EM1.2+300pro, first time Oly user, please help !

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
faunagraphy Senior Member • Posts: 1,412
Re: EM1.2+300pro, first time Oly user, please help !

kohinoor wrote:

Now I have this combo in front of me together with the two TCs but I have never before used an Oly cam (Pana only).

I've downloaded the 196 page instruction manual but not sure going thru all of it will let me stay sane ...

Is there a best way to approach this (learning the cam and Oly menu)?

I'm a birder and only interested in using this very combo for taking pics of static and/or moving birds. Nothing else.

Next to a hint on general approach I would also greatly appreciate assistance from our experienced birders on key-settings for birds and BIFs with this combo. Here I'm thinking of things like AF-modes, focus point arrays, focus sensitivities etc. (-You will know better than me what those key settings are)

I remember Oly birders posting lists of settings here in the past. If someone can just give me a link to such a post I'd be greatful!

Thank You!

Congratulations, Kohinoor! Will you be keeping your FD 500mm?

Not much to add that others haven't said already.

Except that I use Custom Modes a great deal. I also use the AEL/AFL lever to flick between different AF areas, as described below.

A/S/M is set to:

  • 5x5-area for lever mode 1
  • Single point for lever mode 2
  • Generally set to +0.3 EV
  • 1/800 - 1/1600 sec, electronic shutter
  • I use 9 fps since I generally use this for birds in trees, and 9 fps helps avoid too many repeat shots.

C1 is used for mechanical shutter for BIFs against busy backgrounds (to avoid rolling shutter):

  • 5x5-area and All points AF
  • 10 fps to maximize chances.

C2, I use it with ProCap-L (5-area and all points AF) for challenging BIFs, like swallows. Why ProCap? Because it allows shooting without EVF blackout, making subject tracking easier (shows the last photo taken, but it works).

  • 18 fps to maximize chances with 4 or so frames in buffer
  • Shot between 1/2000 and 1/4000 sec depending on time of the year. I haven't seen any benefits to going over 1/4000 sec.

C3 is for ProCap-H and used for "classic" ProCap scenarios, like a bird taking off:

  • 60 fps with 15 frames in buffer
  • I shoot ProCap-H at +1.3 EV because at least in my case, the photos in this mode turn out pretty dark (not sure why)
  • IMO 1/1600 - 1/2000 sec is sufficient for takeoff photos

How you set it up will of course, depend on your comfort level. For example, I used to keep many more frames in buffer for ProCap modes.

I have Center AF priority and 'Start at center of frame' enabled (I may be misremembering the name of the setting) because I've found that it improves my keeper rate for BIFs, especially for all-area mode.

For challenging scenarios like swallows in flight / swooping over water, I have 3 settings programmed for AF Limiter and have one of the front buttons set to enable / disable it quickly. This improves AF accuracy and acquisition speed, but I do not want to overwhelm you with this. Just something to keep in mind for the future.

I also have photo preview duration set to zero because I find it distracting to see the last pic taken while I'm trying to keep up with birds.

Lastly, you will get many more keepers for BIFs if you shoot the bare 300mm Pro rather than using teleconverters. It took me 2+ years to learn this. I've gotten some very nice (lucky) shots of even swallows in flight with TCs, but misfocused many, many more. The E-M1ii's AF just isn't good enough to keep up when TCs are used. I now use them almost exclusively for birds on the ground / in trees. Heck, even with perched birds, it is sometimes inconsistent from frame to frame, but this is addressed by shooting bursts.

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Wildlife photography in central and western India, and the Pacific Northwest. Mostly Micro Four Thirds with some Nikon F.

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