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Old Jul 10, 2008, 4:41 PM   #1
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Howdy everyone, good to be here at the boards. I'm looking into an intro DSLR that will be mostly used for action shots at commercial airports. I'm a pilot in training to become a commercial pilot for Delta and commercial aviation/photography are my passions. (And cars but gas is so expensive its no fun to go fast anymore).

So anyways...I'm in college and on a budget. It looks like the A200 + 18-70 and 70-300 can be had for 599 on sonystyle right now.

The D40 with 18-55 and 55-200 can be had for 599 (with bag and dvds) from ritz as well.

I'd have to buy a bag for the first option but I don't think an extra 30 bucks would break the bank. Also if you could recommend a good place to get cheap SD or CF cards.

Anyways to the point I will be using the camera for aviation photography, around the house/family shots, and at the dog park for pictures of my dog.

Which is a better bang for the buck?

At the store the Sony was definitely more comfortable in my hands (6'2" 200 lbs...not a small guy) the Nikon kind of felt like I was having to cradle it too much because it was so small.

The only reason I haven't jumped on the sony yet is the fear of image quality not being on par with the Nikon's or Canon's image quality.

Off to work now, hope to hear from some of you knowledgeable folks. THANKS IN ADVANCE EVERYONE!!!! :-)
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 4:59 PM   #2
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"Aviation" photography or "Aerial" photography?

First, it seems that a significant portion of your photography will be action shots, and the autofocus on the D40 (indeed, any of the entry level Nikon dSLRs) isn't one of the fastest.

Second, the A200 has a faster autofocus system, but the 75-300 is soft at the long end and prone to chromatic abberation in high-contrast situations.

I think the A200 is a better choice, but the 75-300 would be a disappointment for aviation photography.
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 9:57 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what you mean by aerial. A good mix of planes departing, arriving, taxiing, and such.

I know of a great spot at DFW to catch planes sitting at the terminal under the night time lights...it made for some great shots with my Panasonic FZ20 minus the noise at higher ISOs.

Is there anywhere I could purchase just the D200 body and then maybe opt for spend more money on a single 18-300 lens that would bring better images?
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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03SVTCobra wrote:
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I'm not sure what you mean by aerial. A good mix of planes departing, arriving, taxiing, and such.
Ok, yes, that's aviation photography. You were talking about flying and taking pictures, and I thought you might be taking pictures of the ground. That would be aerial photography.

03SVTCobra wrote:
Quote:
I know of a great spot at DFW to catch planes sitting at the terminal under the night time lights...it made for some great shots with my Panasonic FZ20 minus the noise at higher ISOs.
I don't suppose you'd like to post some.

03SVTCobra wrote:
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Is there anywhere I could purchase just the D200 body and then maybe opt for spend more money on a single 18-300 lens that would bring better images?
No. There's a Tamron 18-250 that is the best superzoom of it's kind, but it's about as soft and as prone to chromatic aberration as the 75-300.

You could buy the A200 with the kit lens, and get some great shots at the terminal or maybe a taxiway, but unless you can get close to the runway, you'll need a longer lens. Whiel there are some, the Sony 75-300 isn't one of them.

Sony dSLRs have the benefit of using the same lens mount as Minolta Maxxum film SLRs have used since the '80s, and a number of those very good lenses are still available on the used market. There's the Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0, affectionately known as the 'Beercan', which goes for from $150 to $250 on eBay, that you might want to take a look at. See my post So, anything happen over in your neighborhood today? as well as many others in the Sports & Action Photosforum for some examples.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 12:48 AM   #5
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TCav wrote:
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"Aviation" photography or "Aerial" photography?

First, it seems that a significant portion of your photography will be action shots, and the autofocus on the D40 (indeed, any of the entry level Nikon dSLRs) isn't one of the fastest.

Second, the A200 has a faster autofocus system, but the 75-300 is soft at the long end and prone to chromatic abberation in high-contrast situations.

I think the A200 is a better choice, but the 75-300 would be a disappointment for aviation photography.
i agree .. a200 will be much faster about autofocus, buta200's both kit lenses (sal1870 and sal75300) have chromatic aberation issues, which will show more significantly in high constrats situations with aviation shots. Either case a200 is a much better option then d40, but a better lens would help alot too.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 2:32 AM   #6
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Ok well maybe a better option might be to buy a Canon 350D or 400D body and add a Tamron 70-300 lens?

It would also be on the cheaper side but then I'd have to back off a good bit to get shots when just tinkering around the house and what not.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 8:02 AM   #7
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First, the Canon 350D doesn't have a very good autofocus system either. The 400D would perform much better for action shots.

Second, the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD is actually worse than the Sony as far as chromatic aberration is concerned. My experience with the Minolta 75-300 was that the chromatic aberration was pretty bad for avaition photography (from the shots I took at an air show at Andrews AFB). But it doesn't appear to be the worst of it's kind. I just gave up on that focal length altogether, and settled on something less ambitious. If you decide to go with Canon, their 70-300 seems to haveless CA than most others, but th etests I've seen are for the IS (stabilized) version of the lens, which will be expensive.

Third, 75-300 is way too long for general purpose photography.

What makes this difficult is that your chosen field accentuates any chromatic aberration, and finding a combination that will work well is tough.

Perhaps you can post some examples of photos you've taken or would like to take. This might give us a better idea of what kind of system will work well for you. Perhaps you can get by with a shorter focal length.
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 1:48 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
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First, the Canon 350D doesn't have a very good autofocus system either. The 400D would perform much better for action shots.

Second, the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD is actually worse than the Sony as far as chromatic aberration is concerned. My experience with the Minolta 75-300 was that the chromatic aberration was pretty bad for avaition photography (from the shots I took at an air show at Andrews AFB). But it doesn't appear to be the worst of it's kind. I just gave up on that focal length altogether, and settled on something less ambitious. If you decide to go with Canon, their 70-300 seems to haveless CA than most others, but th etests I've seen are for the IS (stabilized) version of the lens, which will be expensive.

Third, 75-300 is way too long for general purpose photography.

What makes this difficult is that your chosen field accentuates any chromatic aberration, and finding a combination that will work well is tough.

Perhaps you can post some examples of photos you've taken or would like to take. This might give us a better idea of what kind of system will work well for you. Perhaps you can get by with a shorter focal length.
Mostly stuff like so...

http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...;submit=Search
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