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File: DSC05986.jpg (522 KB, 1000x750)
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Dear /p/.

I want to kindly ask you for advice about cosplay photos and first DSLR.

Lately, as a part of self-training in social interactions, I began taking part in anime-related events, especially cosplay and since I also started to enjoy taking photos, I try to combine both activities. Because of this, I really try to get better at photography (right now training with my current camera, Lumix DMC-FZ70 and reading handbook by Scott Hoddinott). I already asked /cgl/ about advices on how to properly interact with cosplayers and now I would want to ask you guys about more technical stuff and advices for beginner, especially about how to prepare for march events and how to make good, sharp photos inside of buildings. If this thread shouldnt be here or anything (I never posted on this board before), please say so and sorry for trouble.

The second question I have is about the gear - right now, I use Lumix DMC-FZ70 compact camera and truth to be told, I have some problems with controlling it (I mean, there is automated setting but it always pick very high ISO values - for example, when I tried to make photo outside during sunny autumn day, 1pm and almost no clouds, auto ISO value would end up at ~600). I heard opinions that for good photography, even amateur one I absolutely need DSLR. Problem is, they are quite costly so I have problem with picking the right model. The question is - do I really need DSLR or Im fine with my current camera? If I do need it, what would be good starting model? I looked around and found two models that have price fitting my budget and those are: Nikon D3400 and Canon EOS 700D. Are they okay cameras for beginner or I would only waste money and need to keep looking for save more for different gear?

Thank you for any help, advice or reply and sorry for trouble.

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>>3215583
either one would be a huge step up from what you have now. sensor size is a big factor in image quality and ability to shoot in low light without cranking the iso (and on that note, iso 600 really isn't very high, if you can't go higher than that without your image quality suffering then i'd say you definitely should upgrade to either of the cameras you mentioned).
as for sharpness, the most important factors to consider would be a fast enough shutter speed to freeze movement and a narrow enough aperture to make sure your you have enough depth of filed to get everything in focus. both of those things (faster shutter speed, narrower aperture) will mean you are taking in less light though, so you'll probably need to use the flash.

here's a comparison of your current sensor vs what you'd be upgrading to
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>>3215583
>>3215601
also would recommend the d3400 over the 700d now that i'm looking at a comparison. 700d has an articulating touchscreen and a flash sync port, but those could be replaced on the nikon with a $30 hotshoe adapter and by using your smartphone to control the camera. as for advantages of the d3400, you get 6 more megapixels, 185g less weight, 2 more focus points, and way more battery life
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>>3215601
>sensor size is a big factor in image quality and ability to shoot in low light without cranking the iso
Sensor size has no effect on the ability to shoot in low light without cranking the ISO. Sensor size’s effect is that you can crank the ISO without nearly as much noise as you get on a small sensor.
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>>3215609
I think you’re underestimating how useful an articulated screen is, especially for shooting cons and other situations where you might find yourself in a crowd (ie, have to hold the camera above your head to get the shot).

Also, the canon is fully compatible with all Canon EOS lenses whereas the Nikon can’t autofocus with older AF lenses and can’t meter with older manual focus lenses.
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>>3215583
If you don't mind venturing away from Canon/Nikon the Pentax K-70 is a fantastic deal for your price range, and a good starter camera. But, like what everyone else said, regardless of what you pick it's going to be a step up from what you're using.

The K-70 with its 18-55mm kit lens pretty regularly goes on sale for 696 USD.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1338221-REG/pentax_16269_k_70_dslr_camera_with.html
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>>3215640
>have to hold the camera above your head to get the shot
i dunno, that's gonna be a pretty slim percentage of the shots that you take to give up on all those other features.
>the canon is fully compatible with all Canon EOS lenses whereas the Nikon can’t autofocus with older AF lenses and can’t meter with older manual focus lenses
true, but op didnt really strike me as the type that's gonna be building an extensive gear collection. from what he's describing using it for i don't think he'd feel hindered by just having the kit lens
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>>3215644

Im from Poland and those K-70 are noticeably more expensive here - both those Nikon and Canon models cost around 2000 PLN (body + lens), K-70 2800 instead.

>>3215649

Im really beginner in gear stuff and only used compacts so far (mentioned Lumix and previously Sony which was used to take picture I uploaded with first post).
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>>3215656
you should check out the used market if you're on a budget, your money will go much further
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>>3215583
Shooting at conventions is suffering if you're just doing casual hallway shots. Here's a few problems you'll probably run into.

>ugly cluttered background
In a crowded convention your background will most likely be littered by other cosplayers walking around. You could ask the cosplayer you're shooting to move somewhere with less people, but generally most people are busy trying to catch a panel or meeting with friends. There's no harm in asking, but I don't think most people would want to walk even twenty feet just for one picture. You could shoot them against a wall, but I personally am not a fan of this. I think a better option is to use a lens with a wide aperture and shoot wide open. I'd recommend at least a 1.8 if you can afford it.

>not a lot of room
Conventions are very crowded. I used to shoot with a 50mm lens on a crop body and I couldn't take a picture without bumping into someone behind me. I would recommend a wide angle zoom if you want to do convention hallway shots comfortably. Most people probably would not recommend this type of lens for portraits, but most people don't shoot cosplayers at conventions. I'd recommend something like the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8.

As for the camera body, I would highly recommend buying something refurbished directly from the manufacturer. You can save some money than if you bought it brand new. Avoid those packaged deals that throws in kit lenses with the body, it's a good way for manufacturers to sucker you into buying lenses that you might not even want or need.

Anyway pic related is from three years ago shot on a Canon t3i and a 50mm 1.8. The t3i is an older model of the t5i/700D. If you want to save even more money you could probably buy a used t3i instead. It's not much of a downgrade in my opinion, ultimately it's up to you. I've done a lot of cosplay photography over the years, if you have any other questions I can try to answer them. By the way OP, what cons are you planning on going to?

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>>3215720

As for options of body + lens, Im not experienced enough to figure out what kind if lenses I will need and thought that "included" option is balanced one and good for beginning.

As for cons - Im not from US. In my country the next big con at my city will be hosted at July but in between there will be one, maybe two march type if events. Last con was month ago and I really screwed up with photos, especially with light. I sent those few I took from people I took contact from (I thought it would be mean not to send anything in such case, even bad ones) and since I didnt got reply, I think they too found them bad. I wish to avoid such errors in future.

Thanks a lot for those tips too!
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>>3215728
Post a few photos anon so we can tell you what you did wrong and give you some advice for the future. Also conventions are fun and sharing convention photos is fun. So share some with us.
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>>3215737

Here is one of those that I screwed up but still sent. I screwed up light, thats for sure, background too but since con was pretty small (and dedicated for newcomers anyway), there was no free wall nearby. I foolishly thought that I can photo inside building without flash - I guess I cant since original one had lot grains and such.
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Another but from previous and bigger con but with problems as well. Again, thought that light is good enough.

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Here I guess I made mistake of very bright background, among other things.

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File: DSC08810.jpg (249 KB, 734x979)
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And two from one of march type of event.

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File: DSC08862.jpg (292 KB, 979x734)
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Overall, I actually made little private site for uploading photos, if you want to see it...

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>>3215612
Hi there!

You seem to have made a bit of a mistake in your post. Luckily, the users of 4chan are always willing to help you clear this problem right up! You appear to have used a tripcode when posting, but your identity has nothing at all to do with the conversation! Whoops! You should always remember to stop using your tripcode when the thread it was used for is gone, unless another one is started! Posting with a tripcode when it isn't necessary is poor form. You should always try to post anonymously, unless your identity is absolutely vital to the post that you're making!

Now, there's no need to thank me - I'm just doing my bait to help you get used to the anonymous image-board culture!
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>>3215940

I dont care and you shouldnt as well since he is contributing.
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>>3215918
>>3215912
abit dark maybe get a flash?
>>3215920
super cute maybe crop it more on her?
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>>3215922
Honestly I think you should work on your composition first and foremost. Even if these photos were shot perfectly with great lighting and perfect sharpness, they still wouldn't be very good because of the awkward composition. Lucky for you the very basic rules of composition are very easy to grasp and you can apply it right away to your photos to improve a lot in a short amount of time. Learn rule of thirds, the proper amount of headroom, crop out excessive stuff in the background that you don't need if possible, learn the places where to crop body parts and where you shouldn't crop body parts. These rules aren't set in stone and you have room to do your own thing creatively, but you should at least know what these rules are before you decide if you should or shouldn't break them. Good luck OP. Hope to see more of your stuff in the future.
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>>3215964

I guess I cant make shots inside buildings without flash. Or can I? How to tell if light is good enough? With flash, pics looks way different than how I see the scene.

And for that girl, yeah, I like this photo too. But for some reason, I thought that it would look better as somebody focused out of crowd. I kinda wanted to show a bit of atmosphere of the event.
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>>3215969

Okay, thanks. Any good books aside that Hoddinott one I started to read right now that you could recommend?
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>>3215958
>reddit spacing
you wouldn't
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>>3215973
you can adjust the power on external flashes
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>>3215973
>I guess I cant make shots inside buildings without flash. Or can I? How to tell if light is good enough?
It seems pretty bright outside. You could have maybe had your models stand beside or in front of the window for extra light. Also I cropped out the guy on the left because his split leg crop was distracting. One of the girls sitting on the floor is from the same series as the other two so that's at least somewhat acceptable. Cropped off the space on the top and lessened the head room so more the attention is focused more on the models. Applied my faggot hipster filter because I am a faggot hipster. Minor changes like that goes a long way.

>>3215975
I don't have anything in particular to recommend. It's basically the same general information that gets regurgitated everywhere. You could just google some tips on portrait composition. Or maybe try reading the stickied thread at the top of /p/ I'm sure that probably has some relevant information there somewhere.

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As others said:
Work on your composition, choice of background and lighting. Dont try to overthink it and dont try to get it ALL right at the same time. After some time practicing you will get experience and a feeling for it.

To step up your photos from the look of a snapshot to a "photograph" you should use a lense that lets you achieve a proper depth of field. It doesnt has to be f1.8 razor thin, even a normal kit lense(like up to f5.6) would do.

Learn about focal length and what to use to achieve which look/to use in which situation. Eg. 50mm (Fullframe sensor) as "normal close to human view" optic, 85mm for full body portrait going up to 135mm for head shots, etc.
The higher the focal length, the "flater the image", background gets closer, pic related. Composition stays the same but focal length and the required distance to the subject changed.
If you shoot wide angle and get close, everything thats closer to the lense gets larger (with a portrait first of all the nose!). Thats why smartphone selfies always look weird and thats why they use them in porn (larger dick and ass etc).

In general shoot on the photographed persons eyelevel.
Shooting below eyelevel: makes a person larger and more powerfull but if not used right it looks off, just as it does if you shoot slightly below eyelevel. its like shooting into the nose.
Shooting above eyelevel makes a person smaller. Maybe comes in handy for that cute anime girl?
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I do alot of cosplay shoots at events in my area. I usually tend to shoot from a low angle or high angle to minimize the crowd. Most convention centers or conference rooms tend to have repeating patterns with lighting banks or moulding that are great leading lines. When I have room I put a 50mm on my crop sensor go back about 10 feet and shoot a 3/4 length shot while kneeling. The horizon and other con attendees drop down relative to the subject and the perspective helps to separate them from the crowd. I use a Dutch angle because a static standing pose tends to be boring.

I usually ask the subject to avoid standing straight on to the lens, even turning slightly will show up in the differences in shoulder height from the low angle. If also helps keeping them in focus if they insist on doing a extended hand/prop pose, if possible with that pose I have them turn 45 degrees and look to something far off to the side.

Realistically on the floor I usually have to use a 24mm 2.8 on my crop sensor when I'm on the floor. I tend to shoot at the subjects shoulder height to avoid vertical distortion at that distance, although you can still shoot lower if you correct it in post(don't forget to correct it, female cosplayers will not appreciate wide hips and thighs.)
>>
Try to get some space between your subject and their surroundings. Even a foot or two will create a very visible separation when you kneel or shoot above your head. Same thing with walls, unless you are having them lean on it or use it in the pose itself I have them stand a few feet away from it. It will help to blur it slightly and the lack of cast shadow will separate the subject.

You may also want to play around with your cameras metering and focus modes, spot metering will help you get a good exposure on those backlit scenes.
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File: P1000982.jpg (463 KB, 979x653)
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About composition, to make sure I got it right - does those other photos I made this autumn follows the proper placing rules?

Also, would 18-55mm lens be good for first one or I would need bigger/different range?

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File: P1010070.jpg (392 KB, 751x984)
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And the second one.

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>>3216182
love this gif
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>>3216704
>>3216705

Pretty please?
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>>3218237
they look good to me
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>>3216704
This looks solid.

>>3216705
This looks meh.
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>>3218259

Meh because of bad focus?
>>
I want to kindly thank everyone for providing info and advices. Im close to get first dslr (probably Nikon D5300) right now and keep training with current camera.

Thank you again, that was big help!




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