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Camera mode settings for airshows

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 5:18 pm
by SAT6i
What settings do you use for airshows? Usually I use full manual and I don’t have much trouble but most sites recommend either aperture or shutter priority. I really never use either of these so I would like some feedback. What do you shoot in?
I have a 90D and it should be a sunny day.

Re: Camera mode settings for airshows

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:45 am
by cpd
Last air show I photographed was probably 2009 or 2010, but as luck would have it tricky conditions for both. Dust haze for the first one (and I was sick) and harsh light for the second one.

I used aperture priority for both of them. When photographing the F111C moving very fast close up I boosted the ISO a bit to get a higher shutter speed.

I only use manual settings at night when background lights could confuse the camera and mess up the exposure of the photo.

That was using a Nikon D700 and D3S. Same methods for the D800e as well. I used the 200-400mm Zoom-Nikkor F4.0 lens with a 1.7x TC to get a bit more reach. It’s not recommended but it worked.

I don’t know what the latest cameras are like. Probably far improved.

Re: Camera mode settings for airshows

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:23 pm
by vikkyvik
I use full manual for all my "regular" shooting, and I don't see any need to change it for air shows.

Just may have to boost ISO a bit to get high enough shutter speeds for some of the faster passes.

Re: Camera mode settings for airshows

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:31 am
by seahawk
Manual would not be my choice for fast action.

As a Nikon user, Things might be different at Canon.

Basic setting is aperture priority for me. I adjust the shutter speed with aperture and ISO settings.

Shutter priority can be an option for panning/ prop blur.

At Nikon you can also use P mode, where the camera decides the combination of aperture and shutter speed. With the command dial you can adjust it towards faster or slower shutter speeds. This is very useful for changing light conditions.

Also important is to make sure you have the right metering mode and AF settings.