Best Cameras for Concert Photography

Best Cameras for Concert Photography

Are you dreaming of taking photos of famous bands and singers? Then you definitely need the best camera for concert photography with perfect autofocus and fast multi-shot mode. Don’t get upset if your budget is tight as today I’m going to review 10 good concert photography cameras that will surely meet your requirements.

best camera for concert photography

What Is the Best Camera for Concert Photography?

best camera for concert photography

Let’s start with the most important specs the best camera for concert photography should have. The device should work great in low light. The camera must have fast autofocus for continuous shooting. It will let you take astonishing photos. Then look for a suitable lens or even several lenses. Personally, I recommend 24–70mm and 70–200mm lenses with 2.8 aperture. They will help you take high-quality photos of musicians, fans, decorations, etc. So, read more about 10 best concert photography cameras at any price.


1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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Pros+
  • Excellent viewfinder
  • Two memory card slots
  • HDR mode
  • Multiple exposure
Cons-
  • Specific management interface
  • Imperfect HDMI signal
 

Canon EOS 5D Mark III is called one of the best cameras for concert photography due to its excellent characteristics. The device provides perfect detailization and image accuracy. In addition, it has an expanded range of ISO 100-256000 and 61-Point High-Density Reticular AF, which is ideal for concert shooting. You do not need to try to capture the fast movements of musicians on your own. Canon EOS 5D Mark III can take care of this.

  • If you’re just starting your photography career, look though my list of recommended cameras for amateur photographer that are inexpensive but still take incredible photos.

The camera also has good video performance and can shoot 60 frames per second in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD). However, the device does not support 4K. In spite of this, you will be able to get photo and video footage of unsurpassed quality. It is also necessary to note the high speed of the device and a decent set of additional functions (from HDR to the built-in level).

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

This is the fastest 135mm telephoto lens with an Ultra Sonic Motor (USM) which provides flawless focus. In addition, you may adjust the focus manually even in AF mode.

Canon EOS 5D Mark iii sample photo Photo by Canon EOS 5D Mark iii

2. Nikon D5

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Pros+
  • Continuous shooting up to 12 fps with autofocus
  • Full HD with 60fps
  • A large buffer: up to 200 shots in RAW
  • Excellent ergonomics
Cons-
  • No built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Lacks Log Gamma profiles
 

This full-frame SLR is a perfect option for this type of shooting, and may become helpful in other conditions as well. Nikon D5 has FX format 20.8 megapixel, full-frame, CMOS-sensor, and EXPEED 5 image processor which differs from other high-tech cameras. A wide range of ISO allows taking brilliant shots in any light. It is especially important for concert photography.

I also would like to draw your attention to 4K recording. It will please all fans of LIVE videos. Finally, mind that this device won't let you down in any weather conditions, that is very significant while shooting concerts in the open air.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

A compact zoom lens with a top-quality optics. It can be used with Nikon DX-format SLR cameras that support 5.8x zoom, which is suitable for different shooting conditions.

sample photo Nikon D5 Photo by Nikon D5

3. Panasonic Lumix LX10

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Pros+
  • High image detailization
  • Excellent shots even in low light
  • Rotating touchscreen
Cons-
  • Short battery life
  • Slippery handle
 

If you are looking for the best point and shoot camera for concert photography, you should definitely pay your attention to this model from Panasonic. This point-and-shoot camera has a 1” 20-megapixel sensor and a LEICA lens that will allow you to create the highest quality images. You can take very sharp, clear pictures with the warm shades prevailing.

Lumix LX10 is the perfect choice for video operators. It can create amazing videos. It is worth noting that Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a good camera for concerts since it is quite universal and mobile due to its compact size. In addition, the ability to shoot video in 4K format, as well as a tilting touchscreen, that will allow you to take a selfie at any concert.

Panasonic Lumix LX10 sample photo Photo by Panasonic Lumix LX10

4. Sony A7S II

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Pros+
  • Adjustable controls
  • Excellent viewfinder
  • Tilting display
  • Built-in optical stabilizer
Cons-
  • Not very large image resolution
  • Poor battery life
 

Sony A7S II is another good camera for concerts. The model has increased ISO, a wide dynamic range and accurate focus. You will be able to enjoy high performance and accuracy while shooting. Moreover, A7S II is a perfect choice for LIVE shows. This device can boast of not only top-quality shots but excellent video capabilities as well.

I also should mention a great image stabilizer which helps minimize almost any camera shake during the concerts and receive a clear, sharp and detailed picture. By the way, shooting with long and super long exposures keeping a camera in hands became possible thanks to this five-axis stabilization.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony Zeiss 50mm f/1.4

This representative of ZEISS brand has a large f/1.4 maximum aperture with great resolution, and contrast. Such an aperture guarantees excellent performance even in poor light and adds amazing bokeh.

sample photo Sony a7S II Photo by Sony a7S II

5. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

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Pros+
  • Brilliant color rendering
  • Effective image stabilizer
  • Excellent viewfinder with a customizable interface
  • Fast continuous shooting
Cons-
  • Short battery life
  • No built-in GPS module
 

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II is very convenient concert photography camera. Moreover, it will become an excellent choice for those who love shooting landscapes and street photography due to a compact design. The device has excellent autofocus and fast continuous shooting, so you won't miss any interesting moment at the concert.

  • If you like this camera brand, read more about the best Olympus cameras I recommend beginning and experienced photographers at any price tag.

Even beginners will be able to take nice photos thanks to its Auto Mode. Personally, I can say that it has never let me down. This device has a fantastic tilting display that is another advantage for concert photography. All in all, you will be able to take shots from different angles and see what is in the frame. This is really helpful, especially if there are lots of fans in front of you.

Recommended camera lens:

Leica DG SUMMILUX 25mm f/1.4 ASPH

This lens is a perfect variant for taking great shots no matter where the subject is. You may shoot outdoors, in the studio, take night pictures or practice photographing at the dawn – the results are always amazing.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark ii sample photo Photo by Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark ii

6. Sony Alpha a6000

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Pros+
  • Convenient grip
  • Fast work
  • Customizable display menu
  • High video and photo detailing
Cons-
  • No touch control
  • Small display
 

Sony A6000 is the best Sony camera for concert photography if you are looking for a modern and attractive model under $1000. Sony A6000 has a quite wide dynamic range and ISO up to 3200 or higher. This mirrorless device produces brilliant images, offers excellent video quality and has wide functionality.

Moreover, it features a nice electronic viewfinder and improved customizable control. Along with adjusted buttons and quick access menu, this model is a fantastic tool for realizing your creative ideas. However, the absence of touch display may disappoint as you will need more time to choose focus points manually. But I still think, it is the best device for shooting concerts, live shows, and other suchlike events, where high detailing and fantastic color rendering are important.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 OSS E-Mount NEX

This excellent 3.8 zoom keeps photos and videos very clear while zooming in. Besides, users can take nice pictures with blurry backgrounds. You can shoot with a camera in hands and still enjoy the results.

Sony Alpha a6000 sample photo Photo by Sony Alpha a6000

7. Nikon D500

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Pros+
  • Low level of digital noise
  • A wide dynamic range
  • Fast and convenient focusing in Live View
Cons-
  • SnapBridge works inaccurately
 

Nikon D500 can be easily called the best camera for concert photography. It will be a perfect option for average events with many light sources. This device has very accurate 20.9 megapixel CMOS DX-format matrix, which makes it one of the best for concerts of all kinds. By the way, the camera is great for people working with telephoto lenses, as lenses attached to Nikon D500 zoom in x1.5 times better. That’s why I use exactly this device for shooting at stadiums.

Recommended camera lens:

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art DC HSM

Sigma 18-35mm lens is a universal model. Not every lens can boast of f/1.8 aperture with 18-35mm focal length. It has both automatic and manual focusing that is very fast and almost noiseless.

Nikon D500 sample photo Photo by Nikon D500

8. Fujifilm X-T10

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Pros+
  • Stylish design
  • Tilting display
  • Built-in Wi-Fi module
  • Advanced automatic shooting mode
Cons-
  • Small buffer
  • No dust and moisture protection
 

I like its retro design. The device has X-Trans-sensor that is responsible for original color reproduction. Along with the extensive mode of film imitation, the camera allows you to take great pictures in JPEG. This is the perfect option for conveying the atmosphere of both chamber events and world famous stars’ shows.

These features allow many experts to call it the best camera for concert photography. Advanced automatic mode with intelligent selection of settings, built-in flash and a tilted LCD is what you need for professional concert photos in low light. Overall, this is a great concert photography camera, which has a stylish look and may be interesting for both beginners and advanced photographers.

Recommended camera lens:

Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R

It is distinguished by high resolution, excellent color reproduction and light-tonal transitions in a wide gradation range. It interacts with all concert cameras very well.

Fujifilm X-T10 sample photo Photo by Fujifilm X-T10

9. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

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Pros+
  • Fast autofocus
  • Perfect image quality
  • Tilting touch screen
  • High-quality OLED viewfinder
Cons-
  • Average battery capacity
 

The camera works extremely fast and can take eight images per second in the mechanical shutter mode. The device can create 30 images per second with the help of an electronic shutter and 4K burst mode. The advanced autofocus system of this gadget allows photographers to get the most detailed concert images without much effort.

Moreover, DMC-G7 has three pause modes and a 4K Ultra HD save function. This DSLM camera can boast excellent image quality. Wireless control enables you to manage recently captured shots instantly. This set of features allows experts to call Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 the best camera for concert photography. When buying this device, you will also get a good lens and many useful accessories included.

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH

Due to its low weight and compact size, Panasonic 14-42 mm is convenient to transport. The lens with a variable focal length will be the ideal solution if you need to hide the background and capture the individual scenes as a close-up shot.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 sample photo Photo by Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

10. Canon 6D

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Pros+
  • Low digital noise level
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS modules
  • Fast and accurate autofocus system
  • Built-in RAW file editor
Cons-
  • Disappointing burst speed of 4.5 fps
  • No headphone jack
 

The 6D is the best digital camera for concerts for amateur photographers. Users like the ergonomics of the device and the fact that all the parts that are in contact with the person's palms are rubberized. It protects the camera from slipping from the photographer’s hands during a concert.

A shutter speed of 1/250s is a good level that is worth to start from when choosing the right value. Set the white balance automatic mode and give preference to continuous focus, which can help you track the subject. Also, pay attention to the continuous shooting mode which can also contribute to the simplification of the workflow.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ll USM

This is a fast zoom lens with superior optical quality over the entire focal length range. This lens is the ideal option for working with cameras for concerts even in low light due to the constant maximum f/2.8 aperture.

Canon 6D sample photo Photo by Canon 6D

10 Best Cameras for Concert Photography

Image Camera Features  
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
OUR CHOICE
  • 22.3 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Fujifilm X-T20
Sony a7S II
  • 12.2 MP
  • Full-Frame Sensor
Check PRICE
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
  • 16 MP
  • Live MOS Sensor
Check PRICE
Sony Alpha a6000
Sony Alpha a6000
  • 24 MP
  • APS-C CMOS
Check PRICE
Nikon D500
Nikon D500
  • 20.9 MP
  • DX-Format CMOS
Check PRICE
Fujifilm X-T10
Fujifilm X-T10
FOR BEGINNERS
  • 16 MP
  • X-Trans CMOS II
Check PRICE
Nikon D5
Nikon D5
PROFESSIONAL
  • 20.8 MP
  • FX-Format CMOS Sensor
Check PRICE
Panasonic Lumix LX10
Panasonic Lumix LX10
  • 20.1 MP
  • 1-Inch
Check PRICE
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7
  • 16 MP
  • Live MOS
Check PRICE
Canon 6D
Canon 6D
  • 20.2 MP
  • CMOS
Check PRICE

How to Choose the Best Camera for Concerts?

Consider these important aspects when choosing the best camera for concerts.

ISO Range

ISO is the most important characteristic of concert cameras. The less digital noise at high ISO is, the more possibilities you have when shooting the event. Ideally, your camera should work excellently at ISO 1250-2000.

Focus System

The shooting speed largely depends on the accuracy of the focus. Besides, the number of focus areas is an important characteristic of a reportage camera. The more focus areas a camera has, the more accurately you can focus on the desired part of the frame.

Frame Rate

Sometimes you may need to shoot 5-8 frames per second during the event. Moreover, the more frames per second (in RAW format) your concert photography camera can take, the better image quality can be expected.

What Are the Best Settings for Concert Photography?

Many users are interested in what settings are optimal for this type of shooting. Learn about the most important settings you need to pay your attention to when working with concert cameras in low light.

  • If you are interested in taking celebrities’ portraits, read more about camera settings for portraits you should set to take high-quality photos in any light.

Camera Mode

Manual shooting gives you maximum control over the situation when using the best cameras for concert photography. Shoot with Aperture Value (AV), but do not forget that it depends on the situation and conditions. Moreover, using manual settings, you can become a more experienced shooter and improve your photography skills.

White Balance

Since concert lights often change colors, it makes no sense to set a specific white balance manually. Therefore, you should select the auto mode and focus on other, more important parameters, such as shutter speed, aperture and ISO range. Shoot in RAW format, not in JPEG, and you will be able to correct the color temperature in the image editor during further photo post-processing.

Aperture

Even the best video camera for concerts requires a good lens. You need a fast lens to work with this type of video. Such a device has a minimum aperture value of f/1.2 - f/1.8. It can transmit more light and allow you to shoot with slower shutter speed and lower ISO value. However, such lenses are quite expensive, and not everyone can afford to buy them. But everyone should have a 50mm lens with f/1.8 aperture. It is a relatively cheap and very effective variant for beginners.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more