The Equipment You Need to Film Professional DJ and House Music Performances
Capturing high-energy DJ and dance music events requires having the right camera gear to overcome low-light venues and dynamic stages. From essential cameras and lenses to stabilizers and lighting accessories, here is the professional video equipment needed to film incredible electronic music performances.
When our production company was hired to document world famous house DJ Joezi’s triumphant New York City tour stop, we knew that having the best equipment would be crucial. Between fast-paced action under erratic lighting with limited stage access, only utilizing pro-grade video tools ensured we walked away with stunning footage.
While consumer camcorders or DSLRs may promise crisp concert recordings in ads, disappointingly muddy results emerge once attempted in reality. Filming live electronic music requires investing in specialty gear that outperforms under pressure.
From invaluable camera bodies to high-performance lenses perfect for the challenge, here is the professional equipment you’ll need to film exceptional DJ and house music events ready for the cover of Mixmag.
Cameras - Sony Alpha Mirrorless Rules
Housing an advanced full frame sensor inside a slim body, Sony Alpha mirrorless cameras like the A7S III or A7 IV raised the bar merging compact portability with unrivaled imaging abilities on par with professional cinema cameras.
Benefitting videographers, these mirrorless workhorses shoot sharp ultra HD 4K footage even when cranking sensitivity up to insane ISOs levels in the hundreds of thousands! Such incredible low light skills make them ideal choices filming on dark club stages.
Meanwhile, their electronic viewfinders and articulating rear screens provide crystal clear previews from otherwise impossible angles when squeezing beside DJ booths. Fast autofocus tracking also keeps dancing artists consistently sharp as they roam the stage.
While more conventional Cinema or DSLR models handle concerts too, nothing beats Sony Alpha cameras if aiming for a perfect blend of highly maneuverable form factor and stellar imaging talents ready to thrive in chaotic environments.
Lenses - Go Wide and Bright
Great glass makes a world of difference when shooting live events. While standard kit zooms bundled with cameras work in daylight, only fast wide aperture prime and zoom lenses belonging in pro camera bags will unlock low light venue potential.
Our go-to lens arsenal filming DJ Joezi spanned:
16-35mm f/2.8 Zoom (landscape perspective)
24mm f/1.4 Prime (close DJ booth shots)
50mm f/1.2 Prime (isolated drummer detail)
70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom (crowd sweeps)
Seeking out optics with f/2.8 max apertures or better across focal ranges from wide to telephoto ensures beautiful background separation isolating subjects against stages. Their sheer brightness even allows keeping ISO levels lower for minimal noise.
Meanwhile, manual focus and aperture rings provide precise creative adjustments quickly. Metal housing and weather sealing also withstand the performing arts grind of constant venue travel unlike flimsy models.
When visually celebrating the heart pounding energy surrounding DJ sets and EDM festivals through video, spoiled for choice lens options going ultra wide and ultra bright capture all the immersive dynamism fans live for.
Support Rigs - Stabilize Shaky Shots
Between having to stand for hours using heavy gear all while dodging enthusiastic dancing crowds, filming DJ spectacles risks shaky footage lacking professional polish no matter the camera quality.
That’s why propping cameras atop stabilizer platforms is essential providing buttery smooth motion without disruptive bumps even when shooting handheld run-and-gun. We love 3-axis gimbals by Zhiyun or DJI that float cameras counteracting small movements using internal motors. Their powered handles offer precise joystick pointing control too letting you track performers on stage or find moments happening within the crowds.
Basic yet effective accessories like folding tripods and compact monopods also work wonders lending steadily framed locked down viewpoints. Having a diversity of stabilizer options at your disposal ensures capturing stable perspectives perfect for editing rhythmically with the beat.
Lighting Gear - Shine Bright
Between pulsating concert visuals and eccentric performer entrances, EDM shows revolve around lighting theatrics as much as actual tunes. But flashy ambiance wreaking havoc on auto exposures threatens to ruin footage not enhanced further through auxiliary lighting tools.
Thankfully, compact and affordable on-camera LED panels exist providing constant illumination on DJ artists themselves no matter the venue conditions. Small yet mighty products from Neewer, FalconEyes, and Aputure sit multiple ways easily boosting otherwise dark shots when strobe lights dance erratically overhead.
Meanwhile, grabbing a basic reflector kit gives manipulating softer bounced light raising exposure on background club details if the stage spotlights blast performers too intensely alone. Take full creative control through smart auxiliary lighting rather than just accepting tricky mixed color temperatures and ever-changing brightness levels thwarting cameras. Let the music be wild - your video exposure should be reliable.
Audio Gear- Capture Quality Sound
Filming DJ sets means faithfully capturing euphoric tracks through properly configured microphones too. Surprisingly, even using prosumer DSLRs and mirrorless cameras sporting fancy features, neglected scratchy audio still ruins audience investment because flagship bodies only provide basic built-in mics sufficient for preliminary syncing not final delivery.
That's why feeding soundboards or hanging microphones directly into dedicated flash recorders like the Zoom H5 makes a monumental difference come editing time. Having the DJ's or band's full produced mixes recorded as isolated high bitrate files ensures excellent aftermovie sound designers have plenty of sonic depth playing with rather than trying to salvage poor scratch recordings.
Do right by awesome EDM performances and electronic artists alike by recording glorious audio matching impressive 4K concert video through proper external mic and preamp gear giving viewers a fully immersive musical experience. Fidelity shines through loud and clear rather than discounted as an afterthought.
The Total Package Pays Off
There you have the well-rounded professional equipment arsenal needed to film incredible DJ sets and dance music performances ready to share with legions of fans.
Using pro-grade gear certainly requires more of an investment compared to casual solutions from the local electronics store. But enhanced low light ability, flexible lens options, stabilization platforms, and high fidelity audio reward electronic music videographers with unlimited creative potential perfect for capturing inspiring live events that lesser setups struggle with.
Bring the concert home through well-crafted video. Your footage deserves professional polish just like the talented DJs and musicians themselves. Let premium equipment unlock your creative voice showcasing precisely what makes these communal musical celebrations uniquely special for billions of viewers around the world.