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Unread 12-29-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
Jkid
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Am I the only one using a point and shoot camera for photography?

I've been going to anime conventions since 2007 mostly as a cosplay photographer. Throughout my time at conventions I've been using a point and shoot camera for taking photographs, and I've been comfortable using one for years. Looking through all the topics it seems like all the photographers don't use point and shoot cameras, they use advanced cameras and such and/or they're professionals.

Are there any other cosplay photographers who use point and shoot cameras? Because I don't feel I'll fit if I'm the only one.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 04:49 PM   #2
Max_Archer
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Point & Shoot cameras don't offer the ability to work with external off-camera lighting that's almost essential for doing real shoots. (Aside from top of the line enthusiast/pro models like the Canon G12, Nikon P7000, and Panasonic LX5.) Most other P&S cameras also lack a RAW mode, which is especially essential for correcting the iffy lighting you'll probably have to deal with if you're not using your own setup. P&Ses also lack the ability to create a narrow depth of field, which can really help with cluttered or ugly backgrounds.

I have a Canon S90, and it takes beautiful pictures, but I'd never use it for the glamor-style photography that I do when shooting cosplay, since cameras, lenses, and everything else take a backseat compared to my off-camera lighting and the ability to control it.

If you enjoy using a small camera and are considering an upgrade, take a look at the Sony NEX-5, Panasonic GF-1, or the Olympus EP-1/EP-2/EP-L1, they combine the image quality of a good DSLR with a much smaller body and lens.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
Jkid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_Archer View Post
If you enjoy using a small camera and are considering an upgrade, take a look at the Sony NEX-5, Panasonic GF-1, or the Olympus EP-1/EP-2/EP-L1, they combine the image quality of a good DSLR with a much smaller body and lens.
I knew you going to say that. The reason why I use point and shoot cameras are it's simplicity: you don't need to use buy or maintain and other separate equipment. Besides I can't afford any other mid-end cameras currently.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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I just snagged a G12 this week and am planning on using it for Cosplay photography! I've spent the past few days testing multiple off-camera Nikon flash setups with it. Just special ordered some Nikon parts and can't wait to modify them for my G12.

The image quality and controls on the G12 are no comparison to my dSLR, but it's very very good. I am determined to push the limits of this point and shoot camera and get some killer Cosplay shots =)

Getting shallow DoF on a point and shoot is absolutely possible, even at higher apertures. I only have one non-cosplay gallery of this so far though (since I just got the camera). PM me if you're curious. ^^

The only thing is that I feel pretty silly carrying even just a flash/diffuser/tripod with my G12. Collectively, they're worth probably triple the cost of the camera, but it's still vastly lighter than my normal setup (30-40lbs).
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Unread 12-29-2010, 05:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkid View Post
I knew you going to say that. The reason why I use point and shoot cameras are it's simplicity: you don't need to use buy or maintain and other separate equipment. Besides I can't afford any other mid-end cameras currently.
It really depends on how you're going to use the equipment. If somebody buys a DLSR, but shoots it on auto modes and never takes off the kit lens, sure, they're probably just as well off with a P&S.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 05:46 PM   #6
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I love Point and Shoot. I have some fairly good judgement when taking really good photos so I'm unable to justify moving to anything else until I become an unresourceful mess. I'm using a Fujifilm Finepix JV100 and I love it. Only thing is that the image stabilizer is a little umm....Unstable? o.O

Other than that, my photos turn out just fine.
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Unread 12-29-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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It really depends on what look you want for your cosplay photos. A decent Point-&-Shoot camera can give you good results, if you know what conditions it will perform well in.

You can get some shallow depth-of-field, but not nearly as much as a camera with a larger sensor, such as D-SLRs or those new shutterless cameras like the Sony NEX cameras as Max Archer said.

Regarding having a hot-shoe on your camera, to add a flash to bounce light, or a radio trigger for off-camera flashes, that can turn bad lighting into great lighting, if you know how to use them. You can still find good lighting, by choosing angles, camera settings, and locations carefully.

The versatility that you gain in romovable lenses on DSLR cameras can make a huge difference in what you can do. You can do so much more with extreme wide-angle lenses, the super tele-photo lenses, the fast prime lenses.

With Point-&-Shoot cameras, it is also difficult to make your camera take a photo as soon as you hit the trigger. These cameras usually need to find the focus before it will take the photo. DSLR cameras have switches on the lens so you can turn off the focus after your lens finds the proper focus. This can be vital for photos that require precise timing.

I would feel like I am compromising too much if I had to use a point-&-shoot, but each photographer has their own style and quality needs.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 12:51 AM   #8
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I use a point-and-shoot as my current main as well (a Canon PowerShot A95 I've had for nearly six years now), though I am looking to upgrade to a dSLR in the coming year. As long as a point-and-shoot suits your current needs and style as a photographer and you take its limitations into account, there's nothing wrong with using one at all. Even if you do find yourself stepping up to a dSLR, a point-and-shoot will still serve just fine as a secondary/backup camera for times when you want to snap off a quick shot or find yourself in a situation where a dSLR might not be as handy.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 11:38 AM   #9
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There are plenty of people who take cosplay pictures with point and shoot cameras. "Cosplay photographer" does not mean you have a DSLR. In any case, shoot what you like and don't be intimidated by the DSLR users.

That being said, there are some physical limitations with point and shoot cameras, making certain photographic situations difficult or impossible. When you determine that you have hit those limitations, then you can ask yourself if you need a DSLR. I started with an Olympus point and shoot camera but I moved to a DSLR when I simply couldn't obtain certain shots. For example, most low-end to medium-end point and shoots cameras have a delay between pressing the shutter button and taking the picture. This is very bad if you're trying to take an action shot.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkid View Post
Are there any other cosplay photographers who use point and shoot cameras? Because I don't feel I'll fit if I'm the only one.
Plenty of photographers use point and shoot cameras. The same principles of exposure and composition apply to any recording device (P&S, DSLR, SLR, Range Finders, Video).

Most of the active people in this forum probably do use a DSLR because of the greater flexibility to adjust for different situations BUT there is certainly plenty of good information and advice for anyone interested in improving their photography skills regardless of their equipment.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucer007 View Post
It really depends on what look you want for your cosplay photos. A decent Point-&-Shoot camera can give you good results, if you know what conditions it will perform well in.

You can get some shallow depth-of-field, but not nearly as much as a camera with a larger sensor, such as D-SLRs or those new shutterless cameras like the Sony NEX cameras as Max Archer said.

Regarding having a hot-shoe on your camera, to add a flash to bounce light, or a radio trigger for off-camera flashes, that can turn bad lighting into great lighting, if you know how to use them. You can still find good lighting, by choosing angles, camera settings, and locations carefully.

The versatility that you gain in romovable lenses on DSLR cameras can make a huge difference in what you can do. You can do so much more with extreme wide-angle lenses, the super tele-photo lenses, the fast prime lenses.

With Point-&-Shoot cameras, it is also difficult to make your camera take a photo as soon as you hit the trigger. These cameras usually need to find the focus before it will take the photo. DSLR cameras have switches on the lens so you can turn off the focus after your lens finds the proper focus. This can be vital for photos that require precise timing.

I would feel like I am compromising too much if I had to use a point-&-shoot, but each photographer has their own style and quality needs.
Thank you brucer. You always know what to say. ^^

While I have a DSLR, I got a serious lemon. It's been in and out of the repair shop since it was purchased. So I've been using my point and shoot for the past 6 months for photos. Though I miss the versatility my DSLR offers, I do like the simplicity and ease of storage of my point and shoot. If you have an understanding of how to compose a shot, lighting, angles, and the finer points of your camera, then you can make any photo work for any camera. The power is not in the technology, but in the user.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 02:05 PM   #12
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Brucer and Eriol covered the points that I would make. Though it's been years ago when I shot cosplay with a simple Kodak EasyShare point and shoot, I was shooting a cosplay "wedding" (I don't remember the series) and as the bride was walking down the aisle, the delay between the shutter and shutter release button killed every shot. A friend of mine was shooting a film camera (Nikon 2020, OLD SCHOOL) with 50mm f1.4 and nailed every shot of opportunity that presented itself. She also dominated during the masquerade while my shots were a blurry mess.

Don't get me wrong, EBK shot for years with a couple P&S cameras and had overwhelming success. If you know the limitations of your camera and you have an eye for composition, a P&S will serve you well for a long time.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 03:52 PM   #13
SolarTempest
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Originally Posted by Max_Archer View Post
It really depends on how you're going to use the equipment. If somebody buys a DLSR, but shoots it on auto modes and never takes off the kit lens, sure, they're probably just as well off with a P&S.
So many people have DSLRs and haven't bothered to learn how to really use them. It's frustrating! This is what's motivating me to use my point and shoot and see what I can accomplish.

If I can eventually do with a point and shoot what most people can't do with SLRs, I know I've got it =)
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Unread 12-30-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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Well, I've used a P&S shoot for photography before, so I don't see the problem with using one for your main.

And as some else said, what matters the most is composition and exposure for good picture.
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Unread 12-30-2010, 07:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SolarTempest View Post
So many people have DSLRs and haven't bothered to learn how to really use them. It's frustrating! This is what's motivating me to use my point and shoot and see what I can accomplish.

If I can eventually do with a point and shoot what most people can't do with SLRs, I know I've got it =)
OMG !!!! THIS!

Many think that a DSLR=SUPERAWESOMEPICS.

Wrong. Those who know the basics (composition, exposure, focus) combined with the ability to use manual settings will take the best photos.

A P&S will give you ok/mediocre pictures when you use fully auto settings. The flexibility of manual settings can give you some amazing shots.

The Canon G series (the G12 is sweet!) and other quality P/S have both manual and auto functions.. again flexibility. The ability to over-ride the auto function is the key.

As to OP's question.... no. Most who both cosplay and photograph do. A DSLR is not practical in their cases. They're too bulky. And if you take the time to learn how to use it, you can have results on par with most DSLRs.
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