Nightclub Photography Cheat Sheet: camera equipment for nightclub photography

Camera Equipment for Nightclub Photography

  • Digital SLR
  • Zoom Lens
  • External Flash
  • Memory Cards
  • Extra batteries for the camera and flash

Remember that good photography doesn't necessarily depend on the best and most expensive camera equipment, but the photographer behind the camera. Better equipment helps get great results easier when it's in the right hands.

Digital SLR

A high end point and shoot even the ones that have a hot shoe to attach a flash unit is not adequate for nightclub photography. You need to have at least an entry level digital SLR. Digital SLRs can focus faster and shoot faster with the press of the shutter button. If you have to choose between getting a better DSLR camera body or a better lens, get the entry level DSLR and buy a better lens. Entry level DSLRs are quite affordable and packed with features these days. Check out my free nightclub photography course to learn more about the different camera bodies and find out which one suits your needs.

Zoom Lens

Use a zoom lens because your lens needs the flexibility to shoot wide shots of big groups and close up shots of one person in a nightclub environment. Nightclubs can get really packed and there may be not much room for you to move if you're using a prime lens. The ideal lens for nightclub photography is a fast (f/2.8) zoom lens in the 17-50mm focal length for a cropped camera body. Learn more about lenses to use in nightclub photography in my free nightclub photography course.

External Flash

The built in pop-up flash in your DSLR is not good enough for nightclub photography. Avoid using it at all cost! Get an external flash unit that has a flash head that can tilt and swivel so that you can can bounce the flash off the ceiling or walls.

Memory Cards

Memory cards are pretty cheap these days too. Make sure you have enough when you're shooting.

Extra batteries for the camera and flash

This is pretty self explanatory. You should have extra batteries because you can't shoot if you can't turn on your equipment. My favorite batteries to use for the external flash is the Eneloop AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.

Recommended Gear

Camera Body




I normally don't shoot using a filter, but I do in nightclubs. I would much rather clean the filter with a napkin than clean the front element of an expensive lens with just a napkin. Use a filter and a lens hood when shooting in nightclubs to protect your lens.

The Sto-Fen Omnibounce is a small, versatile, lightweight, and very affordable flash diffuser. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also contains other affiliate links where I may be compensated for my review or endorsement. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help keep this site up and running. I appreciate your support.