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Old Oct 10, 2007, 07:33 PM
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United States, CA, Tehachapi
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Next Step After A Nikon 3700. Or My Tale of the Pentax S10

Nikon's Coolpix 3700 seems to be an all-time favorite of APers and AVers here for quite some time. I have really liked enjoyed mine also. I am wondering has Nikon upgraded to a better camera for us? I know that have newer models out, but have they improved on a camera for AP/AV use and if so, what is it and how do you guys like it?

Has there been camera that has achieved the status of the Nikon 3700?

Thanks,

Frank
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Old Oct 10, 2007, 09:21 PM
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Frank, I have also enjoyed flying with a 3700 for a good while now.........it was our second camera after an Aiptek Blip cam. We have now added a Canon A620, which is an OUTSTANDING performer. If you use the stock batteries (4X AA), it is weightier but it also has an exterior jack for auxillary powering from a lipo, etc. Canon has now discontinued the A620 and already have the newer A630 and I believe an A640 models. The 620 still commands its place in the AP hierarchy, however. And they can be found on e-Bay, sometimes along with a photo printer for around $200 which is less than they sold for when they first hit the market. For examples of the Canon's performance, check out username Hogster and vpatron among others on this forum.

Larry
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Thanks for the info on Cannon's Larry. I have been eyeballing the Cannon SD550 based on the comments of the folks you mentioned above, but since the Nikon has proved to be such a solid performer, I'm sure they must have come out with something even better for theie next model(s). Trouble is, finding someone that has any experience with that model from Nikon. I would think Nikon would only improve on what they did with the 3700 and take it to the next level. Although I could be wrong.

Signed,

Curious in VA
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 05:51 AM
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You may be right on the latest model Nikons, though I haven't read or heard that much to date. However, the general comments from the models just after the 3700 were of the 3700 being more user friendly and still superior in video quality with not much fall off in still shot performance. You might also question CenTexFlyer and Myron on the later Nikons. I believe they later upgraded to the Panosonic Lumix LX-1 or LX-2 cameras. With as many new cameras out on the market today that are reported to be far superior in every aspect for AP, I think it is a good testiment to the 3700 to see how many of the guys on this forum are still hanging onto one and actually preferring it to those newer models.

Larry
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 06:37 AM
Trying to defy gravity...
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I just scored another Nikon 3700 from eBay, that brings me up to three of them. I'm quite happy with the shots I get, so for me I see no reason to change.



Jimsky
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 05:04 PM
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That's a great pic there, Jimsky! NY? Is it recent?

Larry
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 05:14 PM
Trying to defy gravity...
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That's a picture taken from the road that leads into the ADK's Adirondack Lodge, aptly called the Adirondack Loj Road in the Lake Placid area of New York. Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics not once, but twice! It's a lovely area as you can see.

I took the shot last month on a 3 day AP trip with the wife checking out the changing leaves. I just flew, she did all the location scouting and map/direction work. I've got a ton more stuff I have to sort through and work up.

Jimsky
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 05:47 PM
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I love my A620 1.5 years after buying it, and after 18000 shots it's still going strong and delivering great photos - it's my only AP camera for both helicopter and mast work. All the photos on my website were taken with it:

www.horizonimaging.net

If your ship is able to carry the weight you WON'T regret the upgrade!

Cheers,


David
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 06:36 PM
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David,

I have been looking at your wonderful pics for some time now and wish my plane could carry the 10.1 ounces, but I thinking the 5.8 is just about my max. I still can't believe the Nikon 3700 is the best Nikon has made to date and it's how old now? 4 years? I was hoping this wouldn't be this hard as I have already told my son he can have my 3700. It wouldn't be right to take it back.

Frank
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 08:05 PM
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One question on the SD550. Can you hold the shutter down and take continuous photos in the sports mode?

This Nikon Coolpix S510 is looking pretty sweet.

http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php...roductNr=25582

But I don't see any reviews about it here.

Frank
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 09:09 PM
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I'm dating how long I've been out of ap on planes, I've been using a canon 10d with a 17-40l lens and the canon tc80n remote on a gasser chopper to just go up and take a pic every 3 seconds until 99 exposures are taken, (limit of shots for the canon remote) How are you fellas snapping the shots on the newer cameras? servo arm? infrared? electronic switch through usb port?
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 09:20 PM
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wray,

You are going to laugh, but I use a high tech device called a rubber band. Some cameras can be set to take continuous photos, but not mine. I simply put a rubber band around the camera and take lots of photos. No worries about trying to click the shutter when I think there might be a good picture.

That is how I got this shot. Who knew?

Frank
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Old Oct 11, 2007, 09:56 PM
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back in 95, i used a goldberg eagle 2 with a pod mounted between the wheels facing down, i just mounted a microservo to contact the shutter on an old minolta autowind point and shoot. the results were good for what that camera was. I'd read awhile back where there were switches that ran through your receiver and let you actuate the shutter, but reading on dpreview, it doesn't look like the new generation offer that type of connectivity. I'm not above putting a big disc in there and letting the pics rip, but I was hoping to not have to download a bunch of throw away pics after every hop. Thanks for the reply Frank.


some of what i've done with the predator chopper: http://www.pbase.com/wray/aerial_photos&page=all
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Old Oct 12, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Great shots there, Wray! I began AP with an Aiptek "Blip" camera, which was by far the simplest to install.............comes stock with a Futaba J type connector, just plug into your Rx, focus the lens once and you are ready to roll! The camera is powered by the Rx battery. Next to no weight and nothing extra to hook up for shutter release....it's all electrical.

I later purchased a Nikon 3700 and built a lite ply mount with a micro servo on top to mechanically trip the shutter. That arrangement worked pretty well but you MUST insure that you have proper alignment and no slop in the servo, the servo arm or the mounting system. On several occasions, I came back with what I thought to be a "planeload" of pics, only to find out the servo had worked its way out of alignment early and had only taken a fraction of the shots I thought it had taken.

Next, we purchased a Pentax Optio S4 (used) and picked up an IR switch from "MX" at Hexpert Systems. You can find username MX here on the forum and that little IR switch is easy to install and use and is a sweet addition for around $25. It does only support cameras with remote IR capability, so be sure to check it out before purchasing.

Our latest purchase was a Canon A620 and we decided to try out yet another shutter activating system and bought a URBI switch from Ben at www.BLIP.COM.AU . At around $100, this one is a little pricier but we had read a lot of good success reports from AP'ers here on RCG's who had already tried one out. This rig is going aboard our Telemaster Electro and we are looking forward to working with it.

So, yes there are several good avenues these days for tripping the shutter. Curiosity is costing me but I had to try out a few of them. Thanks to all of the great guys who have shared their experiences with us and gave me good reason to try it myself.

Larry
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Old Oct 12, 2007, 10:05 AM
I'm Ginger & called Adam
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Hereford, UK
Joined Oct 2002
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Having just moved on from a Nikon 7900 - I can say no matter what camera you decide on make sure it has shutter priority - it makes AP so much easier.

I couldn't get hold of a Canon 620 myself - In the end I got a 630 for a bargain price but I'm not sure what the specifications are compared to 620. Seems to take excellent ground-based photos but it's yet to be airbourne (Helicopter skills not quite there yet )

Adam
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