Benefit of the doubt...

Started Dec 10, 2010 | Discussions thread
Mark VB Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Re: Benefit of the doubt...

[continued from prior post]

But, it provided no comfort to me that I could track a much larger bird, or a smaller bird with a longer lens or closer to the camera, and have it's location in the frame where I want it, and have its head (eyes) sharp.

I have been using my a55 for BIF shots for the past month almost every day and I always get great results. If you can't track that good then you need to do a lot of practicing.

We may have different definitions of what constitutes "great" results. If your tern sequence qualifies as "great" results, we definitely have a different standard of what qualifies as "great." Different people have different standards. Nothing wrong with that as long as it is recognized or understood.

Think, for example, of an albatross with an approximate eight foot wing span flying towards you and then at an angle. I have done such shooting with my A700 and A900, and frankly they are not generally up to the task, with the vast majority of the photos demonstrating back focus (i.e., the camera could not keep up with the moving subject - this was with both my Minolta 300/2.8 with a HS AF upgrade and the Sony 70-400G SSM). But, I had a pretty good success rate at keeping the bird in the frame where I wanted it.

I have shot thousands of images of California Condors (with Canon and Nikon, not my a55) and I have never had a back focusing problem. And I don't have one with the a55.

That you have not had back focus problems with Canon and Nikon is not so surprising. My comments were intended to note (as others have in various threads), that the A700 and A900 are not great for tracking fast moving subjects. If you have not experienced such problems with the A55 that is good, and perhaps an indication that Sony has improved its AF algorithms, though I would note that DPreview noted focus issues in tracking subjects in its review of the A55.

Based on my experience with the A55 (admittedly limited - at the PhotoPlus Expo in NY trying to track skate-boarders in a half-pipe setup), it is very difficult to keep a fast moving subject in the frame where you want it because of the delayed response of the EVF. Your sample photos of the tern did nothing to change my opinion of that problem.

Once again some one who doesn't own the a55 and has only used it for a few minutes is trying to explain what can and cannot be done with the a55.

I know what I saw in the viewfinder (or didn't see) when I was using the camera. It does not take very long to figure it out. I also know what your results look like (from your tern sequence).

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