Camera for action 300 ft away w object 10mph

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Drew n macs, May 20, 2012.

  1. Drew n macs macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2010
    What would you recommend for a Video camera for off road vehicles that will be 300 ft coming towards me (on level ground), going at speeds of 10 mph (not sure if that is considered fast for a camera but obvious not fast for cars)

    how much of a zoom lens do I need?

    would a canon t2i dslr work good?

    how about a canon sx40 (digital camera)

    I will be posting 30 second clips to youtube and up to 3 min clips

    I would like to limit the price to 700 but if its night and day on a 1000 camera i would stretch that budget to that point.
  2. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Could you elaborate a bit on what you are using the camera for? Is this for short films or product reviews?
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Can you zoom in/out while videoing with these? I know that you can't with some photo cameras.
  4. TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    A car going 10 MPH will travel 300 feet towards you in under 15 seconds. If it starts out 300 feet away, it will flatten you pretty good before your 30-second video is finished.

    But assuming you will be shooting from the side of the road rather than the middle of traffic, it sounds like what you are trying to do is to zoom in at the start of the shot, and zoom out as the shot progresses? Your depth-of-field is shallowest at the point furthest zoomed in. This means that if you can zoom in and your subject is in focus, that if you zoom out your depth of field should increase as you zoom and allow the subject to stay in focus.

    That's still tricky. Obviously you need a tripod/monopod, and image stabilization will help. Sounds like a 15x or 20x zoom might be in order, but the best thing to do is go to BestBuy and test the cameras there; shoot down a long aisle (they might be 300 feet, pace it off) and figure this out that way.

    Realistically, you may not get the car full frame at 300 feet; that's nearly a city block. A longer lens will allow this, but it might not be stable enough at that distance. IOW, the limiting factor might not be how far you can zoom as it might be how far you can zoom and keep the shot stable.

    I would zoom in and focus to infinity, wait for the car to get close enough to fill the frame, and then zoom out keeping the car in relative frame, which should mean you won't have to rack focus. But even if the shot may not be stable zoomed all the way in, you can edit it so that the shot begins at the point the video becomes stable. So if your zoom capability slightly outdistances your ability to keep the shot stable, that is the best place to be because the shot will get more stable as you zoom out; at least the zoom capability will then not be the limiting factor.

    This will likely be outside in the sun (?), so you will get depth-of-field help there. You don't need a fast lens; in fact stopping down the lens in sunlight will actually give you more depth-of-field.

    Not sure if this is where you're going, but hope it helps.

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