GH3 - the 2nd coming! How'z your EVF look?

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
mrxak Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: GH3 - the 2nd coming! How'z your EVF look?

eagle_I wrote:

mrxak wrote:

Speaking of burst mode, the GH3 screams. It just completely frees me up to shoot how I want, as quick as I want. The buffer must be huge, and it clears fast to my card. I wasn't counting or anything, but I know I could rapidly shoot long bursts back-to-back-to-back without the camera slowing down at all. I am ecstatic, since that lets me get wildlife shots I might otherwise completely miss. Here's a RAW shot I cropped, adjusted white balance on ever so slightly, but did nothing else to. It captured a moment in time I probably would not have gotten without the GH3's incredible sustained burst capability.

I've been a fan of burst shooting too, but find I need to use it sparingly as the time it takes to evaluate results can get excessive. I just wonder what your approach is to that? How do you view and evaluate subtle differences? I assume you're shooting RAW. I shoot JPG because I'm satisfied with what I can edit from it. Just trying to view a bunch of RAWs puts me off on even trying to use it again as from past memory viewing each image was slow as cold molasses. I do have a much faster PC now tho.

GREAT write-up of your experiences. I wish you good weather.

I evaluate pretty quickly, using Compare View in Lightroom. I'll select a series of photos taken in a burst, or in several bursts of the same subject, and use the side-by-side to compare (and Make Select) until I've found the best of the series, which I then Flag for later.

I take hundreds of photos in an hour, when I'm shooting wildlife, so my workflow is generally to load up all the images into Lightroom, and quickly flip through the images in Loupe or Compare, Flagging as I go. Sometimes I'll Flag more than one in a burst series, but I'll always come back for a second or third pass just through the flagged photos to narrow down which ones I actually want to develop.

Because I'm generally taking bursts of smaller wildlife, either birds with my telephoto or insects with my macro lens (though not this time of year), my subjects can move about rapidly. With birds, it tends to be rapid tail or head movements, or short hops. I also often catch them in the act of taking off or occasionally landing. With bees and such, they tend to be moving in and out of focus quickly as they visit flowers bobbing around. The goal with burst is always to capture either interesting behaviors that appear for just a split second, or to ensure at least one in a burst will be in focus for the right parts of the animal.

Anyway, what I'm looking for first is focus, then motion, then behavior or pose. I'm generally standing pretty close, so even at f/5.6 the depth of field is quite narrow, and I'm shooting handheld so my body might sway a bit as I burst. I always shoot in short bursts, but several bursts in a row, refocusing between. Generally I'm looking for focus on the head of the bird, particularly its eye. Occasionally, though, I may find interesting detail in the tail feathers, or wings, or whatever. In terms of focus, I know it when I see it, and can rapidly flip through as I compare. If the bird is in focus, where I want it to be in focus, I'll then look at motion blur. Sometimes motion blur is good, sometimes it's bad. Ideally I'm shooting at pretty fast shutter speeds, but not always, and some birds are just too fast. Woodpeckers, naturally, move their heads extremely quickly and even 1/500s shots may be blurry. Finally I look at pose. Is its beak open? Is its head in an interesting or funny position? Did the bird just toss a seed and it's suspended in air? Are there interesting stray feathers? Is it looking at me, or another bird, or something else? Because they move so rapidly, even a short burst may have a variety of poses available to me. For shots that are truly identical in every technical way, with the subject holding perfectly still, I look for framing. Again, I shoot handheld, and the camera itself may move a bit. I look at the edges of the frame and see which picture has the best composition. One might be a little more straightened, one might have a distraction at the edge.

Overall, this process is pretty quick. If in doubt, I flag several images to look at them later, and move on. Something like the bird tongue photo I posted earlier in the thread jump out at me, even if not the best technical photo of a series.

With slower wildlife, landscapes, or anything without a lot of action and movement, I'll take single frames and spend a lot more time with each one.

Anyway, I had an hour of partially cloudy weather this afternoon. Things were slow going at first, but I started to get some good opportunities, and I think overall I had a very successful birdwatching session, and a decently successful photography session as well. For some reason the House Sparrows around here are very shy, and I've been largely unsuccessful at getting close-ups on them. Today, I got several fairly good pictures, and I really think I have to credit a combination of the sunlight and the GH3 sensor giving me a much quicker shutter speed than I probably would have needed otherwise. I also got probably my best Downy Woodpecker shot, again thanks to the GH3's ISO performance and quite a bit of luck since she surprised me. The Red-bellied Woodpeckers remain quite shy, but I was able to get some nice distance shots. I'll post a few pictures a little later in this thread, but I'll say again right now that the ISO performance of the GH3 is letting me take pictures I would not have been able to get before. That makes me very happy.

Oh, and my battery indicator is still looking full after 724 shots on a single charge. Fantastic!

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