Jump to content

Cameras for aircraft


Recommended Posts

Guest basscheffers

By yourself is probably going to be pretty hard unless you have auto pilot! Somehow I don't think there should be a lot of arm-twisting involved to get someone to go up with you and keep the a/c flying while you are shooting. :)


In any case, I would say you need a digital SLR. Some reasons for this:


- Choice of lenses


- high quality images


- fast response in both focus and shutter release.


- able to hook up a cable release, in case you mount your camera on something and don't actually hold it.


- Fast frame rate - no waiting for the camera to be able to take the next shot


Get one with image stabiliser built into the body. (so it works for any lens you put on it)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I'd go for a camera that's fairly compact and yet has most of the goodies found on larger cameras. I'm looking at updating my 5 year old Fuji Finepix S304 3MP camera to a Panasonic TZ15 which has 9MP, 10x optical zoom (28-280mm equivalent) and image stabilisation.


Also probably depends on your aircraft (open versus enclosed cockpit) and how comfortable you are flying with one hand while taking photo's and always remember that "flying the plane first" always takes priority over any photo opportunity. On this last point I've missed taking some great photo's due to needing both hands to fly in turbulence but have lived to fly and shoot another day.


Might also be more difficult to do in a 3 axis machine (I fly a trike) where problems might arise if you stop paying attention to airspeed.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read a story of a trike pilot that is right into photograghy. he uses a 35mm hand held camera. the trike was set up to fly hands off and on one occasion he let go of the bar and lent out to get a clear shot with none of the trike in frame. when he sat back into his seat he discovered that the A frame had disappeared and as he lent futher back to look for it the trike started to increase it's speed. he had somehow now had the A frame behind him. he had a few frantic seconds whilst he sorted out the problem. so make sure you have some height to play with when begin using a camera.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelorus32

Suggest you PM Ben Longden who is on this forum and is a professional photographer. He'll give you some good thoughts.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's an interesting story Ozzie. It's a bit difficult to imagine how the control bar could get behind the pilot, but strange things can and do happen. One of the main reason I am looking for a compact digital is to be able to operate the camera with one hand only while keeping the other hand on the control bar. It takes some practise but after a while I think I'm getting the hang of it and my photo's are improving.:thumb_up:


I take an extra look around to check for other aircraft in the area when a photo opportunity approaches, to make up for the following moments when my attention may be focussed on one spot.040_nerd.gif.a6a4f823734c8b20ed33654968aaa347.gif



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Good advice so far, but I have done a fair bit over the years with old 35mm cameras, they worked well, but film is too expensive now compared to digital.


Make sure you can focus manually as the focussing mechanism on my Nikon can't find a plane if it is not directly in the focussing spots and as it is out of focus I can't see it. Manual focus stops that problem, but you have to be capable with manual focussing.


The other problem is reflections and distortion from the canopy. I don't even try to take photos through my canopy, even with a polarising filter. The old Cessnas were good as you could remove the door or lift the window. The high wing STOL planes are good, but I found it hard in a Drifter with a helmet on. To get a clear view with no wires or other bits in the frame was difficult and the helmet made matters really bad.


One of the big things with aviation or any type of photography is to be aware of what is in the background, and the direction of the lighting.


Have fun and let us see the results.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...