Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Mark Sloe Regular Member • Posts: 326
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

shriekyphantom wrote:

Good day!

I was inspired to start studying photography after watching many rock concerts (live and Blu-rays) and seeing some pictures of those concerts which were taken by the official photographers. Unfortunately, I don't have any knowledge in photography but I have already started reading and watching some videos for the basic information.

As stated in the title, my ultimate goal is to shoot photos like those in rock concerts but I am not aiming to become a professional photographer. Just being able to shoot pictures like those is enough for me.

Here are some of the pictures that I was talking about:

With that being said, can someone recommend me a good camera and lens that will suit my current status? Right now, after buying a camera, I am planning to practice first on landscapes since they don't change much in a short period of time.

As for the budget, I really can't say exactly how much but as much as possible, I want it to be cheap but at the same time, I can use it easily for my ultimate goal.

Thank you!

Not my genre at all, practicalities aside and strictly technically speaking, you will shoot moving subjects on the stage in the dark potentially against bright lights so you are looking for a high dynamic range performance and good high ISO performance from the camera sensor, reliable autofocus in low light/back-lit scenes and perhaps a reasonable fps and buffer for bursts.

Best choice is a full frame sensor. Going with a smaller sensor cripples your light gathering capability from the get-go and you will be limited on fast glass.

Megapixels - the more is not always merrier. Generally, when pushing ISO up, higher MP camera will show more noise than a lower MP camera. That's why many pro-grade DSLRs like Canon 1D/1Dx series or Nikon Ds do not exceed 20MP. With some high mp modern sensors you get pretty close in per, but... it depends on how close to perfection you want to push it.

Lenses - as suggested by others, you would be looking at f2.8 lenses or faster. As you are a beginner, a standard zoom (24-70mm) would be a good place to start to have flexibility in focal lengths until you figure out what works for you. F2.8 zooms are expensive and rather large.

So which cameras would I consider if I was in your predicament? I would look at used DSLRs to keep the cost of a body with a 24-70mm f2.8 zoom within reasonable limits.

D750 - a good all-rounder, very popular with pros and enthusiasts, landscape and event shooters, great value second hand options, very good dynamic range, decent autofocus. Nikon's FX lens line-up is well regarded and there are 3rd party options too to help budgeting.

Canon 5D mkiii - a bit older than the D750 which shows mostly in the sensor department (particularily the dynamic range), but this is a pro body with excellent af and I personally prefer Canon EF lens line-up over the Nikon's FX (but we are really splitting hairs here). There are many 3rd party options for Canon EF too. Many rave about Canon colours, especially skin tones. I would go down this route if I got a significantly better deal on the lens+body combo over the D750.

This is a good video comparing the two:

Canon 1DX,/Nikon D4s - if you want to push the budget for a body specifically developed for low light action with better autofocus, better high ISO performance and burst rate. The bodies are bigger, you will be losing some resolution and since these were mostly used by pros, second hand options will have been used a lot (albeit looked after well).

What about mirrorless? Sony A9 and A9II come to mind if money is no object, the rest of the crowd are lacking in autofocus department. But I do not see much value in going down this route for a beginner.

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