Taking your camera to a concert can be a great idea. If you think about it, concerts provide a massive set with extensive lights and special effects budgets. In a way, it’s a photographer’s playground. Today, we will explore what makes the best camera for concert photography.
This list will cover a range of different levels. We will go over professional DSLR cameras for photographers down in the media pits. We will look at beginner compact cameras that will handle a moving crowd. And we will look at some intermediate camera bodies in between.
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12 Best Cameras for Concert Photography in 2022
For each camera, I will provide three critical elements for concert photography:
- Megapixels (MP), indicating the quality of image it produces
- Weight for portability
- ISO range for low-light conditions
By the end of this list, you will know the best cameras for concert photographers!
- ISO 50 – 204,800 (extended)
The newest edition of the Sony A7 is ideal for getting beautiful action shots while in the challenging conditions faced at most concerts. It is a mirrorless, full-frame camera with more than enough features to help you out. The control you get makes it the best camera for concert photography.
The main feature that can help you is its 693-point phase-detect autofocus (AF) system covering 93% of the frame. This extensive range is there, for one thing, to allow you better and easier control. The 425 contrast-detect points in this system work well in low-light conditions. They can even function in light as low as -3EV.
Apart from specifically selecting your favourite band member to focus on, the Sony A7 has some exceptional features. It can film in 4K video and shoot ten frames per second in burst mode. Burst mode is great when photographing concerts to guarantee you won’t miss that iconic moment.
The A7 is at the top of this list because its extensive features are packed into a small, ergonomic camera body. A camera’s shape and feel go a long way when shooting in difficult circumstances. And it’s small enough to go unnoticed when you go to concerts for the perfect shot.
- ISO 100 – 102,400 (extended)
Since its inception, the Canon 5D range has provided a professional standard for DSLRs. With advancing technology reducing mechanical equipment size, the Canon 5D IV has made its way near the top of this list.
Its improved weather sealing capabilities means it’s excellent company for an outdoor festival or open area arena. But, its biggest selling points are the image quality and tonal range you get from its excellent full-frame sensor. You have 61 autofocus (AF) points to choose from, as well as 4K video. This means you can produce a live video of an entire concert worthy of being shown as a movie.
The ISO range is another huge plus with the 5D. Canon does a great job at handling noise in low-light situations. Other great details are that it has WiFi connectivity and built-in GPS. GPS can be a great feature to help you track where each concert took place.
- ISO 100 – 1,640,000 (extended)
The Nikon D7500 is a perfect intermediate level camera for concert photography. It has a crop (half-frame) sensor, so it will not give you as much tonal range as a full-frame camera. But, it has some great features that could put it above many full-frame DSLRs.
One of these features is its excellent autofocus system. The system has a facial-recognition component. It’s a helpful feature for complicated situations like concert photography. It also has 51 autofocus (AF) points to choose from.
Like most great DSLRs nowadays, you need good video capabilities. This is especially true for when your favourite song comes on. The Nikon D7500 provides you with great 4K capabilities and electric image stabilisation (EIS). You also get a burst speed of eight frames per second (FPS).
You may find the Nikon D7500 struggling in low light conditions. This will only happen toward the end of its ISO range. And, it will definitely be evident in its extended ISO range.
- ISO 100 – 51,200 (extended)
The Panasonic Lumix S5 is for the serious photographer who doesn’t want the bulk of a DSLR body. Who would have thought that Panasonic could pack so many great features into such a compact space?
I like the idea of its AI focus detection. This is a new feature where you can set the camera to look for specific details to focus on. So far, they provide this feature for faces, eyes, bodies, and animals. If that doesn’t work for you, you still have 225 autofocus (AF) points to pick from.
Panasonic also provides dual-image stabilisation and a flip screen. These two features work in harmony for concert photography. Imagine you’re far back in the crowd and have the tallest people in front of you. Simply tilt your LCD screen down and lift your camera as high as you can. Its image stabilisation should be able to account for any swaying.
- ISO 100 – 51,200 (extended)
Canon’s 90D is a powerful DSLR with impressive performance for a cropped-frame camera. It’s one of the best cameras for sports and wildlife photography. And, I would say those genres transfer to concert photography pretty well.
The way the camera handles focus tracking is what gives it its edge. This allows you to keep your eyes on your subject… that dreamy person in your favourite band… the whole time. The whopping 32.5 megapixels isn’t a bad feature either. It’s up there on the list of cameras that produce high quality photos.
The 90D can take up to 10 frames per second (FPS) in burst mode and has a flip screen for more unconventional shooting. It is a very modern DSLR, so you also get WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities.
It is one of the best concert photography cameras, but it can struggle a little bit with noise. But it is only evident when pushing the ISO range quite far. With the low lighting conditions you will encounter at a typical concert, this camera will work great. It is only if the band switches all their lights off that you may have an issue.
- ISO 80 – 3200
The Panasonic Lumix DC ZS70 is a great entry-level camera for concert photography. Its point-and-shoot camera body design can fit easily in bags or pockets. The size allows you to put the camera away and enjoy the concert more. Therefore, it’s the choice for someone who wants to photograph for memories rather than a serious concert photographer.
Its weight and compactness could be a big reason to buy this camera. Choosing this camera can save you from toting around a DSLR and telephoto lens combo.
With 20.3 megapixels, you have enough power for some high-resolution shots. Even though the Lumix ZS70 seems like a fully automatic camera, you can still control all the settings like a manual camera.
The functions aren’t very user friendly. But this concert photography camera comes with 4K video and a functioning flip screen.
- ISO 100 – 1,640,000 (extended)
Nikon’s D500 has been around since 2016 and continues to be one of the best cameras for concert photography. It is a cropped-sensor DSLR with high-end capabilities. Even its autofocus (AF) system is the same as Nikon D5’s. It has 153 AF points to choose from and operates with precision in near darkness.
The D500 has all the must-have features for concert photography. It can shoot 4K video and has excellent weather sealing capabilities. As it’s the heaviest camera on this list, the D500 would be suited for professional photographers who spend most of their time in this environment.
- ISO 125 – 12,800
The Panasonic Lumix LX10 is another excellent point-and-shoot styled camera for concert photography. Again, this is due to its weight, size, and the number of great features Panasonic can fit in such a small place.
One noticeable aspect is that there is no viewfinder on this camera. This isn’t much of an issue in concert photography, as the LCD screen is preferred in a busy and chaotic environment. It also has a handy flip function for the LCD screen.
This camera doesn’t have the best battery life, so consider buying extra batteries. You can charge it by plugging it into a wall socket or USB port. Panasonic also features an excellent Post Focus function. This feature allows the camera to take multiple images at different focal points. It will enable you to select what aspect you want in focus. It is also an easy way to produce focus-stacked images.
- ISO 100 – 12,800
The Nikon D3300 is the perfect semi-professional camera for concert photography. It’s small, takes a good range of lenses, and packs an amazing, powerful sensor for such a small camera. It provides professional, quality images of your subject and could also be an advantage as you have a light camera, too.
The D3300 has a straightforward interface. This means it will be easier to remember where the essential buttons are in low light situations. The interface may be hard to navigate through for people with big hands as it is such a compact DSLR.
Nikon also provides a bunch of special effects presets already loaded in the camera. Effects are a fun way to add something extra to reflect better the experience you are photographing. The camera also has a five-frame-per-second burst setting. This isn’t as much as most DSLRs on this list.
- ISO 200 – 6400
Fujifilm rangefinders are great, as they are versatile in various environments. The main reason for this is their size and weight and their capabilities packed into these dimensions. For these reasons, I recommend the Fujifilm X-T10. It is a mirrorless camera with a cropped-frame sensor. But it provides professional functions.
A nice aspect is its film-imitation presets and its WiFi capabilities. The latter feature makes it easier to access your images after an exhausting night on your feet. I am also a fan of the stylish design and great selection of Fuji lenses.
- ISO 100 – 40,000 (extended)
The Canon 6D II is a great entry-level camera for photographers looking into full-frame DSLRs. It is small and has a well-defined selection of buttons for its interface. This makes it an excellent option for anyone looking for a light but professional camera for concert photography.
With Canon’s remarkable handling of digital noise in dark environments, it seems built for concert photography. Its Vari-angle LCD screen emphasises this, allowing you to see your image from well above your head.
Canon also provides you with full WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS capabilities, making it quick and easy to sort through your photographs. Amongst all this, you are still able to take full-HD videos.
As this is a professional DSLR, you will notice the weight difference compared to the other cameras on this list. So this may not be the best option if you don’t want to carry too much with you.
- ISO 100 (approximately) – 25,600
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a Micro Four Thirds system camera that is small and versatile. This camera has recently been released, so you can expect to find all the contemporary features. This includes 4K video and WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities to upload and share files easily.
With 121 autofocus (AF) points and a 15 frame-per-second burst function, missing the key moments will be on you rather than the camera. It also has a flip screen to aid you in navigating those hard-to-reach angles. The camera is so light that it also functions great as a point-and-shoot—just set it to full-auto mode.
Olympus provides a lot of different shooting options for the camera to operate in. It has 31 different filters, including an instant-camera one to capture nostalgic concert shots.
Concert photography is a subject that relies on your ability to translate the emotion of the live music you are experiencing. You can do this by getting close to the performers to convey their emotions. Or you can photograph the atmosphere created by the lights and people in the environment. All the cameras mentioned above lend themselves to this style of photography.
After reading this list, you should find the best cameras for concert photography available in your price range. Remember to study their features. Have a good think about what kind of photos you will take while shooting concerts. The more you think about it now, the less you’ll have to think about it when shooting!
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