Test new Hoya filter??

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Stevie Boy Blue Senior Member • Posts: 1,447
**Keeping Perspective**

Hello again, jlina

Unfortunately your thread’s now almost maxed out, but this may still be worth my time posting:

Based on the photographic evidence you’ve posted since our last forum interaction a few days ago, I still maintain that there is nothing wrong with your FZ300, which it now seems you’re returning.

What I see are examples of user error, a lack of understanding of ISO, aperture, distance between camera in relation to size of subject, how light can affect results and an apparent lack of appreciation of just how small the FZ300 sensor is. That’s not meant to appear as harsh as it may read; it’s just that we seem to be going around in circles here and I’m writing this rather hurriedly.

I’ll elaborate by stating that to me, it seems you’ve now changed from shooting ships that are too far away from you to shooting small birds that are too far away. Same problems arise, as too few pixels on the sensor have been donated to the subject. Lack of detail in birds will be even more noticeable than with ships.

I rarely shoot boats but I do photographs birds of all sizes and can tell you that your declared distance of 25 ft is too far in the case of small sparrow-sized ones. Crows? Yes, just about okay, but sparrows and robins, no way – not with the native 600mm reach. From that distance you’d be better off with the Canon SX70, Nikon P950 or some other model with 1200mm or more reach (excluding the dreadful FZ80, of course). To maximise fine detail on a sparrow or robin with the FZ300, you should be no more than 12ft away, preferably closer.

Bear in mind that the FZ300 has a 1/2.3 sensor with 12mp. In my experience for detail to look even half decent, at least 5mp should be covered by the bird, the more the better. But in your examples, your birds are represented by approx 1mp at best. Alas, just not enough! Same for the leaf attempt.

Below is my illustration of how large the subject should appear through your EVF before you shoot. Red indicates that you’re too far away and the bird too small. Look familiar? I bet it does.

Also, as has been pointed out by various folk, especially me, good photography depends on good light. This is especially the case with birds – with ANY camera. If you persist in shooting in less than ideal conditions, you’ll continue to be disappointed and loads more forum users will be bending over backwards downloading your efforts in their attempts to enhance what will always be dull images.

Simple equation: Insufficient light = increased ISO = increased noise = reduction of detail = generally lacklustre results. No exceptions and regardless of camera unless you’re prepared to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars on a model you may not even be able to hold and carry.

Point to note. Wildlife photography (done properly) is one of the hardest genres, if not THE hardest of all in photography. The camera is only the tool that records the image. It is the work that goes into the preparation of the shot that makes the image, including advanced knowledge of the species, field craft and stealth towards approach, concealment from view, etc, etc. And don’t forget the emphasis on LIGHT and where we and the subject are in relation to its source.

Even the type of backyard birding you’re attempting involves some advanced thought by the shooter, although of course if fed for a long enough period of time, many garden species will tolerate our presence sufficiently to remain in open view. Until then – and for all the species that will always remain wary of us, such as woodpeckers, Jays, etc – we simply must remain concealed in a hide, shed or behind a screen of sorts in advance of and in preparation of their arrival.

Try to shoot subjects that are at eye level. If you’re standing and they’re on the ground, account for the probability that if they’re on a lawn and the conditions are relatively dull, the autofocus may well occasionally miss where you’re aiming and will hit some grass either in front of or behind the bird due purely to lack of contrast on which the focussing mechanism depends.

Also account for the possibility that there may be many occasions during chasing a moving subject that you will actually be off target as the shutter is pressed. Although it pays to shoot in a continuous mode in short bursts of five to 10 frames at a time, one can still only expect a success rate of between 10 and 20 percent of total shots taken of subjects that are especially skittish and constantly moving their heads, wings and hopping around.

I’d also advise you to select silent mode shooting, so as not to frighten your quarry away with a shutter click or a focus bleep. Whenever I buy a brand new camera these days, the first thing I do is switch it to silent mode.

Overall, if you insist on shooting in less than ideal conditions, you’ll get less than ideal results. And unless you’re prepared to get closer to your smaller subjects than you currently are, you’ll also achieve less than ideal results that lack detail to varying unsatisfactory degrees.

As I’ve now said many times. The FZ300 is one excellent camera, possibly the very best of all in this small sensor category. But any camera can only ever be as good as he or she who uses it. Experience takes time to accumulate, so you may want to slow things right down here.

Hopefully by the time your replacement camera arrives you’ll be a little wiser for your efforts thus far. If not, then I’m sad to predict that regardless of what I or anyone could possibly add here or anywhere else, you will never be satisfied with any model – regardless of its price, capabilities or prestige.

Again, no offence intended, of course.

All the best and kind regards,


NOTE THAT THE ENTIRE BLACK FRAME represents the view through the viewfinder. The red central square merely warns that the subject is too small to reproduce fine detail.

If your subject is a small as this when framed, you are too far away. Move to within 12ft of the bird.


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