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Old Feb 12, 2008, 12:15 PM   #1
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Hi I'm a pilot that flies all over the country. I can't tell you how many times I see something and wish I only had a camera to take a picture. The thing is I'm scared to buy. When I was younger I had a 5.1mp Sony. I remember one day Air Force One was landing at the airport I was at. I took a picture of the aircraft on short final to the field and when I looked at the camera I saw only a tiny dot in the distance. The camera ruined a beautiful shot. I don't want this to happen again. So what's a good camera, $1000 or less, for these kinds of shots? I'm wanting something I can stick in my bag hopefully. If there's a slimmer SLR then great. As far as megapixels go I'm willing to look at anything 6mp or higher as I know it's more the camera than the mp. Since I'll be traveling around to so many places I'd like to have something that's a little versatile.

Thanks for any advice guys.
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 12:30 PM   #2
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Was it the camera that ruined the shot? Being a small spec sounds to me like it was a long ways off and the camerawasn't zoomed to the maximum telephoto position, which the user has to do. They've built a lot of auto this and intellient that into digicams today, but intelligent/auto zoom isn't one of those features. The photographer still has to do that.

Sounds like, whatever you decide on, it needs to have at least a 10x zoom on it. Wish I was in your position! I imagine you have lot of really unique-type photo ops, andfrom agreat vantage point..
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 12:38 PM   #3
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Yes I had it zoomed in all the way. There was nothing special about this camera as it was a point and shoot camera. Imagine shots like this. http://www.prisonplanet.com/images/m.../220506klm.jpg So I'm willing to hear some names. Are there any slim SLRS or do I just need a camera with a larger diameter lens and not one that looks like a little peep hole.
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 3:14 PM   #4
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I've found two that seem to be promising. There's the Canon Power shot TX1 http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...n_tx1_pg5.html

There's also the Canon Powershot G9
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_.../canon_g9.html

Which is better for shooting aircraft that would be flying back? 7.1mp at 10x or 12.25mp at 6x? I do like the form of the G9 better and it seems to be a well engineered beast, but I also like the video abilities of the Tx1. Anyone know of any other larger zoom camera's with good video abilities?

Then there's the Ricoh Capilo R7 at 8.15mp and 7.1x zoom. I like the look of the Leica D-Lux 3. However is that only a digital zoom camera with no optical?
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 7:57 PM   #5
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You'll have trouble with haze so you need a quick-to-use superzoom that has an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) to allow a good preview representation of the image you're about to take,unless you can be bothered with the bulk, weight & cost of a dSLR & lens(es), which will do the job better, at a cost.

Canon S5is? Kodak Z712is (I have one) or Z812is? They're dSLR-shaped but small & light.
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Old Feb 12, 2008, 10:36 PM   #6
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Haze generally isn't an issue when we are at 30,000+ft. It usually exist in the lower atmosphere. Not all days are good. Sometimes they are a few that wouldn't be good for pictures but many many times I fly into places like NY at night it's crystal clear. Those are the times I want the right camera. The Kodak appears to not be rechargable and only saves in jpg format. Some of the photos I'd like to use Genuine Fractals on to enlarge and printed very large so I could hang on the wall.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 2:39 AM   #7
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what about the canon xs100 IS
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...;modelid=15672
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 3:21 AM   #8
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Is an 8mp 10x optical zoom better than a 12.25mp 6x optical zoom? Also how many mp does one generally need to upsize something to the size of a poster? I have photoshop and have been reading about Genuine Fractals 5.0. Looks promising

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Old Feb 13, 2008, 6:27 AM   #9
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Zoom isn't an indication of quality. All the "x" rating is, is the longest focal length divided by the shortest. So an 18-55 lens is 3x. A 100-300 is also 3x. Obviously, these two lenses are quite different.

Quite a few more things go into the "which is better question" than megapixels and zoom. Lens quality and sensor quality, in camera processing, metering, etc all play a role. On the surface, all other things being equal, more megapixels=more resolution, more ability to print larger, or crop and still come up with something usable. The thing is, all other things are never equal.

I've made 30x40 canvas prints with very little upsizing from a 10 mp DSLR. Canvas covers up some of the imperfections (the rough texture) and large prints aren't intended to be viewed up close anyway. Exposure will be critical, as will using the lowest possible ISO to get the cleanest image. By all accounts, genuine fractals is an excellent program and will work well. The difference between 10 and 12 mp is not all that great, so I wouldn't expect a huge difference between the two in the final result, especially when using a program like Genuine Fractals to upsize.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 4:40 PM   #10
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http://www.bestpricecameras.com/prod...&display=2 Is this for real? I've been reading reviews on the camera and it seems to get high marks. Any idea why it's only $299? If it's really that cheap, I know body only, I think I'd have to pick it up. Then I could purchase the lens separate.
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