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
The Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B is a full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera with a 3-inch LCD screen. It is a base configuration model and comes in black. The camera is equipped with a 24.2-megapixel back-illuminated sensor that is capable of capturing high-quality images with a 15-stop dynamic range and 14-bit uncompressed RAW. It also features a BIONZ X Image Processor and Front-End LSI, a 693-point hybrid AF system, and 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE stabilization for smooth and stable video.
The camera is compatible with Sony E mount lenses, and it can be connected via HDMI and NFC. Additionally, it can also be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones that have Android 5.0 or later and Bluetooth 4.0 or later, or iOS with Bluetooth 4.0 or later. The camera has a high-speed shooting capability of up to 10fps with a silent or mechanical shutter and AE/AF tracking. It also has a long battery life of approximately 610 shots when using the viewfinder and 710 shots when using the LCD monitor.
The package includes a rechargeable battery, an AC adapter, a shoulder strap, a body cap, an accessory shoe cap, an eyepiece cup, and a micro USB cable. The camera also features 693 phase detection and 425 contrast AF points with 93 percent image coverage, and a focus sensor of Exmor R CMOS sensor. The advanced 24.2MP full-frame image sensor also has a 1.8X readout speed, and it is compatible with Sony E mount lenses. The camera has built-in Bluetooth and External flash compatibility with Sony α system flash.
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a full-frame digital SLR camera body that offers a high resolution of 30.4 megapixels. It features a versatile shooting range with an ISO range of 100-32000, expandable to 50-102400, making it suitable for shooting in nearly any light. It also boasts 4K Motion JPEG video recording at 30p or 24p, as well as in-camera still frame grab of 4K 8.8-megapixel images. The camera also has multiple video options, including Full HD up to 60p, and HD up to 120p.
The EOS 5D Mark IV also has a superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which provides responsive and smooth AF during video or live view shooting. The camera's LCD monitor has a full touchscreen interface, including a selection of AF areas. This camera also has excellent performance with up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed and a high-performance DIGIC 6+ Image Processor for improved speed and excellent image quality.
This camera also allows you to use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your Canon camera into a high-quality webcam or do the same using a clean HDMI output. The package comes with the camera body, Eyecup Eg, Camera Cover R-F-3, Wide Strap EW-EOS5DMKIV, Battery Charger LC-E6, Battery Pack LP-E6N, Interface Cable IFC-150U II (With Protector), EOS Digital Solution Disk 31.4(9ML), Software Instructions CD, Camera Instruction Book, and Kit Warranty Card for Camera, USA Leaflet of Original Learning Center Website/Registration.
The EOS 5D Mark IV is a powerful camera that offers amazing refinements in image quality, performance, and versatility. It is suitable for wedding and portrait photographers, nature and landscape shooters, as well as creative videographers.
The Nikon D7500 is a high-performance DSLR camera that offers class-leading image quality, ISO range, image processing, and metering. It is built to outperform any camera in its class with top-tier image quality, blazing speed, flawless autofocus, 4K Ultra HD video, and pro-grade creative tools.
The camera is designed with a 20.9-megapixel DX-format image sensor and an EXPEED 5 image processing engine, which is the same as the award-winning D500. This allows for impressive sharpness and tonality, especially in low-light situations such as concerts, sporting events, parties, and other events. The D7500 also features a large 3.2-inch 922k dot tilting LCD screen with touch functionality, a 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors, and the ability to shoot at 8 fps in continuous mode.
Additionally, it has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity through the Nikon SnapBridge app, allowing you to easily share your photos and videos with friends and family. Overall the Nikon D7500 is a camera for the new generation of creators, offering flagship performance and innovation in a more compact and streamlined connected camera.
The Panasonic LUMIX S5 is a powerful, hybrid full-frame mirrorless camera that boasts impressive features for both still photography and cinematic video recording. The camera is equipped with a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that offers a wide dynamic range and high-sensitivity performance. The LUMIX S5 is also capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording, as well as 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. It also offers 14+ stops of dynamic range and V-Log/V-Gamut compatibility with popular colorimetry called "VariCam Look".
The LUMIX S5 also boasts high-speed, high-precision autofocus in both photo and video recording, thanks to its advanced deep-learning technology that features real-time detection of the subject's type and parts such as human eyes, face, head, and body. The camera also features a 5-axis Dual I.S. 2, which compensates for blurring and allows for a 6.5-stop slower shutter speed. The camera also has a splash/dust-resistant rugged design, providing professional photographers with high reliability.
In addition to its impressive photo and video capabilities, the LUMIX S5 also offers a variety of features that enhance the photographic experience, including a 96-megapixel High-Resolution Mode, Live View Composite function, and HLG Photo mode. The camera also has a 2,200mAh high-capacity battery that can capture approximately 470 pictures in LVF mode and 1,500 pictures in Power Save LVF mode. It also supports a double SD Card slot, 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and USB power charging and power supply. The LUMIX S Series full-frame mirrorless camera system adopts the L-Mount system and provides users with a diverse and future-proof range of products from Panasonic, Leica Camera, and Sigma.
The Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera is a versatile and high-performance camera that is perfect for both professional photographers and amateur photographers alike. The camera comes in a bundle that includes a variety of lenses and accessories, such as the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III lenses, the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, and the 500mm f/8.0 preset lens. In addition, the bundle also includes a speedlight TTL flash, an L flash bracket, SanDisk memory cards, a premium case, an extra battery, filter kits, a macro kit, a tripod, and more.
The Canon EOS 90D is a DSLR camera that boasts a 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which is capable of capturing stunning images and videos with high resolution and dynamic range. The camera is also equipped with a 3" vari-angle touchscreen, which allows you to easily compose and review your shots. Additionally, the camera supports UHD 4K30p and Full HD 120p video recording, which makes it a great option for videographers as well. The camera also offers up to 10 fps shooting, which allows you to capture fast-moving subjects with ease.
The Canon EOS 90D also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to easily transfer your photos and videos to your mobile devices and share them on social media platforms. The camera also comes with a replacement battery grip, which offers both extended battery life and a more comfortable grip when shooting in a vertical orientation. Overall, the Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera bundle is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance and versatile camera that can be used for both photography and videography.
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K is a high-performing point-and-shoot digital camera that offers a variety of features for both traditional and modern photographers. With a 20.3-megapixel MOS sensor and 30x Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, this camera is able to capture detailed, high-quality images and videos. The lens also features a 5-axis hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) which ensures that photos and videos are stable and clear, even in challenging lighting conditions.
One of the standout features of this camera is its 0.2-inch 1,166k dot electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor, which makes it easy to view your shots under sunny outdoor conditions. Additionally, the camera can record 4K QFHD video, and it also has exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K post focus with an internal focus stacking feature.
The camera also has a number of other features that make it easy and convenient to use. The lens barrel-mounted control ring allows for quick, intuitive operation of important functions, while the 180-degree front flip-up touch-enabled screen makes it easy to take selfies and frame shots from unusual perspectives. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi allows for mobile device control and easy sharing of your photos and videos.
The Nikon D500 is a 20.9 MP DX-format CMOS sensor digital SLR camera with 4K video capabilities. It is considered as the flagship model within Nikon's DX-format DSLR line and is known for its robust physical construction, advanced imaging capabilities, and a more compact and sleek form factor. The camera is equipped with a powerful EXPEED 5 image processor, which allows for fast 10-fps continuous shooting and 4K UHD video recording. The sensor and processor also offer a native sensitivity range of up to ISO 51200, which can be further expanded to ISO 1640000 for working in low-light conditions.
The D500 features an expansive Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system, which includes 99 cross-type points for fast performance and accurate subject-tracking capabilities. The camera also has a 3.2-inch, 2.36m-dot, tilting LCD touchscreen, which allows for comfortable use from high and low angles. Additionally, the camera has an updated version of SnapBridge, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy technology for linking your mobile device for wireless image sharing.
This camera is built to withstand harsh conditions, it is housed within a durable magnesium alloy chassis that is both dust- and weather-sealed. With all of its advanced features and capabilities, the Nikon D500 is a great option for professional photographers, videographers, and enthusiasts looking for a high-performance, compact, and versatile DSLR camera. Additionally, it comes with a Nikon 90-day refurbished warranty.
The Panasonic LUMIX LX10 is a compact point-and-shoot camera that is perfect for the photographic enthusiast. It features a large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor, which is paired with a 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens (24-72 millimeter) and POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) to deliver brighter, more colorful photos with fewer image artifacts. This camera is also capable of 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K photo and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking, which allows you to record photos up to 30fps and set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken.
The LUMIX LX10 also boasts a convenient tilting self-display feature, with its rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) that tilts upward 180 degrees for easy selfie photos. Additionally, it has a lens-mounted control ring that brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body. Travel-ready technologies like USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device make the LUMIX DMC-ZS100K a digital camera that everyone can enjoy.
One of the key benefits of the LUMIX LX10 is its powerful sensor and lens combination, which allows you to capture high-quality images even in low-light conditions. The 4K video capabilities and post-focus feature also make it a versatile camera for both stills and video. The tilting self-display and lens-mounted control ring also provide added convenience and control. However, it's important to note that this camera is not weather sealed and it is not suitable for use in harsh weather conditions.
Additionally, it's a compact camera, so it may not be the best choice for professional photographers or those who are looking for a camera with a larger form factor. Overall, the Panasonic LUMIX LX10 is a high-performing, portable and versatile camera that is perfect for photography enthusiasts, travel enthusiasts, and those looking for a compact camera with advanced features.
The Fujifilm X-T10 is a mirrorless digital camera that is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to take with you on the go. It has a 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor and an EXR Processor II, which work together to provide high-quality images. The camera also has a new autofocus system that includes single, zone, wide x AF-S, AF-C, and 3D tracking, as well as phase detection and contrast.
The camera also features a 2.36M dot OLED electronic viewfinder, which has the world's shortest display lag time of 0.005 seconds, and a 0.62x finder magnification. The X-T10 also has a new "X-T" design, with a compact magnesium body, well-balanced handling, and grip, as well as 3 dials on top and 2 command dials. Additionally, the camera includes a built-in pop-up flash.
The Fujifilm X-T10 also has a variety of shooting modes, including Program (P), Shutter Speed Priority (S), Aperture Priority (A), and Manual (M), which can be adjusted by combining the shutter speed dial with the lens' aperture settings. The camera also has a 3-stop exposure compensation dial for delicate exposure control, even when shooting in manual mode.
Additionally, the camera features an Auto Mode Switch Lever, which allows you to automatically select the optimum shooting settings from 58 preset scenes, making it easy to take high-quality shots. The rear Command Dial also allows you to select a scene type using your choice of scene-specific presets.
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!