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What still-image camera do you use, and why?

Don’t know if it’s appropriate to ask the question here,

but can anybody recommend a good mirrorless camera that also serves well for photos from the cockpit in flight?
I was looking at the Fujifilm X-T3, main drawback is, it lacks image stabilisation (IBIS). Fuji just released a new model, the X-S10, which is inferior to the X-T3 in pretty much everything EXCEPT the fact that it comes with IBIS.

Any thoughts? Is IBIS really essential for aerial photos?

United Kingdom

Alpha_Floor wrote:

but can anybody recommend a good mirrorless camera that also serves well for photos from the cockpit in flight?

In one word: iPhone. Seriously, that’s all you need.

@Alpha_Floor new thread created; amazingly we don’t seem to already have a specific one

I never heard of IBIS so had to look it up Stabilisation is very important; it allows one to shoot with a much slower shutter than would be needed otherwise, which is especially important in “action” work which includes shooting out of a plane. There are two kinds of stabilisation: software (use an oversize sensor, and select a part of the returned image, according to accelerometer data) or moving the whole sensor around (which usually yields better stabilisation but costs more).

I have these cameras:

  • Pentax K1, has everything, fantastic quality, sensor stabilisation, a couple of great lenses including Zeiss Milvus 18mm, but due to size and weight I take it only to new+scenic locations. Sometimes it stays in the plane because I wanted it for airborne shots (24-70 lens) but didn’t want to carry it where I am going
  • Canon G7X Mk2 which I carry to almost every new place I visit, and have it with me on almost every flight. Compact, sensor stabilisation, and the quality is great. There are lots of these ~€400 cameras and all are probably quite similar. No point in going below this bracket; may as well use a phone if you are happy with mediocre (or grotesquely over-enhanced, which is the current trend) images Many say the compact camera market is dead and certainly sales are now very low, but I find this a very handy size for carrying around and the image quality way exceeds any phone. That thread is fun to read, too…
  • The phone (currently Samsung S10e) – gets everywhere Not sure what stabilisation it has but it is pretty good. Not good for airborne shots, due to various factors like it being difficult to avoid reflections. It does good sky pics though It does the best movies of the above… well it did, until I got:
  • DJI Osmo Pocket video camera. Totally amazing, but not really for anything aviation related. It does great ski videos. Horrible and barely usable user interface, but it works, and who cares…
  • Sony X3000 video camera – used for the externally mounted movie stuff. Software stabilisation (had to disable the sensor stabiliser because airframe vibration screwed it up) and the 1920×1080 format is good enough to use for extracting stills, and there are many views which it gets which you could not get out of the cockpit. Thread here.

The first three above shoot in RAW (DNG,CR2,DNG) and I process the images with Lightroom. On the G7X I get CR2 so use some Canon utility to convert CR2 to TIFF because my Lightroom is too old to import CR2. Shooting RAW makes a massive difference even if you just tweak the haze, the shadows, the highlights. I almost never do the “full photoshop” thing which is so common nowadays and which totally ruins pictures.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

iPhone SE and definitely not mirror less Nikon F2 circa 1975 second hand – useful for stopping AK-47 bullets and weighs in at 1 kg! I use expired color film when I find it. Probably get a few rolls of film shot and developed p.a. The build engineering of these 1970 cameras still amazes me, not sure what they would cost to produce today? $5k?

Oxford (EGTK)

Alpha_Floor wrote:

but can anybody recommend a good mirrorless camera that also serves well for photos from the cockpit in flight?

The 4 main cameras I use are Nikon D500, Nikon Z7, Sony RX-100V and iPhone.

For Use in the plane I only take the Sony and the iPhone. And to be honest: The iPhone (and most other current mobile phon cams) is good enough for any use I could think of (as NatGeo hasn’t called yet ;-)). Z7 and D500 are great tools (both with their own strengths/weaknesses) but as the best camera is still the one you have with you and ready, for inflight use I consider them to be too much …

For me a Panasonic Lumix bridgecamera is all I need, extreme zooms up to 60x and no need to mess around with extra lenses. Some were from Leica for older Lumix, the camera will do videos, lightweight at 600 gr. , and great with traditional finder, no need to deal with the display for aiming at anything. Vic

I sold my entire camera gear (Canon, including some fancier L-glass this year) due to underuse and for some welcome cash.

iPhone 6S+ for now (going strong over 5 years now, but the camera of the iPhone 12 is impressive).

Last Edited by Snoopy at 23 Feb 19:12
GA PRO, IFR Instructor, Safety Pilot,...
LOWG | Worldwide

Last weekend, I have done some trials with an iphone 12 mini.

However, when shooting through the prop, you still get this:

I am still a fan of good compact cameras.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

I use a Canon for anything more serious and with some pretty good lenses.

Reason: iPhones really are very good, until you challenge the lens with the need to zoom in on the subject matter, and, in any event, the iPhone lens scant compete with the best DSLR and SLR lenses.

The best camera is the one you will have with you when you want it. For me and many other people these days that means a phone.

It may not give the best quality images, and certainly it gives up a lot of control, but even with a compact camera, I found that it was never with me when I wanted it, and I am not one to carry around lots of things just in case I need them. I will almost always have my phone on me, so I will accept a lower quality of image in favour of no image at all.

United Kingdom
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