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Old Sep 18, 2006, 05:56 AM
GOK
Registered User
Turkey, Izmir
Joined Aug 2005
1,302 Posts
Discussion
Camera selection! Any help would be appreciated!

I desperately need help!

I am not an experienced AP person but during the last 4-5 months which I have been doing it, I have come to love it. So I've made up my mind and will purchase a 6mp AP camera which will hopefuly satisfy my AP needs and help me move a step further in the hobby. Unfortunately, I haven't made up my mind in terms of which camera to buy, and would greatly appreciate any help and advice on this issue.

I am after a camera that will provide sharp, crisp photos with as close to real life colours as possible while keeping the noise as low as possible. I enjoy movies so has to have 30fps 640x480. Don't mind AV output but not very necessery. I would like it to be as light as possible, but am willing to take on board a relatively heavier camera if the image quality is worth it. (I will be using it with a brushless ES). I use a servo for shutter trigger and am very happy with it, so no need for PRISM competiblity etc.

I have looked at a fair bit of cameras such as various Pentax, Sonys, Casios and Nikons but have removed them off my list for various reasons.

I have narrowed down my choices to three cameras. Here they are with some notes on them.

Canon SD600: Looks like the perfect compact camera in its price range. Gets excellent reviews for ground use. I have read, however, some daunting reviews from APers here about the sd500 and sd550 regarding the bluriness of the photos from AP application (these two cameras are very similar I think to the SD600). I've also heard that the photos are a bit soft on these two cameras.

Canon Powershot A540: I like Canons. I am strongly leaning towards this camera at the moment. It has shutter and apperature priority and manual focus. Apperantly these are important for AP, but I have no idea why. Any feed back on why these features are important for AP would be greatly appreciated! It takes 2xAAs which is not a bad thing, I think with the light lithium AAs. This is the heaviest out of all my choices .

Panasonic Lumix DMC FX3 I have read some good reviews on this camera. I like the idea of the optical image stabilazor this camera has. I've also read that it has fantastic videos. But on a negative note I've heard that the IS doesn't work well with plane vibration and sometimes makes things worse. Aother negative thing I've read about this camera is that theere is a fair bit of noise in photos it produces.

Here is a website where I've put the above three cameras side by side.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/comp...mcfx3&show=all

I have not seen these cameras mentioned in these forums a lot. I'm hoping the reason for this is not because they are not suitable for AP but because they are relatively recent releases.

As you can see I am really confused and undecided at the moment, and I don't want to get tired of this state of mind and end up with an impulse buy just to have bought something. I would greatly appreciate it if some of you experienced APers could give me some advice or pointers on choosing a camera.

If there are any of you who have used any of the above cameras and don't mind droping a line here about your experiences, this would help me a lot as well.

Thanks in advance for all the help guys,

GOK
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Last edited by GOK; Sep 18, 2006 at 08:11 AM.
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 06:50 AM
Next time I'll ARTF...
glydr's Avatar
Canberra, Australia (Southside)
Joined Feb 2004
4,634 Posts
Hi Gok,

Good idea for a thread! I am still happy with my Pentax Otio S7 - I am particularly happy with the continuous shooting. A nylon wing bolt lightly holds the shutter down and the camera keeps taking photos until my 1Gb card is full!

Graham

Photo below taken early morning in 'sports mode' (which I assume is a quick shutter speed).
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 11:13 AM
I'm Ginger & called Adam
Ginger Adam's Avatar
Hereford, UK
Joined Oct 2002
2,903 Posts
GOK,
Shutter priority enables you to dictate what shutter speed the camera uses. This should eliminate blur caused by motion of the plane, but is not likely to solve vibration blur issues. Using shutter priority may result in dark images, but most APer's would prefer an under-exposed sharp shot to a correctly exposed blurred one. You can always correct a little under-exposure in Photoshop but taking out blur in post is not an option.

Manual Focus should enable you to set the focus to near infinity and then the camera will not waste time attempting to lock onto the subject. In practice I've not found this to be an issue and so never used it.

Adam
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOK
Canon Powershot A540: I like Canons. I am strongly leaning towards this camera at the moment. It has shutter and apperature priority and manual focus. Apperantly these are important for AP, but I have no idea why. Any feed back on why these features are important for AP would be greatly appreciated! It takes 2xAAs which is not a bad thing, I think with the light lithium AAs. This is the heaviest out of all my choices .
GOK
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 12:12 PM
Part-Time Super Hero
MarkJayne's Avatar
Aberystwyth, UK
Joined Sep 2004
3,289 Posts
Sony W100 is another cracker.

I use an old Nikon 3700, and find it great for stills and video.

Mark
www.rcflights.co.uk
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 03:02 PM
Flown There, Crashed That
E.N.'s Avatar
Woodinville, Wa
Joined May 2006
618 Posts
I say go with the A620 if you don't mind the extra weight. I've read in many, many places, AP and other, that it is great. I have yet to find its downside other than its weight. They A540 should be good also if you dont want to spend the extra money on the A620.
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Old Sep 18, 2006, 08:03 PM
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San Diego/Las Vegas
Joined Sep 2004
1,311 Posts
GOK, I love the Canons. I have two SD550's and my brother uses the A620. A620 is great if you use an external voltage regulator instead of 4 AA batteries.

Why I like the Canons?
1) Realistic color and good exposure. The Nikon L2 we tried had great color, but seemed false in some situations. The Canon might need just a bit of tweaking in Photoshop but all the correct data is there.

2) Fast processor. It's about 1/2 second lag time, and 2 frames per second continuous. The Nikon L2 we tried was aweful. You'd get a shot framed, hit the trigger, and the plane already moved by the time it took the photo.

All the photos on our website was taken with an SD550 or an A620.

I don't worry about not having shutter priority. I just use ASA100 instead of auto and shutter is fast enough. If a shadow area has to be brightened and noise is too much, I just hit just that area with Photoshop's noise filter; looks just fine.

The softness didn't bother me. You can sharpen in Photoshop if you are really picky.

-Vince
http://www.nortap.com
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 06:28 AM
GOK
Registered User
Turkey, Izmir
Joined Aug 2005
1,302 Posts
Thanks for the feedback guys,

I made the move today and bought the A540.

It is a bit porky for AP weighing 205g (7.2oz) with 2xAA lithium batteries so I hope my ES can haul it around.

I have no idea how to use the manual settings and all so I'll have to do a good amount of reading tonight.

I hope this camera takes as good photos as the A620 shots I've seen here. In case it doesn't, I bought it with a 14 day exchange/refund guarantee, so I have exactly 13 days left to determine if the A540 is a good AP cam.

I'll definately let yu guys know how it goes.

Cheers,

GOK
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 07:52 AM
I'm Ginger & called Adam
Ginger Adam's Avatar
Hereford, UK
Joined Oct 2002
2,903 Posts
7.2oz is not a great deal for an EZ* - I've seen people claiming 40oz+ AUW (that's about 14oz overweight !)

Good luck,

Adam

Quote:
Originally Posted by GOK
Thanks for the feedback guys,

I made the move today and bought the A540.

It is a bit porky for AP weighing 205g (7.2oz) with 2xAA lithium batteries so I hope my ES can haul it around.

I have no idea how to use the manual settings and all so I'll have to do a good amount of reading tonight.

I hope this camera takes as good photos as the A620 shots I've seen here. In case it doesn't, I bought it with a 14 day exchange/refund guarantee, so I have exactly 13 days left to determine if the A540 is a good AP cam.

I'll definately let yu guys know how it goes.

Cheers,

GOK
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 12:05 PM
Part-Time Super Hero
MarkJayne's Avatar
Aberystwyth, UK
Joined Sep 2004
3,289 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOK
Thanks for the feedback guys,

I made the move today and bought the A540.

It is a bit porky for AP weighing 205g (7.2oz) with 2xAA lithium batteries so I hope my ES can haul it around.

GOK
That is heavy. My Nikon weighs in at 150g and I use a 2500mash 3s1p lipo. You should be ok if you've got quite a hot EZ, just keep up a little more speed when coming in for a landing else she'll plummit big time.

Mark
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Old Sep 19, 2006, 05:49 PM
Next time I'll ARTF...
glydr's Avatar
Canberra, Australia (Southside)
Joined Feb 2004
4,634 Posts
I can vouch that Gok's EZ* is certainly not underpowered!

Looking forward to getting some results!

Graham
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