Best Camera for Concert Photography

If you are looking for the best cameras for concert photography, you might want to consider your budget, the ISO range, and autofocus system. I’ve summarized my top picks below based on these buying factors. Read on to learn about why they are important.

For me, it is essential to capture every moment when attending concerts of your favorite bands and singers.

But concert photography, like other types of photography, has its number of challenges.

First of all, concert venues are mostly dark, despite all the light stages. You would need a camera that performs well in low-light situations.

You must also consider the performers. Since they are usually moving around the stage, you may find it hard to capture sharp, in-focus photos.

Fortunately, there are several cameras on the market that best suit concert photography. These models have reliable low-light performance and autofocus capabilities. 

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid concert-goer or a professional concert photographer. You wouldn’t miss a shot of the event with these cameras.

Below, we listed the best cameras for concert photography. We researched several online sources and customer reviews to come up with these top picks.

Let’s get on with the article!

Types of Cameras for Concert Photography

Before discussing our top choices, we would like to list down the cameras you can use for gigs. Here are the types of concert cameras you can buy.

DSLR Cameras

Nikon D750 FX-format DSLR Camera

Digital single-lens reflex cameras, or DSLRs, are among the most popular option for concert photography.

These types of cameras offer excellent photo and video quality, even in low-light situations. 

They are also compatible with a wide range of lenses. Thus, you can find a lot of lenses for a particular DSLR model. They can give you flexibility, allowing you to capture different kinds of shots.

Finally, DSLRs are generally cheaper than the next type of camera we will discuss. You can buy models packed with robust features at a lower price.

But it’s still important to note that professional-level cameras can be costly. Nevertheless, they deliver excellent value for the price.

Mirrorless Cameras

Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera

These types of cameras were not a favorite among most concert photographers in the past. They had shorter battery life and limited lens options.

But thanks to the emergence of new technology, some concert photography pros are now switching to mirrorless models.

One of their main advantages is their faster performance and better autofocus. This is because they do not have the reflex mirror found on a DSLR camera body. As such, the image directly passes through the sensor.

Mirrorless models have a lightweight and compact body. This makes them easier to carry in concerts.

And unlike before, you can now find a range of camera lenses compatible with mirrorless devices. 

Battery life is also improving so that you can shoot for more extended periods.

The only downside is that they are usually a bit pricier in terms of performance than DSLR models. 

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Panasonic Lumix 4K Point and Shoot Camera

Point-and-shoot cameras are significantly smaller and lighter than DSLRs and mirrorless models. As such, concert photographers can easily sneak these camera bodies inside the concert venue.

Additionally, these cameras can take great concert photos and videos.

They are also cheaper, making it a perfect choice for those on a budget.

But there are a few downsides to a point-and-shoot or compact camera.

First, it does not have the best low-light performance due to their smaller sensors.

It also lacks the versatility of DSLR cameras and mirrorless systems because of its built-in camera lens.

Nevertheless, a point-and-shoot model can meet the needs of casual concert-goers or enthusiast photographers.

5 Best Cameras for Concert Photography

Now that you are aware of the types of concert cameras, here are the five best models for concert photography.

Sony a7 III – Best Overall Camera for Concert Photography

Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera

If you are looking for the best camera to bring to concerts, look no further than the Sony a7 III.

This mirrorless camera features a full-frame CMOS sensor. It allows more light in your images than other smaller sensors.

The result is excellent low-light performance. So even if you’re shooting at high ISO settings, you can capture photos with lesser grain or noise. This ensures beautifully detailed concert images.

The a7 III also boasts a 93% autofocus coverage. It has 693 phase-detection points and 425 for contrast detection to give you incredibly sharp results.

Moreover, it is capable of 10 fps continuous shooting. This makes it easier to photograph the singers, even if they are moving on the stage.

On top of all these benefits, it has a larger, Z-type battery. This camera can last longer than other mirrorless models.

The Sony a7III can ultimately take your concert photos to the next level. It offers an excellent balance between performance, speed, and price point. In our opinion, this one is the best camera for concert photography today.

Canon 6D Mark II – Best Full-Frame Camera for Concert Photography

Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera

The Canon 6D Mark II is another full-frame camera that delivers incredible results.

It has a 26-megapixel sensor with two autofocus systems.

The Dual Pixel technology ensures accurate and easy focus during live view shooting.

Meanwhile, the main AF module features 45 phase-detection points. It allows you to capture artists in sharp detail, even if they are moving around the stage.

Besides excellent autofocus capabilities, the 6D Mark II offers reliable low-light performance. It has an expandable range of ISO 100-102,400. This ISO speed is more than enough to shoot in dimly-lit concerts.

Furthermore, this full-frame camera comes with an articulated touchscreen. Choosing between settings and selecting AF points is now easier than ever. 

Finally, it is cheaper than other high tech cameras. Hence, you can take advantage of several robust features at a lower price.

Overall, the 6D Mark II is one of the best cameras for concert photography. We recommend it to anyone who wants stunning images at an affordable price.

Fujifilm X-T10 – Best Mirrorless Camera for Concert Photography

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera

If you want the best mirrorless camera to capture concert photos, consider the Fujifilm X-T10.

It features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and EXR Processor II. It can deliver stunningly detailed photos, whether it’s a wide shot of the stage or a portrait of the singer.

The X-T10 also has a hybrid autofocus system. Its 77 contrast-detect points and 15 phase-detect points are enough to give you sharp images during concerts.

Additionally, this mirrorless model allows you to shoot up to 8 fps in burst mode. It helps you capture every moment of the concert.

What’s more, it offers an ISO range that spans from 200 to 51,200. This ISO setting allows you to shoot in the dark with ease.

Finally, the X-T10 comes with a pop-up flash and tilting screen. These can be hard to find in other mirrorless models.

All these features make the Fujifilm X-T10 one of the best cameras for concert photography.

Sony a6000 – Best Beginner Camera for Concert Photography

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Although it’s an older model, the Sony a6000 still packs powerful features ideal for concert photography.

This mirrorless device has a 24-megapixel sensor with a wide dynamic range. It captures concert photos in rich detail.

Meanwhile, it allows for ISO speeds of 100-3200, which can expand up to 25,600. It can produce brilliant images, even in low-light shooting conditions.

Additionally, the a6000 comes with a hybrid AF system. There’s also a maximum burst rate of 11 fps. These features ensure that your photos are in focus, which is crucial in live shows.

Furthermore, the camera includes an electronic viewfinder and a user-friendly interface. It enables you to access the menu and settings quickly.

With these in mind, we recommend the Sony a6000 for beginners. Casual concert-goers or hobbyist events photographers would find the customizable controls useful.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – Best Value Camera for Concert Photography

Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR Camera

The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is one of the best cameras for concert photography.

It has a 22 megapixels full-frame sensor and an expanded range of ISO 100-256000. The 5D Mark III performs well in low-light conditions, which is ideal for concert shooting.

Together with Canon’s DIGIC 5+ image processor, it offers high-quality images and videos.

In addition, the camera features a 61-point autofocus system. It allows you to capture the fast movements of the performers with ease.

Furthermore, there is a Dual-Pixel CMOS AF for live view. Through this, you can easily compose a perfectly-focused shot.

The only downside is that it can only shoot up to 6 fps. While this is good, it’s not the fastest continuous shooting mode on the market.

Also, it is an older model. Some functions are already outdated, which can hinder you from capturing the best possible concert photos.

Nevertheless, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III has robust features and high speeds. This camera can still rival several full-frame models in recent years. It offers the best value for your money.

Things to Look When Buying Concert Cameras

Are you still unsure which concert camera to buy? Don’t worry; we got you covered!

Below, we will discuss the things to know when buying a camera for concert photography.

Budget

This is perhaps the first thing you need to consider before cameras for concerts.

Sure, advanced cameras feature the latest technology with excellent low-light capabilities. But can you afford to buy these expensive models? 

Or are you a beginner and have a set budget? If so, it might be best to start with cheaper cameras. Depending on their specs, these models can still deliver high-quality concert photos.

Once you’ve determined your budget, you can narrow down your choices for the best camera.

ISO Range

Besides the budget, you must look for a camera with a great ISO range.

This doesn’t mean that a device with the most extensive ISO range offers the best image quality.

For instance, a camera with ISO 100-128,000 can be pointless if the photos at ISO 1,600 have too much digital noise.

Instead, you must look for a concert photography camera that has the least grain at a certain ISO setting. This type of camera can offer better image quality.

You don’t always have to use the highest number anyway. As much as possible, keep the ISO low to avoid noise on your concert photos.

Focus System

After the ISO range, you should consider the focus system of the camera.

Look for a camera with the most focus points that you can afford. It’s also best to buy a camera that has cross-points or hybrid AF systems.

These would ensure your concert photos are in focus and sharp.

Frame Rate

Finally, you should consider the frame rate when buying a camera for concert photography.

You must look for a camera with a burst shooting mode. It allows you to capture the performers’ movements on the stage.

In general, choose a camera that can shoot at least 6 fps.

But if you can afford it, you should get a device with the ability to shoot up to 9 fps. This makes the difference between sharp and blurred photos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best camera for event photography?

There is no one best camera for event photography. A good camera for a professional concert photographer might not be the right fit for you, and vice versa. That’s why it is essential to consider your needs and personal preferences before buying a concert photography camera.

Are mirrorless cameras good for concert photography?

A mirrorless camera is an excellent option when shooting concerts. It features a robust image sensor and an advanced processor to offer excellent image quality, even in low-light situations. It is also more compact and lightweight than DSLRs, making it easy to achieve great shots and pack inside a camera bag. Some models even include in-body image stabilization to correct camera shake. 

The only downside is that a mirrorless system often has a short battery life. With that said, it is easy to carry extra battery packs to extend power.

What are the best camera settings for concerts?

The best settings for shooting concerts will depend on the subject and the lighting within a scene. But in general, I highly recommend shooting with the following settings:

  • Exposure Mode: Manual. It gives you total control of the camera, making it easy to control exposure levels. 
  • Aperture: f/2.8 or wider. It allows more light into the sensor, ideal for low-light situations like concerts.
  • Shutter Speed: 1/100 or faster. This setting eliminates shake, while letting you capture fast-moving actions of the performers on stage.
  • ISO: 1600-3200 or higher. However, do not go overboard with the ISO because a higher speed introduces more digital noise in your photos.
  • AF Setting: AF-C/AI Servo AF.
  • White Balance: Auto WB.
  • Drive Mode: Continuous High.
  • File Format: RAW.

What lens is best for concert photography?

The best lens for concert photography cameras rely on the type of images you want to achieve. But as a rule of thumb, a concert lens must have a large maximum aperture (f/1.2-f/2.8) to let more light into the sensor. It would also help if a lens has built-in image stabilization and a lightweight construction. The former can minimize shake, while the latter makes it easy to carry for extended shooting periods.

Conclusion

That concludes our list of the best concert photography cameras!

We picked the Sony a7 III as the overall best concert photography camera. We love how it can deliver high-quality photos, even in low-light. We also appreciate its dual AF coverage and burst shooting mode up to 10 fps. These features ensure that your concert photos are sharp and in focus.
Visit this link to buy the Sony a7 III today.