Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,574
Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

I was using my shoulder-mount today. My equipment, as well as myself, was put to the test, getting this first shot at full zoom, straight overhead. No need to talk about all the outtakes. The vultures were cooperative and circled high around me for some time.

I've made a discovery, that Multi-autofocusing is what to use for difficult flying subjects, with a long zoom. It's nearly impossible to put them into the zone for a long enough time, when using Spot and even Center focusing. With the wide range of Multi, it's feasible to grab a focus lock and then to concentrate on getting the subject in the middle of the frame, before clicking. Those are two separate things, locking a focus and centering the subject. Don't try to do both at the same time or you'll rarely get both in the same shot. New tactics for 50X cameras.

As far as getting a tight focus for video at full zoom, on distant flying objects, I have a long ways to go. This camera is so very different at 50X than my HX200V is, at 30X. I'll have some advice, when I figure it out for myself. The main thing is to grab a focus at about half zoom and then slowly move in to full zoom. The bad position of the video button makes this much more difficult than if it were operated through the photo shutter button. A separate video button right next to the photo shutter would be almost as good.

Turkey Vulture at Full-zoom-----1,200mm.

High-Flying Helicopter at full zoom. This big copter circled around town for over an hour at about a mile of altitude. I was right in the center of its circles. I do not have a persecution complex, but I know they were looking for me!

Full zoom in daylight

Full zoom at night

Full zoom with 1.7X telextender

HD vid-cap

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V
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