One thing I miss about my DSLR

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 30,127
Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...

After reading through all the responses, I see some others have hit upon the point I feel is most relevant to your situation, while others are going off on other topics i think are unrelated.

First off, motion blur is indeed the issue at hand, not focus, in the shot.  Motion blur in this case was desirable, as you wanted a slower shutter speed to make the background blur past the subject for implied motion, but this requires a degree of steadiness during the panning which can be fairly difficult if you don't have a higher degree of skill or experience with it - and it would seem the camera was moving not only in the panning motion, but likely slightly out-paced or under-paced the bike's movement (uneven speed during the pan didn't perfectly match the bike's speed), and also a bit of up-and-down wobble motion.  As some others mentioned, this result would be very similar with a DSLR, assuming the same user errors were made.

Where the DSLR may give a slight advantage to you is in your familiarity with it, the ergonomics of the body which may help your stability, and the optical viewfinder to your face which helped you pan more evenly and avoid up-and-down wobble.  If you were doing this with your 5N off the LCD, that would indeed require a re-learning of your technique to figure out how to more evenly pan with your subject and avoid straying up or down or moving too fast or slow.  If you were to learn this technique using the EVF on the NEX-5N, I think you'd find it much more similar to your DSLR, and therefore easier.

I do not find the stabilization system to be in any way detrimental during such panning - in fact, I find it to possibly even be helpful - it doesn't interfere with the panning on the subject in the direction of travel, but possibly helps even out the 'bumps' in the up-and-down motion you may make while panning.

I've done some slower shutter speed pans with the NEX, and lots with DSLRs, and for me, the NEX presents no additional difficulties - my caveat being that I always do so on the NEX using the EVF...I could imagine trying to do so with the LCD would make things a bit more unsteady and difficult as it would force me to relearn my panning speed and technique a bit.

Also, depending on the type of action, sometimes a little blur in the subject isn't necessarily bad, as it can increase the feel of urgency and movement.  With something like birds in flight, I tend to like to see the subject sharper, but with a vehicle sometimes a little motion blur on the subject along with much more blur in the background can make it feel even faster.

Here are a few examples with my NEX-5N using slower shutter speeds and panning:

Admittedly I've done it more with the DSLR, mostly just because I've shot with it much longer...but when I do try it with the NEX, it's not really any different or more difficult since I stick with the EVF that gives me the same natural stance and ability to pan with my head and eye rather than my arms or hands.  Focus is never the issue for me - with this type of subject, immediate focus acquisition is rarely necessary since you are panning at the same speed as the subject and usually for several seconds - more than enough time for the slowest of cameras to get confirmed focus...the issue always comes down to how smooth and how perfectly synched your panning is with the subject.

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