Camera for a beginner

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Camera for a beginner

Postby Ben C » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:46 pm

Hi,
I am wanting to start photographing aircraft, but I don't know anything about cameras and i would like some advise on a camera that will take good photos but is simple to use, My only experience is with a cheap digital camera and my mobiles.

Thanks, Ben
Flown On: 6E 320 9W 737, 738 CX 333 D7 333 DJ 737 DL 739, 753, 763,77L, CR7, E175 EK 332, 388, 77E, 77W FJ 744, 763 IR 74L JJ 763 JQ 321, 788 KQ 737,738,788 LB E170 MH 738 MI 320 NZ 744, 77E QF 333 SG Q400 SQ 359, 388, 77W TG 77W,788 TT 320 UA 752 VA 332, 738, 77W
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Brock L » Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:33 pm

Hi Ben,

Generally you would want to get into buying an entry-level SLR, which are quite easy to use (basically press a button halfway down to focus, then press it all the way to take the shot) and will take nice photos, such as the Canon 700D. Usually you can buy this as a twin-lens kit with a wide angle lens (such as the 18-55mm; good for wingview/up close and personal shots, and the 55-250mm; for the majority of shots you would take if spotting from a viewing area). These lenses provide adequate ranges.

One thing: cost. SLRs can generally be quite expensive. However, I have noticed they have gone down in price alot lately. For example a beginner SLR, the Canon 1100D, is currently on sale at JB Hi-Fi for $596 with the twin lens kit. (http://www.jbhifi.com.au/photo/digital-cameras/canon/eos-1100d-digital-slr-camera-sku-67182/) The thing is though you will be looking to upgrade to new lenses and new cameras for the more clearer photo.

As you can probably tell I'm heavily biased towards Canon as I have a Canon 600D myself, and find it excellent! Nikon is quite a reputable camera brand as well, but I'll let people who own them pitch them to you. Keep in mind too that ultimately quality can depend on your editing skills too; even if you have an average photo quality attributed to the camera, it can be edited to make it look amazing.

With my 600D I have 18-55mm, 55-250mm and 18-200mm lenses, and usually only use the 18-200mm as it's such a handy range. Examples of my photos can be seen on my Jetphotos.net link in my signature below, so the camera is enough to get photos onto photo screening websites.

Hope this all helps!
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Brandon Giacomin » Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:56 am

Eglobal is a great site for camera gear, I got my 7D twin lens kit off them. They are doing the 1100D twin lens kit for $469, I think postage is usually around $50-60.
http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com.au ... -lens.html
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Ian Gains » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:42 pm

Hi Ben,

My 2c on this, as a photographer for 35 years, who has only just gone digital. You really need a DSLR & my advice would be to stick with Canon or Nikon. Other brands will have less choice in lenses, whereas C & N have a good mix from professional quality glass lenses, to more affordable 'consumer' lenses. To cover all aspects of aircraft photography, from static parks at airshows, tightly arranged museums, to mid air shots of airliners or fighters etc you will ideally need 3 lenses - a super wide angle zoom, a wide angle to slight telephoto lens, & a telephoto zoom. If you don't know much about SLR cameras & lenses, I would read some magazine or internet articles to get a better idea about this. Also, maybe tell us what you want to photograph. One of the reasons I ask this is that the focusing systems in cameras can vary considerably, so if you want to photograph aircraft traveling at high speed, you probably need a camera body with a more sophisticated focusing system that would also work well for sports photography. If you are mainly going to photograph 'static' subjects, you don't require this sophistication. Every feature in the camera body pushes the price up, so give this some thought.

Also, even though you probably won't get them immediately, have a look at the better quality lenses that C & N have available, so you can work out a possible 'upgrade' strategy, if this hobby bites you. It was for this reason that I personally chose to go with Canon, despite having used Nikon film cameras for 25 years.

Please get back to the group with your thoughts as there is plenty of good advice on here.
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby nfarmer » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:13 pm

A DSLR is the way to go. If Canon gear is chosen then the 55-250 kit lens will be a starter tele for you. The good light image quality of DSLRs has not improved a lot over the last few years so either a 1100D Canon new or a second hand DSLR like the 400D or later will do. (Earlier DSLRs didn't have a sensor shaker and required sensor cleaning if dust settled on them). For aviation Crop Sensors offer some advantages over Full Frame sensors. The next lens up the chain is the 70-300 IS from Canon, Sigma or Tamron. After that we are talking bigger $s.
More expensive cameras will come with improved Auto Focus capabilities which will help your keeper rate, better build and durability, and more pixels on the sensor. Generally the technique and skill of the photographer is more important than the equipment.
If you cannot afford a DSLR then the things to look for in fixed lens cameras are: Speed of auto focus, it has to be quick. Shutter delay - after pressing the button it should take the shot almost instantaneously, focal range of the lens - it should go out to 300mm (FF eqivalent). Such a camera won't have the quality to take big enlargements but it will be good for web and computer viewing and 10"x8" prints.
Good luck.
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Ben C » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:21 pm

Hi,
Thanks for all the replies.
I will have to do a bit of reading to understand everything a bit more, I'm thinking I might look for a second hand camera to start with then go on to a new and better one.
I would mainly use it for taking photos of aircraft arriving and departing, That gives me another question, How far can you be from the aircraft you want to photograph?

Thanks, Ben
Flown On: 6E 320 9W 737, 738 CX 333 D7 333 DJ 737 DL 739, 753, 763,77L, CR7, E175 EK 332, 388, 77E, 77W FJ 744, 763 IR 74L JJ 763 JQ 321, 788 KQ 737,738,788 LB E170 MH 738 MI 320 NZ 744, 77E QF 333 SG Q400 SQ 359, 388, 77W TG 77W,788 TT 320 UA 752 VA 332, 738, 77W
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Brock L » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:23 am

Depends on the airport really, but a 55-250mm lens is sufficient for most, if not all the major airports. I'm not a good judge of distance so cannot provide exact figures of how close you can get.
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JetPhotos.net (1024 Photos)

Next Flights

30 Nov: JQ239 OOL-AKL (A320)
10 Dec: JQ238 AKL-OOL (A320)
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Ian Gains » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:03 pm

Which is your local airport Ben ? It is possible to get very close to landing aircraft at most Australian airports. I can provide more specific info once I know where you reside.
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Ben C » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:09 pm

Hi Ian,
My local airport is YMMl.
I live near Yan Yean Reservoir and get a lot of aircraft fly over my house, either to/from NZ and coming into land on runway 27, So I am hoping i could possibly get these as well.

Ben
Flown On: 6E 320 9W 737, 738 CX 333 D7 333 DJ 737 DL 739, 753, 763,77L, CR7, E175 EK 332, 388, 77E, 77W FJ 744, 763 IR 74L JJ 763 JQ 321, 788 KQ 737,738,788 LB E170 MH 738 MI 320 NZ 744, 77E QF 333 SG Q400 SQ 359, 388, 77W TG 77W,788 TT 320 UA 752 VA 332, 738, 77W
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Re: Camera for a beginner

Postby Ian Gains » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Hi Ben,

I had to look where Yan Yean reservoir is as I couldn't place it. I use Donnybrook Road fairly frequently when I go to Whittlesea. With regard to photographing from there, the aircraft will be very small in the image area, even with a sizable telephoto lens.

Can you give a rough idea of how much you envisage spending on a camera & lenses, as it will give us a starting point to suggest some possibilities for you. Also, do you mainly want to get action shots at the airport, or do you see yourself, for example, photographing the static display at the Avalon Airshow in 2015 ?
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