RC Aircraft - Bad first day for the 20D

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by AussieTimmeh, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. AussieTimmeh

    AussieTimmeh TPF Noob!

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    Well, today was the first opportunity to put my new 20D to work, so after a quick brief from the manual, I grabbed the Canon and went down to my radio controlled airfield.

    Unfortunately, the day was pretty much a write off. Because of my limited time to come to terms with the manual controls, I decided to throw the camera into full auto (green) and practice composure / zoom / focus. Full auto was a complete disaster, with the camera changing ISO settings that meant the polariser ruined the majority of the shots. I was also shooting in large res jpegs instead of RAW. Most of the shots were very dark, and extremely grainy.

    A 3 hour debreif at my friends studio showed me the error of my ways, and some lessons on the 20D controls plus a good camera clean saw a new bunch of settings to try out later on back at the airfield during the week. The lesson on shooting in RAW was an eye opener, and I doubt I'll ever shoot in jpeg again.

    The day at the field certainly highlighted my need for some glass with a longer focal length, so at I'll probably be looking at the Tamron 18-200 for value. This current lens (18-55 EFS) is good to get going, and it was great to get to use the camera to really define what I want in a lens before forking out some cash.

    So, what follows is the best of a very bad day of camera work, for which I acknowledge full responsibility. The 20D is a very capable camera, I just need to start doing it justice! While the photos are absolutely terrible in quality, I thought the content may still interest people.

    It was a mixed day flying, with a few turbines there to mix it with the four stroke and two stroke props. The turbines really stole the show though, the delta winged white/red/orange aircraft really had an incredible top speed. The F-16 turbine, a Wild Hare stunt prop plane, and a small two stroke all had landing mishaps, but no great damage to any of them.

    Below: A simple two stroke nitro trainer heads out to take to the sky.

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    Below: One of two Wild Hares taxis, this one powered by a two stroke 50cc petrol engine. This aircraft spent the day tuning in the new engine, and enjoyed many safe returns to mother earth.

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    Below: A beautiful turbine F-16. The attention to detail throughout the aircraft was fantastic. I didn't get much time to get a shot of the tail-pipe, so I didn't get a well composed shot away. The F-16 had a rough ending to the day, but the damage was very minor fortunately. With turbines, the engines take a while to power up, so the stakes are high when landing. In this case, the F-16 ran out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas all at once. I didn't know how to get the 20D into continuous shooting mode either, which will really help when one of these aircraft spears in, but I have since been instructed how.

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    Below: This delta winged turbine had an incredible top speed. The low altitude high speed passes made down the airfield was a treat to watch. I was frustrated that the camera settings I used butchered most of the shots, but I know better for next time. The Wild Hare stunt plane being started behind the jet in the first photo (not the same Wild Hare seen earlier) came in a little hard and ended up on its roof, but no damage was done.

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    Well, overall a really bad day out. The camera settings I used were bad, my overall composition was bad, and some of the landings were not great either. I'm embarassed to have taken such photos. But, much learning was done by all involved, and thanks to my mate for a crash course in the Canon. I'm already pumped to head back down with my newly acquired knowledge on the manual controls on the 20D, so I expect that next time I post, you should see a massive improvement. I was going to post this in the beginners section, but I don't really have a question, as I know what I did wrong now, but still feel like a massive noob as I would have done a much better job with my old Fuji, but it's just a familiarity thing. The 20D has so much more potential, now to find it!

    Timmeh
     
  2. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great shots. I love RC and have a (very simple electric) plane of my own. I also take my daughter to the local air field every year for their annual show. She is 7 and has a small RC plane of her own (Airhogs AeroAce, everyone should have one. It flies fantastic for $30).

    I can't wait until this year's show since I moved from an old 2 mp camera to my Fuji S700, which should do much nicer than the old snapshooter.

    If I can get the wife to work the camera correctly, I'll have to have her take some shots of me flying my daughter's AeroAce. When I toss it up in the back yard, I get about 15-20 barn swallows out of nowhere flying and dogfighting with me :D
     
  3. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    o snap an F16 incident, those suck to take photos of. Love the pic though if you could get tighter shots and make them look bigger I think that would be better.
     
  4. AussieTimmeh

    AussieTimmeh TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I agree wholeheartedly. I need a lens with more focal length to get right into the action. With the lens I have at the moment, the photos feel even further away than how close I actually was standing. A new lens is high on my priority list, just trying to work out the best value for money when it comes to buying it.

    Timmeh
     

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