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Old Oct 27, 2009, 1:03 PM   #31
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You'll like the EC20. It's amazing how good it is compared to what teleconverters used to be like.

Not have done much of this type shooting before, I read a pdf linked to from this page of a guy who appears to be someone this and many other shows probably use in recording images they use in their publicity shots. When you click on the "tips" link it opens his pdf page on how he shoots these planes..

http://www.allianceairshow.com/Photos/PitTour.aspx

No doubt 1/500 second would have been better than 1/2000 second, but it sounds like 1/250 is really close to the upper end in terms of how fast the shutter speeds can be and still show props in close to full rotation, with 1/80 to 1/125 as the optimum speeds!

As noted earlier, next time I make a show like this, the panning IS mode will be used, along with trying some lower speeds, also figuring that will require even more heavy duty bursting than I did here to come away with any number of keepers.
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 1:46 PM   #32
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Aircraft propellers will normally fall in the range of 1800 to 2700 RPM depending on the size. The larger diameter props will rotate slower to avoid the tips from going supersonic. A shutter speed of something less than 1/250 would be ideal but likely compromise the sharpness with a long telephoto. I have found that 1/500 sec will still blur the blades slightly. I'd try to stay close to 1/focal length for shutter speed choice. Try some experiments at your local airport and see just how good that IS is. I suspect it's very good. Maybe you can get it down to 1/125 sec.

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Old Oct 27, 2009, 2:15 PM   #33
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I have found that 1/500 sec will still blur the blades slightly. I'd try to stay close to 1/focal length for shutter speed choice. Try some experiments at your local airport and see just how good that IS is. I suspect it's very good. Maybe you can get it down to 1/125 sec.
That would definitely have been 1/500 second at 1/focal length when considering the EC20.

I've seen a few discussions about the effectiveness of Olympus' image stabilization at higher shutter speeds. I was turning it on and off (IS1) during the day go get a series of images shot both ways to see if it made any difference in terms of getting a higher number of keepers or not and in looking at the discards, there was an ample number of both where I had IS on and off! Using the panning IS mode would probably also have helped better than IS1 using lower shutter speeds.
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 3:17 PM   #34
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As noted earlier, next time I make a show like this, the panning IS mode will be used, along with trying some lower speeds, also figuring that will require even more heavy duty bursting than I did here to come away with any number of keepers.
"More heavy duty bursting" ?

Can you clarify what this means? Does it mean that you will be more trigger happy or simply turn on burst mode? If so, how would this affect your panning since the aircraft will not be seen in the viewfinder for most of the burst?

I remember with my Canon S2, when using bursting I would always see the subject whereas with the E-620, it goes in hiding
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Old Oct 27, 2009, 4:19 PM   #35
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Panning at slower shutter speeds, I figure the more images I shoot, the better chance I would have of getting a number of steady, in focus and sharp images vs. using a higher shutter speed which, as I found does a very good job of freezing the action but, in the case of piston-driven aircraft, includes freezing the props. Slower shutter speeds brings a whole other set of issues that can affect sharpness.

In the burst mode where the camera is firing away continuously, the image is still easily followed with an E620 or any other DSLR using the optical finder, not live view. I don't find it any different than blinking while you are watching something with your eyes. There's a very brief moment of blackout when the mirror rises then falls, but it's so short at faster shutter speeds you almost don't notice. The mirror movement you see in the optical finder of a DSLR when using medium (1/60 second or so) or faster shutter speeds to me is no different to one blinking their eyes. If you can blink your eyes and follow a subject, you can follow a subject, pan and shoot a burst of several images with a DSLR and have the subject in every one be pretty much where you want it in the frame once you get your panning speeds down.

When you use a digicam with an electronic finder and shoot a burst, what you are seeing after that first image is a quick review of what you just shot, not where the subject is now. Try and shoot a burst of 6-8 frames of a fast moving subject where you have to pan the camera to follow for a few seconds with your S2 just looking through the electronic finder and see how many of the images are well composed in the frame afterwards...there won't be many, especially if you try and compose tightly to fill as much of the frame as possible, because live view shuts down in a burst. No electronic finder, not even the one in the Panasonic G1, has live view during burst shooting. It looks like it does, but you are only seeing brief reviews of something that's already been shot, and that's the difference. Optical finders in DSLR's are ALWAYS live with no delays.

There are several series of multiple image bursts I shot during the last thoroughbred season here at Lone Star Park with either an Olympus E1, E520 or E620 where 4-6 images were shot over a period of 2-4 seconds and I had no issue keeping a pack of 2, 3, 4 or more horses framed while they were moving, and over 2-4 seconds, a field of thoroughbreds cover a lot of ground. Not as much ground as a jet fighter, but they are fast enough to make shooting a challenge all the same..

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/Sports...02882378_YSP4X

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Oct 27, 2009 at 5:22 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 7:23 AM   #36
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For Airshow shots with a motor drive I've ofter pondered a fixed homemade non-optical Graflex style viewfinder consisting of a wire frame and a smaller aperture to sight through. I would mount it on the camera's hot shoe and adjust the elevation to compensate for parallax. The "blinking" I do find to be a distraction when shooting bursts.

Greg do you have the dual battery pack installed on your 620? Also why do you think the IS "panning" setting will give better results than the IS1 setting?

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Old Oct 28, 2009, 8:30 AM   #37
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Greg do you have the dual battery pack installed on your 620? Also why do you think the IS "panning" setting will give better results than the IS1 setting?
Yes, I do have the E620's dual pack and vertical release, which I really like. About the only time it's not fitted to my E620 is when I am taking it into the hockey arena for a Stars game and the pack might make the outfit big enough that security would term it a "professional" camera and not let me in with it.

IS1 is really designed to be used for static shooting where the panning mode is designed with camera movement in mind and adjusts for shifts both horizontally and vertically while you shift the camera to track motion. It SHOULD be superior to IS1 for following movement. I've not used it that way so cannot say for sure it does, but that's what it's there for, and I didn't even think about going there and giving it a try on Saturday.
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