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Old May 22nd, 2014, 09:06 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Munich
Posts: 1
Camcorder for recording fast rc planes


as an rc enthusiast I am looking for the right camcorder to record flights of rc planes.

So these are small objects which are moving very fast (>250mph!). I would like to produce something like this, only a bit better:

I'm looking for the best camcorder to do this. My budget is $2000. The camcorder should be readily available in Europe.

I have read up on this topic and what I think I have figured out so far:

- Auto focus will not work in this scenario, my camcorder will need to have a big depth of focus and the ability for fast manual focusing
- Too much zooming will not work, otherwise I will have lots of focus issues and image shake (I will not use a tripod)
- Tracking the plane on an LCD screen will not be possible: I will have to use a good viewfinder and keep my other eye open in case I lose the plane.

Therefore my plan is to zoom out to infinity and work with small aperture to get a good depth of focus and only zoom in on the plane occassionally when it is far away, manually adjusting focus.

Does this make sense? What is the best camcorder for this that fits my $2.000 budget?

My current guess is the Legria HF G30 since it has a good viewfinder, can do full hd in 50p and has a manual focus ring that should help me to focus fast. However this is only based on some armchair internet reading and I'd be very greatful for your recommendations based on your expertise acquired in practice ;)

Thank you very much,
Martin Becht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2014, 02:46 PM   #2
New Boot
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Port St. Lucie
Posts: 16
Re: Camcorder for recording fast rc planes

I would mount a GoPro on the plane and add Luftwaffe insignia.
Nick Danaluk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2014, 04:37 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
Posts: 4,030
Re: Camcorder for recording fast rc planes

The camera isn't the only item - you'll need a decent head that has the capability to do diagonal movement properly. Many can't do this without overshoot and lurches. The camera itself really needs a proper lens you can adjust. Focus isn't the problem you might think, even if working at the longer focal lengths - with the lens at a reasonable stop, you get a fair range of distances. I'm not sure what you mean by you can't use an LCD - the only thing that is tricky is seeing it in sunlight. A proper viewfinder LED or old fashioned CRT works ok. The biggest problem is simply losing the aircraft, because when you do, re-acquiring us very hard. Losing it is usually the problem of the head - hence my suggestion to make sure you have a good one. I'v got an old Vinten post head that is excellent for aircraft because it can tilt up and over if necessary - something a normal head can't.

You also need to make sure you are not too close to the flight line, because changes of direction are too quick to react to.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply

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