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Old Apr 14, 2007, 12:37 AM   #21
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'm going to disagree with John on this one. Olympus has a big edge with the big telephoto reach you are needing. Because the somewhat smaller sensor, telephoto lenses reach farther than with the other DSLR manufacturers. You will have less weight to carry and hold. Big advantage!
Or HUGE disadvantage..... at least with a 1.5 crop camera an inexpensive 35mm format 28mm is still fairly wide ... on a 2x crop camera like Olympus its like 60mm... if you want to shoot wide you HAVE to go into the VERY costly under 20mm lenses.... even 15mm really.

I think that factor FAR out weights the slight tele end advantage, plus the smaller sensor noise/res issues.

Long lenses are far cheaper than real wide ones.

And sorry that weight bulk for reach thing is, is a read herring A small maybe 4oz 1.4 TC at only a 1 stop cost, will easily equalize that issue. And give you the CHOICE.
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Old Apr 14, 2007, 12:44 AM   #22
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fldspringer wrote:
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and Panasonic and Olympus. All use the 4:3 system. Compare the sensor size compared to the rest. Do you need a magnifying glass?

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/...nsor-sizes.gif

OPPS there is another minus I forgot about... 3:2 (35mm proportions) is a much more versatile and flexible format than near square SD TV like 4:3 IMHO.
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Old Apr 14, 2007, 1:09 AM   #23
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fldspringer wrote:
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The trouble with that so called "extra reach" from a smaller sensoris that it is not much different than cropping an image from a photo with a larger sensor. Going with a smaller sensor is never an advantage unless you like noise.
That's pretty much the most ridiculous thing I've read in a long time. I imagine you own the a Hassy or something, everything else would be trash by that measure. Let me know how your going to move a 39mp Hassy with a long reach around an airshow.

Then there's the Canon 5D. I don't currently know of anything else using a sensor size comparable to the old 35mm film.

Then there is the rest of the pack using 1.5 or 1.6x sensors. Check out the size of these in comparison to the 5D's sensor... Big difference!

Then there is Leica. You'd never go with that, right? and Panasonic and Olympus. All use the 4:3 system. Compare the sensor size compared to the rest. Do you need a magnifying glass?

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/oly-e/...nsor-sizes.gif

Don't let your imagination get the best of you... I don't own the Hassey, but you're half right... I own something. I never said anything about full size sensors. I shoot with1.5 sensor and in my book that is small enough. I was simply stating andrefuting the obvious. You claimed that the extra reach of the 4:3 system an advantage. Adavntage generally means that you have an edge over something else. Since I can get the same extra reachby cropping with a larger sensorthere is no real advantage. There may be a size adavntage in that the 4:3 is a smaller body, but the average 1.5 sensor body is not much larger. I'll take the 1.5larger sensor, wider angle anyday over the 4:3.

You are correct, I would never buy a rebadged Panasonic just to pretend I have a Leica.I wouldn't buy the Panasonic either. I don't know what it is selling for these days, but when it was introduced, it was overpriced for what it is, what it does and the way it performs.The Leica glass is great, but the camera just doesn't cut it for me.I have nothing against Olympus and if I weregoing to buy a 4:3,the Olympus is simply the better value compared to those other two over-priced cameras.
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Old Apr 14, 2007, 1:38 AM   #24
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Swings and roundabouts.

Actually the 4:3 format makes better use of the image CIRCLE than a 3:2 format, and many have been calling for the Canon pro series to move to 4:3 ratio - gives slightly better resolution for a given format. (Left as an exercise for the reader to calculate what the difference would be. :blah

There are no "right" choices here, just a series of compromises whichever direction you choose.

One thing that I would say (from my vast experience of shooting exactly ONE airshow) with my Canon 20D three things that I would put high on the list:

1. Frames per second.
2. Buffer depth.
3. JPG performance.

You shoot a LOT of images at an airshow, so you will likely be shooting JPG. So you want your camera to be able to give you JPG files that you like. It is the only occasion where I have ever wished for more than 5fps. It is the only occasion where I ever wished for a deeper buffer.

Whilst I agree with JohnG in principle in my (limited) experience it really wasn't a situation where the AF system of any modern DSLR would struggle. The planes are very big compared to things like birds, and they really don't move all that fast, even when they are fairly close.

But you shoot a lot of bursts I found I was often waiting for the buffer to clear. So get a fast CF card too.

Here's the scene, the formation is coming in and banking, you've started a burst, they turn and the light hits their fuselage just right for a split second. You're shooting 5fps and your buffer is deep. So you get the shot. The bloke next to you on the left curses because his buffer is full and he's now only getting 1 fps. The bloke on your right curses because he's checking his shots and realises he missed the flash of light on his 3fps camera. [Dramatisation of real story.]

But YOU get the shot.

(I will dig it up for you, watch this space....)

The camera you want for airshows on a limited budget is the Canon 30D with a really good 100-300 zoom. The Sigma 100-300 f4 EX HSM is the best money can buy.

I think I may have blown your budget.










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Old Apr 14, 2007, 4:17 AM   #25
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On the 4/3 side debate:

There may not be quite the advantage one might expect on the long end. For a 150mm lens to really give the same result as a 300mm on full frame, it also has to have twice the resolution. So those consumer zooms that really get too soft over 200mm anyway, will likely be that much worse if you just move the same lens to 4/3. So you might end up with the same useable range.

On the other hand, I don't think there's a disadvantage on the wide angle either. Canon so far has made only made 4 EF-S zooms designed for the smaller APS-C image circle. All are wide or wide to normal (10-22, 17-55, 17-85, 18-55). Why? Because it's too difficult to make a full frame wide angle lens work well on digital. Digital sensors aren't good at collecting light from an angle. A specially designed lens can help by straightening out the light path, and can take advantage of the smaller mirror by getting closer to the sensor than a full frame lens would be able to.

In practice, the best Olympus mid-range lens is arguably the 11-22 f2.8-3.5 ($600) and the best high end lens is arguably the 7-14 f4 ($1500). While Olympus has yet to make either an affordable consumer grade 8-16mm or 70-300mm, both are on the road map for next year, so I doubt either is a serious limitation of the format. It is a limitation of current offerings.

Back on topic:

I'm not sure that any of high ISO performance, numerous autofocus points, or predictive autofocus performance are that critical here. I suspect most entry level models would perform about the same in good outdoor light shooting a very large object.

I bet the D40 would work just fine (only 2.6 fps, but impressive buffer performance).

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Old Apr 14, 2007, 11:50 AM   #26
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Meatwhistle wrote:
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Don't let your imagination get the best of you... I don't own the Hassey, but you're half right... I own something. I never said anything about full size sensors. I shoot with1.5 sensor and in my book that is small enough. I was simply stating andrefuting the obvious. You claimed that the extra reach of the 4:3 system an advantage. Adavntage generally means that you have an edge over something else. Since I can get the same extra reachby cropping with a larger sensorthere is no real advantage. There may be a size adavntage in that the 4:3 is a smaller body, but the average 1.5 sensor body is not much larger. I'll take the 1.5larger sensor, wider angle anyday over the 4:3.
That Hassy thing was satire. I pretty much knew you hadn't spent $39,000 on a camera.

The 4/3 reach with a 200mm lens is about the same as a 300mm lens with your camera. If your going to crop to match the difference in magnification, you will loose half of the cameras pixels. I would anticipate the need to crop airshow photos to begin with, and to push it farther because of lower reach may be pushing it.

Choosing a sensor size is always going to be a double edged sword. To pick up an advantage in one area, you will be giving up something in another. The Hassy will have enough resolution and no noise issues and will print HUGE photos. Down side is cost, size, and softening at the edges of the image circle.

Olympus is at the opposite extreme in DSLR cameras. Size and weight is an advantage at the telephoto end, and noise is a disadvantage. Certainly designing wide, fast lenses is more expensive. Its that way with any system. Advantages and disadvantages and the need to compromise unless you have the resources to own multiple systems.

If your happy with your system, I'm happy too.

As to the size thing I'm pointing to, here's a cruddy photo of my E500, 50-200mm f2.8-3.5, and the 1.4 TC which yields the 35mm equivalent of 566mm f4.5 as far as reach is concerned. Because the depth of field is tied strongly to the focal length of the lens, this system may have an advantage as I would think increased depth of field would benefit pictures of planes in flight.




As a side note, the smaller sensor in the middle of the previously posted link is the 2/3 sensor. Its been dropped as a choice for upper end point and shoots because its too big and too expensive to be profitable in that market. Its half the size of the Olympus DSLR sensor. If someone built a DSLR around that sensor and did as good of a job as Olympus in supplying lenses for it, I'd be interested. The above setup would have the reach of more than 1100mm f4.5 (35mm equiv). As Ken pointed out, the glass would have to be top notch, and the optical viewfinder would be getting VERY small, but I'd be a possible (maybe probable) customer.
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 12:00 AM   #27
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WOW!

Thanks so much everyone for things to 'chew' on. I took some other advice as well and I was out today and stopped in a few places to check the cameras out in person. I have to say, that I was kind of leaning towards the Canon 400d (Rebel Xti)....and then I actually held it, and man, it just didn't feel as good as some of the others. Also, I was able to borrow my wife's uncle's Canon 10D for the weekend, just to get the feel of a DSLR. I'm still not sure, and I'm going to keep doing some research, but I do really appreciate all the info so far. I know it's hard not to 'pitch' your camera or something like that, and a few of you pointed out excatly what I need to 'focus' in on for me:

Long lenses availability, fast and good autofocus, decent burst mode.

One thing I would like some thoughts on if you wouldn't mind so:

How important do you think Image Stabilization (or the like) is? Sony and Pentax have it in the camera, which seems nice, but for Canon you have to buy the IS lenses, which are more expensive (i think). Should I take that into consideration?
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Old Apr 15, 2007, 3:26 AM   #28
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Waltz41 wrote:
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How important do you think Image Stabilization (or the like) is? Sony and Pentax have it in the camera, which seems nice, but for Canon you have to buy the IS lenses, which are more expensive (i think). Should I take that into consideration?
I personally don't think for the sort of shooting you will be doing that it is a huge help and when using the Canon 100-400mm L IS I only turn it on for low light work on stationary subject but never use it when panning work.

Here is a bird shot at 600mm (960mm in 35mm terms) handheld.



You will see in the exif that the focal length shots 300mm but my 3rd party 2x telecon does not register with the body to it is doubled as it the aperture.

Here is another panning shot at 1/60th at 400mm (sametc meaning exif does notshow the doubling offocal length and in 35mm terms this would be 640mm)and as you can see even though it was using extreme settings the result is fine.



I'm not going to say that IS might not help you out if you shake a lot and there might be gains if you are still working on your panning technique however there are times when IS will think your movement is a 'shake' and will counteract where you wanted the camera to go which does not help at all. If you have it there will be times when you get a benefit however for what you are looking at I don't think you are going to want to use it.

Oh just to add before switching from Konica Minolta to Canon (KM 5D had IS built in) for all my car/bike slow shutter panning shots the IS was turned off as there was not noticable gain and in fact the loud noise of the engins actually caused a nasty vibration in the recorded image as the KM used CCD shift and the CCD was being moved by the noise.


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Old Apr 15, 2007, 7:50 PM   #29
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Image stabilization is a subject covered in some depth a while ago on this forum. Some say its necessary for them, some use it rarely. I don't have the luxury as the E500 doesn't have it.

Mark posted a couple of pics and I have to admire his abilities. The wind surfer at that telephoto with 1/60 second exposure is something I wouldn't be able to pull off. I'd recommend as much shutter speed as youcan muster for the long telephoto photos, even at the expense of some depth of field.

Lens based stabilazation is probably better because its custom taylored to the focal range. In camera stabilization would be a tool that could be handy in some situations to. Good camera handling would benifit any camrea with any stabilization. Its something that has to be practiced and perfected. Both Mark and John have posted many photos as evidence they posess those skills. Most of the rest of us need more shutter speed and must continue to work on getting better with our cameras.

As a rule of thumb for the mortals, 1/(35mm focal length) is a starter for what is needed for shutter speed.
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Old Apr 20, 2007, 11:21 PM   #30
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You have received some very good responses across a number of issues. The bottom line is which camera actually works best for you. You need to go hold all of them and figure out which one you want to carry around - you are going to wind up hating the wrong one (too heavy, too small, too bulky, too .....) - and really liking the right one.

All the camera vendors today make great cameras. There is really no single perfect camera, and you can also go broke on some of these models. That said, with your budget of $1K you should be able to obtain a very good system. The lens is probably the most important item, followed by the body. My interests lie in the wide angle - landscapes etc, but for the money - Pentax makes (and has made for many years) great lens. Their camera bodies accept every lens made for the last 35+ years, and thus are available for very reasonable prices (on ebay). That is not to say that every lens is perfect for your use or that they are all bargins.

The current Pentax bodies (K100D - 6.1mp and K10D - 10mp) have image stablization built in, have high iso speeds available (up to 3200) plus all of the other bells and whistles. Pentax has probably the best bargin for the dollar with their K100D. You can find the body with the 18-55 kit lens for $480. Telephoto lenses are less than wide-angle. A Pentax 100-300mm zoom lens will run about $150. There are even rebates on the camera and lenses -

The Pentax sensor has a 1.5 factor, thus a 300mm lens is actually a 450mm lens in 35mm equivalent terms.

http://www.pentaximaging.com/purchase/rebates_offers/
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...amp;sku=218034

Here is an airshow that one of the contributors on the Pentax Forum posted.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...pentax+airshow

Also - you can have the best equipment money can buy - but its still the photographer taking the picture.
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