CFIjames
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Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:49 am

As a pilot, I often see things and wish I had my camera with me, but it is not possible to lug my 300D around for a 6 day trip, and there just plain isnt room for it, the lenses, and the like in the cockpit of the PC-12. Anyone have a backup camera that holds some merit in the quality department? I'm partial to canon, and it has to be small, but those "wafer-thin" cameras ive seen around just wouldnt cut it. Advice/Reviews?
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norfolkjohn
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:25 am

Hi James,

I know your dilemma. I travel a lot and there are many times I wish I had my main camera kit with me but it is way to bulky to take on business trips. Last month my employer allowed me a £200 budget to buy a small point & shoot camera for work. After a little research I bought a Canon Power Shot A620. I have only tried using it for shooting aircraft (static only) once so far but the results were not bad and I did get one shot that was up to A.Net standard (after a bit of help with the editing from a good friend - Paul Markman) :

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1002460/L/

The A620 has a 7.1 MP sensor and it is small and pretty light weight but still big enough to get a decent grip of. The zoom range is 35-140 mm equivalent and you can buy both a wide angle and telephoto lens converter that give focal lengths of 24.5mm and 245mm respectively. I don't have these so I have no idea what quality they give.

All the best,

John
One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.
 
edoca
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:46 am

I've been using a Sony DSC-V1 for a few years now, and have it with me usually when I travel. I still occasionally upload a shot here made with that camera (successfully, I may add). Mostly taxiing planes, shots through the windows and stationary objects indeed.

Of course that camera is old and a bit bulky to today's standards, but it produces very high quality 5 megapixel shots so you will definitely be able to find something similar or better that will produce the quality you are looking for. The only real issue quality-wise in my experience is noise. Whatever you choose (check out www.dpreview.com or similar), I would advise that noise control is one of the most important parameters.

Good luck!
 
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Kukkudrill
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:40 am

If you want a camera with a long zoom, the Canon S2 also gets good reviews. Like Edoca says, check out www.dpreview.com -- it's by far and away the best site I've found for online digital camera reviews.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
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jorge1812
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:09 am

I'm very satisfied with the Olypus C-750. Look out if there are some newer models available, the 380mm zoom is very good for spotting. All my Anet pics are taken with this camera.

Georg.
 
SmithAir747
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:14 am

I would recommend the Fuji FinePix S5600.

It's small and compact but looks like a mini-SLR, with many features common to SLRs. It's lightweight and can be easily carried in a flight bag or similar container.

It's 5.1MP and has a 10X optical zoom (380mm equivalent) lens (which is built in).

It takes beautiful pictures, and you can choose what settings you want or use auto.

It's cheap too--£214.99 (approx. $360.00) for the one I bought here in the UK!



SmithAir747

[Edited 2006-02-25 01:18:16]
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
chris78cpr
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:42 am

I use the canon S80. It offers a 28mm wideangle lens that is a F2.8. It's 8mp and offers all the manual functions of my DSLR. It's a great little camera.

Chris
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
CFIjames
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:37 am

Thanks, all of you, thats helpful.
I should have asked earlier, but do any of you have a problem with shutter delay on these cameras? I know non-slr's will always lag a bit after the button is pressed, but ive missed good shots and gotten extremely irritated at other cameras i've used because a full-second lag. I guess i can just read the reviews on dpreview...
There are 3 simple rules for making a perfect landing every time. Its a shame that no one knows what they are.
 
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jorge1812
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:56 am

Quoting CFIjames (Reply 7):
but do any of you have a problem with shutter delay on these cameras

Yes I have and sometimes you can avoid it but in bad weather you have no chance for a good pic of a fast moving aircraft.

Georg
 
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Kukkudrill
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:49 am

With my Olympus C-740 it became second nature to half-press the shutter button a moment before I intended to take the photo to give the camera time to focus.

I wouldn't recommend the Olympus range. My C-740 gave me a lot of problems with noise and halos, and it lacks image stabilisation which is useful with superzooms.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
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f4wso
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:24 pm

I have used an Olympus C750 for almost three years. It has taken over 24,000 pictures and is now starting to show some wear, probably because it has spent so much time in my flight case. One of my buddies used to seeing the Olympus referred to my Canon 20D as the Hubble Telescope when I pulled it out on a trip.
Good luck with your search,
Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
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chris78cpr
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:40 pm

Quoting CFIjames (Reply 7):
I should have asked earlier, but do any of you have a problem with shutter delay on these cameras

Yep, coming from a 1dmkii where the shutter is instant to a S80 P&S it is a nightmare for a while if trying to shoot moving shots. But as Ward mentioned aboove, i only tend to use my P&S for shots that are of stationary aircraft, cabins, cockpits, or the occasional slow taxi shot. I never use it for shots that have any real movement as it just doesnt stand up to the task.

Chris
5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
 
fergulmcc
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RE: Best Point And Shoot For On-the-go Spotting?

Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting CFIjames (Reply 7):
I should have asked earlier, but do any of you have a problem with shutter delay on these cameras? I know non-slr's will always lag a bit after the button is pressed, but ive missed good shots and gotten extremely irritated at other cameras i've used because a full-second lag. I guess i can just read the reviews on dpreview...

According to the specs on the Fuji S9500, the lag time is around 0.1sec.

Hope that helps

Fergul  sun 
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