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

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

techie takes pics Senior Member • Posts: 1,244
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

Those pictures show good positioning, experience and post-processing to me.

Very little to do with equipment.

 techie takes pics's gear list:techie takes pics's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus E-M5 III Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS +6 more
mostlyboringphotog Veteran Member • Posts: 9,515
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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

I realize this will sound rather unkind but that's certainly not the intention. In fact, I admire your gumption to start from the top

However, for now your ambition is way ahead of any camera consideration.

First of all, unless you have stage pass, you won't get that close and many venues prohibit audience photography with "real camera".

And the stage lighting is one of the most difficult to master for a casual photographers. And the performers tend to move around, from near total darkness to the bright spot light.

If you are interested in photography, get some entry level DSLR (even a second hand gear) and either sign up for a photography class or some training video (but I recommend in person class) and start practicing.

Best easy-to-use cameras in 2020 in the Buying guide list some entry level cameras.

One thing you will learn first is that all those flash going off at a concert is totally meaning less...

Good luck.

 mostlyboringphotog's gear list:mostlyboringphotog's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Nikon 1 J5 Pentax 645Z Canon EOS RP Fujifilm GFX 50R
jkokura Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts
2

Hard to say the exact equipment that those photos were taken with, however, we can see a couple things

- Extreme wide angle photos and normal focal angle photos likely indicates more than one lens.

- The dark atmosphere of concerts, and the need to adjust focal length quickly would indicate pro-level F2.8 zooms

In most cases, you're looking for a good full frame camera of pro or prosumer rating. I'm familiar with Nikon, so you're looking at a Nikon D5/DS850/D780 in the DSLR range, and the Nikon Z7II in the mirrorless range.

In most cases you're looking for a set of F2.8 range pro zoom lenses. The typical 'trinity' set includes a 14-24mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm. For a typical shoot like you're taking you'd likely just be using the first two, and rarely the 3rd.

Jacob

 jkokura's gear list:jkokura's gear list
Nikon D5600 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Samyang 16mm F2 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition +4 more
ChelseaPhotographer
ChelseaPhotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 733
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts
4

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

You are going to get some conflicting advice on this. Be careful, because some of this advice will send you down the wrong path. I understand that the people giving you advice are trying to help you, but the wrong advice will hurt your efforts instead. These are some examples:

"Very little to do with equipment"

"get some entry level DSLR"

"Best easy-to-use cameras in 2020 in the Buying guide list some entry level cameras.

One thing you will learn first is that all those flash going off at a concert is totally meaning less..."

However, Jacob has also given you some really good advice:

"The dark atmosphere of concerts, and the need to adjust focal length quickly would indicate pro-level F2.8 zooms

In most cases, you're looking for a good full frame camera of pro or prosumer rating. I'm familiar with Nikon, so you're looking at a Nikon D5/DS850/D780 in the DSLR range, and the Nikon Z7II in the mirrorless range.

In most cases you're looking for a set of F2.8 range pro zoom lenses. The typical 'trinity' set includes a 14-24mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm. For a typical shoot like you're taking you'd likely just be using the first two, and rarely the 3rd"

I do live events like these, and actually, if you know what you are doing, they are pretty easy to do, BUT you definitely need the right equipment. I'll tell you first about equipment and then about technique.

Equipment:

You need a really good full-frame DSLR (Pro or Prosumer) and you have to go with Canon or Nikon (Pentax won't cut it), so we are talking Canon 1DX (Mark I, II, III), Canon 1Ds Mark III, Canon 5D Mark III and IV, and I wouldn't recommend it because of the bad dynamic range, but the 6D Mark II should be able to do it too. The 7D Mark II will be able to do it, but you really don't want to go to APS-C. With Nikon the D5, D6 and the D850 will be able to do it without any problems. I wouldn't trust the D750 to do it. But the D500 will cut it, but again, I wouldn't do APS-C.

If you have a ton of money, the Pro cameras are great, but personally I would go with either the Canon 5DIV or the Nikon D850. I feel the Canon AF points cover slightly more vertical range, and at higher ISOs, I like the look of Canon better, but I prefer the dynamic range of the D850 and the much higher resolution.

In terms of lenses, you need really fast lenses: f/2.8 or faster. A few friends who shoot this kind of work use really fast primes, and they produce lovely work, but personally I prefer to work with zooms. You should note that even if you are not shooting at f/2.8, it is very important to have fast lenses, because the widest aperture is what the camera uses for focusing. And right before the photo is taken it closes the aperture to the one you specified. So an f/4 lens might not be able to focus, whereas an f/2.8 lens shooting at f/4 will.

The zoom lens that I use the most is the 24-70 f/2.8. You will also want a 16-35 f/2.8 for when the talent is right in front of you, and for when you are further away, you will need a 70-200 f/2.8. But start in that order.

Technique

I use fill flash in some of my photos (about 50% of the time). One advantage in very low light situations is that the flash will use its powerful focusing pattern to nail the focus. You can also use the flash to freeze the action and drag your exposure a little to let the ambient light give you a sense of motion. The lighting in these concerts tends to be very theatrical, and you do want your photos to reflect that. Very often my photos look like I didn't use flash, when in fact I did. But the flash exposure compensation is reduced a lot. From minus 2/3 to minus 2.

If you are not using flash, you need faster shutter speeds to freeze the action. But don't go super fast because your photos will be dark

Getting your ISO right is very important. In these stages, light changes super fast. Faster than you can react to it, so you want to shoot auto ISO, BUT don't let your ISO go too high. I limit my range from 100 - 1000, so if the lights get super bright for one second, the camera will immediately lower the ISO.

Dynamic range here is your friend. It is very tiresome to hear people in this forum tell you that if you get your exposure right, you don't need to push the shadows. But with this type of photography, it is very easy to blow out your highlights, so generally you will be underexposing. I tend to underexpose anywhere between 2/3 to 1 1/3 of a stop

This image that you shared shows dragging of the shutter speed, which can be used creatively to great effect:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

Literally what the photographer did was capture the drummer and then move the camera around the stage while the shutter was still open. The face of the drummer is blown out, though. If you rely on your flash to do that, it will not get blown out.

If you would like to see some of my work, you can do so here:

https://www.instagram.com/achelseaphotographer/

I hope this helps you and good luck with your journey!

 ChelseaPhotographer's gear list:ChelseaPhotographer's gear list
Ricoh GR III SeaLife DC2000 Canon EOS 5DS Pentax 645Z Nikon D850 +1 more
InkedMarie
InkedMarie Senior Member • Posts: 1,287
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

I can’t answer your questions but I do want to say that unless you have a press pass, you most likely won’t be able to bring the camera you’d need inside.

Marie

 InkedMarie's gear list:InkedMarie's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Panasonic 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 +1 more
Mark Sloe Regular Member • Posts: 326
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts
2

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZtUZvoeO0

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.

-- hide signature --
 Mark Sloe's gear list:Mark Sloe's gear list
Sony a7R III Sony FE 24-105mm F4
ly2photos
ly2photos Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

Mark Sloe wrote:

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.

For mirrorless, the new A7S3 seems like a good choice! All the review point out that it is FANTASTIC in low light!

-- hide signature --
 ly2photos's gear list:ly2photos's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
Anders_K Contributing Member • Posts: 892
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

You got lots of valuable responses from pro-sumer perspective. Now somewhat different, more from a hobbyist side:

If you shoot from the crowd, you need to shoot overhead to the stage. So the camera must be small, with tilt screen, good in dim light.

A compact Sony RX100 M5a come to my mind. But there are others.

beagle1 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,165
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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

with a press pass -  Canon R5 or R6 -  24 - 70 lens

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

mostlyboringphotog wrote:

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

I realize this will sound rather unkind but that's certainly not the intention. In fact, I admire your gumption to start from the top

However, for now your ambition is way ahead of any camera consideration.

First of all, unless you have stage pass, you won't get that close and many venues prohibit audience photography with "real camera".

And the stage lighting is one of the most difficult to master for a casual photographers. And the performers tend to move around, from near total darkness to the bright spot light.

If you are interested in photography, get some entry level DSLR (even a second hand gear) and either sign up for a photography class or some training video (but I recommend in person class) and start practicing.

Best easy-to-use cameras in 2020 in the Buying guide list some entry level cameras.

One thing you will learn first is that all those flash going off at a concert is totally meaning less...

Good luck.

Shooting really good pictures in a dark environment with dynamic lighting while your models don't stop moving is really the one that amazed me and inspired me to start learning photography and I know that it will be really hard and will take a lot of time and experience.

As for the distance problem, there are street performances or small live houses in our area where people or local bands perform and I think if you asked for permission first, they will allow you to shoot pictures.

In your opinion, since I am aiming for that kind of photography, which is better to serve that purpose? Full frame mirrorless  camera or DSLR camera?

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

techie takes pics wrote:

Those pictures show good positioning, experience and post-processing to me.

Very little to do with equipment.

I know that it still comes down to the skills and since the pictures were taken by the official photographers, they can get close to the stage but if I don't start learning and practicing, I am not going to gain any skills or experience.

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

beagle1 wrote:

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

with a press pass - Canon R5 or R6 - 24 - 70 lens

I will consider this.

Thank you!

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

Anders_K wrote:

You got lots of valuable responses from pro-sumer perspective. Now somewhat different, more from a hobbyist side:

If you shoot from the crowd, you need to shoot overhead to the stage. So the camera must be small, with tilt screen, good in dim light.

A compact Sony RX100 M5a come to my mind. But there are others.

Thank you for your suggestion!

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

Mark Sloe wrote:

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZtUZvoeO0

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.

Thank you for the detailed explanation and suggestions.

I will check these.

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

nayyyyyyy7 wrote:

Mark Sloe wrote:

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.

For mirrorless, the new A7S3 seems like a good choice! All the review point out that it is FANTASTIC in low light!

Thank you for the suggestion!

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts
1

ChelseaPhotographer wrote:

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

You are going to get some conflicting advice on this. Be careful, because some of this advice will send you down the wrong path. I understand that the people giving you advice are trying to help you, but the wrong advice will hurt your efforts instead. These are some examples:

"Very little to do with equipment"

"get some entry level DSLR"

"Best easy-to-use cameras in 2020 in the Buying guide list some entry level cameras.

One thing you will learn first is that all those flash going off at a concert is totally meaning less..."

However, Jacob has also given you some really good advice:

"The dark atmosphere of concerts, and the need to adjust focal length quickly would indicate pro-level F2.8 zooms

In most cases, you're looking for a good full frame camera of pro or prosumer rating. I'm familiar with Nikon, so you're looking at a Nikon D5/DS850/D780 in the DSLR range, and the Nikon Z7II in the mirrorless range.

In most cases you're looking for a set of F2.8 range pro zoom lenses. The typical 'trinity' set includes a 14-24mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm. For a typical shoot like you're taking you'd likely just be using the first two, and rarely the 3rd"

I do live events like these, and actually, if you know what you are doing, they are pretty easy to do, BUT you definitely need the right equipment. I'll tell you first about equipment and then about technique.

Equipment:

You need a really good full-frame DSLR (Pro or Prosumer) and you have to go with Canon or Nikon (Pentax won't cut it), so we are talking Canon 1DX (Mark I, II, III), Canon 1Ds Mark III, Canon 5D Mark III and IV, and I wouldn't recommend it because of the bad dynamic range, but the 6D Mark II should be able to do it too. The 7D Mark II will be able to do it, but you really don't want to go to APS-C. With Nikon the D5, D6 and the D850 will be able to do it without any problems. I wouldn't trust the D750 to do it. But the D500 will cut it, but again, I wouldn't do APS-C.

If you have a ton of money, the Pro cameras are great, but personally I would go with either the Canon 5DIV or the Nikon D850. I feel the Canon AF points cover slightly more vertical range, and at higher ISOs, I like the look of Canon better, but I prefer the dynamic range of the D850 and the much higher resolution.

In terms of lenses, you need really fast lenses: f/2.8 or faster. A few friends who shoot this kind of work use really fast primes, and they produce lovely work, but personally I prefer to work with zooms. You should note that even if you are not shooting at f/2.8, it is very important to have fast lenses, because the widest aperture is what the camera uses for focusing. And right before the photo is taken it closes the aperture to the one you specified. So an f/4 lens might not be able to focus, whereas an f/2.8 lens shooting at f/4 will.

The zoom lens that I use the most is the 24-70 f/2.8. You will also want a 16-35 f/2.8 for when the talent is right in front of you, and for when you are further away, you will need a 70-200 f/2.8. But start in that order.

Technique

I use fill flash in some of my photos (about 50% of the time). One advantage in very low light situations is that the flash will use its powerful focusing pattern to nail the focus. You can also use the flash to freeze the action and drag your exposure a little to let the ambient light give you a sense of motion. The lighting in these concerts tends to be very theatrical, and you do want your photos to reflect that. Very often my photos look like I didn't use flash, when in fact I did. But the flash exposure compensation is reduced a lot. From minus 2/3 to minus 2.

If you are not using flash, you need faster shutter speeds to freeze the action. But don't go super fast because your photos will be dark

Getting your ISO right is very important. In these stages, light changes super fast. Faster than you can react to it, so you want to shoot auto ISO, BUT don't let your ISO go too high. I limit my range from 100 - 1000, so if the lights get super bright for one second, the camera will immediately lower the ISO.

Dynamic range here is your friend. It is very tiresome to hear people in this forum tell you that if you get your exposure right, you don't need to push the shadows. But with this type of photography, it is very easy to blow out your highlights, so generally you will be underexposing. I tend to underexpose anywhere between 2/3 to 1 1/3 of a stop

This image that you shared shows dragging of the shutter speed, which can be used creatively to great effect:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

Literally what the photographer did was capture the drummer and then move the camera around the stage while the shutter was still open. The face of the drummer is blown out, though. If you rely on your flash to do that, it will not get blown out.

If you would like to see some of my work, you can do so here:

https://www.instagram.com/achelseaphotographer/

I hope this helps you and good luck with your journey!

Thank you for the detailed explanation and tips. I will try to study it and also check your suggestions!

OP shriekyphantom New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

jkokura wrote:

Hard to say the exact equipment that those photos were taken with, however, we can see a couple things

- Extreme wide angle photos and normal focal angle photos likely indicates more than one lens.

- The dark atmosphere of concerts, and the need to adjust focal length quickly would indicate pro-level F2.8 zooms

In most cases, you're looking for a good full frame camera of pro or prosumer rating. I'm familiar with Nikon, so you're looking at a Nikon D5/DS850/D780 in the DSLR range, and the Nikon Z7II in the mirrorless range.

In most cases you're looking for a set of F2.8 range pro zoom lenses. The typical 'trinity' set includes a 14-24mm, a 24-70mm, and a 70-200mm. For a typical shoot like you're taking you'd likely just be using the first two, and rarely the 3rd.

Jacob

Thank you for the suggestions and tips!

I will also check those cameras.

ly2photos
ly2photos Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

beagle1 wrote:

with a press pass - Canon R5 or R6 - 24 - 70 lens

RF 28-70 is also great! Although it is a bit more expensive, it gives you a stop more light and replaces most primes! Great for low light!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujNzNiVTa_Y

Here's a review of it!

-- hide signature --
 ly2photos's gear list:ly2photos's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
mostlyboringphotog Veteran Member • Posts: 9,515
Re: Equipment Suggestions for a Beginner whose Target is to Shoot Rock Concerts

shriekyphantom wrote:

beagle1 wrote:

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4RrtR5j6dj/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfsiOg5TH/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfqhWAOpx/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGcfvn_gBDS/

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!

with a press pass - Canon R5 or R6 - 24 - 70 lens

I will consider this.

Thank you!

Have you tried to take any photo at a rock concert?

 mostlyboringphotog's gear list:mostlyboringphotog's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Nikon 1 J5 Pentax 645Z Canon EOS RP Fujifilm GFX 50R
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads