E-M1 + EC14+50-200SWD – Low Illumination CAF Tracking a Bat

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drj3
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E-M1 + EC14+50-200SWD – Low Illumination CAF Tracking a Bat
3 weeks ago

Tonight my wife said, “come out and see the bats”. It was 20 minutes after sunset, but I took the E-M1 just in case. Most of the bats were flying on the east side, but when I checked the ISO in the east it was over 25600 at 1/200 second and f5, so I decided to try the western sky (1/400, f5, 20000). (Camera settings = all 37 focus points, Rls Priority C = On, CAF, fps=6).

I had the opportunity to try to capture only one bat (before the light level dropped too much). I pre-focused and pressed the shutter prior as soon as I saw the bat in the EVF. The first image as expected was not in focus, however, the second image 1/6 second later is sufficiently in focus to see that this is obviously a bat. I was surprised that the E-M1 was capable of CAF tracking at this low level of illumination and that it could find focus in such a short period of time. Attached are the first and second images (exposure increased, noise reduced, contrast increased and sharpened in CS6).

The low shutter speed and high ISO limited the sharpness of the second image (1/1250 would normally be the minimum shutter speed I would use for a flying bat with an ISO of 800 or below). Unfortunately bats fly in very unpredictable ways so I was able to keep it in the frame for only two images. The more I use the E-M1 CAF with the EC14+50-200 SWD, the more I am impressed with its performance.

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drj3

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