Here’s my quick answer to this question, originally posted on Quora. I currently have Canon’s new Powershot S-100 camera on backorder from B&H, and will surely be making a post about it once I have some time to use it.
Quora Question: What is the best point-and-shoot camera for concert photography?
Great question! Right now, I’d say there are two options, both point and shoot, both pocketable, both great low light performers.
Canon G12 – The Canon G series cameras are great low-light performers. The G12 Is pocketable in a jacket pocket, or the back pocket of a set of mens jeans. The fast lens will let you shoot in low light in a concert. Additionally, the main benefit of the G12 over a smaller pocket camera is the hot shoe. Especially for concert and low light photography, the option of having an external hot shoe flash can be huge. The hotshoe on the G12 is compatible with any Canon Speedlite flash, and will give you infinite lighting possibilities. SInce the flash is detachable, you can compact your rig down into individual components, to afford flexibility in getting all the gear in. One other accessory I might recommend would be an off-camera flash coiled extension cord – one end interfaces with the hotshoe, and the other end attaches to the flash, and allows you to move the flash around the camera, getting different lighting options. Also to be mentioned are radio triggers, reporter brackets, etc etc – the list goes on.
For a more compact option, try the Canon S100. It has a very fast f/2.0 lens, full manual control, and additionally takes HD video with stereo sound. The S100 is not as flexible with lighting accessories as the G12, but it is very small, and has great low light performance. Additionally, despite the lack of a hotshoe for a flash, it is compatible with Canon’s HF-DC2 off camera optically triggered flash – just be careful with that optical trigger while everybody else is shooting around you.