First Airshow for my year old A77

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NewsyL
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First Airshow for my year old A77
4 months ago

Some of you here may recall I used to post shots from various air shows using my old A700. I bought my A77 in May of 2013 intending to attend a huge number of local air shows but then life got in the way and I went to none and had barely 2500 shots by Xmas..

Life is still throwing nails under my tires but I finally had a free Saturday and away I went to see the new facilities of one of my favourite local collections - the Heritage Flight Museum at Skagit Airport near Burlington WA USA.

I have to say.... what a wonderful viewing experience for the aviation geek/photographer. The planes taxi out within 20 feet of you and the runway they fly the high speed passes down is so close that high speed passes by the P51 require a safety harness lest you spin yourself off your feet while panning the pass. Best of all, the sun is at the perfect spot in the sky from 10am thru 2 or 3pm and you can shoot from the shade of the hangar roofline.

Comparing the A77 to the old A700... its' been so long that I forgot to use continuous focus mode for the aerial shots so I can't really comment as to its' ability to track. I'm using the body with my old old Sigma 50-500 APO DG which is no speed demon but one thing I noticed is that I seemed to have less instances of the lens going OOF and cycling through the span of the full focal length.

The extra pixels (24MP vs 12MP) are useful for cropping. Still plenty of detail with 50% crops. Most images seemed noticeably sharper and I wonder if the fact that I used the A77's micro focus adjust to tune the Sigma is the cause of this.

Auto white balance is far superior with the A77 than the A700. I didn't touch the white balance in the shots I post processed.

Something else, this was the first time I've ever shot at 1/160th shutter speeds (1/250th for the P51) with most aerial shots above 300mm. I was OOF on most but the ones that hit were pretty good - must try continuous !

gallery >> http://newsy.smugmug.com/Airplanes/HFM-at-Skagit-Airport/

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1943 BOEING PT-13D Kaydet

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PT-19 Cornell

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SNJ-4 aka Texan aka Harvard

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P51-D Mustang "Val-Halla" (a bit oof)

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A1 Skyraider - one of my faves but it did not fly today. They did run it up for us though - thunderous!

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I just found out that there is a 2nd newly restored WWII era De Havilland Mosquito fighter bomber flying in North America and it is in my neighborhood. Keeping my fingers crossed it will fly at the local air show on July 18th.

Victoria Air - Mosquito video

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A77
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