Anonymous asked in Consumer ElectronicsCameras · 1 decade ago

What is the best compact digital camera to use at live music concerts and gigs?


Looking for help with a decision on purchasing a new compact camera.

I'm a rock concert promoter / organizer and avid live music fan and am always keen to try and capture great moments at different shows. Even though the live band shots are my main priority, I also want an everyday camera that can fit into my jeans or jacket pocket for other occasions, hence the compact requirement.

My photography skill level is between beginner and intermediate. I am always finding tips on taking good shots and have tried to applied them. This has led me to gain little experience dealing with manual options on cameras, but always trying to change settings to try to get the best picture I can.

The main requirement I have in a camera is to be able to take good quality shots of live rock bands from two perspectives:

a) From within the crowd at a large festival

b) Right by the band in a small bar / pub

Other Requirements are fairly basic:

1. Image Stabilizer - Considering how difficult it is to keep my hands steady while in a crowd of thousands.

2. Optical Zoom of 5x, 6x, or higher - To be able to get as reasonably close a shot as I can.

3. Minimum Mega Pixels = 8MP - For Quality Purposes.

4. Decent Shot to Shot Time - To quickly take shots continuously

5. Decent Battery Life - As I will be away for long periods of time from an outlet to recharge. If necessary of course.

Now I am aware of the difficulties of taking shots of live bands as I have been doing so with compact cameras for a while now; mainly issues with lighting. Also aware of the limited capabilities with compact cameras. However, most of the photos are for personal use rather than professional. Still, it would be great to be able to have high end shots close to, if possible, professional level.

I've been doing research for a while and keep coming back to the Canon PowerShot A720 IS as a prime candidate. But some reviews mention that it is poor in low light scenarios (does this apply to nighttime outdoor festivals?) and has a slow Shot-to-Shot time. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T100 is my second choice at the moment. The Canon G9 seems like a good choice but I’m anxious that the price of the camera is beyond my skill level.

Any help or tips are much appreciated. Hope to make a final decision soon as I am set travel in a few days.


2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Canon G9 is by far the best compact camera among photography enthusiasts, so if you can afford it, go for it. Otherwise I'll recommend the Panasonic DMC-FZ28K, which is coming out this fall. It offers 10 megapixels of resolution, high quality lens, and a 18x zoom, perfect for getting in close when your not. Of course, compact cameras cant really compare to slrs in terms of image quality, so get one when your budget and skill level allows for it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Assuming that you have permission to take these pictures, I've read that there is no compact digital that will do what you want it to do. They are not capable of taking good pics in low light.

    In order to take good photos at concerts, you really need a DSLR, and the cheapest one of those would be a little less then $500. But then you would need a long lens to take the shots from the audience. Save your money awhile longer and get a DSLR, or buy a compact now and be disappointed. Sorry.

    Most concerts do not allow DSLRs either, so if you try to take one of those in, it would be taken away from you, and you might not see it again. Unless you had a press pass, of course. They just do not want people taking good photos!

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