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Photography Forum | Good camera to use for plane spotting?
Got a little situation on my hands- well, not so much situation as general irritance about a certain trip I'm going on.
Let me explain.
Myself and my wonderful girlfriend are going this year to Le Bourget in Paris for the 2009 airshow- I understand the A380 will be there as well as F-22 raptors and such, as well as some very impressive static displays.
The whole holiday is setting us back about £250 each, and I'm afraid my crappy cell phone camera just isn't going to cut it for any kind of photography anymore.
I was wondering what a good camera would cost to start off with practising at LHR- so that we can have some good memories from when we go to Paris in summer.
But, obviously, I'm very hesitant to spend more money on a camera than the actual tickets to Paris.
Is there some kind of camera that would both meet a modest budget (Maybe around £100 or less if at all possible?!? Or is that asking a bit much?)
and still be good enough to take good, detailed pictures of planes both on the ground and in-flight?
I must admit I know very little about cameras myself. Up until now my little 3Megapixel cell phone camera has done good enough for me in capturing pictures of my animals.
But I doubt it could do very well in capturing aircraft on film.
I need help with all of the above.
Can someone offer advice?
Any comments/suggestions would be very much appreciated.
As with all people wanting a quality point and shoot camera, I'd suggest the Canon Powershot S3 IS.
I've seen some quality pictures of airliners.net standard taken with this camera and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.
Your not going to get much more than 3x zoom with £100. I got a smart little 12.1mp 3x zoom Samsung camera just after xmas and it's great. If your looking to buy one just for general stuff and not so much top quality close up images you might be able to get away with it.
PS - no idea if that all makes sense, been a long day
Do you wish to take video or photographs?
Do you want photograph's good enough to upload to .aero, JP, PP and A.net or just for your own personal collection?
(EDIT: sorry, Sams post wasn't up when I replied)
I just want to take photographs, and more importantly than anything else I want to take photos for my own personal collection.
If you want pics of the air display stuff then you really have to spend a lot more and go the SLR route to stand any kind of chance of getting a good photo.
From experience I can tell you that airshow photography is the most difficult I've tried as everything is actually quite a long way off and with the exception of the A380, the fighters and stuff are very small. You'll also neeed the good relexes of an SLR as everything happens so quickly, a point and shoot or in my opinion something like the Powershot advised above will just not cut it.
If your going the SLR route then you really have to want to take the hobby up a bit more seriously and not just the airshow to justify spending the money.
A better option may be video. You could get a good miniDV digital camcorder when I worked at Jessops about 2 years ago for about £150. They must be cheaper now and they'll produce some good quality video for your memories.
Found a second-hand camera on eBay thats 4x zoom and 12 megapixels. Keeping an eye on that one but if not I'll just be happy with popping down to Cex and picking out a nice camera for myself and the gf with getting some shots of the static displays and/or taxiing aircraft.
Myself and my gf next to the A380 would be like a dream come true. ^^
...forgive my stupidity, but whats SLR?
Or if you are just starting out, get a Fuji S9600.
My wife has just bought a Samsung NV15 10mp with 3x Optical Zoom - a great little point & shoot for less than £80 - recommended.
SLR is single lens reflex, basically the cameras where you can fit diffreent lenses to them. The main advantage though is their reaction speed which is far quicker than a compact camera. The Canon 1000D and 350D mentioned above are both SLRs and you'd need at least a 300mm lens to go with it.
I don't suppose anyone knows the cheapest package deal to Le Bourget airshow (Paris) this coming June?
If not, we're pretty much stranded. lol until 2011, at the very least.
Thanks for everyones help though. I'll still be needing a camera to spot around Heathrow. ^^
It's got zoom and video and everything I need in a neat little camera.
Is the Olympus e420 a good starter SLR?
Olympus are a good brand, they have their drawbacks like any other manufacturer but they are a quality optical brand and widely used.
The biggest issue is lenses. Expect to pay a bit more and not have such a wide selection available as they us a slightly different system, but if you buy the twin lens pack then you should have a good starter camera.
but after a good camera that will be good for both static objects and moving aircraft...
what brand of camera has the widest selection of lenses, then?
Canon 350D + 75-300mm III USM would be good imo...
Can get new 350Ds with CF card, battery, case, mini tripod + cleaning kit for £260 on eBay
Nikon dropped the ball a bit with a lens interchangeability issue. A Canon 350, 400 or 450D are all great entry level cameras.
But its quite clear Canon is the superior camera... ;)
Seemed to have "alright" reviews.
I'll see what I can do with it.
Fuji have replaced it recently with something I personally don't think looks as sturdy so the older model may indeed be a better buy. Watch out for a slight blue cast to the pictures though. It's caused by Fuji's fairly unique way of making their sensors and is easily corrected.
Can you elaborate on the whole blue cast and how to correct for that problem?
It's easily corrected in imaging software, you just compensate for it by taking the blue channel down a fraction or pushing the other two channels up.
On the plus side, nothing does shading like a Fuji for the money. brilliant for capturing and displaying detail.
Think the price was good? I'm just using it for amateur photography, and im sure a few will end up on FaceBook lol.....nothing airliners.net worthy or anything at all.
Long as I can get a decent photo i'm happy.
Foxy 'learnt his trade' with one. It isn't a bad starter camera at all and I still see plenty of them up at the AVP as it's a popular camera. Fujinon glass is also good quality so it's got a decent onboard lens setup.
It is a good starter camera from where to eventually move onwards and upwards. They are called Bridge cameras as that's what they are, a bridge between ordinary point and shoot and the world of the more complex DSLR.
Oh and that D300 thing but everyone thinks I am a cock because it's a Nikon.
looks like a 50d without the 6FPS but with HD video.
a combo of 50d and 5dmk2?
What settings are generally important when photographing aircraft? I was assuming high shutter speed, etc?
ISO? exposure? ?????
Anyone mind giving a (relative) newbie like me a few pointers? ^^"
For sunny conditions i'd recommend Aperture priority mode, F8, ISO100
ISO is sensitivity of the camera. High ISO helps with faster shutter speed, but can introduce noise the higher you go. 100 is a good setting and in most cameras 200 is perfectly acceptable (it's the default setting in many Nikon cameras).
Finally, stop asking questions here and get your arse out and practice. It's the only way to learn. Camera handling and getting comfortable with it are the first steps, everything else is mere detail. Go walk through a park with it and shoot pictures of different scenes and activity, and experiment with settings.
If you are shooting action shots, try for a shutter speed above 1/300 sec. If you can't get that, due to lighting, drop your aperture down a bit. That's the link speed and aperture have, the higher the aperture number then you trade off with some loss of shutter speed.
Use your camera in aperture priority mode. Set it at f8 as Hampo suggests and experiment, as it's a great setting to use on a sunny day.
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