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Best Settings For My Camera? Sony F717  
User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Posted (11 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7967 times:

Hi All,

I was just wondering, what the best settings would be for my camera? I just bought it brand new, comes with 5.2 megapixel, 5x optical 2x digital, autofocus, etc.

So far, i have a 256meg stick and a 32meg stick. The battery lasts like 3hrs so its perfect for long trips...But i was wondering if anyone knew the best settings to shoot an aircraft from...lets say, 40 yards away?

I only uploaded 5 photos, 2 1 reg Spirits, and 2 another reg Spirits. The 5th photo = Northwest A320, N320US.

The A320 i took during sunlight and came out EXCELLENT. So far it actually passed the first screening process.

The spirits didnt, but they were grainy.

I was wondering if i used the correct settings when taking pictures? What i had was:

Autofocus = On, White Ballance = Off, " Distance " ( The mountain icon ) = On, Digital Zoom = Off, ISO = Auto, Size = ( Something like ) 2092x1900 or something, the biggest size there is ( The pics were like 5-6 megs each ), Quality = JPEG 5.2 Mp Max.

All i did on the NWA320 that has passed the first screening, was just used " Auto-Contrast " in photoshop. It had 0 grain in it at all and was perfect...But i dont understand why my Spirits had heavy grain? The spirits i took were already off the ground and retracted the landing gear. I took the pics of both spirits with the overcast conditions. I took the NWA 320 during sunlight, while it was taxiing slowly.

Any idea? Any pics i have of the planes after takeoff and already like 50 feet in the air came out somewhat grainy or bigtime grainy. All of them, i had like 20. The only one that didnt come out grainy was the A320 NWA that was taken while it was taxiing.

Does overcast conditions on all those 20 air pics have anything to do with it? The 320 is the only pic i have of a plane taxiing and also being in sunlight that day.

Any ideas? How about the settings, was that ok? Whats the best ISO setting to use, particularly for aircraft after just airborne? Thanks!

Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 7930 times:

Also, i have a 3x Telephoto and .5x Macro lens on the way...

Would you guys recommend using a .5x Macro for shots 40 yards away from the aircraft?

I also just bought 3 Filter lenses, 1 was a UV Lens ( Definitely will use this 24/7 )... the other 2 were, 1 being, Polarizing Lens, and the other was an FTD or something. I still have to read what they do ( I read when i bought them 1 week ago but have since forgotten ), i just received them in the mail yesterday.

Any of those 3 lenses you'd recommend? I'll always use the UV Lens to protect the F717's lens...So, would you recommend the Polarzing or FTD to use while taking pics?

What about the .5x Macro for shots 40 yards away or so?


Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
User currently offlineJkw777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 7910 times:

Hi there,

It's all good you getting this camera  Smile But I think the best thing you can do is try a variety of settings and see what works best for you.

There maybe more experienced Sony F717 users in the forum that might like to hint towards the way of using this thing but I swear I have learnt best through trying different methods.

Go to your Airport, get set up and start shooting. Man if your images do not come out as expected then make a mental note and ask yourself how to improve this and eventually you will get it right. It has worked for me I feel.

Good luck and happy shooting,


Justin  Smile

User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3524 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 7892 times:

Use only ISO 100 and forget about digital zoom. Then try, try, try....


User currently offlineTS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 7889 times:


User currently offlineAviatorTJ From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1838 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 7865 times:

I have a 707.

Get it into M or A mode. Keep the smallest aperture possible. Set the ISO to 100. Use auto focus and auto white balance. Make sure to keep digital zoom off and shoot at the most megapixels. I also bought the Canon DC-58 1.75x teleconverter. It is an alright camera.


User currently offlineSfilipowicz From Netherlands, joined Jul 2002, 327 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7850 times:


I have been shotting with the F717 for nearly a year now.
(You can view my photos here : http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?photographersearch=Steven%20Filipowicz&page_limit=80&sort_order=views+DESC)

The best that works for me is :

First set the camera to 100 ISO. I always set my camera into the P position so that I don't have to worry about the aperture and shutterspeed.

Most of the photos I make are of objects of more then 50 meters away, so I put the camera into manual focus and focus it into infinity (Not sure if this is what you call it) This way the camera will make the shot quicker because it doesn't have to auto focus first.

On dark/cloudy days I add about +0.7Ev more lighting.

I also have the Sony 1.7X Teleconverter, this doesn't work very good if you look at this photo
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Steven Filipowicz

and if you look carefully at the grass you will see that near the edge the grass is not sharp. Only the center of the photo is sharp.

When I load my images onto my computer, I first use Neatimage to get grain out. And then I process it futher in Photoshop.

Good luck!!

User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3268 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7833 times:

I have the DSC-F717 too. I've had about 2 month's now, and I like it a lot. The only complaint I have for this camera is the far away shots. I just got in the mail today a Olympus TCON-17 1.7 TeleConverter, so hopefully I can get a little closer.

The settings I use: The black camera with the "p" beside it, ISO 100, Sharpness -1, picture quality - fine, size: 2560x1920.

Here are some I have had uploaded:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Burke Harper

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Burke Harper

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Burke Harper

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Burke Harper

For the above settings, post processing is crucial, first, Use neatimage to get the grain out, then use your preferred photo editing software to increase sharpness, where the above setting doesn't cover. The reason I choose -1 is because it is way to "jagged" when trying to increase sharpness with 0 or +1. Like said above, you have to fine tune your own settings to taste. I am still trying to get mine right, but its getting there. Enjoy your camera!

Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7816 times:

Hi all,

Sorry for the late response coming back to this thread.

I really REALLY appreciate all the help, i've been reading some of the threads you guys advised me to go to, never knew about neat image. I tested it on some of my photos i had and WOW absolutely amazing. It made my pics 10X better ( Not that they were that bad, but the grain was kind of killing me ).

I'll test some things out with my camera, so much to learn with this F717, definitely more complex than my last camera ( Kodak DC-4800 3.1megapixel ).

One of these days when i go back to DTW, i'll really give the 717 a work out ( Have myself a 256meg stick, and a 32meg stick, going to stay at DTW for 5hrs use everything up ). Big grin

Thanks all for the help, tips & responses!

Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3268 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7805 times:

Might want to get another 256. I went to IAD on a Saturday, and filled it up pretty quick. At max. quality, I am only able to get a little more than 100 pictures on a stick. I have a 256, 128, 64, and a 32 that came with the camera, and it isn't enough! I would get the 1gig but they cost more than the camera does! Hope to see some action from your 717 soon!

Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7778 times:

I am, as of two weeks ago, also the owner of a F717, and I want to thank everyone for their advice. I've been out to the airport here in Austin three or four times and I haven't yet taken a picture I think is worth uploading, but I'm getting there (I hope! Well, that, and I'm still learning Photoshop.)

Anyone else using it with a teleconverter, I would appreciate it if you could point me to some sample shots. I'll be buying a teleconverter in the next couple of weeks, and I'd like to know which ones work especially well.

New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7773 times:

My experience is with the F-505 and F-707. I have a few pictures up here taken with the 707. (the rest are scans of 35mm) My advice is:

ALWAYS shoot at the highest possible resolution. That is the most important thing. Color balance, contrast, lots of things like that are going to need to be tweaked in Adobe Photoshop (my first choice) or similar program. All your pictures will need some post-processing. You have to get the most information into the image in the first place. Shoot at 2560x1920 and you have a file that you can get dozens of different pictures out of by post-processing. Buy more memory sticks if you really need to shoot that many. A fuzzy picture is a waste of a priceless opportunity.

Shooting through glass, use manual focus. I shoot through the windshield or cockpit side windows pretty often and the autofocus will lock onto the glass.

Think of the Telephoto control as the "Rejection" button. The longer you hold it, the more certain your picture will not be accepted. Really true if you leave the "digital" zoom on. Less true if you only use the optical zoom. I just cannot fathom why Sony thought the owner of such an expensive camera would not own a computer with some sort of imaging software. Sony! Get a clue! Digital zoom - huge mistake.

Forget twilight photos. It won't do them. If you have other experience, I'd love to hear about it, but all I get is dropouts.

f8 and 1/125 is the right exposure for everything. Just kidding.  Smile The ISO 100 and auto advice sounds pretty good to me.

IIHMLTLO (If I Had My Life To Live Over) I'd have used the nine hundred or so I paid for the F-707 to buy half a real digital SLR like Canon or Nikon. I am generally disappointed with it. As a family camera it is great. As a tool it is just not professional grade.

Good luck.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
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