What Camera is Best for Concerts?

Ah, concerts. I’m a huge concert goer, I love the energy and the enthusiasm from both the audience and the performer. 

One question I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is “What camera is best for concerts?”.

As always, it’s way more important to know the basics of photography and how to use whatever camera you have access to, but I’ll give my thoughts below. (Especially since I know some people want to go ahead and start their Christmas shopping… ^_~ ) There’s a solution for every budget!

Unfortunately, most venues won’t allow you to have a camera with a detachable lens unless you have special permission, such as a press pass. Always be sure to check the ticket or website for information on what is allowed. 

The above images were taken with what I call an “advanced point and shoot”, the Sony DSC-HX1, one of it’s cyber shot series of cameras. These “advanced P&S” cameras usually have a manual mode, a great digital zoom, are lightweight and durable. 

Obviously they have limitations, but they are great for their cost and can be used for most of your everyday needs as well. I used that Cybershot for several years on a daily basis. Some of my favorite shots were taken with it. 

What I currently am taking to concerts with me is my Fuji x100T. It’s amazingly lightweight, and has so much flexibility in what I can do with it. The only downside is that it is a fixed lens (no zoom). It can shoot raw, has a low aperture, and good ISO ranges. 

You can get great images even with a point and shoot camera, but you have to really be aware of how you use it. The above images were taken with an Olympus TG 830. P&S cameras are sometimes even trickier than phone cameras to figure out the best settings, but they sure come in handy.

And then, of course, you have the most accessible camera: your phone. There’s no shame in using a phone camera, like some people think. You can capture some great images using one.

Ultimately, the best way to improve your concert photography is to learn your camera, and start timing your shots: if you pay attention, you can usually tell when a performer is about to have a big finish, add a flair, or do something else engaging. 

One of the best places to practice? Supporting your local bands at their shows. They will be thrilled to have you there and who knows? You not only will hear some great new music, you might even make new friends.

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