My big bike-a-thon shoot using my E-M1X

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brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,413
My big bike-a-thon shoot using my E-M1X
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Taking forever to upload to the computer via Photo Mechanic, shot close to 23,000 pictures. Only had one minor glitch where the 1X locked up while crimping, quick removal of batteries restored control of the camera when power down didn't work. From 7:00 AM to about 9:15 AM I was shooting volunteers setting up, and the occasional nonparticipant riding their bicycles in the restricted area. This gave me a chance to try 25 point, 9 point and 5 point, quickly settled on one point large for the start. At 9:15 I replaced one battery on the camera at 44%. I was expecting the first rider at 9:30 AM and wanted both batteries at 100%. I used the rule of thumb of two hours run time per battery Somewhere around 12:30 PM with battery two at 69% and a lull in the action I replaced both batteries with the spare loaded battery tray, figuring I had about 2.5 hours left in the event as it ends around 3 PM.

Initial settings were Aperture Priority, Auto ISO, minimum shutter at 1/1000 sec, C-AF Release Priority on, C-AF Sensitivity at +2, electronic shutter at 15 fps, Auto Power off 30 minutes, Sleep at 5 minutes, Frame Rate High, Image Stabilizer IS Priority (my Parkinson's tremors were acting up at times), AF Scanner mode 3, AF Area Pointer On 2, shooting RAW, using Olympus 40-150/2.8, varied aperture from F/2.8 to 5.6, used Sony Tough Series cards 128 GB. I do not use back button focus. Had Nikon D500 with 70-300/f4.5-5.6 AF-P ready to go as backup.

I initially tried tracking with tracking subject set to Motorsports. Didn't help, so I turned it off. Turned on face detect, sometimes it worked, but turned it off the first time it went to a rider who was not the intended subject. Same with tracking in general, went to C-AF early into the event and stayed there. Also switched to single point small and kept it in the center. The action was to fast to use fp Home. If I had to say riders four feet apart I would zoom out, pick one rider to focus, tried going to f/5.6, I'll crop later in processing.

When a card was filled and the 1X switched to slot 2, it handled the replacement of the filled card different than the D500. I have plenty of fast SDXC cards, but only three XQD cards. Last year using the D500 when the XQD card filled up and switched to the SDXC slot, as soon as you put a fresh XQD card the Nikon would switch back to to the XQD slot unless you changed in the menu Primary slot selection to SD card slot. I'm trying to minimize downtime so I can get as many pictures of the riders crossing the finish line. The 1X, when slot one filled up and switched to slot two it would stay there even after you replaced filled card on slot one with a fresh card.

The 1X answered one question that my E-M1.2 had problems with, and that was responsiveness. With C-AF Sensitivity set to plus 2.0, if I release the shutter button, depress halfway to focus, and mover the center point to another rider it was instant acquisition, same if I kept shooting and went to a different rider. The only problem I had with focusing was if a rider was close where the frame was covering the upper one-third of the rider at 150mm the 1X refused to focus.

I cannot say the 1X is better than my D500 as I only used Group Focus on the D500. Having said that I am extremely pleased with the 1X as far as it handled yesterday. One complaint on mirrorless is battery life. Well, I had 9829 shots on one of the batteries, quite impressive.

It probably is sometime tomorrow before I can cull my pictures, but I expect I'll be delivering over 5,000 pictures to the American Cancer Society. I believe my success rate was 95% for things in my control. I can't shoot pictures of riders when they are behind another rider, or when spectators were getting in the way. I can't tell you how long it's going to take to process the pictures. One of the side effects of Parkinson's is a tendency to get tired really easily. When I get tired I take a nap, and that can be one to six hours. I'm retired, and strictly a volunteer, so my pictures are free to the participants. I'll fill you in as I process the pictures of how I did.

 brianric's gear list:brianric's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II Sony a6400 +27 more
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