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Gear Recommendations for a $500 - $800 Budget

Q: Hello! I ran into your website and I have been trying to figure out what type of camera I need to get the type of club shots you and some of the other club sites do! I'm new and just want to take nice dymanic club photos while I'm on the set! I don't have a camera, but I was wondering what would be a good start with a $500-$800 budget? What do you think about the new Nikon D3100?

A: As I mentioned in my nightclub photography tips, I'm a Canon user. Read more about my recommendations and the reasons behind them: camera bodies, lenses, flashes.

Here's a complete set up for Canon ($794 total):

Here's a complete set up for Nikon ($684 total):

I don't like recommending the kit lens, but if I had to choose between using a fast lens and a pop up flash combo or a kit lens and an external flash combo, I would choose the kit lens and the external flash combo. The ideal set up would be to have a fast lens and an external flash unit.

The new Nikon D3100 seems like a pretty decent camera body, but it may be out of your $800 max budget if you decide to get an external flash unit.

Great photos depend a lot on good lighting. From my experience, taking awesome club photos require an external flash unit which is why it's included in my recommended gear list above.