Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:03 pm

Camera Choices For Plane Spotting

Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:44 pm

Hi all,

I am looking to take up plane spotting as a new hobby and need a video camera for footage, I have a Sony SLR which can take decent enough images but no video functionality so need to get my self a half decent video camera.
I have found 2 cameras which i think would be adequate for the job and they are linked below:

Option one

Option two

Both these camera look good however one has more zoom (v520) and the other has better quality (V720) so basically I'm wondering which one is best for plane spotting. In most occasions i will be positioned about 500-1000 meters from the planes and would like to zoom in to see them on the approach, departure so to get a range of like 2-3 miles? maybe more. I have seen people do it before just not sure what type of camera they use. Also if you know of any other cameras around the same price marks as these (£200-400) from other makes that would do the job just as well or better that would be great.

Many thanks

Posts: 5808
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Camera Choices For Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:39 pm

I can't comment on those cameras, but if you're looking to take video of things that far away you'll be looking at a lot of camera shake, heat haze and maybe loss of focus. You will probably have to invest in a reasonably substantial tripod to keep the view steady. Hand holding small cameras like this does make it difficult to track the motion of things well. They are light so there's no "inertia" or weight to keep things steady, especially when zoomed in a long way. You have such a small field of view, any movement of the camera will appear very large.

A while ago I videoed an An124 with my Canon Mv700 that has an 18x zoom and it was probably the best part of 6 miles up. It was difficult to follow it accurately.

I'm not sure a 50x zoom is really necessary, being 1400mm equivalent focal length and, if camera lenses are anything to go by, the longer the zoom range the more optical compromises there are taken to give reasonable optical quality over the zoom range.

Which airport will you be at?
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:03 pm

RE: Camera Choices For Plane Spotting

Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:22 pm

Hey cheers for the reply, I will be mostly at heathrow and manchester however i live very close to Henley, here planes on approach to Heathrow are descending through 6000-4000ft so can see some good shots here. Some people have said to go for a new DSLR with the video function but i have also the understanding that nothing will beat a video camcorder for motion footage.

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