Fuji XP1 beats Nikon on "Birds In Flight" shoot-out!

Started Feb 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Fenwoodian
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Fuji XP1 beats Nikon on "Birds In Flight" shoot-out!
Feb 22, 2013

Who says the XP1 cann't be used for action photography such as birds in flight? For years I photographed birds with a Nikon D300 and a manual focus Nikkor 400mm f/5.6 lens. Earlier this week I traveled to my favorite winter birding spot and for two days shot Trumpter swans with my Fuji XP1 and the same Nikkor 400mm lens.

Observations:

1. The XP1 is a little slower to write images onto the memory card. So, for the same situation, I would get 6 or 8 images with the D300, and maybe only 4 or 5 with the XP1.

2. I've taken thousands of swans photos with my D300 and 400mm lens. The photos I took this week with my XP1 were the sharpest and best overall looking swan images that I've ever taken. IQ of the XP1 is much better than the D300.

3. It's a little tougher to hand hold the XP1 than the D300. The reason, the Nikon/Fuji adapter makes the 400mm lens a little longer. I found myself using a support a little more with the XP1 than when using the D300.

4. The adapter I had failed. The 3 screws came loose on the silver ring that actually attaches to the XP1. It made the 400mm lens wobbly. Lucky for me I was able to tighten the loose screws on this $30 adapter with a universal tool. If you use cheap adapters in the field, always carry an extra adapter and small Phillips head driver. Or, I guess you could use a more expensive adapter.

5. I was impressed that the original Fuji battery I used lasted for 2.0 hours of continuous shooting in below zero temperatures!! I think that's much better than the number of shots I'd get out of one Nikon D300 battery under those conditions. I have some non-Fuji XP1 batteries, but choose not to use them because the original Fuji battery was doing so good.

6. Because the XP1 is so much better in low light, I was able to shoot the flying swans at 1/4000th shutter speed, f/22 at ASA 800. Shooting with a faster shutter speed and a much smaller aperture were a couple of the reasons that I got many more keepers with the XP1 than with the D300 while shooting the exact same lens in identical conditions.

7. Shooting in sub-zero temps with a 17 mph wind required mittens on my hands at all times. My soft release on the shutter and acessory grip made shooting the XP1 with mittens easy. Sure, I would once in a while accidently hit the "Q" button and the menu would pop up - when it happened the fix was easy, just tap the soft release on the shutter button.

8. All images with the XP1 were shot using the electronic view finder (EVF). It took me about 50 shots to get used to it. After that, I found the EVF on the XP1 to be just as easy to acquire, follow and focus on images as the optical view finder on the D300.

Bottom line, in the future I will use my XP1 as my main camera for birds in flight photos. My Nikon D300 will be relagated to backup status.

Photos (all below photos were black and white jpgs)





Nikon D300
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