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Old 30th June 2019
BDennis BDennis is offline
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Re: So, is the AF better with firmware 3?

Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
I would be interested to hear what settings other people are using. It would be good if we could have a dedicated thread for this (maybe a 'sticky') to compare settings which work for them.
Great Barn Owl shots Ron!

I think the C-AF is improved a lot especially with the C-AF Centre Priority and C-AF Centre start options. I've turn both of these on and now use either the new 5x5 focus points or all-points for bird flight shots. I'm finding it easier to get in focus shots of birds in flight with backgrounds like reedbeds and trees. I used to find the focus would nearly always hit something in the background using "all points" or a small 3x3 grid or 5 point cross but with v3.0 FW it seems to have more success locking on. The 5x5 option is really good for this too as it gives you Centre Priority and more focus points to aim at the bird.

One thing I have found is that with C-AF "all points" and the "centre start" thing set, you need to know where the centre focus point is. The view finder grid I had set in the EVF does not show this so I have set to the "cross hairs" grid (like a sniper rifle view seen in films..). The 5x5 grid on the other hand shows where the focus points are.

Another setting I use is the C-AF limiter. I have put this on my LN-FN switch (lens function) for the 300mm F4 and left the lens limiter hard switch on the infinity range. Then when sitting in a bird hide use PRE-MF to find the distance to the background you don't want to confuse focus and set up some ranges you can quickly switch between on LN-FN with a dial. I really wish they would display the focus distance as an EVF option or show it on the image playback (it is recorded in EXIF) making it easier to set this up!

I've spent a week in Suffolk around various reserves trying out the v3.0 FW. I had some limited success with Hobbies flying in front of the Bittern hide at Minsmere but still challenging with heat haze and not enough shutter speed.

I need to experiment more with the settings - there are so many! I'm conflicted between using A-mode and S-mode too for things like fast flying birds - mostly use aperture priority before and upped the ISO if I wanted a higher shutter speed.

Here is an example of one of the Hobby shots - a cropped image of a Hobby flying past at about 110m distance using 300mm F4 and MC-14 (a bit fuzzy due to heat haze and too slow shutter speed I think and also need to get closer):

Hobby - cropped by Bill Dennis, on Flickr
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