RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Started Nov 24, 2018 | Discussions
Rachael P
Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

I've had my RX10 iv since July, and use it mainly for birding. Following guidance from others on this site, for BIF I mainly use AF-C Lock-on Wide, but often feel the focus is a bit soft. So I thought I'd ask forum members for your thoughts on what it's reasonable to expect. In fact when I was preparing the shots for this post (a buzzard at Lackford Lakes nature reserve, in rapidly vanishing light), I thought to look at the OOTC jpeg along with my processed raw file, and realised that the jpeg was better, so I have reprocessed the raw to get as close to the jpeg as I can. But I don't have the skill to do better than the jpeg on this one.

There are three shots -- the full-sized jpeg, so you can see the general size; a cropped jpeg, and my processed raw to about the same size. Should I be hoping for better sharpness from the autofocus, or is this as good as I can expect?

Thanks

OOTC JPEG, full image

OOTC JPEG, cropped

Processed RAW

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AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 3,964
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
4

You should indeed be expecting better. Two things:

1.  I adjusted the exposure metering as I found the camera generally under exposing. It was particularly noticeable in shots like those you have posted: dark bird against a neutral sky.

2.  I suppose all of us have certain pet beliefs. One of mine is that getting closer to the subject is key.

3.  Camera settings is another critical factor. Once again: we all have our own ideas: mine are encapsulated in THIS THREAD . I have found this to work passably well for me over the year+ I have now had the camera.

A few recent (less than 2 months old) examples:

View at "Original size" to get a better idea of what to expect.

Good luck!!

-- hide signature --

Cheers
Alwyn

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adk38 Senior Member • Posts: 1,517
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
2

It's not too bad. The bird is a little too far away imo . Bird fault, not camera

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Eggiez
Eggiez Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
2

Yeah its alright.

You just need to get a bit closer as mentioned previously.

It also tracks and focuses extremely well on smaller faster critters too.

DJS 531
DJS 531 Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Eggiez wrote:

Yeah its alright.

You just need to get a bit closer as mentioned previously.

It also tracks and focuses extremely well on smaller faster critters too.

Wow !!! Those are remarkable images, Gary.

While  those images show that  AF-C works for BIF,  those images speak to your being. an amazing photographer ,While the right  settings enable one to take the best images,  in the end, it is talent and skill that lead to great images ,and you certainly possess  both !

Deborah

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Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Thanks everyone. I take Alwyn's point about getting closer -- although buzzards can be remarkably unhelpful that way. And also Alwyn's point about the camera setup, but I have indeed been following his own suggestions pretty closely. I see the EXIF didn't record the EV compensation for my shot, but it was on +1/3 I think -- that might not be enough, I can see.

However, Eggiez's buzzard is pretty well the same size on the sensor as mine -- perhaps just a little bigger -- but an awful lot sharper.  It's certainly a longer exposure, and also stopped down to f/5. So there is clearly work to do yet (in addition to persuading them to come closer -- maybe a dead pheasant would work...)

Regards

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Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Love these. Something to aspire to. What is the lovely bird in the first and third images? Not sure we have those in the UK.

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Eggiez
Eggiez Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Rachael P wrote:

Thanks everyone. I take Alwyn's point about getting closer -- although buzzards can be remarkably unhelpful that way. And also Alwyn's point about the camera setup, but I have indeed been following his own suggestions pretty closely. I see the EXIF didn't record the EV compensation for my shot, but it was on +1/3 I think -- that might not be enough, I can see.

However, Eggiez's buzzard is pretty well the same size on the sensor as mine -- perhaps just a little bigger -- but an awful lot sharper. It's certainly a longer exposure, and also stopped down to f/5. So there is clearly work to do yet (in addition to persuading them to come closer -- maybe a dead pheasant would work...)

Regards

Hi Rachael,

I was lucky with the buzzard. I heard it calling as I was walking back through some fields. I saw it in the sky, dropped by bag and took the camera out. It then swooped overhead and I tracked it as it flew away. There wasn't much cropping done to this shot.
Sometimes its just right place, right time, but yes the camera is great for birds and wildlife in flight.

I was at f5 and -0.3 as I had previously been photographing kingfishers and I didn't have a chance to change any settings...

Eggiez
Eggiez Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

DJS 531 wrote:

Eggiez wrote:

Yeah its alright.

You just need to get a bit closer as mentioned previously.

It also tracks and focuses extremely well on smaller faster critters too.

Wow !!! Those are remarkable images, Gary.

While those images show that AF-C works for BIF, those images speak to your being. an amazing photographer ,While the right settings enable one to take the best images, in the end, it is talent and skill that lead to great images ,and you certainly possess both !

Deborah

Wow, that's very kind of you Deborah. Much appreciated.

Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Eggiez wrote:

Hi Rachael,

I was lucky with the buzzard. I heard it calling as I was walking back through some fields. I saw it in the sky, dropped by bag and took the camera out. It then swooped overhead and I tracked it as it flew away. There wasn't much cropping done to this shot.
Sometimes its just right place, right time, but yes the camera is great for birds and wildlife in flight.

I was at f5 and -0.3 as I had previously been photographing kingfishers and I didn't have a chance to change any settings...

Buzzards are lovely birds, as your shot shows -- much under-rated I think. I've been surprised to find we have both buzzards and red kites established here in West Suffolk, and tend to spot one or both on every walk. The kites regularly fly over very low, but the buzzards tend to hang out higher up... Of course, what I really want is nice picture of both on the ground. Probably just have to stake out some roadkill. Also fun to watch buzzards and jackdaws baiting each other...

One from a long sequence... two buzzards hazing a jackdaw for the fun of it.

Of course kingfishers are great too, but my only success there has been from a hide.

 Rachael P's gear list:Rachael P's gear list
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Bassy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,388
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

buzzards do not always do what you want them to do lol

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61945665

Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Bassy wrote:

buzzards do not always do what you want them to do lol

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61945665

Nonetheless a nice shot.  Just sold my FZ1000, but it was a nice camera too.

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Eggiez
Eggiez Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
1

Rachael P wrote:

Eggiez wrote:

Hi Rachael,

I was lucky with the buzzard. I heard it calling as I was walking back through some fields. I saw it in the sky, dropped by bag and took the camera out. It then swooped overhead and I tracked it as it flew away. There wasn't much cropping done to this shot.
Sometimes its just right place, right time, but yes the camera is great for birds and wildlife in flight.

I was at f5 and -0.3 as I had previously been photographing kingfishers and I didn't have a chance to change any settings...

Buzzards are lovely birds, as your shot shows -- much under-rated I think. I've been surprised to find we have both buzzards and red kites established here in West Suffolk, and tend to spot one or both on every walk. The kites regularly fly over very low, but the buzzards tend to hang out higher up... Of course, what I really want is nice picture of both on the ground. Probably just have to stake out some roadkill. Also fun to watch buzzards and jackdaws baiting each other...

One from a long sequence... two buzzards hazing a jackdaw for the fun of it.

Of course kingfishers are great too, but my only success there has been from a hide.

I love buzzards and red kites. This (other than my shot earlier) was the closest I've been to a buzzard. A rabbit had been staked out for it to come in. Taken on my RX10iv

A sight you don't get often, a red kite fishing...

DJS 531
DJS 531 Regular Member • Posts: 301
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Eggiez wrote:

DJS 531 wrote:

Eggiez wrote:

Yeah its alright.

You just need to get a bit closer as mentioned previously.

It also tracks and focuses extremely well on smaller faster critters too.

Wow !!! Those are remarkable images, Gary.

While those images show that AF-C works for BIF, those images speak to your being. an amazing photographer ,While the right settings enable one to take the best images, in the end, it is talent and skill that lead to great images ,and you certainly possess both !

Deborah

Wow, that's very kind of you Deborah. Much appreciated.

My pleasure, Gary, Those are truly wonderful images.  

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Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Eggiez wrote:

I love buzzards and red kites. This (other than my shot earlier) was the closest I've been to a buzzard. A rabbit had been staked out for it to come in. Taken on my RX10iv

A sight you don't get often, a red kite fishing...

Both great shots. I didn't know red kites did that!

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Linda F Contributing Member • Posts: 604
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Rachael,

Do you live near any birds of prey centres? This is obviously the wrong time of the year, but flying displays at these places are superb for BIF practice. The birds are relatively close, and relatively predictable in their flight path. The photo opportunities are worth the entry fee! You can check the results from the first display of the day, have lunch and return for another session to try to rectify your mistakes. I find it helps for future battles with their wild relatives, which are a lot harder!

I emphasise this is NOT a wild bird, but shows what can be done with the RX10iv.

Eggiez
Eggiez Contributing Member • Posts: 548
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
2

Linda F wrote:

Rachael,

Do you live near any birds of prey centres? This is obviously the wrong time of the year, but flying displays at these places are superb for BIF practice. The birds are relatively close, and relatively predictable in their flight path. The photo opportunities are worth the entry fee! You can check the results from the first display of the day, have lunch and return for another session to try to rectify your mistakes. I find it helps for future battles with their wild relatives, which are a lot harder!

I emphasise this is NOT a wild bird, but shows what can be done with the RX10iv.

Very nice.

This was taken on a very grey day back in March at a BoP Centre...

Linda F Contributing Member • Posts: 604
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?
1

Also very nice! The camera tracking is the best I’ve ever had and flying displays a great way to learn. So nice not to have to heft the huge lenses about that a lot of people were using too!

Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Forum Pro • Posts: 10,564
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Linda F wrote:

Rachael,

Do you live near any birds of prey centres? This is obviously the wrong time of the year, but flying displays at these places are superb for BIF practice. The birds are relatively close, and relatively predictable in their flight path. The photo opportunities are worth the entry fee! You can check the results from the first display of the day, have lunch and return for another session to try to rectify your mistakes. I find it helps for future battles with their wild relatives, which are a lot harder!

I emphasise this is NOT a wild bird, but shows what can be done with the RX10iv.

good for BOP centres and not bad in the wild too Linda (thanks yet again for steering me to this brilliant little camera )

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So much to learn, so little time left to do it!

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Rachael P
OP Rachael P Contributing Member • Posts: 969
Re: RX10 iv -- How good is AF-C for Birds in Flight?

Linda F wrote:

Rachael,

Do you live near any birds of prey centres? This is obviously the wrong time of the year, but flying displays at these places are superb for BIF practice. The birds are relatively close, and relatively predictable in their flight path. The photo opportunities are worth the entry fee! You can check the results from the first display of the day, have lunch and return for another session to try to rectify your mistakes. I find it helps for future battles with their wild relatives, which are a lot harder!

Linda, thanks for this.

I admit I have avoided trained birds, because they somehow don't feel "right". But I understand the point you are making completely, and will think on it. There is one centre not far away at Stonham Barns, near Ipswich, and the local country fair does them from time to time as well. Practice is clearly what is needed! I can quite reliably get to see kites and buzzards, and often a kestrel, by going for a walk up to the church, but apart from the kestrel they are always either a long way away, or take me completely by surprise.

I have one or two of kites in the wild I am quite pleased with, these with my previous FZ1000, so it does click sometimes. But they tend to be more curious than most... And there are a few others in this thread that put these to shame for interest.

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