Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

Started Apr 10, 2014 | Discussions
Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,445
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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ric63
ric63 Senior Member • Posts: 2,557
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

Hi Steve,

What a fantastioc set of images.

You realy have that HX400 pretty well sorted.

The moon shots are awesome

-- hide signature --

Enjoy Your Photography,
Ric.

 ric63's gear list:ric63's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-U20 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V Samsung Galaxy Camera 4G +8 more
Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,445
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

ric63 wrote:

Hi Steve,

What a fantastioc set of images.

You really have that HX400 pretty well sorted.

The moon shots are awesome

-- hide signature --

Enjoy Your Photography,
Ric.

Thanks very much Ric. The truth is, that I have my hands full, figuring out this very different camera. No one could help but become a better photographer, by learning how to use it well. That Moon looks different, where you're located.

Here's another vulture shot, a bit farther away, at a larger size:

stevenic Senior Member • Posts: 1,459
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

Stephen McDonald wrote:

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

Great photos, was the photos of the moon handheld or tripod? It sounds like the other photos were handheld was that right? It sounds like it takes the sony awhile to focus on moving objects.

Are these straight out of the camera or some Post processing. Thanks.

Cheers

Steve.

jrdu Forum Pro • Posts: 21,371
Very impressive

that you can use the shoulder mount for moon shots.  The results are excellent.  This camera is on my list.

-- hide signature --

John Dunn

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,445
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

stevenic wrote:

Great photos, was the photos of the moon handheld or tripod? It sounds like the other photos were handheld was that right? It sounds like it takes the sony awhile to focus on moving objects.

Are these straight out of the camera or some Post processing. Thanks.

Cheers

Steve.

Thanks for the response. This camera focuses very nicely on moving subjects, as long as they aren't a mile away in a hazy sky and it's not at full zoom. I was using a shoulder-mount, which you can see in another thread I started today. No processing other than frame-size reduction for the Internet.

Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,445
Re: Very impressive

jrdu wrote:

that you can use the shoulder mount for moon shots. The results are excellent. This camera is on my list.

-- hide signature --

John Dunn

I appreciate that, John. Let me tell you how I got the night shots of the Moon. I took a patio chair out to the sidewalk and sat in it, with the base of the mount on the ground, while I cradled the camera in my lap. I lifted the viewscreen up and used it, while I tilted the camera back and found the Moon at a low zoom. Then, I slowly zoomed-in and kept it on target. It's very hard to find something like that in the sky, if you are at 50X or more with the telextender. I was able to squeeze the trigger very slowly and not jiggle it

elliottnewcomb Forum Pro • Posts: 13,756
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

Great info and results as usual.

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Elliott

 elliottnewcomb's gear list:elliottnewcomb's gear list
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Stephen McDonald
OP Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,445
Re: Very Distant Flying Objects with the HX400V

elliottnewcomb wrote:

Great info and results as usual.

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Elliott

And thanks to you, Elliott, for always sharing ideas and interesting shots. I should add that I may have had some error in describing the zoom level of a couple of those shots-----see if anyone can figure out that.

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