allezerloot
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Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:12 am

Hey!

I'm thinking of going serious inteo flight spotting now, and it's time go buy a new camera. Until now, i have taken photos with a nikon coolpix p80. The P80 has worked pretty good, but it's time to step up to a more advanced camera.

I have been looking at the Nikon D5100 and the Canon 600D (Canon rebel t3i). Which one of them is the best? Other suggestions of cameras are welcome, but they shouldn't cost more than about $1400.

And what kind of optics should i have? I'm thinking of 75-300mm.
 
Garyck
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:34 am

Both will do the job well, With the Canon you should be able to find a deal with the Body and that Lens together.

I have the 450D , has never let me down, I changed my 75-300 for the 70-200 F4 L. I was getting alot of rejections at the top end at 300mm for soft.

I'm sure the 'Darkside boys' boys will put the case for Nikon.

Just be aware, its not just the camera that produces the image, Its all down to you. Many people including me when I started out looked at the images on here and thought just by getting a good camera will produce the results. How wrong I was. Only after meeting the right people and listening to the advise on offer, did my shots begin to come together. weather conditions, time of day/year, camera settings and editing all need to work as one.

Gary
Keep your Ladders close, but your camera closer
 
allezerloot
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:12 am

Thanks for good answer garyck!

When i first started thinking of buying one of the above mentioned cameras i was focused on the nikon D5100. However, i have not taken side in which one of canon and nikon i like the most. As i kept looking at reviews i found out that both are excellent cameras. There are as always pros and cons. One thing that all reviews and opinions say is that the nikon has better picture quality. In all other perspectives, theyre wery equal. So it comes down to which one you think feels best. So far i have only been able to hold the nikon D5100 in my hands. And it feels good. I will try to get my hands on a canon to, so that i can feel the difference.

Quoting Garyck (Reply 1):
I have the 450D , has never let me down, I changed my 75-300 for the 70-200 F4 L. I was getting alot of rejections at the top end at 300mm for soft.

I've heard a lot of good things about the 450D. My best friend have one, and i like the camera. Is 200mm enough to take photos of airplanes at airports like Stockholm Arlanda, Copenhagen Kastrup etc?

Quoting Garyck (Reply 1):
Just be aware, its not just the camera that produces the image, Its all down to you. Many people including me when I started out looked at the images on here and thought just by getting a good camera will produce the results. How wrong I was. Only after meeting the right people and listening to the advise on offer, did my shots begin to come together. weather conditions, time of day/year, camera settings and editing all need to work as one.

Yes, of course it's all about the person behind the camera. I'm learning more and more about photography every day. I've taken photos for about 2-3 years now, and want to step up to a more advaned camera, so that i can develop further!

Alexander
 
Garyck
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:51 am

Quoting allezerloot (Reply 2):
Quoting Garyck (Reply 1):
I have the 450D , has never let me down, I changed my 75-300 for the 70-200 F4 L. I was getting alot of rejections at the top end at 300mm for soft.

I've heard a lot of good things about the 450D. My best friend have one, and i like the camera. Is 200mm enough to take photos of airplanes at airports like Stockholm Arlanda, Copenhagen Kastrup etc?

I've never been to them so wouldn't know.

I actually have two 450D's, Ive often looked at getting rid of the both and getting a 40 or 50D, but then I think whats the point. THey do what I need. I bough the 70-200 F4 L based on advise from a few friends, The 70-200 doesn't have the reach of the 75-300, but when it comes to editing and cropping, I am getting far better results.

I would have thought trying to get a body and this lens for your budget you'd struggle, unless you went for a used body and new lens.
Keep your Ladders close, but your camera closer
 
allezerloot
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:30 pm

Quoting Garyck (Reply 3):
I've never been to them so wouldn't know.

I actually have two 450D's, Ive often looked at getting rid of the both and getting a 40 or 50D, but then I think whats the point. THey do what I need. I bough the 70-200 F4 L based on advise from a few friends, The 70-200 doesn't have the reach of the 75-300, but when it comes to editing and cropping, I am getting far better results.

I would have thought trying to get a body and this lens for your budget you'd struggle, unless you went for a used body and new lens.

I'll take a look at lenses. Maybe 70-200 is enough.
 
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Dublinspotter
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:42 pm

HI
I've got the canon 300d and its second hand and its never let me down and I use the 75-300mm lens and its brilliant!
hope that helps!
Dublinspotter
 
megatop412
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:09 pm

The "Darkside boys"??? Hahahahahaha, sounds like a corny gang in some old musical where we fight with knives

Either the Canon or the Nikon will have you taking superb photos with some practice. Start by seeing which one you gravitate to more, test drive them both. If you get the Nikon, for your skill level, I'll say that the 55-200mmVR($230) or the 70-300mmVR($540 or so) are your best bets.

That is, if you want to join the "Darksiders"

that's totally hilarious, thanks for making my day
 
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Joshu
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:58 am

I have a T3i and just went with through the debate you are having. Go with the T3i, the Nikon is better suited for video IMO.
Washington-Baltimore Spotters Group
 
NWA330nut
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:09 am

Just as long as the camera is a SLR, you should have no problem whether it is Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Pentax, Leica, Sony, Olympus . . . . it doesn't really matter.

Quoting JOshu (Reply 7):
Go with the T3i, the Nikon is better suited for video IMO.

Personally, as far as what I have seen, Canon blows Nikon out of the water when it comes to quality video. This may change with new releases happening in later in the month.

My advice, get a decent SLR and save up your money on a quality lens.

Good Luck!
 
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cpd
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:48 am

Quoting Garyck (Reply 1):
I'm sure the 'Darkside boys' boys will put the case for Nikon.

No need to. The cameras do a good enough job of that.   Now, being serious - it's down to the lenses and the controls of the camera, which one feels more natural. I use both Canon and Nikon, but prefer Nikon.

Quoting NWA330nut (Reply 8):
Canon blows Nikon out of the water when it comes to quality video.

We used three 5D Mk.II cameras this week for video, and the results were good enough - but a dedicated video camera is better still (the Sony ones we have are superb for that). The DSLRs are still a bit clunky.  

Nikon D7000 does quite nice video these days too.

Ultimately - the only thing that will sway you is certain lenses that one brand has (where the other one doesn't), or the handling of the camera and the menu system. Personally - I have a hard time with Canon's control layout, although I'm still relatively new to them.
 
baumy
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:12 am

Quoting allezerloot (Thread starter):
Other suggestions of cameras are welcome, but they shouldn't cost more than about $1400.

I have the Cannon 1000D. It's a great camera and does the job well. I got it for off the top of my head $850 including a short (15-50??mm) lens and long 75- 300mm lens. They both are great and I have used it at the airport when I've been travelling and they've been okay.

Quoting allezerloot (Thread starter):
And what kind of optics should i have? I'm thinking of 75-300mm.

Go with the 75-300 if you're shooting from a spotting area, go with that. If you're getting close up then get a shorter lens, say 25-90 or something.

Quoting Garyck (Reply 2):
Just be aware, its not just the camera that produces the image, Its all down to you.

I agree with garyck, It's not just the camera. Sure, the more you pay the better quality lenses you get, more autofocus points and a faster FPS, but if you can't keep the camera moving at a steady pace with the aircraft as it flys past then what's the point. You might as well use a cheap point and shoot camera; it'd save you a lot of money.

Quoting Garyck (Reply 4):
I actually have two 450D's, Ive often looked at getting rid of the both and getting a 40 or 50D, but then I think whats the point

garyck, i agree what's the point? Going back to your point above, there's no point having a high end camera and not being a good photographer; and I'm not saying you're not either don't get me wrong  
 
JakTrax
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:08 am

Quoting Baumy (Reply 10):
garyck, i agree what's the point?

Because you outgrow the Rebels? You will never miss what you've never had, so in a way sticking with a low end camera is a good idea. But once you've tasted the extra focus points, faster burst, better metering, incremented ISO, etc. of the more advanced models you never go back.

If there was no point in upgrading people here wouldn't be using 5Ds and 1Ds. That's not to say however that the lower end models can't last a good few years - I had a 350D for two years and it was great!

Karl
 
baumy
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:13 am

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 11):
Because you outgrow the Rebels?

Yeah sure you do, but if it does what you want then why upgrade? If you had a cheap SLR and wanted something better then I could understand it, but the 450's don't do to bad a job.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:15 am

Quoting Baumy (Reply 12):
but the 450's don't do to bad a job

Not wanting to deviate too much from the topic but...

The 450D doesn't do a bad job at all - but there's a reason why it's £400 and the 5D is £1,500. Like I said, you never miss what you don't have, but if the average 450D user went out for a day with a 7D (for instance) I bet he wouldn't be too keen on swapping back at the end!

I have used a low-end model myself (350D) and it was superb, but I needed something a little quicker; a little more accurate. The 50D fitted the bill nicely, but I'm now looking at FF cameras - not because the 50D isn't fast enough (it's actually faster than a 5D in many respects) but because it would allow me to do even more (like high ISO shooting).

I'm certainly not suggesting the OP go with an expensive body. What I am saying is that it's very easy to outgrow a camera over time, and it's not unusual to want something more in the long run.

My advice is always to start with a low-end model and - if you find you like the hobby - move up from there.

Karl
 
baumy
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:07 am

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13):
Like I said, you never miss what you don't have, but if the average 450D user went out for a day with a 7D (for instance) I bet he wouldn't be too keen on swapping back at the end!

Yeah you're right, but sometimes people don't have enough money or selling the old one and buying a new one is too much effort.
 
Samuel32
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:50 am

Nikkon D7000 or Canon T3i (600D).

Both are great. Both are winners. Both can deliver more than most people will ever need. There is no wrong choice.

Both kit lenses are fine, and are great for learning.

Nikkon has better ISO. Canon has a bigger selection of good affordable lenses. (300 F4, 400 F5.6, 70-200 F4, 70-300, 35 2.0, 50 1.8, 85 1.8 etc).
 
spencer
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:17 pm

Quoting Samuel32 (Reply 15):
Canon has a bigger selection of good affordable lenses. (300 F4, 400 F5.6, 70-200 F4, 70-300, 35 2.0, 50 1.8, 85 1.8 etc).

I've no idea about that, purely because I've never looked into what Nikon have to offer. I use Canon. But that's definitely something you want to consider; the lenses you could end up with in time, or at least what's on offer.
The Canon you mentioned is a fine camera I'm sure. It's cheap so at least you might save some pennies (SEK) for a nice lens. From the times I've been to ARN I'd say 200 is probably about right, depending on the spot you're at. The pallets by 26 is one place 200 is ok, but it depends on the aircraft size as well.
Spence.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
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United_fan
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:08 pm

I have the Canon T2i,I use the 100-400L and a 18-200 IS,both Canon brand. The 18-200 is working well for me,too.
Champagne For My Real Friends,and Real Pain For My Sham Friends
 
something
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:37 pm

The rule I'd apply is money: You want to spend less money, go for Canon. They sell the 70-200 F4 which is an excellent lense. Nikon doesn't start below 70-200 F2.8 VR which costs four times as much.

I like Nikon's better personally because they sell better products for my personal needs. I love taking ISO 12 400 shots with the D3S, I love using the crop D300S. Their 12-24 F2.8, 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 F2.8 and 200-400 F4 and their prime lenses make magic happen. And Canon just doesn't sell comparable spotting material in that region.

Personally, I think low end Canons have a flimsy, plasticy feel to them and I can't stand their fake electronic shutter sounds. Nikons feel sturdier and make an actual mirror flap 'click' sound. Which is why I'd go for the 16-85 F3.5-5.6 ED VR and the 70-300 4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR on the best Nikon body you can afford. You'll get grade A quality for a grade B price- especially in terms of camera feel and noise sensitivity.

Canon is a bit cheaper and also takes good pictures, but they'll always feel like ''toy cameras'' to me.
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
megatop412
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:03 am

I think the D5100 only works with AF-S lenses, which should be fine unless you plan on using the older AF-D's.

I swear by my 70-300mm AF-S VR, an excellent midrange in price zoom lens. Pair it with the D5100 and I'm sure you'll be very happy with your aviation images. Nikon vendors typically have body+lens combo deals that are pretty nice.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:08 am

Quoting something (Reply 18):
Canon is a bit cheaper and also takes good pictures, but they'll always feel like ''toy cameras'' to me

I think this is quite an unfair statement. It implies that 'real' photographers use Nikon, but Canon will do for beginners on a budget.

I'd also question this statement of yours...

Quoting something (Reply 18):
Their 12-24 F2.8, 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 F2.8 and 200-400 F4 and their prime lenses make magic happen. And Canon just doesn't sell comparable spotting material in that region

Aside from the 12-24 (and there are Canon lenses very similar) Canon offers competitors to every Nikon lens you mention. Add some decent Sigma lenses to those and you have a very viable alternative system.

The Canon vs. Nikon argument is whichever suits your style/needs, and neither is better than the other overall. Nikon play to Canon's weaknesses and vice-versa.

Karl
 
ThomasWarloe
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:13 am

Quoting something (Reply 18):
I can't stand their fake electronic shutter sounds

Same here. Sorry to go off track, but speaking of that, is there any way to turn the fake shutter sound to "off"? It's about one of the only things about my XSi/450D that I'd really like to change. It can get rather annoying.
 
baumy
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:42 am

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 19):
I can't stand their fake electronic shutter sounds.

I have to agree. I've got the 1000D and the shutter sound annoys the hell out of me.

Quoting ThomasWarloe (Reply 21):
Same here. Sorry to go off track, but speaking of that, is there any way to turn the fake shutter sound to "off"? It's about one of the only things about my XSi/450D that I'd really like to change. It can get rather annoying.

I'm not sure. I know I've taken the lens off and looked at the shutter while it shoots to see what happens and it doesn't sound as electronic, mind you i'm looking at the mirror and it's louder without the lens. But I'd be interested in finding that out too. Then again, the shutter itself may not be loud enough to make it sound like it's shooting, but i dont know.
 
megatop412
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:12 pm

That's wierd- I was quoted in the last post as saying something I never said(the bit about the fake electronic shutter sounds)- how did that happen? I don't shoot with Canons so I never would have said that
 
something
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:22 pm

I'm not sure what it is with the shutters, but only the digital rebel models seem to make that 'squeal' noise.

Canon shutter sounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8c7I5c_pY0

Nikon's sound + quiet shutter mode
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz9JHIX7Big

But who'd want a quiet shutter when they can have
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihqQMcqXhrM&feature=related


What does youtube not have a video of? lol


Oh and P.S. For some reason I sound very biased towards Nikon which I actually aren't. I think Nikon's lower end cameras feel sturdier and deal with noise better, and Nikon's D3S is a killer product for night photography. For everything in between I think I'd go with Canon because they offer a wider range of lenses.
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
baumy
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:19 am

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 23):
That's wierd- I was quoted in the last post as saying something I never said(the bit about the fake electronic shutter sounds)- how did that happen? I don't shoot with Canons so I never would have said that

Yeah that's the 'quote selected text" for you. I did highlight it from ThomasWarloe, but for some reason it's quoted you. hmmmm... that's happened before too
 
JakTrax
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:59 am

Personally I'm more concerned with the quality of image my camera/lens combo produces. The shutter sound is quite irrelevant and has no bearing on an image.

Anyone choosing a camera because of its shutter sound seriously needs to prioritise.....

Canon and Nikon are the top two, and either system will produce fine results after a little practice.

Karl
 
ThomasWarloe
Posts: 265
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:39 am

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 26):
Anyone choosing a camera because of its shutter sound seriously needs to prioritise.....

I know, I'm only concerned about image quality. It was just something that annoyed me and I was wondering if there was a sort of "off" switch.

While registering my camera on the Canon website, I had to check 6 reasons why I chose that camera. One of the reasons listed for one to choose was "real shutter sound" I believe. I thought it was rather hilarious that Canon apparently thinks people buy the Rebel DSLR series for the "real shutter sounds" that they produce.

-Thomas
 
megatop412
Posts: 341
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:26 pm

Quoting ThomasWarloe (Reply 27):
Anyone choosing a camera because of its shutter sound seriously needs to prioritise.....

Actually quite a bit of research goes into the marketing of products, including the noises they make. Something about there being some sounds people enjoy more than others (the sound a car door makes when it is shut, for example). I'm sure that both Canon and Nikon have spent a great deal of money sculpting their shutter sounds based on preferences and consumer feedback.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Best Camera For Spotting?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:03 pm

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 28):
I'm sure that both Canon and Nikon have spent a great deal of money sculpting their shutter sounds based on preferences and consumer feedback

Possible, but this would be to appeal to a wider, amateur audience rather than serious amateurs or pro's.

Notice how it tends to be the lower end bodies that make the more electronic shutter sound?

Karl

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