2017-07-05

The Best Cameras to Use at Festivals

If you’re lucky enough to be heading off to legendary music festivals such as Glastonbury, Boomtown, Secret Garden Party, Reading & Leeds, Bestival, or a host of other niche and smaller music festivals this Summer, then you'll want to be able to capture the memories from that time on a camera that's not only better quality than your smartphone but has a battery that lasts longer too (or none at all!), you'll want a camera that is a lot more reliable and a lot better in low light for both image quality and auto focusing.

Best Cameras to Use at Music Festivals


We've put together a little list of a few cameras based with key features that make them the best options for festival cameras. Hopefully this guide will help you find the perfect camera for capturing those festival moments.


The Disposable Camera 

Let's start with the most basic option first - the disposable camera. We don't see many of these anymore since the digital revolution, but the disposable camera is a great choice for taking to a festival. True, it mos definitely won't give you the best results, but it also won't run out of battery and if you lose it you haven't lost all your contacts too!
From a risk adverse standpoint, it's the best camera for festivals, but from a quality point of view - you could do better. Having a little disposable camera like this Kodak in your back pocket is a fun and unique way to capture some pictures of the crowd or around the campsite, or wherever you go.



The Instant Camera

If a disposable cameras isn't quite your thing, step up your analogue game with an instant camera. With an ever growing range of cameras and film available, there's never been a better time to pick up an instant or instax camera.

Ranging from the budget option - the brand new Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 to the pro level Impossible I-1 or Leica Sofort, there's plenty to choose from, in a wide range of vibrant colours.



The Powerful Zoom

When at the festival, whether it's music or arts, you'll want to capture not just the fun around camp with your friends and the various sights you may encounter on any late night adventures, but the bands you went all that way to see!

The only thing to be able to do this with any degree of quality and success is with a powerful zoom camera. A compact digital camera such as the Panasonic Lumix range, including the TZ70, TZ80, and TZ90 that offer a huge 30x optical zoom, giving you the ability to get close to the artists on stage from far away. They're also small enough to slip into a pocket or small bag when you're not using it.



The Cheap (but great value) & Cheerful

Understandably you may not want to spend a lot of money on a camera for a festival, due to the blazingly obvious reasons, although I knew a chap at Glastonbury who took his Canon EOS-1D series camera and had no issues apart from having to carry a heavy lump of a camera for the whole weekend.

This is where the great value compact cameras such as the Canon IXUS 185 steps in; a great value camera that is small and compact, packs in a 8x optical zoom for getting close to the action which works in perfect combination with the 20MP sensor to get clear, crisp and colourful shots.



The Colourful but Powerful

Being at a festival is more than just a music thing it’s a summer thing. So why not choose a camera that is feature rich, high in quality but radiates summer through a great choice of colour. The Nikon Coolpix range of compact digital cameras are a fun and vibrant range that suit every personality and will be a great companion at any festival this Summer.



The Ultra Rugged & Tough

If you're prone to dropping the odd thing now and again, or you're just looking for a camera that can handle itself in heavy downpours that festivals are legendary for (Glastonbury 2005, anyone?), then no camera is more perfectly suited to you needs than a tough action camera.

Great examples include the latest Olympus Tough TG-5 or the Ricoh WG-50, both of which are waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and dare we say it, mud-proof and ready to capture those festival moments in the most extreme weather conditions that Mother Nature can throw at you.



The Mirrorless

For something a little more advanced, and with the option of using interchangeable lenses, a mirrorless camera is a fantastic way of getting amazing photos at festivals around the UK.

Whether you're using it with a standard lens as a point and shoot, or you're using a fast prime lens or telephoto zoom to get more creative - perhaps to shoot some unique documentary portraits of festival goers - a mirrorless camera will provide you with outstanding image quality and DSLR-like features in an extremely compact body that takes up little more space than a compact camera.

Great examples include the budget-friendly Canon EOS M10 (ideal if you've already got some Canon lenses), the stylish Olympus PEN E-PL8, the 4K video capable Panasonic GX80, or the retro & film inspired Fujifilm X-T20.

For a full list of the best mirrorless cameras, check out this article.


Don't Forget!

Once you've chosen your quality compact camera to take with you to festivals this summer, don't forget to stock up on memory cards and spare batteries so you don't get caught out during that weekend away. Keeping your camera in a well-padded bag or case is also generally advised.

Share your photos with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2 comments:

Andy S said...

Don't forget most festivals will confiscate any interchangeable lens camera as they see them as been a professional camera. This is the basic advice given to most security staff at festivals, if you don't have a media pass it can be a very lengthy process getting your camera back, most people's insurance will not cover it for the period of time its not in your possession. It can also be a reason to be ejected from a festival. Check the T&C, often found on the back of your ticket. They do not distinguish between a tiny mirrorless camera and a D5 with a big 2.8 zoom and if any doubt contact the organisers and have printed evidence of your correspondence.

All info is from personal experience of shooting from the crowd for part of a day after mis placing a press pass at leeds festival. I had a very lengthy conversation with the head of security on site before my D4 was released, all cards were wiped when I was initially stopped by an younger member of security. Its a good job id quickly taken the second card out of the camera.

Andy S,
Leeds

Andy S said...

Most festivals have a blanket ban on interchangeable lens cameras, as confirmed a few years ago by the head of security at Leeds festival, 30+ years experience. He said whilst he was sympathetic in my case after id misplace my press pass in the crowd of the NME tent, 4 of his staff had ejected me, wiped the card in my camera before I got to speak to him. Luckily id taken the second card out without been noticed.

Read the T&C normally on the back of the ticket or site, contact the organiser and take a print out as proof to any security staff. Never use an additional flash and most security staff get twitchy the larger the reflection from the front of your camera lens when your in the crowd, they are not as used to seeing legit photographers that side of the crash barrier.

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