Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Examples

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Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,725
Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Examples
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I am concerned (I am that sort of person) that some on this forum are struggling to use the same M43 camera gear which I use (or possibly better), but are not achieving the results they wish. Some are even saying that M43 just isn't up to photographing birds in flight.

Recently I was on Brownsea Island with a group of friends who do not use M43 gear. There were a few expensive Nikon setups specifically for shooting BiF and most others were using Fuji's with 400mm lenses, All were very capable photographers and it was all top quality kit. We were there photographing the whole island but spent a lot of time in one of the bird hides.

This was the first time that I had had the opportunity to sit in a hide with frequent action to photograph, so it was a good time to test my Em1-Mk2 and PL100-400 setup. I hadn't set the camera up in any fancy way except - electronic shutter on, stabilisation off, burst speed around 6fps (I think), and C-AF focus priority ON.

Most action was quite far away (except the butterfly), so most shots were at or near max zoom on the PL100-400. Except for a very few bursts which went horribly wrong *, the setup was truly amazing and from what I have seen - and from what the others have commented - the images I captured were in general better than 'the opposition'.

* Interestingly I did hear both the Fuji and Nikon shooters exapserate as their cameras were quite frequently failing to focus. And I will admit that my Em1-Mk2 did also suffer that occasionally but it was rare and nowhere near as much as theirs. We all put this down to the lack of scene contrast, - grey birds and grey skies, - even though all systems used Phase detect AF.

Generally I found it so easy to photograph birds after a short while I was only trying if they had a fish. The 'Hit' rate was ridiculously high. If I had to guess I would say it was well over 90%. I did throw away lots of images, but it was nearly always because I didn't like the pose, or there was nothing special about it.

Anyway here are just a few examples, not have been processed yet, these are all in camera JPG's.

Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Example. In camera JPG.

Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Example. In camera JPG.

Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Example. In camera JPG.

Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400. A rather tatty looking Butterfly in Flight. In camera JPG. While having lunch I switched the camera focus limiter on (0.5m - 3m) and grabbed this tatty looking Butterfly flying. With a long lens and the subject this close the biggest problem was getting the flower and the butterfly in focus at the same time. Not a stunning image pictorially but It was great fun trying out this feature on the camera. Note: For this my technique and hence Hit rate was poor !

Em1-Mk2 & PL100-400 - BiF Example. In camera JPG.  Sadly this action sequence happened a long way off so this is quite a crop, it appeared as if the flying turn was stealing the fish from the bird in the water. My sequence (all in focus) shows the bird in the water with the fish, then the flying turn landing on it and holding the fish, a beak-fish tug of war, then fish tugged away and dropped, then both grabbed the fish again. Eventually the flying Turn did fly away with it.

Originally - 1 year ago - I was disappointed with the PL100-400 on my GX8 until I found that switching all stabilisation off produced very sharp shots. I now find exactly the same with my Em1-Mk2. So do take heart if your images are looking soft, use lens wide open and IS off, I think you'll be amazed.

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