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benvendetta
18th March 2009, 01:53 PM
I have been trying more wildlife photography recently, but can't seem to nail birds in flight. I would be grateful for some advice from those here who seem to be experts. I am using an E-3 with (old) 50-200 coupled sometimes with the EC-20.
Suggested settings and techniques welcomed.

PeterD
18th March 2009, 07:14 PM
Dave,

I often take shots of birds in flight and have set up my camera to switch quickly between normal shooting and flight shots.

Like most of us, my normal shooting mode is S-AF but this is unsuitable for flight shots (unless you are very lucky of course);)

I store my standard settings in one MyMode slot and the C-AF, burst mode etc in my second MyMode slot. I switch between MyMode settings using the Fn Key (See the Wrotniak article). The full settings I use for birds in flight is Aperture priority, Centre average metering (Spot metering is just not appropriate as you are likely to get the exposure wrong frame to frame), 5 focus targets (cross) - (the only way to track a moving target properly. Spot focus again will not work). I also ensure that I have set the condition which prevents rapid changes of focus (again see the Wrotniak article). The technique I use is to half press the shutter to focus on the target and then fully depress and hold the shutter whilst tracking the target.

Here is one of my sequence shots
http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=3005

Hope this helps

Peter

benvendetta
19th March 2009, 09:20 AM
Thank you Peter, that seems very useful. I got some replies from DPReview as well so I will maybe try all the techniques out this weekend. I hadn't considered using five focus points (I normally use just the one), thinking that the E-3 would look for other targets but I guess that if you set it to ignore these (as suggested - I remember seeing that article and am sure that I have downloaded it) better results should result.

PeterD
19th March 2009, 09:26 AM
Thank you Peter, that seems very useful. I got some replies from DPReview as well so I will maybe try all the techniques out this weekend. I hadn't considered using five focus points (I normally use just the one), thinking that the E-3 would look for other targets but I guess that if you set it to ignore these (as suggested - I remember seeing that article and am sure that I have downloaded it) better results should result.

Good Luck Dave. I hope the weather holds out for you. Please let us know how you get on.*chr

Peter

art frames
19th March 2009, 10:08 AM
Dave

I would commend Peter's advice. I learned from him and can replicate some of the shots he can (but Peter has more consistency).

For me the most essential and hardest thing is achieving a lock on the bird and beep, and then not letting it go as you track. I managed it with some birds and also with dragonflies. If you want to see any examples then I try to credit Peter when I used the settings in my gallery pictures.

I would add that without using C-AF my shots were very poor. Even big birds gliding slowly!

good luck

peter

benvendetta
19th March 2009, 10:54 AM
I have been using C-AF but with single point focus, which I think has been my problem. Hopefully my keep rate will now improve.
As I have tomorrow off as leave I may well pop up to my local reservoir (only a 15 minute walk) and have a go. Either that or wait until Sunday morning (7am start :eek:) when a group of us from the camera club are having an exclusive tour from the Welsh Water warden.