Shooting live music events can be both challenging and rewarding. Having the right kit for the job is half of the problem, since difficult lighting can be par for the course at concerts. And although your camera may be able to take great photos in more favourable conditions, the unique challenges faced at a gig can call for some specialised equipment.
This guide to cameras for photographing gigs has been designed to help photographers of all skill levels and budgets to choose the right gear for concert shooting.
Whether you're a casual or beginner photographer, an intermediate photographer who takes things more seriously, or an aspiring professional, the best kit for shooting pictures at events is detailed here.
So what challenges can you expect to face? A lot will depend on the kind of venue the event is hosted by. The most common types of events include those hosted at small pubs or bars, medium to large venues, arenas and outdoor festivals.
Each kind of venue involves different challenges, whether it be with the lighting, or the space available to shoot from.
For example, gigs held at small bars and pubs will often have poor lighting and no separate space to take photos from, whereas arena gigs often require photographers to shoot from the sound desk at the back of the venue, especially when the event is seated, or the artist is a well-known pop singer. Each will place different demands on the photographer, and the kit you use.
Larger venues often require a photo pass to enable you to take interchangeable lens cameras into the event.
If you're not lucky enough to obtain accreditation, will we also detail suitable cameras for taking pictures from the crowd. In these cases, do be careful to check your ticket, since some venues and artists ban photography altogether.
So now let's get on and check out the best camera for every different kind of gig environment you could possibly find.