Best compact for taking to concerts?


Novice Member
I would be really grateful for any recommendations that forum members could give me for which digital compact camera is best for taking photographs at rock concerts etc.

My short list of preferred features would be:
  • Thin and flat (so it can fit in my back pocket)
  • Metal body (for when it's in my back pocket!)
  • Good zoom (better than x3)
However the main thing it needs to have is a mode for taking pictures in the low light / spotlight environment of a concert. Too often with cameras I have used in the past I've suffered with blurred shots (where I've had the flash off to get ambient lighting but the camera insists on using a slow shutter speed) or I've been forced to use the flash to reduce the shutter speed (but that means I get a ghostly field of white arms in the foreground). My video camera has a spotlight mode - surely there must be a digital compact with the same feature?

Oh yes and under £100 please :) I don't want much...


Novice Member
Sadly there are no camera's that comply with what you seek for the price you wish to pay.

Probably one of the Canon ixus models may be a compromise. You need a reasonable fast lens and you wont get one for that sort of money... certainly not one that ticks all the boxes.

Regarding flash use for concerts etc. or for that matter any large event, flash use is a waste of time, unless the subject is within 12 or 15ft maximum of you. All compact camera's suffer from the short comings you mention, especially the lower end of the market for obvious reasons. You may do better saving for something like a Canon S95 or G10/11 or similar.

It makes me smile, when one see's hundreds of flashes going off at something like football matches or similar, people may as well just turn them off, as they do nothing!.

TBH You would do better buying a £10 tripod, and then virtually any cheap digital compact camera should be able to produce the results you seek all for less than £100.

Otherwise unfortunately your budget needs to go higher. IOW what you want, at your budget price simply is not possible, however if you do find one which fits your criteria for less than £100, let me know.. I'll buy one myself.:)

Sorry Matey...Perhaps someone else can think of a small compact which may do the job. ?
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Novice Member
Thanks - I did think i was clutching at straws. Any suggestions under £200? Maybe I can find a bargain in the post (or even pre) Christmas sales...

As for the flash I agree completely as for its usefulness (most people have it set on auto so it goes off without them even realising half the time). However I have used it as a means of getting a fast shutter speed as most of the time bright spotlights will illuminate the band on stage sufficiently.

If the camera thinks it's going to use flash illumination it uses a nice short shutter speed whereas switching the flash off will give you a long exposure and a blurred mess.

I hold my fingers over the flash itself (and for Muse at Old Trafford in the summer put masking tape over the front of the flash of my mum's old Olympus!) to avoid bleached out arms and heads in the foreground.


Well-known Member
Only cameras that came to mind was Canon S80/90 or Panasonic LX series which are way beyond the £100 price bracket.
second hand TZ7
I have a TZ7 and cannot recommend it as a camera for gig photography. The TZ7 is terrible above ISO400. Lots of noise.

Now it is excellent at videos for gigs. Good quality video and handles very loud sound (much better than my Panasonic SD700 camcorder which costs 3x the price).

Sadly you can't get them any longer but I still have a Fuji F30 which I think was the best small camera for gigs.

If you are willing to spend >£300 then there are a couple of cameras that might do.


Novice Member
I have a TZ7 and cannot recommend it as a camera for gig photography.
OP has £100 to spend, if he spends £300 obviously he is going to get a better camera but the TZ7 can give good results at gigs as can any camera of its class. (F200EXR would actually be my choice camera for budget/requirment)

noise may not really be an issue, for all the types of photography i think noise free images is least important in gig photography, regardless if iso 400 is ok i managed to get away with iso 400 - F/2-4 1/100th at the last gig i went too. even if OP ends up having to shoot at ISO 3200 though they may only be for use on facebook at 800x600.


Novice Member
Thanks to everyone for their advice, apologies for the delay in replying

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