As concert photographer, we know that shooting in low light, and fast action is not an easy feat, and most of the time it does seem that it requires one big professional full-frame camera, but I think that might not be true, as great photos can be taken from almost any modern camera now, with some limitations of course, and one of the great options (and how I started) is looking at APS-C Mirrorless cameras: they provide high-quality performance, are portable and light and also usually are more budget-friendly than their Full Frame equivalents, making a great option for starters or a B camera.

Below I’m going for some suggestions that I think can be a good start for concert photography with APS-C Cameras:

1. Sony A6000 Series (£429.00 to £1449.00)

Basic Specs

The Sony A6000 was my first camera and its APS-C sensor, rapid autofocus, and sleek, compact design made it a great choice at the time. For their size and features, they’re still my top choice, having a range of lenses that can help in low light, and being incredibly dynamic for today’s needs and their new versions just keep improving release after release.

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordability: One of the most cost-effective options in the mirrorless category, ranging from £400 for the A6000 to £1.449 for the newest released A6700)
  • Image Quality: Despite its affordability, it doesn’t compromise image clarity and colour accuracy.
  • Versatility: Performs exceptionally well in various lighting conditions, a common challenge in concert settings.

Limitations

  • Modern Features: Some older models in the series (like the A6000) might not have the latest features like 4K video and most advanced autofocus or in-camera stabilization.

Recommended Lenses

  • Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS: Ideal for portraits and low-light conditions.
  • Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN: Offers a balance between wide and portrait focal lengths.
  • Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS: Perfect for capturing the grandeur of the stage.
Max & Iggor - Back to Roots at Melkweg Amsterdam
Taken with Sony A6000 and Sigma 60mm f/2.8 dn art @cacei.ro

2. Fujifilm X-T30 (~ £799.00)

Basic Specs

The X-T30 from Fujifilm features a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and offers 4K video capabilities, all wrapped in a stylish, compact body.

Reasons to Buy

  • Image Quality: Known for its stunning image quality and colour reproduction, thanks to Fujifilm’s unique sensor design.
  • Film Simulation Modes: Adds an artistic touch to your concert photos, similar to classic Fujifilm stocks.
  • User Interface: Intuitive controls that are easy to navigate in fast-paced environments.

Limitations

  • Ergonomics: The smaller grip may be less comfortable for extended shooting sessions.

Recommended Lenses & Average Prices

  • Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS: A versatile zoom lens for varied shooting scenarios.
  • Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR: Great for capturing detailed artist shots.
Taken by Radhika Marya with Fuji X-T30 and XF35mm

3. Canon EOS M6 Mark II (~£690 used)

Basic Specs

The EOS M6 Mark II boasts a 32.5MP APS-C sensor, providing the highest image resolution of my recommendations. It also features Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF and can shoot up to 14fps, making it great for capturing fast-paced concert moments.

Reasons to Buy

  • High Resolution: Delivers crisp, detailed images, even in challenging lighting. Great for cropping if needed.
  • Autofocus Performance: Fast and reliable autofocus keeps up with stage action.
  • Compactness: Easy to carry around, a significant advantage in crowded concert venues.

Limitations

  • In-Body Stabilization: The absence of this feature might be a drawback in low-light conditions.
  • Lens Selection: Limited native lens options for the EOS M range.

Recommended Lenses & Average Prices

  • Canon EF-M 22mm f2 STM: A compact prime lens for wider shots.
  • Canon EF-M 32mm f1.4 STM: Ideal for detailed close-ups of performers.
Taken byMiguel Rodriguez with Canon M6 and EF 50mm f/1.8

Conclusion

Mirrorless APS-C cameras, with their blend of quality, affordability, and compactness, are excellent choices for concert photography. The Sony A6000 series, Fujifilm X-T30, and Canon EOS M6 Mark II each offer unique features that cater to the specific demands of concert photography. As you select your camera, consider your shooting style and the specific requirements of concert environments to find the best fit for your photographic journey.