Autofocus on fast-moving subjects

Started 3 weeks ago | Questions thread
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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 7,544
Autofocus on fast-moving subjects

I took a photo of a hummingbird through my window the other day, using my DSLR. The initial autofocus results weren't good enough. It was either because I was shooting through a window, or because the hummingbird was small and close to flowers and a pot, and it was moving very fast. But, at any rate, to get the tack-sharp focus I wanted, I used back-button focus and then very carefully manually focused right before taking the shot. It took a lot of concentration, but you can see the result below, which I shot at 200mm and then cropped in maybe 20 to 25% to obtain the final shot, which I'm happy with. (Of course, I took many photos until I got what I wanted).

I also included the un-cropped version for reference. I hate including unedited versions of my final result, but I think it's useful for the discussion. But, perhaps you can imagine that it took a lot of concentration to manually focus on such a small subject.

I don't want to start a flame war, and if people start arguing, I'll have the Mods delete this thread. My question is: In a situation such as this, would a mirrorless work, or would the viewfinder lag prevent the fast manual focus from working? I never tried using manual focus on a mirrorless, I only have my rusty old 5K Mark IV. Of course, people have shot hummingbirds with all sorts of cameras, there's more than one way, and this was the first time I had to manually focus on a fast-moving subject.

Final Output

Uncropped Image, for reference

 MarshallG's gear list:MarshallG's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM +2 more
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