Best Video Camera For Recording Live Music
Today we’re counting down our top picks for the best video cameras for recording live music.
For capturing live music, it’s worth investing in a camera that does the performance justice.
The last thing you want is to leave one of the best concerts you’ve ever been to, only to find out later that the footage you captured isn’t up to scratch.
To prevent this from happening, we’ve drawn up a guide of the best video cameras for recording live music you can experience the event again and again in all of its glory.
Here’s what to expect in this article:
- Reviews of the best video camera for recording live music
- A detailed selection guide
- Your burning questions answered in a FAQ
Without further ado, here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Video Camera For Recording Live Music
- Best of the Best: Panasonic 4K Cinema-Like Video Camera Camcorder
- Runner Up: Canon VIXIA HF R800
- Best for Action: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR
Best Live Music Video Camera Reviews
Panasonic 4K Cinema-Like Video Camera Camcorder (👑 Best of the Best)
The Panasonic 4K camcorder is our top pick for the best video camera for recording live music.
If you’re looking for professional quality video, then you need a camcorder, and there are few better than the Panasonic 4K. This camcorder is the ‘pinnacle of hand-held 4K video capture’ according to Panasonic, with a whole host of editing solutions in-camera which can help you produce a cinematic-style video. You can expect ultra sharp 4k ultra HD from this camcorder, which should make sure the live music you record can live on in all the glory you first experienced it in.
As well as the editing, there are a variety of effects you can play around with in this camcorder so you can experiment with different styles of video. These include dolly zoom, slow and quick motion, 4K post cropping, stabilization, and zoom. So if you’re in the middle of a concert and you feel like some slow motion of heads bobbing up and down would be good, you can capture that with a few simple button presses.
There are several top features which help you keep on top of the action, and capture every last note, guitar cord, and hand-waving action. The optical 20x zoom Leica Decoma lens is perfect for letting you zoom in on the action and getting some great close-up shots. For example, if you want to isolate the drummer for some epic drum solo footage you can, or you can zoom in or the guitarist to see their intricate chord work up close. Whatever distance the subject is away from your camera, you can be sure that the footage will be clear and steady, too. This is no small part due to the 5 axis hybrid optical image stabilization, which keeps everything stable even with all the movement you’d associate with being in the crowd at a live music event.
This camcorder also comes with 4K photo capability, which means you can capture high-quality photos from 4K video frames. So say you have just recorded an epic concert and you want to create a standout thumbnail to post the video with, you can sift through the footage and find one. This is a useful feature to have for isolating single moments in a live music performance that otherwise you would have a hard time accessing. The High Dynamic Range (HDR) of the camcorder reduces high contrast, so even if the venue you’re in creates overexposed or underexposed shooting conditions you can still capture stunning footage.
Finally, there’s an Electronic Viewfinder EVF which emulates a semi professional recording experience. This lets you track exactly what’s going on in frame at all times, which is ideal for recording the live music and capturing everything you want to.
- 4K ultra HD
- Electronic Viewfinder EVF
- Dedicated HDR button
- Leica Decoma Lens optical 20x zoom
- 5 axis hybrid optical image stabilization
- 18.9 Megapixels
- In-camera editing and effects
- 4k Photo
Canon VIXIA HF R800 (🥈 Runner Up)
Our runner up pick for the best video camera for recording live music is the Canon VIXIA HF R800.
An outstanding camcorder for recording live music, the Canon VIXIA HF R800 is available in black and white. Many people hail this camcorder as being one of the top camcorders out there, and it’s hard to disagree when you dive into the specifications and features. To start, we have to mention the fact that you can’t shoot in 4K with this camcorder, and this is the main reason it misses out on our top spot in this guide. However, you can record at 1080p at an ultra smooth 60fps, and the framerate is arguably more important than the resolution for recording a live musical performance anyway.
One of the standout features of the Canon VIXIA HF R800 is the outstanding 57x advanced zoom, which allows you to get close up to the action wherever you happen to be in the crowd. You can switch up the footage you take, and get those sought-after guitar string shots and capture every last strike of the drums. This is paired with with the exceptional SuperRange optical image stabilizer that keeps the footage steady throughout, and corrects for camera shake. This is especially important in the context of recording live music, since the chances of steady handheld footage in the middle of a crowd is unlikely without some kind of assistance from the camera.
The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor offers up outstanding performance, and captures more light than other models which gives you brighter and clearer footage. It also mitigates some of the image noise which causes blur. The touch panel LCD screen is large at three inches and it can be clearly seen regardless of the lighting, so even if you’re in a dimly-lit room you can see exactly what’s in frame at all times. You can also switch between slow and fast motion recording. This allows you to slow things down for epic head-bobbing arm-waving footage or speed things up if you want something a little more fast-paced.
- Available in black and white
- 3 inch LCD touch panel
- SuperRange optical image stabilizer
- 57x advanced zoom
- HD CMOS image sensor
- DIGIC DV 4 image processor
- Slow and fast motion recording
- Lightweight design
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR (💎 Best DSLR)
While we believe a camcorder is the best way to go for recording live music for the most part, a handy DSLR can be an excellent option, too. That’s why we picked the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV as another fantastic camera for recording live music, even if it isn’t a camcorder.
This DSLR is a great all-rounder, capable of capturing crisp stills and cinematic-level video. The camera has a 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, and an ISO range of 100-32000 which is expandable up to 50-102400. This means you can expect stunning low light video footage with the Canon EOS 5D, which should be a priority if you want to record live music in dimly-lit venues. The reason for this top low light performance is the size of the sensor, which lets in more light, and the large ISO range which gives you a lot of settings to tinker with on the fly.
There is Dual Pixel CMOS 61-point AutoFocus, which is perfect for recording live music even if you’re messing around with different levels of zoom. The better the autofocus system on a camera, the more easily it will track various subjects and the clearer they will be in focus. This is important at a music concert since you want to be able to pick out the individual musicians on stage in amongst all the waving hands and bobbing heads. You can also use the continuous shooting feature which allows you to shoot up to 7.0 fps. This is ideal if you’re looking to take a series of photos in rapid succession.
- 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
- ISO range 100-32000, expandable up to 50-102400
- 4K motion JPEG video at 30p
- Dual Pixel CMOS 61-point AutoFocus
- Up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting speed
- DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
To get the best video camera for recording live music, you need to take several factors into account.
These factors are mostly to do with the features of the camera, but the technical specifications and design also play a role of course.
Here are what we believe to be some of the most important factors for picking the perfect video camera for you.
There are several types of cameras that can be worth considering for recording live music.
The camcorder is designed specifically for recording video, so you can be sure that you’ll have crisp footage if you go with this type of camera.
It is generally-considered to be the best type of camera for recording live music.
This is because it is easy to hold in your hand, will usually have a convenient flip out screen to track the action, as well as a whole host of features to make the video recording experience optimal.
The DSLR is like a mix between the regular point and shoot and the camcorder.
It’s better at taking stills than the point and shoot, and shoots great video similar to the camcorder, and has interchangeable lenses so you can capture footage in different lighting conditions and settings.
A mirrorless camera is smaller than a DSLR camera, so it’s easy to hold and shoot with this type of camera.
This type of camera also tends to make the most of hybrid AutoFocus systems which is good if you want to shoot moving subjects.
Believe it or not, zoom is one of the most important features if you want to record live music with your camera.
A good zoom lens can make average footage exciting, as you can mix up the shots you capture by getting a close-up or two of the musicians in their element.
At a live concert, unless you’re fortunate enough to be right at the front, the chances are you’ll be some distance away from the stage which will affect the quality of the footage. Ideally, you want a video camera that can make it seem as if you’re much closer to the action than you’re actually are for a more engaging end product.
But beware, if you have a camera with a top zoom lens you also want to make sure it has competent image stabilization and AutoFocus, which we’ll cover now.
Image stabilization is everything when it comes to recording live music.
Just think about it for a moment: arms flailing, heads bobbing, and musicians moving around the stage. That’s not even to mention what you’re doing with your body and hands.
Image stabilization will help you capture steady footage even if you’re getting caught up in the music a little and swaying from side to side.
AutoFocus on the other hand will automate the process of maintaining focus on the subjects, so you can be sure that the musicians on stage will be crystal clear in the video.
We understand that it can be tricky to deduce from the product page alone how good the image stabilization and AutoFocus of a camera are, so we suggest that you dive into the reviews and see what past customers have to say.
Low Light Performance
The low light performance of a video camera is crucial if you want to record live music.
We’ve all been to concerts in venues that are dimly-lit or just have poor lighting setups. To mitigate the issue of poor lighting, you’ll need to keep your eyes out for several features on the camera.
One of the main ways you can be sure that your camera will deal well in low light conditions is to buy one with a large sensor.
Generally-speaking, the larger the sensor of the camera, the more light it will be able to capture and the clearer the image will be.
While the sensor size is important, it’s necessary to have a wide aperture on the camera otherwise there is a limit on how much light the sensor can draw in.
The f-number gives you an indication of what you’re working with when it comes to the aperture, and contrary to what you might think, the lower the number the better the camera will work in low light conditions.
Finally, the ISO range of a video camera plays an important role in recording live music too.
The ISO of a camera is something a lot of people will point to as being the most important for low light performance, but many disagree.
With a broader range of ISO settings, what you can mitigate is image noise and blur.
When given the option to shoot with a faster shutter speed, it becomes easier for you to negate the issue of blur, which should improve the low light performance of your camera.
This is especially true for live music where there is likely going to be a lot of movement in front of you that could easily mess with the footage and leave it blurry or noisy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Video Cameras for Recording Live Music
What camera is best for making music videos?
We believe the best camera for making music videos is the Panasonic 4K.
This camcorder allows you to capture stunning ultra sharp 4K footage which is just what you want if you’re trying to capture a special live music event.
There are many features in this camcorder that make it a worthwhile investment for recording live music, including in-camera editing and effects.
Are Gopros good for music videos?
Yes, the GoPro can absolutely be a great pick for recording a music video.
If you’re looking for something adventurous, complete with underwater shots, moving cars shots, and everything else in between the GoPro is a fantastic option.
GoPro as a compact action camera offers something a little different from the regular DSLR, camcorder, and point and shoot camera which might be just what you’re looking for.
What equipment do you need to shoot a music video?
The most important investment you’ll need to make regarding equipment for shooting a music video is of course a camera.
You can have all the equipment in the world, but if you don’t have a camera capable of capturing action and doing it justice, it won’t matter.
You’ll probably want to look into buying a microphone, too, if your camera is compatible with one since it can enhance the audio quality the camera can receive.
A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot
If you want to record live music, you need to be sure that you find a video camera with the right features and specifications.
It also depends on what you’re looking for, so you’ll need to take some to think about what exactly you value.