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Hi guys basically, after duxford yesterday I've decided to invest in a decent camera. I'm sick of taking photos with my iPhone, they don't always come out great and I'm running out of storage room, I should really upload them to clear room. Anyhow I was wondering if you can guys have any recommendations for a camera for stills and flying shots. A nice easy to use camera which won't cost a ridiculous amount. Any advice is welcome, thanks.

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:D With respect, I think you are almost asking "How long is a piece of string". I certainly understand why you are asking because it is a very important question but, if you get 100 people replying to your post, you are likely to get 100 different opinions! You will certainly need a good Digital SLR camera but, the variety and choice is utterly bewildering. A good Digital "bridge" camera will also be useful. My own personal choices are respectively the Canon EOS 450D and Fuji Finepix S4200 - the latter used frequently for shots at my local (Edinburgh) airport. Both are light and very easy to use. You will certainly need a good zoom lens - the minimum focal length I would say being 300mm. Forget about digital compacts - they are worse than useless for this kind of photography especially as a lot of them don't even have a viewfinder (which is essential) meaning you have to look through the LCD screen (try that

on a bright day!!) :D

I think realistically you are going to have to do your own on line research first. Check out reviews and then actually take the plunge and buy. You don't have to fork out a huge sum. My EOS 45OD was purchased second hand from a camera dealer and, complete with three lenses cost less than £400. It really is a case of "you pays your money, you takes your choice". If you know someone who has a Digital SLR, ask him/her if you can try the camera for yourself & see you get on. A good place to practice would obviously be a local airport or military base. Anyway, for what it is worth, that is my contribution. I wish you good luck in your search.

Allan

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Thanks Allan I appreciate your input, I agree with what you said, that there's many different options and I'm likely to get different answers. Now at least I have a start point as I know very little about cameras etc. Thanks again!

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Thanks Allan I appreciate your input, I agree with what you said, that there's many different options and I'm likely to get different answers. Now at least I have a start point as I know very little about cameras etc. Thanks again!

Don't worry about "knowing very little" about cameras. Every one of us starts out that way and, you gain experience as you go along. It might actually be a good idea to purchase a Digital "bridge" camera to begin with. These conveniently fill the niche between the compact "point and shoot " camera and the single lens reflex (SLR) camera. You will need one with a viewfinder - my own Fujifilm Finepix has an electronic viewfinder and 24x optical zoom lens. Once you learn how to use a camera like that, a Digital SLR will be easy. I have attached a couple of shots taken with this little camera to give you an idea of the results you can achieve. It will not however be so useful at an airshow as, with the auto focus facility on there is a slight,built in delay between pressing the shutter and, the shutter opening. You could lose any shot of a fast moving subject. However, it's a good place to start.043.jpg025_1.jpg022_1.jpg

Edited by Albeback52
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If there are n replies, you'll get at least n+1 different suggestions! My main advice would be to consider getting second hand kit from a reputable dealer. There are many serious photographers who want the latest and greatest, which means there are bargains to be had in 2-3 year old cameras, especially DSLRs. They may have fewer megapixels, but unless you're going to publish pictures in print magazines you don't need them! You'll get a 4300x2800 images from a 12Mpix camera, which is plenty for any digital use. The biggest difference I noticed going to a real DSLR, even an older one, is the "blink of an eye" speed at which it locks focus and takes a picture -- essential for something like classic motor racing at Donington...

I used MPB Photographic to get my kit, and they gave great service and the gear is in excellent condition.

https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equipment/

Best,
M.

Edited by cmatthewbacon
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I agree, in general the quality of the final result is hugely influenced by the lens - both its manufacturing quality and its technical specification.

For the camera body itself I would suggest the most important factors are

A/ focus speed

B/ low light performance (maybe not an issue for plane shots)

C/ other logistical,issues such has handling, ease of acces to buttons and common features , battery life etc

Also recommend going 2nd hand to start especially if as you say, you don't know much about cameras- do you intend to learn....if so an SLR is the way forward;but if not maybe not...

I myself use a Canon 650d SLR with a variety of lenses including - huge canon 100-400 zoom (which cost around 4x the price of the body) - but despite that I frequently fall back on my pocket Panasonic TZ70 which is a tiny travel camera, with massive zoom range, loads of 'effects', can be operated thru wifi remotely by a phone, and frequently just gives better results,

As the man says, you pays your money and take your choice....

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have found that for outside I use my cannon, although an older model with good lenses it still takes great pictures. Inside museums etc I use my fuji finepix bridge camera it seems to perform much better under low light conditions and is easier to move around with.

Julien

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All good advice in the above. I'd simply add to this a simple equation:

What subjects you want to photograph + what is your level of photographic knowledge + budget = suitable camera

An obvious example being that if you buy a fully-manual dslr and go to shoot fast flying jets at an airshow in rapidly-changing lighting conditions, you'll need to know a fair bit about photographic technique and have the ability to make rapid changes to your camera settings as second nature.

As others have said, look around at reviews of current kit (in terms of picture quality, ease of use etc.) and then go try it in the flesh if you can. You'll want taking photos to be a source of pleasure after all.

HTH,

Tony

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Tony offers some good advice, it's not all about point and shoot and expect a sharp clear photo of aircraft especially in the air with the camera set on auto.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For what it's worth, my suggestion would be to go to a proper photographic dealer and look at second hand equipment. I've bought from both a dealer and a well known High Street discount store. The latter knows nothing about what they sell and prices aren't always as good as they seem! BDealers - at least my dealer - can offer advice and if you can build a rapport with them, are sometimes prepared to lend second hand equipment so you can try it.

Advice I was given by a professional was to spend more ££££ on lens(es) than a camera body. It's good advice!!!

Talking of camera bodies,ma DSLR offers more capability than a 'bridge' camera - for one thing you can swap lenses easily and the ficus speed is usually faster with a DSLR. I now have two DSLRs with long-ish zooms and wide angle lenses, and two 'bridge' cameras. I don't take the bridge cameras to air shows any more.

I hope this helps.

Jonny

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For what it's worth, my suggestion would be to go to a proper photographic dealer and look at second hand equipment. I've bought from both a dealer and a well known High Street discount store. The latter knows nothing about what they sell and prices aren't always as good as they seem! BDealers - at least my dealer - can offer advice and if you can build a rapport with them, are sometimes prepared to lend second hand equipment so you can try it.

Advice I was given by a professional was to spend more ££££ on lens(es) than a camera body. It's good advice!!!

Talking of camera bodies,ma DSLR offers more capability than a 'bridge' camera - for one thing you can swap lenses easily and the ficus speed is usually faster with a DSLR. I now have two DSLRs with long-ish zooms and wide angle lenses, and two 'bridge' cameras. I don't take the bridge cameras to air shows any more.

I hope this helps.

Jonny

all very good advice indeed. Spend more on the lens than the body

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For what it's worth, my suggestion would be to go to a proper photographic dealer and look at second hand equipment. I've bought from both a dealer and a well known High Street discount store. The latter knows nothing about what they sell and prices aren't always as good as they seem! BDealers - at least my dealer - can offer advice and if you can build a rapport with them, are sometimes prepared to lend second hand equipment so you can try it.

Advice I was given by a professional was to spend more ££££ on lens(es) than a camera body. It's good advice!!!

Talking of camera bodies,ma DSLR offers more capability than a 'bridge' camera - for one thing you can swap lenses easily and the ficus speed is usually faster with a DSLR. I now have two DSLRs with long-ish zooms and wide angle lenses, and two 'bridge' cameras. I don't take the bridge cameras to air shows any more.

I hope this helps.

Jonny

For what it's worth, my suggestion would be to go to a proper photographic dealer and look at second hand equipment. I've bought from both a dealer and a well known High Street discount store. The latter knows nothing about what they sell and prices aren't always as good as they seem! BDealers - at least my dealer - can offer advice and if you can build a rapport with them, are sometimes prepared to lend second hand equipment so you can try it.

Advice I was given by a professional was to spend more ££££ on lens(es) than a camera body. It's good advice!!!

Talking of camera bodies,ma DSLR offers more capability than a 'bridge' camera - for one thing you can swap lenses easily and the ficus speed is usually faster with a DSLR. I now have two DSLRs with long-ish zooms and wide angle lenses, and two 'bridge' cameras. I don't take the bridge cameras to air shows any more.

I hope this helps.

Jonny

That's not a bad shout as I know nothing about cameras, thanks for your input/advice guys, appreciated.

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hi again,

you need to decide how much you want to spend and then add a bit. Use approximately 2/3rds for the lens and then go to a proper camera shop. I have heard very good things about Wex but that depends where you live of course. Stick to Canon and Nikon and you won't go far wrong. Other brands are also good of course, but they don't have the range of accessories and upgrades plus future models once you get hooked.

Best advice - don't buy first time. A good shop will let you try anything in store and then think about it

Best website - www.camerapricebuster.com use this to get an idea of prices and most shops will try to match it. However, if the shop is good use them and pay extra for the advice. It#s worth it

Have fun and don't be put off by the number of buttons on a camera, you won't use most of them!!

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi again,

you need to decide how much you want to spend and then add a bit. Use approximately 2/3rds for the lens and then go to a proper camera shop. I have heard very good things about Wex but that depends where you live of course. Stick to Canon and Nikon and you won't go far wrong. Other brands are also good of course, but they don't have the range of accessories and upgrades plus future models once you get hooked.

Best advice - don't buy first time. A good shop will let you try anything in store and then think about it

Best website - www.camerapricebuster.com use this to get an idea of prices and most shops will try to match it. However, if the shop is good use them and pay extra for the advice. It#s worth it

Have fun and don't be put off by the number of buttons on a camera, you won't use most of them!!

Andy

Thanks for the advice and links.

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Thanks for the advice and links.

no problem, any questions regarding Canon, pm me. Always happy to offer help and guidnace regarding camreas as i hate to see people waste money on inappropriate gear

Andy

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  • 1 month later...

You will certainly need a DSLR(I have a Nikon D7100). A DSLR is the only camera where you will actually get the better shot(I might get shot down for these comments, but I have over 40 years photography experience). I have also tried various bridge cameras, but never with the same results as a DSLR. It would be personal choice what you buy though, Nikon/Canon. Never used Canon, so cannot comment, but use Nikon for 40 years.

Martin

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