Struggling with focus in bird mode and super challenging evf!

Started Oct 17, 2017 | Questions thread
Dodge_Rock Senior Member • Posts: 1,898
EVF Ok, Bird-watching Scene Mode Excellente'

ERead wrote:

Hi Everyone

Been a lurker for quite a while, and hoping someone may have had the same issues and may help with with some advice. Novice shooter. Picked this up just for birding (use for ID only, not expecting tack sharp pics). Comment: one MUST use a monpod with this if you want to use the zoom.

First - -this is a great camera as a carry-aound. And, when one has some control over a shooting situation it does great.

My problems:

1. The EVF and it's low quality shaky resolution (like an old TV from the 1970s)

2. In birdwatching mode, actually finding a bird in a tree with foliage around in bright light is damn near impossible. I'm beginning to think maybe bird mode is a gimmick that only works in certain situations, such as a bird sitting out on the open.

3. Was recently out with four other birders, and everyone had either B700 or B900, and ALL complained about finding the bird in the viewfinder using birding mode when even a little zoom was employed.

I'm probably missing something and that's why I'm having trouble. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.


Hi ERead,

Noticed this was your 1st post - welcome, welcome, welcome!

I'll try to help some.  I've sure been helped a lot by others here.  If your EVF is shaky, you might have a defective unit.  Although small, there's sufficient resolution to frame pics.  I like larger EVFs, but sometimes find the image in those look so good that I'm somewhat disappointed in IQ when viewing on larger screens!

As for Bird-watching scene mode, ahhh, it's my fave for "sitting ducks".  There's some programming magic here for still birds in good light that really works for me.  Here's one from yesterday:

Northern Shoveler, caught in a pause position while preening.  Mid-day sun reflecting off the water formed a ring on his lower breast feathers, while also causing mild blowout above.

I agree with you that finding a small bird, flitting around in foliage, is a challenge.  That's in any mode.  I use the snap-back feature in BW mode, or start with the 800mm position, hitting the middle button, then zoom in from there.  Also keep both eyes open to see if the birds flies or changes branches(this is a tough technique to master). Some folks glue a red-dot sight on top of the flash to aid in finding small targets.  I think BW mode works great for still birds in canopy - its small focal point and high zoom allows you to dial in and grab focus, especially if a ray of light is highlighting part of the bird, hopefully the face.

The 5-axis stabilization is excellent for hand-held shots, all the way to 2000mm.  I keep digital zoom turned off normally, but not always, and image is stable all way to 4000mm if I can hold the camera steady.  This applies to stills only.  I'm terrible at holding still while attempting to shoot movies!

Most people ignore scene modes and want total control.  I must admit I've been using Manual mode lately, setting ISO to 200, focus to target finding, then adjust shutter speed and aperture(although at max zoom you're fixed).  Then, must review in playback, because what-you-see in the viewfinder is not what-you-get in Manual!

Here's the latest shooting in manual.  Although sitting on a shaded branch, sunlight illuminated the upper body, including face!

Double-crested cormorant.

Hope this helps & you enjoy the megazoom!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow