISO determines how fast light hits the sensor, while the aperture determines how fast light is captured. Since concerts are often held outdoors and there is no main light, the lens must absorb as much light as possible to produce a great image. This means the lens should shoot with the widest aperture or smallest f-number.
Q: What is the best ISO for low light?
A: If you have a DSLR, we recommend increasing the ISO to 3200 for high-quality images. Values below ISO 1600 are better suited for point-and-shoot cameras.
Q: What is the best camera brand?
A: The best brand of camera depends on individual needs and sensitivity. While some brands like Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Fujifilm are always in the best places, others seem to satisfy the needs of all photographers. The comparisons will help you choose.
Q: How to choose between the compact digital camera, bridge or reflex?
A: It is often said that the compact camera is better for beginners and that the SLR is more suitable for advanced photographers. If the different settings do not scare you and you have the time to devote yourself to them but you are a novice, prefer the bridge, it will give you more freedom.
Q: When is the best time to switch to an SLR camera?
A: It will only depend on your desires. The compact device is ideal for beginners but if you feel constrained with it, maybe it’s time to look further. The Reflex will require more time in terms of settings but you will get much better quality photos.
Q: Is a bridge camera better than a reflex camera?
A: It’s not necessarily a story of quality but rather of handling. The reflex is a camera widely used by professionals, while the bridge is a perfect compromise between the ease of use of the compact camera and the functions offered by the reflex.
Consistently getting professional-quality concert photos often requires investing in professional-quality photo equipment. But it’s best to start small and improve over time as your skills and budget increase. What are your favorite cameras and lenses for concert photography? Let me know in the comments below!