Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt

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Ad12 Senior Member • Posts: 1,030
Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt
4

https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/stories/fuji-xt4-birds-in-flight-test/

Not strictly scientific, but interesting! I only have an XT3, but with the firmware update, I suspect most things to be applicable, with the exception of the shooting max rate.

Few things I found particularly interesting which went against what i thought was best:

-  Article recommends electronic shutter. I believed that rolling shutter was a shot ruiner, but in this article it seems preferential. I must admit - imagine following a BiF and taking shots with no blackouts/delays or anything, must be really nice! I've never tried it.

- Pre shot ES - again I never use the ES, but this could be very useful for if you are slow to release the shutter

- Whilst tracking was poor for busy backgrounds, which is why i always use zone, this article found tracking was actually better for keepers across the blue sky than the zone mode. I think I will try this, as it could be useful!

- The author when using zone uses 7x7 grid. I personally use 3x3. I guess this depends on how much you fill the frame. I tend to be zoomed out as my ability to track sucks, but as experience improves, fill the frame using 7x7 could be good. Also, i think it depends on the size of the bird and the background. Probably need to be flexible in the zone choice.

- The highest hit rate was achieved using the 200mm prime, but also with the 1.25x crop mode. Crop mode didnt seem to help with the 400mm though. Personally i'd always prefer the full 26mp in any case.

I thought it was interesting.

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Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,928
Re: Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt
8

This is not the first time Mat's Fuji reviews for BIF has have show up here. I feel he gives bad advice and his own bad advice is the reason for his low keeper rate.

Ad12 wrote:

https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/stories/fuji-xt4-birds-in-flight-test/

Not strictly scientific, but interesting! I only have an XT3, but with the firmware update, I suspect most things to be applicable, with the exception of the shooting max rate.

Correct

Few things I found particularly interesting which went against what i thought was best:

- Article recommends electronic shutter. I believed that rolling shutter was a shot ruiner, but in this article it seems preferential. I must admit - imagine following a BiF and taking shots with no blackouts/delays or anything, must be really nice! I've never tried it.

Yes, rolling shutter can be a frustrating problem.

- Pre shot ES - again I never use the ES, but this could be very useful for if you are slow to release the shutter

One needs to start focus, why not just taking photos and use the mechanical shutter avoiding the risk of rolling shutter

- Whilst tracking was poor for busy backgrounds, which is why i always use zone, this article found tracking was actually better for keepers across the blue sky than the zone mode. I think I will try this, as it could be useful!

With the latest firmware, single point AF works decently yet I still prefer zone as you have more control over where the camera will focus when using Custom Focus Tracking mode

- The author when using zone uses 7x7 grid. I personally use 3x3. I guess this depends on how much you fill the frame. I tend to be zoomed out as my ability to track sucks, but as experience improves, fill the frame using 7x7 could be good. Also, i think it depends on the size of the bird and the background. Probably need to be flexible in the zone choice.

I use 3x3. When you use a 7x7 grid, the camera has to use more CPU and slows down.

- The highest hit rate was achieved using the 200mm prime, but also with the 1.25x crop mode. Crop mode didnt seem to help with the 400mm though. Personally i'd always prefer the full 26mp in any case.

The 200mm f2.0 is a superb lens with incredible AF performance even with the 1.25x. The very bright image it renders on the sensor is an advantage as it will make the focus system more responsive than when using the 100-400mm

His custom focus setup uses "Tracking Sensitivity" 0 which means to leave the subject if something else comes into focus. A better choice is 4 to stick on the subject. What he wants to do with "Tracking Sensitivity" is done by "Speed Tracking Sensitivity" and that is to quickly adjust what the camera is tracking. He chose 2 which will work unless there is little contrast or a very bright background. 1 is less sensitive yet good enough and works low contrast or a very bright background.

I thought it was interesting.

In my opinion there are two important things going on here.  First he states he normally dose not photograph birds in flight.  Second, reviewers don't get enough time shooting with one camera to do a super job of setting it up.

Morris

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jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 4,650
Re: Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt

Good find - thanks. This guy knows his stuff, so I shall read it.

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,549
Re: Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt

I've been thinking of switching from Canon DSLRs to the Fuji system because I need to start carrying less weight around, so this thread is interesting. If anyone has switched from Canon to Fuji and is doing BIF photography, what are your thoughts?  Is it worth the switch?  How good is the Fuji for birds and wildlife?

(By the way I would likely be switching from a Canon 7D mark II with the 100-400 IS II lens and (sometimes a 1.4xIII extender) to the XT4 with the XF 100-400.)

htimm1948
htimm1948 Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt
1

CameraCarl wrote:

I've been thinking of switching from Canon DSLRs to the Fuji system because I need to start carrying less weight around, so this thread is interesting. If anyone has switched from Canon to Fuji and is doing BIF photography, what are your thoughts? Is it worth the switch? How good is the Fuji for birds and wildlife?

(By the way I would likely be switching from a Canon 7D mark II with the 100-400 IS II lens and (sometimes a 1.4xIII extender) to the XT4 with the XF 100-400.)

I have made the switch and I have the X-T3 with Fuji  100-400 with and without 1.4 Tc but for birds in flight stay with your canon, Fuji is miles behind Canon with BIF, especially for small birds and birds with little contrast from the rest of the enviremont. I have the 7D mark II and the 5d Mark IV with 100-400mm +1,4 TC which are much better . For landscapes portrait and birds in rest  the X-T3 is a very good camera. I have tried one year and a half to reach the performance of the canon for BIF but I cannot get the results that I can with my canon stuff. If you want a fast mirrorless camera for BIF get the R5 or the Sony A9 but that are fullframes and then you need a longer reach lens.

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dr jim Veteran Member • Posts: 6,760
Don't fret over BIF's
1

This is partly tongue-in-cheek, but partly not. For years, I have been using BIF's as the test for my birding kit. (don't we all?) But recently, I have come to the conclusion, that BIF's are primarily (I know, not always) for bragging , but environmental portraits of birds are for looking. Of my bird pictures hanging on my walls, not one is a BIF. Every bird can fly, but their behaviors are all different and interesting. Not to mention, you'll save a lot of money and weight not worrying about BIF's

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Just my opinion and just for fun!
Jim

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CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 7,549
Re: Interesting article for XT4 and BiF I felt

Thanks for the comments about Canon versus Fuji. It is helpful as I have seen lots of great comments regarding the Fuji for landscapes and other photos, but haven't seen that much about BIF.  You have most likely saved me some serious money!

Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,928
Re: Don't fret over BIF's
4

dr jim wrote:

This is partly tongue-in-cheek, but partly not. For years, I have been using BIF's as the test for my birding kit. (don't we all?) But recently, I have come to the conclusion, that BIF's are primarily (I know, not always) for bragging , but environmental portraits of birds are for looking. Of my bird pictures hanging on my walls, not one is a BIF. Every bird can fly, but their behaviors are all different and interesting. Not to mention, you'll save a lot of money and weight not worrying about BIF's

More of my avian portraits have won contests and been published than my flight photos. This is because it is more interesting to see a subject in an environment and/or doing interesting behavior. A bird flying in a clear blur sky may be a technically difficult image yet is a rather simple image artistically. To make a flight image that is artistic takes skill and frequently planning.

-1 Probably the most technically difficult flight photo I've taken. The merganser is passing me at head height and traveling about 60MPH. I had to pan with it as it passed me and then unwind my twisted body.

-2 Birds over Jupiter was previsioned and I went out many times waiting for the banded sky and birds to fly through it.

Both of those are with my old Nikon gear. Fuji gear is quite capable of wonderful flight images.

-3 Black Skimmer catches fish was also planned as I had studied the path the skimmer was using as it made repeated fishing runs. I then sat on a rock at the side of the pond and tuck burst after burst trying to get the water flying in an interesting way as it approached. During one of the passes the skimmer happened to catch a fish and I caught the moment it pulled it out during my burst.

Fuji X-T3 + 100-400mm

Morris

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dr jim Veteran Member • Posts: 6,760
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

You confirmed my theory. The Merganser is an amazing shot and a testament to your skill, but I'm guessing it's not hanging in your living room.

The skimmer is wonderful because you captured a fascinating behavior. Not to mention it was technically a triumph.

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jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 4,650
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

Truly great shots. Also, the explanations are very helpful too. Thanks.

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Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,928
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

dr jim wrote:

You confirmed my theory. The Merganser is an amazing shot and a testament to your skill, but I'm guessing it's not hanging in your living room.

The skimmer is wonderful because you captured a fascinating behavior. Not to mention it was technically a triumph.

Thank you Jim and I agree with you that it is much easier to take an interesting portrait in a nice environment than a flight photo.

Morris

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Morris0
Morris0 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,928
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

jhorse wrote:

Truly great shots. Also, the explanations are very helpful too. Thanks.

Thank you Jules,

Morris

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Rmcp20 Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

Images like this makes us want to go out and shoot. Thank you!

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Samuraidog Contributing Member • Posts: 850
Re: Don't fret over BIF's

dr jim wrote:

This is partly tongue-in-cheek, but partly not. For years, I have been using BIF's as the test for my birding kit. (don't we all?) But recently, I have come to the conclusion, that BIF's are primarily (I know, not always) for bragging , but environmental portraits of birds are for looking. Of my bird pictures hanging on my walls, not one is a BIF. Every bird can fly, but their behaviors are all different and interesting. Not to mention, you'll save a lot of money and weight not worrying about BIF's

Great point. I've never really thought of it that way.

Thanks for changing my perspective.

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