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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:07 am

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Settings for Aviation Photography

Sat May 06, 2017 5:07 pm

While I am not new to plane spotting, I am pretty new to photography. Recently got a nice deal on a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 and was wondering what settings I should use with it to capture great photos. I spot at KATL, KPDK and from my front deck as the WINNG1 arrival into Atlanta brings everything right over my house.

Any good advice will be grateful! Thanks
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Re: Sony Cybershot DSC-HX300 Settings for Aviation Photography

Wed May 10, 2017 12:52 pm

Impossible to say. What's the weather like? Where's the sun? What time of day?

Ideally you want the sun behind you. Ideally you want the shutter speed faster than 1/focal length unless you're panning and want some motion blur, or photographing a prop plane and don't want to freeze the blades.

If the camera has it you may want to use spot metering or centre weighted rather than average, depending on the light environment, so you expose for the plane and not the sky.

Other than that, you do have a digital camera and can see the results immediately, so you can see what works and what doesn't. The exposure meter in the viewfinder will tell you all you need to know. Get the needle in the middle by adjusting the shutter speed or aperture or ISO. You may want to under expose if there's a lot of white on the aircraft.

Read the manual, get familiar with where all the controls are so you can change settings without looking where they are and can see the effect in the viewfinder.

I'm not familiar with that camera and how fast its autofocus is and how quickly it takes a photo after pressing the shutter button. On some cameras there can be a delay so you need to follow the plane until the photo is taken.

Other wisdom.... bridge cameras have small sensors so the fine detail may be a little lacking. For compact cameras with a wide zoom range, there are a lot of optical compromises in the design so the image quality will vary across the zoom range. This is more likely to happen at the higher end, so don't expect anything great at 50x zoom. With all lenses, unless you've got a lot of money for a high spec lens and a DSLR, the image quality will also vary with aperture. You tend to get better images at the mid range of aperture (f8 and f11) and the quality can fall off considerably at the extreme ends of the aperture range.

To start you can try it on the auto or sport setting and see what exposure the camera thought it should be using so you can relate what you see to the settings and get a feel for things and how the pictures look. Then you can work on using Tv/S mode (shutter priority) or Av/A mode (aperture priority where you select, respectively, the shutter speed or aperture and the camera decides on the other. Don't bother with Manual for a while yet. Then you can look at exposure compensation (read the ma All of this is a learning experience. Don't expect miracles to begin with.
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