GH3 birding/focus - wow!

Started Feb 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
eagle_I
Senior MemberPosts: 2,670
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Re: GH3 birding/focus - wow!
In reply to John.Laninga, Feb 4, 2013

Nice shots John!  I too have been very pleased with the pinpoint focus feature ... when I get it right!  My problem is being able to hold the camera steady long enough on the pinpoint to allow it time to focus.  The way it works, for those not able to sample it in action, is when in the pinpoint mode as the shutter is half pressed the view in the EVF is greatly magnified, 5 times I think, but it's only momentary and the little centered cross hair must be held on the point you're trying to focus on.  With shaky old man hands at high telephoto lens magnification this can be quite a challenge.  Nice thing is you can tell right away and very accurately with the high magnification in the EVF if you got focus or not.  Then you can try again or hit the focus lock button and go on to shoot a series or burst confident that (if you don't lean your body) you got focus nailed.

My problem being challenged to hold steady enough can be looked at in a positive way in that it has shown me how loose and lazy my camera holding technique had become.  I shoot with the 100-300mm 90% of the time and I often use the EXT Tele Converter feature to gain even more magnification "reach."  As helpful as the lens's OIS stabilization is it cannot overcome all movement even when shooting high shutter speeds.  For birds the goal is to get that fine feather detail and just slight movement of the bird or the camera holder can smudge it soft.  You really do have to shoot like a sniper to get that killer shot!

Here's pin point focus aided sample from me shot with the 100-300mm and ETC.  First full frame with no crop or post processing.  The second cropped to 100% with my usual enhancements made using Photoshop CS6.

Full frame 16x9 with 100-300mm and ETC

Not bad sharpness for an old fart huh?  

Mark

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