Concert and Event Photography Gear Guide

A question that comes up quite regularly has to do with live music photography tips, page including what type of camera photography is best for shooting concerts and events. As an active Seattle live music and concert photographer since 2009, dosage I’ve cycled between Nikon and Canon cameras and have come to realize there are a plethora of choices out there. While much depends on budget and personal choice, information pills there are also industry standards. If you’re curious what most professional photographers are touting in their camera bags at concerts or events, check out my concert and event photography gear guide below!

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DSLR Cameras

While mirrorless cameras are vastly improving, I’m still drawn to DSLRs as my top choice for most professional shoots. This has to do mainly with the fact that I can get my gear immediately serviced as a member of Canon Professional Services (CPS), and the fact that DSLRs are still the industry standard among most (but definitely not all) pros who shoot concerts and corporate events. With that said, I’m a mirrorless camera owner as well, and there are definitely times and places where they shine (more on that later).

best concert photography camera

Canon 5D Mark III is my go-to DSLR for shooting everything. It has recently been replaced by the Canon 5D Mark IV, but I’m in no hurry to upgrade, as the Mark III is still a beast of a machine.

Nikon Equivalent – D810
best camera for concert and travel photography

Canon 6D is my secondary DSLR that serves as my back-up camera, and sometimes as my primary camera when I prefer to shoot with something slightly less heavy and bulky than the 5D Mark III.

Nikon Equivalent – D750

DSLR Camera Lenses

To accompany your DSLR camera of choice, these are three highly recommended lenses that will cover you from a wide 16mm to the telephoto zoom of 200mm, all at a f/2.8 aperture. In other words, these lenses are great for shooting in low lighting, so they are ideal for live music and other situations where flash photography may not be permitted. These are also the go-to arsenal of every concert photographer.

best camera for concert and travel photography

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 is an ultra-wide angle lens perfect for capturing interiors full of people, or landscapes.

Nikon Equivalent – 14-24mm f/2.8
best camera for concert and travel photography

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 is arguably the best lens for concert photography thanks to its versatile mid-range zoom. It’s ideal for just about every scenario.

Nikon Equivalent – 24-70mm f/2.8
best camera for concert and travel photography

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 – don’t be intimidated by its size. This telephoto lens is a beast that produces crisp, beautiful images. Ideal for events, concerts, and even portraiture.

Nikon Equivalent – 70-200mm f/2.8

Other Accessories

best camera for concert and travel photography

Canon 600EX-RT – Flash isn’t allowed at (most) concerts, but it never hurts to have one on hand for moments outside of the concert venue. Definitely have a flash for any other event photography.

Nikon Equivalent – SB900 Flash
best camera for concert and travel photography

Black Rapid R-Strap will make it much more comfortable and ergonomic to carry heavy camera gear. Opt for this if you’re just carrying one camera.

best camera for concert and travel photography

Hold Fast Gear Money Maker – if shooting with multiple camera bodies and/or you desire to shoot in style, opt for this sturdy, handsome leather dual camera strap.

best camera for concert and travel photography

Ear plugs – Whether you’re attending a concert for fun or especially if you’re taking photos, definitely have a pair or two of ear plugs on you. Being up front by the speakers will take a toll on your ears.

Suzi Pratt is a Seattle event, food, and travel photographer available for hire. She is also a contributing writer at Digital Photography School and runs a blog teaching others how to start a photography business.

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