10/06/18 – GOT7 CONCERT IN PARIS – EYES ON YOU (75 PHOTOS)

I got lazy with edit.

[TUTORIAL] Music shows (work in progress)

There are some things that you have to do before planning to go to a music show:

  • Join the fancafe and level up enough so you can see the different event information. Joining and leveling can be more or less difficult depending on groups. For some groups, fancafe is not the main way to get info, they sometimes got their own website to give information (like Red Velvet or KARD).
  • Follow the fan manager on Twitter, as well as the official twitter of the group. Usually, the official twitter is easily findable, and will follow the manager as well, so search for it. For instance, in Dreamcatcher case, the twitter of the fan manager is @DC_fanstaff. This account will post everything relatable to events.
  • Have the albums with you, physically. If you are planning to go to a music show through the fanbase, there will be a hierarchy. The one having the album will be ranked higher, and if you have album and song download, it’s even better, but since Melon and those sites are difficult to get for a foreigner, get at least the album in hand. Ask the manager if iTunes is ok, as it’s more convenient. Depending on groups, there might have some additional stuff to rank the fans (like fancafe membership, or official lightstick).

 

Here is the schedule of the music shows.

Day Studio/TV Channel Show/Program
Monday Arirang Simply K-Pop
Tuesday SBS MTV The Show
Wednesday MBC Music Show Champion
Thursday Mnet M!Countdown
Friday KBS Music Bank
Saturday MBC Music Core
Sunday SBS Inkigayo

Let’s start by talking about Simply K-Pop as it is a different case from the others. There is no live show for this one, as what you see online and on TV is a recording, and there is no reward or ceremony. Usually, there are recording sessions every two weeks, and it’s not rare for a group to appear one day and record for two weeks, it means that they will do one performance, and another one later on that day, the aim is to broadcast those at different weeks (so usually, set up or outfits will be different). There are more smaller groups going in this program, you won’t often see Twice on it for instance. Beside, Simply K-Pop happens every other week, all the other shows are happening every week, so you can plan your schedule quite ahead, for the live shows at least.

One recording session last for around an hour, and you see different groups go on stage, you can’t leave during a session. As I said, you might see your group perform twice, like one at the beginning, and one at the end of a session. It’s not really difficult to get in, so I would suggest you to go if you can. There is also a proximity between the groups/idols and the public since the room it’s smaller.

To get into Simply K-Pop, you have two solutions:

  • Get in it with your fanbase: in this case, you have to go through the fancafe of the group and apply for the recording session (process described below since it’s the same way).
  • Get in through the studio: on the website of the studio, there is a way for you to get into the show, you have to contact them directly (Arirang website). It’s quite simple as everything is in english. There are usually a couple of foreigners going this route. When you arrive at the studio, check in with the security directly and they will help you navigate. Everyone goes in during a session so you won’t be left out.

 

Let’s talk about all the other shows as they have more or less the same methods.

For a music show, you can get into the pre-recording or the live show. The live show is aired at the exact time of it broadcast so there is no surprise and you can plan ahead, however, for the pre-recording, the schedule can change from a week to another, from a group to another, so you’re gonna have to refer yourself to the announcement.

The methods to apply are gonna be the same for most of music shows:

Through the fanbase:

The fancafe and the twitter account will provide you information on where to apply and when. This is an example of Oh My Girl fancafe workshop notice page:

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Usually, you are gonna have to comment on a specific post, or submit a form, and the timestamp will be your number on the way in, the faster you apply, the earlier your seat will be. You sometimes have the form on the sidebar on the left, there will be something with the date, and some kind of pencil (= you can comment).

I suggest you to use this way first, as it’s the only one for pre-recording, and you can apply for the live show as well using the same method. (and it’s free). They will give you a date when you can start apply, and a deadline, it’s usually one or two days before the recording. (apply too soon or too late and you will end up at the end of line). This is an example of announcement, for Twice, on their fancafescreenshot.226

There are more infos below this on how to apply but you get the idea.

Usually, you will know if you have made it by checking the fancafe or the twitter account of the manager, the winner will be announced with something like this. The last column is for phone number if you are wondering. With the same example, here is Twice results:

screenshot.227

When you click on the results post, they will give you a summary of the timetable, the rules and such.

screenshot.229

APPLY AS SOON AS YOU CAN, USE THE INTERNET TIME (not your watch), PRESHOT YOUR FORM, AND CLICK SEND AS SOON AS THE TIME IS UP. THIS SHOULD BE STRESS MOMENT, BECAUSE IF YOU’RE LATE BY EVEN 1 SECOND, YOU ARE GONNA REGRET IT. 

Studio website:

For some studios, you can apply on the Korean website, it’s difficult because of the language so this isn’t the method I would recommend. You basically apply with some kind of lucky draw, there will be a form on their website. I tried for months for MBC, and it failed everytime, or maybe I made a mistake on the way … everything is in korean so this doesn’t help.

Studio website, foreigner edition:

Pull out some money, buy your seat. The website to do so is different depending on studios, but the easiest one I found is to get into Mnet (M!Countdown), with the SM Travel website. It’s expensive but you will get first, so you will have a good place (and this impact the enjoyment a lot). I know to get into SBS MTV, there is a process as well, since they have a banner outside the studio, so there is probably a form on their website. This is a tutorial from the Korean tourism website, I don’t know how up to date it is tho as I prefer going through fanbase in general.

In general, the first week of promotion, there will be a fanmeeting. Sometimes, you have to be among the people who applied to the music shows (pre-recording as fanmeeting doesn’t happen after live show since it’s too late). Example, this was after inkigayo pre-recording, rendez vous was at around 4AM and fanmeeting at around 6 or 7AM.

Also on the first week, the music shows performance are more elaborate, so the pre-recording will take more time, the consequence is that it’s gonna be at more odd hours, it’s not rare to have pre-recording at 3AM for instance.

When going to music shows, you are gonna wait a lot, A LOT. So prepare things to do, an external battery, chat with other fans, learn koreans, and what not. Also, be there on time.

Process

On the day of the recording or live show, arrive at the designated hour (10/15 minutes earlier, just in case. The fan manager will beging to form the queue, he/she can scream, either the number, or your name, so bring the list of the winners with you and be wary of your own position. It’s possible that there are ranks as well, the queue is done progressively. You will be given a number on the line to remember your position.

With this in mind, it will be useful to learn korean numbers, but it’s up to you I guess, ultimately, everything is simplier if you talk korean.

[TUTORIAL] Fansign: What you have to know.

A fansign is an event of 2 to 3 hours where you can meet your idol/group and get your album signed. You can chat a bit with them and give them gift. At the end of the fansign, there are sometimes dance performance, game, photo pose, etc.

When do they happen ?

Most of fansigns happen end of the week, friday, saturday and sunday. However, for the busier group, they probably squeeze the fansign when they can. For Twice and Red Velvet, the fansigns I have been to were during the week, so it can be a bit later than usual (for instance, if the fansign is after a music show).

Where can I find information on fansigns ?

  • On the official fancafe: You usually have a homepage on which you can see all the latest announcement. There will be something about fansign there. You can see the post because they will display the name of the album on it quite clearly. Let me use Oh My Girl as an example. (Side note: I love them.)

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If you don’t have such thing on the main page, check for “Notice” on the sidebar, and there will have a section dedicated to those kind of events.

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Each of those rectangles is an announcement for a fansign, so you can just click on them to get all the information needed. However, depending on the fancafe, the information may not be public like that, so you might need to level up beforehand.

  • On the blog or website of the organizer: Fansigns are usually organized by CD sellers, this is why you see their banners during fansigns. You can have different kind of companies, like Soundwave, Applemusic (not related with Apple, iPhone), Synnara, M2U Records, Hottracks, Bandin Lunis, YPBookstore, etc. They usually announce all the fansigns of the brand on their blog or website, so if you are looking for anything to go, better check the companies rather than the fancafe.

Let’s use the website of Synnara as an example. It’s not one of the easy one to navigate as things are all in korean, and they don’t have a blog for it to my knowledge, so sometimes, you gonna have to randomly click on links.

Screen Shot 04-16-18 at 05.09 PM

So I fucking clicked everywhere, and this one fucker top right, is leading me to the notice page for the events they organize.

Screen Shot 04-16-18 at 05.10 PM

So, you may find fansigns here. This is only their recent events. You can see that there are different groups. But, even if you don’t check all the fancafe, you have to check all the companies blogs or website so … Yeah.

Announcements usually happen on tuesday and wednesday for fansigns at the end of the week, and for the others, well, when they can. An announcement can be made 3 days before the event, or more than a week before. The best way is to check the fancafe or blogs on a daily basis, once you know the way, it takes like just a few minutes.

I have found a fansign announcement, now what ?

Let’s say that you found one, for instance, this fansign announcement on the blog of M2U Records:

Screen Shot 04-16-18 at 05.19 PM

You need to know it says. A lot of announcement are blocked from copy pasta, so if you want to translate it, I suggest you to use google translate on your phone, take a picture, and translate from there.

The fansign announcement all have this kind of format, that will display all the needed information. Here is another announcement, found this time on the Oh My Girl fancafe:

Screen Shot 04-16-18 at 05.23 PM

I put all the information without translating, at some point, you know what it said. Knowing hangul is helping, that’s for sure. Especially if you want to know the adress, use the google trad trick from earlier, on your smartphone to get the adress if you can’t write hangul.

Time to go buy the albums

Once you know the adress of the store where to buy the albums … Well, go buy them. The process is quite simple:

  1. Find the store, they usually have some poster with the announcement of the fansign so you can’t really miss it.
  2. Once there, go directly to the checkout and state the group, and the number of albums you are buying, for instance, for Twice earlier: “Twice fansign, yeol da seo gue, juseyo”, which is Twice fansign, 15, please. (I don’t think it’s actually correct, but I’ve always been understood).
  3. Throw your money, cry internally, then the cashier will give you a ticket.
  4. You have to go to the CD section of the store, find a clerk and register yourself for the fansign. You are gonna have to give the ticket there to prove your purchase.
  5. The registration is filling: name, number of albums bought, email (sometimes), and phone number. A foreign phone number is ok, but for convenience, you should also a rent a korean sim card. The name you are filling has to be the same as written on your ID, and only in hangul or romanized (for instance, Chinese name have to be written with letters, like on your passport I guess).
  6. The clerk will give you a ticket that serve as a proof of your registration, keep it very carefully.
  7. You can now take the albums, ask the clerk politely if you can choose the albums yourself, if it’s not busy, he may comply. This moment is important if you don’t want to end up with ton shit of duplicate cards. Pick an album there, another two there, and so on, space your picks. Some clercks do that directly, but most don’t from my experience (lady clerk at Soundwave Lotte Youngdeugpo, I love you.)

It can happen that the store is short of albums, in those cases, they will give you the remaining albums at the fansign, if you’re in, otherwise, you are gonna have to comeback later, they keep your info and know what’s left to pick anyway.

The process I just explained is for the lottery fansign, it’s the most common one. However there is another kind of fansign, which is first come first serve. Pretty simple, find the store, come buy ONE album, and you are in. The order in which you came buy your album will be your seat. For instance, if you were the 5th buyer of a fansign spot, then you are gonna be at fifth seat at the fansign day. This is used by small groups in general, Dreamcatcher have done it until Good Night, Stellar as well (*cry inside*), and I believe Loona is at the moment.

Winner announcement

The number of albums bought will impact your chance to get into the fansign, this number varies from one group to another. For Twice, I’ve seen people bought 30 and 50 albums, but also fucker who got in with 4 only, so it’s luck based. Understand that there is also some kind of quota between foreigners and koreans. So sometimes, you are competing against other foreigners, not koreans. This quota is different from a group to another. For instance, Oh My Girl, usually 10 foreigners, but for T-ara, it was about 60.

To check if you have been drawned, you have to check the blog of the organizer. If you have found the link on the fancafe, they will give a link to the website anyway. Let’s go to the YP Bookstore blog this time, and check on the WJSN fansign winner announcement:

This is the homepage of the blog, you already have a bunch of fansigns information.

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But what interests us there, is the WJSN results, so click on the fansigns news then on the WJSN announcement:

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On this page, you will have again all the information regarding the fansign, as well as the hours, the rules and the winners.

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The winners are listed in the table, so you just have to find your name and match it with the phone number in case there is your homonym there (more frequent for koreans I guess …). Are you happy, did you win ?

Also, the results are not necessarily announced the day before. Details can change for whatever reasons, from a fansign to another, from a group to another.

The Day of the fansign

Once you are at the location, go look for the staff, they are usually at a table with some kind of box with them (that got the seat number), and check in. (ID, name)

There is another drawing going on, to know which seat you are gonna take. You can either go there early and pick a ticket early or pick yours later. There are risks in both situations. The best outcome is to get first line of course, no one to block your view, you are the closest to them, but it all falls to luck.

Keep the ticket that you draw as you are gonna need to give it to the manager when passing to get your album signed. You can try to trade your seat with someone else, because the idols seat in the same order more or less, and some people want to get the right line of view.

You have to take a post it with you the D-day, so you can write your name on it (so … you also need a pen), the staff usually have post it and pens with them as well, not since it’s not certain, might as well have yours.

Mark the album by members, put a post it at the page you want the idol to sign in, so everything go faster and you can focus on quality time.

In some fansigns, you can put a post it with some questions, it has to be fast to answer, or get some kind of checkbox. But, for Red Velvet, I have been denied that … so, who knows.

You get around a minute with your idol, so prepare your interaction in advance, since you may not know how the idol is actually is during direct interaction. Some groups are better at others for fan interactions, it’s up to the personalities I guess, so in case your idol is actually not talkative, prepare something.

  • Experience:
    • T-ara, beside Eunjung, they are pretty quiet, they won’t lead you in any conversation, you have to do it. I love Eunjung, she talks better english than the others. (which is not the reason I love her, but I just wanted to point this out).
    • Oh My Girl, the smoothest fansign you can go to, the girls are full of fanservice, actually good in English (beside Hyojung and Mimi but they still catch some words) and will directly ask question or talk if you actually blank yourself out. Damn, I miss them.

You can give gift directly to your idol but not everything will be authorised. Most of times, food that is not sealed won’t be authorised for instance. Also, note that in Twice case, they didn’t keep anything that the fans gave, everything was left in boxes and on the tables after the fansign. It’s not the only group that refuse gift, at some point, the big groups have to do this. (do you really think that they keep all the plush or headbands they have, don’t be fucking naive, would you)

PS: For Red Velvet, you couldn’t take pictures at some fansigns. Of course, I have been to three, it was forbidden to all three. And bam, public fansign as soon as I came back to my home country. Fucking hell. (edit: Apparently, it’s for all SM group, fucking leesooshit).

 

To-do list:

  1. Check for fansigns, the dates have to be ok with your schedule;
  2. Get the store adress and buy the suitable amount of albums for the fansign;
  3. Prepare the talk and the eventual gift to the idols;
  4. Prepare the album to be signed (name, questions), get a spare one in your bag;
  5. Get your ID with you, and your camera gear if you have any (check for batteries and memories);
  6. Be presentable (shower, teeth, nails)
  7. Get the adress of the fansign location;
  8. Get at the fansign at least 20 minutes before (just in case)
  9. Enjoy

[TUTORIAL] CAMERA, WHAT TO BUY, HOW TO HANDLE. (SUMMARY)

It was way too fucking long, so I summed it up. Original tutorials:

Also, I’m mostly focusing on photo. Most of those cameras can also do decent video stuff, but it may require more or less effort depending on gear (especially on the focus matter). For video only stuff, a camcorder is a good option, the price is decent (still a couple hundreds euros though) and it’s lightweight, but I can’t help mush as I have low knowledge on those.

Vocabulary

I will focus on two kinds of cameras, each of them got different sensors (the thing that take the photo):

  • Full frame: full size sensor of 24x36mm. Every focal lenght and aperture is based on full frame perspective.
  • APS-C (or crop body): smaller sensor, with a crop factor. A full frame is x1.6 bigger than a Canon APS-C and x1.5 bigger than a Nikon or Sony one.
    • Less light in an APS-C: you usually have one stop less of light, it’s like going from f/4 to f/5.6.
    • Tighter focal lenght: you will see less from a same distance, it’s like zooming in, a 70-200mm lens will become something around 112-320mm.
  • So, Full frame in general are better, but also more expensive, but some modern APS-C behave really well against some full frames.

Focal lenght: This is the range of a lens basically. The higher the number, the closer you can look at something without moving.

Aperture: It’s the opening inside a lens that let the light go through. The aperture can also be called f-stop, and is mentionned on the lens by “f/x”, x being a number. You can have lenses with fixed aperture (ex: f/2.8) or variable aperture (ex: f/3.5-5.6). The lower the number, the bigger the aperture. (f/2.8 is better than f/4 and fixe is better than variable).

ISO: This is the light sensitivity. When you go up, the image get brighter, but noise increase as well. So, it’s about finding the compromise. ISO performance is important for K-Pop.

Shutter speed: It’s the time the mirror of the camera stays open to capture the light. The shutter speed has to be changed depending on what you shoot. Dance performance ? It has to be faster, so you can freeze the moment like this. However, in this picture, speed is too slow so the hand is blurry. Note: 1/30 is slower than 1/100, and 1′ is one second.

Buying advices

Used cameras: look for the shutter count (number of photos total taken). Cameras have a lifespan expressed by this shutter count, so if too high, it will be cheaper but more prone to failure. Most cameras have between 100k and 150k shutter count lifepspan.

Warranty: depending on where you buy the product, it’s either white market or grey market. White is national retailer, and grey is export. Grey is cheaper but you won’t be able to claim the warranty to Canon, Nikon or whatelse. The seller can have his own warranty though.

Batteries: It’s important, get at least one other battery if you’re using a DSLR, and a couple more if using mirrorless. (a battery grip is also a possibility)

Memory cards: get cards that your camera can use, and get a reader for your computer so you can export later on. Be wary of norms, most cameras can’t use UHS-II for instance. Get enough storage, as well as a back up. The storage depends on your style, more spam, more storage. I spam, I need a 256GO card. (and I got another 256GO back up).

Tripod/monopod: A tripod is a stand for your camera to rest, this is an extremly convenient item and I suggest you to buy one if you can, they are especially useful in fansigns. The tripod will allow you to reduce the shake since you don’t have to carry your camera anymore. A monopod has the same purpose but it’s on one leg instead, so, less stable as you can’t just leave the camera there, but you’re more mobile so if you have to move, it’s good.

Recommendations

All prices are grey market and new. I suggest you to buy grey market lens, and white market body.

For older model, getting used is also a possibility, but you have to test the product. Price only inclides body and lens combo. Also, never buy the kit lens.

If you want to shoot video, Sony is clearly the best, Canon is also great (especialy the models with dual pixel technology), Nikon is meh…

Always invest more in lens rather than camera body, image quality rely more on lens.

Under 400€: Canon 60D + Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Under 600€: Nikon D3400 + Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR

Under 1000€: Nikon D3400 + Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD A009

Under 1200€: Canon 800D +  Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD A009

Under 1500€: Nikon D610 + Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G1 A009

Under 1800€: Canon 6D + Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025

Under 2000€: Nikon D610 + Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025

Under 2500€: Nikon D750 or Canon 6D Mk II (if video) + Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025

Under 4000€: Sony A7 III + Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

Camera settings

White balance: Auto

ISO: Auto

Exposure composition: it’s the black and white +/- symbol combo. Put at -0.3 if shooting raw. 0 if shooting Jpeg.

Shutter Speed:

  • 1/125 for posing idols, where the subject will freeze himself for a shot time
  • 1/200 and 1/250 for talking and reaction capture, slow paced stuff in general
  • 1/400 and 1/640 for dance performance.

Aperture: Always lowest possible. (unless under f/1.8 then it depends)

File: Raw. And if you are not spamming and got double cards slot, Raw + Jpeg

Focus mode: Ai Servo / Continuous focus / Face dettect / Eye focus

Button configuration: Choose a button to put the AF-ON as it is more convenient than pushing halfthrough the trigger button. A button that is under the thumb and is usually not active much.

Video settings: shoot at highest resolution with highest bitrate everytime. Prioritize resolution over fps. Make sure your memory card can handle it, especially in 4K where it’s very demanding. The shutter speed needed:

  • 25fps = 1/50 – 50fps = 1/100
  • 30fps = 1/60 – 60fps = 1/120

Shooting mode: Choose continuous high speed shooting. When you keep the trigger button pushed, it will keep shooting.

Advices on how to use the camera

Try not to fill the buffer everytime. It’s the amount of pictures you can take before your camera slow down.

Learn how the focus work, this is the most important thing I would say, a slightly dark or overexposed image can still be corrected, but if your photo is clearly out of focus, nothing can be done. Example of me fucking up.

It’s better to shoot wider than too tight, as you can still crop afterward. (understand, shoot 135mm more often than 150mm for instance).

It’s fine if your subject is a bit far, when using a 70-200 on a full frame, it can happen quite a lot, as long as the picture is fine and in focus, you will be able to crop and get a good picture afterward. For instance, in this screenshot, you can see the original photo on the left, and the crop on the right side, you can see that the quality is still there (the ISO 125 is helping, that’s for sure, but still).

Don’t spend all your time on your camera, you also want to appreciate the interactions and the performances, it’s nice that you want to capture the moment, but don’t forget to live it as well.

Post Process

Make a back-up of your files. Make one copy on one hard drive and another copy on another hard drive.

Organize your folders from the very beginning.

I use a software called FastStone Image Viewer to select the pictures I’m gonna share, and I copy them on a separe folder.

Once it’s done, I put them through Lightroom to edit everything and crop/resize/watermark the whole batch. I usually don’t go through Photoshop, unless it’s really necessary.

Darktable, Rawtherapee are good free alternatives to Lightroom. Gimp is a free alternative to Photoshop.

Most people don’t leave twitter, so you can just upload your pictures there. However, the photos can’t be very big, so if you want people to have higher resolution photo, you are gonna have to use alternatives, like googe photo, flickr or even imgur.

 

[TUTORIAL] CAMERA GEARING GUIDE FOR K-POP – SETTINGS, SHOOTING, AND POST PROCESS (PART 3/3)

The last part of the camera tutorials will be focused on settings and to use your cameras for what we need.

First of all, go and set the camera on M mode, which is the manual mode.

Camera settings

White balance: You should just put it on auto. This is one less thing to worry about, as it can change from a scene to another quite frequently, and since it can be easily corrected in post process, it’s ok.

ISO: In most cases, you should put it on auto as well, however, you can still tune it a bit. You can set a maximum ISO for the auto mode to reach, the max you set is gonna depend on situation. For the dreamcatcher concert, I set it at 8000 max in Amsterdam, because I got some shots at 10 000 in London, and it was too much. Since in a dance performance, the lights are gonna change a lot, auto iso is necessary. For more calm scene, like, in a fanmeeting or fansign, you can fix the ISO yourself for a better control of the image. However, in a fansign, from one member to another, the light can be different so keep that in mind.

Exposure composition: it’s the black and white +/- symbol combo, in general, it’s best to have a slightly underexposed picture, so you can go to -0.3 to -1, don’t go too much. Letting it at 0 is also fine, this is not a decisive factor in image quality anyway.

Shutter Speed: You need something fast enough to freeze the moments (no blurr), and something slow enough to let enough light and limit noise. What I use right now:

  • 1/125 for posing idols, where the subject will freeze himself for a shot time
  • 1/200 and 1/250 for talking and reaction capture, slow paced stuff in general
  • 1/400 and 1/640 for dance performance, depending on dance, you can also change it, but for Dreamcatcher for instance, I find those two shutter speeds to be in a sweet spot. The hair are sometimes a bit soft on 1/400, this is why I’m also using 1/640 depending on songs.

Aperture: Always go to the lowest value possible, it’s especially true with variable aperture lens, as it change depending on the range. It can happen to forget to put it back to the lowest. One exception is that you have a really fast lens (below f/1.8) and you are close enough to the subject, you might want to tune it a bit. But considering that f/2.8 is quite the standard, it shouldn’t happen much.

File: Shoot Raw in priority, and if you are lacking storage … yeah, go jpg. If you have two cards slot, one good option is to shoot Raw on main card and jpeg on second card as you have a back up just in case the main card die. However, this will add a strain on the camera so it will be slower (buffer size), so it’s up to you. I personnaly set my second card on overload option as I want to keep my momentum while shooting.

Focus mode: depending on the camera, try to get the focus mode dedicated to moving subject, this will help you track the subject across your screen more accurately. Also, choose the largest possible area (highest numer of cross focus points) to focus. In mirrorless, you also have face detect and eye detect, those are good options in general. You might want to try the settings yourself to see what suits you the most.

Button configuration: In general, to get a photo on a fresh camera, you push the trigger halfway, it focuses, then, you fully push and it shoot. What I find more convenient tho is to configure one button to focus, and let the trigger to shoot pictures, regardless of the focus. You have to choose a conveniently placed button (under the thumb ideally), and that is not important in general, and configure it to AF-ON (autofocus on). On my Nikon, it’s the AE-L button that I decided to switch off. Note: you also have to configure it on the battery grip if you have one and the camera settings propose this option.

Video settings: I would suggest to shoot at least at 1080p 60fps, but if you can, shoot 4K, even if it’s 30fps. When shooting video, you can change the shutter speed to adapt to the record.

  • 25fps = 1/50 / 50fps = 1/100
  • 30fps = 1/60 / 60fps = 1/120

Then, the bitrate, if your memory card can handle it, choose the higher bitrate everytime. This will put a strain on your memory card, and the post process since the video will weight more, but better have good quality from the start than regretting it later.

Shooting mode: You can have different modes: single shot, quiet single shot,  continuous high speed, continious low speed, continuous quiet, delay, bulb. It can be a bit different depending on brands. It’s quite simple, single shot is taking one picture at a time, and continuous high speed will take pictures at max speed as long as you keep pressing on the trigger. I would suggest continuous high speed.

Advices on how to use the camera

Try not to fill the buffer everytime, you never know when a worthy moment appear. Also, know what buffer can you handle, note that it can change by a few depending on your ISO (high ISO = heavier file => lower buffer size eventually).

Change your battery when it’s getting low, don’t wait the last moment, and do it in a gap time (when you know there won’t be anything worth to shoot).

Learn how the focus work, this is the most important thing I would say, a slightly dark or overexposed image can still be corrected, but if your photo is clearly out of focus, nothing can be done. Example of me fucking up.

Shooting in full auto is fine, the only issue is the shutter speed that is kinda random, in my experience, it was often too slow so there was some kind of blurr.

It’s better to shoot wider than too tight, as you can still crop afterward. (understand, shoot 135mm more often than 150mm for instance).

Shooting jpeg is ok, as you will save time on the post process, but getting the light right is gonna be more important.

When shooting raw, you are gonna need softwares to deal with the files, Rawtherapee and Darktable are reputable free softwares, and Lightroom is the most common software, although not free (it does come with Photoshop though). You can use Gimp instead of Photoshop.

It’s fine if your subject is a bit far, when using a 70-200 on a full frame, it can happen quite a lot, as long as the picture is fine and in focus, you will be able to crop and get a good picture afterward. For instance, in this screenshot, you can see the original photo on the left, and the crop on the right side, you can see that the quality is still there (the ISO 125 is helping, that’s for sure, but still).

Don’t spend all your time on your camera, you also want to appreciate the interactions and the performances, it’s nice that you want to capture the moment, but don’t forget to live it as well.

The more you shoot, the more you use your camera (shutter count), so is it worth it to spam the trigger, well, not really. In fansign, you don’t see the people spending all their time shooting. On another hand, if you are not seeing your idols often, it’s understandable to shoot a lot.

Post Process

I’m here to explain to you the process I’m usually going through. The post process is what you have to go through once you have done your shooting.

1/ Export the files: I usually have two back up for all my photos, so it’s up to you if you have the storage for it or not. It would be a shame if your hard drive die and so on the pictures … Put the files from your memory card on your computer. Sometimes, depending on the card reader, it can be faster to use a cable on the camera, so try both to see which is fastest.

2/ Organize folder: My folders got this organization: group name – event – date, so I know how I’m looking for my stuff.

3/ Select the pictures: I’m using a software called FastStone Image Viewer to look through all my Raws, and every picture I deemed worthy is copied on another folder (that I usually put on my desktop).

4/ Filter: I’m doing another selection on the pictures that I’ve selected earlier, so I can delete the ones that feels a bit redundant.

5/ Editing: I usually put all the pictures in Lightroom, and do the edit there, it might be more or less heavy depending on pictures. I usually don’t go into photoshop as it is not needed, but as you have maybe seen, editing is clearly not my strongest feature, so …

6/ Export: don’t forget to put a watermark on your pictures, and export in jpeg. The size is up to you but most people won’t leave the SNS they see the pictures on. So going over 1500×1000 is not a necessity.

7/ I usually keep track of the pictures I’ve selected in raw, so I can come back later if necessary, so it’s another storage needed.

 

 

[TUTORIAL] CAMERA GEARING GUIDE FOR K-POP – BASIC NOTIONS BEFORE BUYING (PART 1/3)

[TUTORIAL] Camera gearing guide for K-pop – Gear advices and recommendations (Part 2/3)

[TUTORIAL] Camera gearing guide for K-pop – Gear advices and recommendations (Part 2/3)

 

If you are willing to shoot photos or videos of your idols and invest in an appropriate camera gear, this guide will help you decide.

First thing is to decide the budget you want to use, then the type of things you want to do (photo, video or both ?). Note: camera gear is really expensive.

If you want to get pics like the usual fansites, be prepared to invest quite a lot. You often see those Canon white lens ? Well, it costs that much. However, do you need this to get quality photos or videos ? Well, not necessarily, there are alternatives.

I will mostly focus on full frame and APS-C cameras, as MFT and point and shoot cameras are not perfectly suited for K-Pop as you usually need range and low light capabilities, that those two are lacking.

First of all, the brand you are choosing, I’m gonna stick to three, as I consider them to be the most suitable for what we shoot.

  • Canon:
    • Decent camera bodies, with decent performance in photos and videos
    • Good variety of lenses
    • the most used in general, so easier to get used stuff at good price
  • Nikon:
    • Better camera bodies than Canon, better value at least
    • Lenses are not as good as the Canon counterpart in general
    • Bad for videos because of the focus
  • Sony:
    • recent mirrorless cameras has been really good, for both photos and videos
    • low variety of lens, you can’t go over 200mm easily
    • Lenses are really expensive, but camera bodies are ok

Those are the brands for cameras, they also make their own lenses (native lens), but there are also other brands that can make lenses for those systems, they are called third parties manufacturers. You mostly have to care about Sigma and Tamron as for now.

General tips

Used cameras: you have to look for the shutter count.  The higher the shutter count, the lower the price, obviously, but you shouldn’t buy a camera that has a too high count. Under 30 000 would be pretty decent while providing a good discount on the price. If it’s too high, you might have to include the cost of renewing the shutter, but it’s another step and hassle. (cost varies depending on cameras)

Warranty: we called grey market, any product coming from export (usually asia). Those products are cheaper (even brand new), but if something happens, it’s gonna be harder for you to claim warranty. I would suggest to buy grey market lens but stick to classic market bodies (buy the camera in an approved retailer in your country for instance). Well, the product is the same, so it’s up to you, is the price gap worth it ? Personally, all my gear is grey market.

Kit lenses: in general, avoid them, I’m talking about the 18-55mm you usually get with your cameras. This lens is gonna be useless for K-pop and the quality is usually bad. I would suggest you to buy a prime lens instead (50mm f/1.8 is a good one, regardless of cameras as each brand got their own affordable option). For K-pop uses, 18-55mm is not enough range in general anyway so you don’t need it. Here is a photo I took using my very first set-up with a 18-55mm. (at 55mm range), and here is the zoomed version. On another hand, here is a picture I took using a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM on a crop sensor, you can see that I’m lacking a bit of range, but the quality is way better. My advise: buy a 70-200mm instead and get yourself a 35mm or 50mm for wider shoot. (as those primes are usually between 100/200€ so quite affordable.)

Used lens: a lot of lenses, especially the professional ones are built like tanks so they have quite a long lifespan so it’s quite easy to buy a used lens. However, what you have to check is the state of the glass, is it ok ? Check for fungus  and any defect possible, look from one end and the other, is there dust inside ? Also, try the lens if you can, especially the focus system as it can go off if there is an issue inside.

Accronyms:

  • Image stabilization: it got different names depending on manufacturers:
    • Canon: IS = Image stabilization
    • Nikon: VR = Vibration reduction
    • Sony: OSS = Optical steady shot
    • Sigma: OS = Optical stabilization
    • Tamron: VC = Vibration control
  • Lens format: Full frame and APS-C designed lenses got their names as well:
    • Canon: EF for full frame and EF-S for APS-C
    • Nikon: FX for full frame and DX for APS-C
    • Sony: FE for full frame and E for APS-C
  • Quality indicator: for expensive shits
    • Canon: got an “L” after the aperture to indicate professional oriented lens,
    • Sony: G Master serie
    • Tamron: SP for Super Performance
    • Sigma: A = art, S = sport, C = contempory ; it’s the uses for which the lens was designed for
    • Nikon: I have no fucking idea, they don’t have one I think
  • They are also other accronyms but they are less important I would say.

What to buy beside camera+lens ?

Batteries: If you are using a DSLR camera, I would suggest you to buy at least one additionnal battery, because if you are shooting non stop during a fansign, you will end low on battery after 2 hours (talking from experience), so just in case, have some safety measure. Also, get official batteries, the third batteries are cheaper but their lifespan is way shorter. When shooting mirrorless, you might need more because the batteries don’t usually last as long as the DSLR counterparts.

Battery grip: It’s an accessory that you put at the bottom of you camera that brings 2 things. One, is a slot for another battery, your camera will have 2 batteries in it, so you don’t have to change it during a session. Two, is the ease to shoot vertical photos since they are additional commands on a battery grip. This is why for Dreamcatcher London, all my photos are horizontal, but for Dreamcatcher Amsterdam, I have some vertical shots as I have the grip with me. I would also suggest to get official battery grip since it’s linked to the camera system, but it’s expensive as fuck for what it is, it’s up to you eventually. You can still shoot vertically, it’s just not as convenient.

Memory cards: depending on your cameras, you might need to use SD cards (most frequent nowadays), Cfast cards or XQD. Check that your computer can read those cards, would be sad if you can’t, don’t forget to get an adapter then. For your memory card, you need something that can handle the storage needed, and the speed. For a lot of cameras, the SD card you want needs to have a UHS-I written on it (or U1), it’s a speed norm that quite some cameras have right now. UHS-II is for high-end cameras, so just ignore as it’s not that common anyway. If you’re planning on shooting non-stop during an event, the memory card is gonna have to be handle more, as a reference, for a fansign of 2 hours, with a Canon 80D (which have a good speed and buffer), I have almost 6000 photos for 150GO. However, this is me and I’m an insane shooter, spamming that fucking button. I would recommend 2 64GO cards or a single 128GO card, this is a good start and should be able to handle all your needs.

Flashes: Clearly not needed in almost all situations, but it might come handy in some rare situations, like airport or exterior night shooting. Do not use them during dance performance, and fansigns, it’s bad etiquette and you’ll probably be asked to get it off or worse, be kicked. Don’t need to buy an official flash (Canon, Nikon, Sony) as they are too expensive for the uses we have, instead, get a third party one that can be as good, like any Yongnuo one. Flash should be the least of your worry anyway. An example for what flash can bring: Handong after the Amsterdam concert.

Tripod/monopod: A tripod is a stand for your camera to rest, this is an extremly convenient item and I suggest you to buy one if you can, they are especially useful in fansigns. The tripod will allow you to reduce the shake since you don’t have to carry your camera anymore, and it’s more … energy friendly, holding a dslr for hours is tiring, believe me. A monopod has the same purpose but it’s on one leg instead, so, less stable as you can’t just leave the camera there, but you’re more mobile so if you have to move, it’s good.

What do we need for K-Pop ?

Most of K-Pop events can be either outdoor or indoor, so you should stick to the worse scenarios to base your purchase on, which is : indoor and low light. So you need something that can be used in this situation.

Aperture: f/2.8 is a good aperture in low light without an inconvenient depth of field, so this should be your go to aperture. f/1.8 or f/2 are also good options but those lenses are not as common beside the prime.

Focal lenght: 70-200mm should be your go-to lens, it’s an extremly versatile focal lenght and should cover a great part of your needs. In very rare situation, where you are really close, a 35mm prime should be great to compensate or a standard zoom (24-70mm). This applies for APS-C as well, but you can find  yourself a bit tight by 70 (as it’s about 110mm full frame equivalent), so a wider lens might be needed, although, in most cases, it’s ok. For the Kard showcase, I was at second line, so very close and the 70-200mm on my crop sensor felt a bit tight sometimes, I couldn’t get a full body shot of Somin when she was in front for instance.

Extra focal lenght: In some situations, 200mm may not be enough, for instance if your seat is far in a fansign, or during a dance performance. There are two options:

  • Extender: It’s something you put between the camera and the lens, they usually increase the range by 1.4 or 2. However, there will be a degradation of the image quality, and if you are using a 1.4 extender, you will lose one stop of ligt (f/2.8 to f/4, f/4 to f/5.6, etc.). The focus speed will also be slower.
  • Another lens… Sigma 150-600mm , Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 150-600mm should be the main ones unless you have thousands of euros, then go for prime telefoto lens, but it’s above my knowledge (considering that a lens can go over 6000€ so …).

ISO performance: You are gonna need a camera that can get a maximum ISO of at least 6400, because in dark environment (concert room for instance), you’re gonna reach that maximum…

Video: Something that can film 1080p at 60FPS is a sweet spot, most cameras can do 1080p 30fps so it should be fine, but if you’re aiming to get fancams, over photos, 60fps is needed. Unless you go 4k 30fps, but getting into 4K is more expensive.

Camera Bodies recommendations

I will focus most likely on APS-C and full frame bodies, and all the price will be new and grey market, and without the kit lens. So you’re gonna have to adjust the price for your country if don’t want grey market (add something like 20/25%). Also, you are gonna have to do your own research, i’m just leading you on a path, as they are more to just what I show there.

 

Canon_Logo_350_tcm79-959888

Canon 60D :

  • 270€
  • APS-C / 18mpx / 5.3fps / 1080p 30fps / 9 focus points

Canon 750D:

  • 430€
  • APS-C / 24mpx / 5fps / 1080p 30fps / 19 focus points

Canon 800D:

  • 560€
  • APS-C / 24mpx / 6fps / 1080p 60fps / 45 focus points / dual pixel

Canon 6D: 

  • 830€
  • Full frame / 20mpx / 4.5fps / 1080p 30fps / 9 focus points

Canon 80D:

  • 690€
  • APS-C / 24mpx / 7fps / 1080p 60 fps / 45 focus points / dual pixel

Canon 7D Mark II:

  • 950€
  • APS-C / 20mpx / 10fps / 1080p 60fps / 69 focus points / dual pixel

Canon 6D Mark II :

  • 1300€
  • Full frame / 26mpx / 6.5fps / 1080p 60fps / 45 focus points / dual pixel

Canon 5D Mark IV:

  • 2400€
  • Full frame / 30mpx / 7fps / 4k 30fps (cropped) / 61 focus points / dual pixel

Canon 1DX Mark II:

  • 4300€
  • Full frame / 20mpx / 14fps / 4k 60fps / 61 focus points

 

Nikon Logo png

Nikon D3400:

  • 320€
  • APS-C / 24mpx / 5fps / 1080p 60fps / 11 focus points

Nikon D5600:

  • 460€
  • APS-C / 24mpx / 5fps / 1080p 60fps / 39 focus points

Nikon D610: 

  • 890€
  • Full frame / 24mpx / 6fps / 1080p 30fps / 39 focus points

Nikon D750:

  • 1200€
  • Full frame / 24mpx / 6.5fps / 1080p 60fps / 51 focus points

Nikon D500:

  • 1350€
  • APS-C / 21mpx / 10fps / 4k 30fps (cropped) / 153 focus points

Nikon D810:

  • 1700€
  • Full frame / 36mpx / 5fps / 1080p 60fps / 51 focus points

Nikon D850:

  • 2900€
  • Full frame / 45mpx / 7fps and 9fps with battery grip / 4k 30fps / 153 focus points

 

 

téléchargement

Sony A7 III:

  • 2200€ – retail price, not grey market as it’s a very recent camera
  • Full frame / 24mpx / 10fps / 4k 30fps / 693 focus points

Sony A7R III:

  • 2800€
  • Full frame / 42mpx / 10fps / 4k 30fps / 399 focus points

Sony A9:

  • 3500€
  • Full frame / 24mpx / 20fps / 4k 30fps / 693 focus points

Lenses recommendations

In general, a full frame lens will work on an APS-C body, (although you won’t get the same range because of the crop factor), but the other way around won’t work well. If it does, you will have some serious quality drop so, is it worth it ?

The lenses I recommend, all prices will be new, and grey market, so you might notice some differences, and buying a lens used isn’t an issue at all: (sorted from cheaper to out of mind)

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM:

  • 150€ (Only get the STM version, the previous ones are dipshit)
  • insane value for the buck and very good range overall
  • only compatible with Canon APS-C cameras

Tamron SP 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD: 

  • 260€
  • Good range and value for its price
  • In either Canon, Nikon or Sony version (+30€)

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED VR:

  • 230€
  • Good range and value, although more expensive than the Canon counterpart
  • Only for Nikon APS-C

Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD:

  • 570€
  • Good range overall, with decent quality and value
  • it’s lacking indoor because of the aperture but at this price point, not much possible at this range

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD (also called G1 or A009):

  • 680€ (Do not get the macro version, it’s utter bullshit)
  • good value, good performance
  • compatible with either Canon, Nikon or Sony

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM C:

  • 700€
  • Long telefoto lens, very good value for the range it can reach
  • It shouldn’t be used for under 300mm, you should just get a 70-200mm instead
  • in either Canon or Nikon mount

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (A025):

  • 1000€
  • good value, performance is almost equal to the native lens
  • in either Canon or Nikon edition

Nikon 200-500 f/5.6E ED VR:

  • 1000€
  • Good value, with good focus overall
  • fixed aperture, nice on a long range telefoto lens

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II:

  • 1400€
  • worse value than the tamron one, but better at long range and slightly faster focus speed
  • the classic white lens you see everywhere

Sony FE 70-200 f/4 GM OSS:

  • 1400€
  • The cheap alternative for Sony xD
  • Lens is good despite the f/4

Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS USM II:

  • 1500€
  • good range, ok value, image quality is not as good as the 70-200 f/2.8 but compensate with the extra range
  • because of the aperture, it kinda sucks in low light, but it should do ok in fansigns and outdoor fanmeeting

Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ED VR II:

  • 1700€
  • Nikon native lens for this range, all the previous version are obsolete compared to the tamron version
  • worse value than the tamron one for not an actual better option but if you want proprietaire option, it’s this one

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM:

  • 1700€
  • It’s an extremly versatile lens, but at the cost of image quality, but at least, you won’t need any other lens. It’s still an L lens, so quality is enough in most situation.
  • The wide end is very so-so

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS:

  • 2000€
  • not much possibilities with Sony cameras, lens is excellent though

Sony FE 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS:

  • 2200€
  • If you want to reach past 200mm, you don’t have much choice with Sony

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM:

  • 2800€
  • Really good range, especially at f/2.8
  • really heavy and expensive, and not as sharp as the 70-200mm but image quality is still nice
  • Canon or Nikon option

Sidenote: For Sony bodies, you can use a converter to get Canon mount lenses on the Sony bodies, you don’t lose much on image quality, but the issue is focus speed as it’s not as reliable, also, it can varies quite a bit from a lens to another. Look for Metabones speedboosters and Sigma converter.

Tripod recommendations

Anything that that suit all the below characteristic :

  • it can reach your eye level while being seated
  • it can withstand twice the weight of your heavier camera set up
  • is aluminium (because cheaper)
  • you shouldn’t go over 150€, and a lot of good options around 100€

The manfrotto befree is quite popular, really light, good enough height, and can support 4KG, which is enough for a 70-200mm set up.

For anything standing, I would suggest a monopod, some tripod can have some leg converted as a monopod, so, why not. Also, you can just stick to a monopod, instead of a tripod, it’s fine, but I personally like having the option to just leave the camera there. You can also look up for video monopod that can stand on their own but they are quite expensive for the good ones.

My personnal gear

Camera: Nikon D750 with Nikon grip

Lens: Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2

SD Cards: 2* Sandisk Extrem Pro 256GO U3 (UHS-I)

Flash: Yongnuo YN685

Tripod: some light korean tripod (indoor), and a Benro TMA38CL (outdoor)

Monopod: Sirui P424S

 

 

[TUTORIAL] CAMERA GEARING GUIDE FOR K-POP – BASIC NOTIONS BEFORE BUYING (PART 1/3)

[TUTORIAL] CAMERA GEARING GUIDE FOR K-POP – SETTINGS, SHOOTING, AND POST PROCESS (PART 3/3)