Birder's Guide

NOV 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/911854

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13 November 2017 | Birder's Guide to Gear to capture the wings without blur, I used a super-fast shutter speed of 1/5000 of a second. In order not to underexpose during cloud cover, I had to increase the ISO to keep the higher shutter speed. After about an hour of practice, I finally captured a sharp photo in High-Speed Continuous Shooting without too much blur to the wings. During this time, I also practiced adjusting my settings (ISO and shut- ter speed) without taking the camera away from my face. I continued to look through the viewfinder and adjusted the settings to match the conditions. I be- came familiar with the dials and buttons on my camera to help with the quick- action shots. This is an important step in bird photography. Get to know your camera and where to adjust settings without pulling the camera away from your face. Those split seconds count in high-speed action. Focusing Now that you have a basic understand- ing of the drive modes, you're ready to tackle the camera's focusing system. While photographing birds, it is im- portant to keep the bird in focus while it is moving. There is nothing more frustrating than taking a series of pho - tos only to find out none of them were in focus! When shooting fast-moving birds, set your autofocus to Continu- ous Focus mode. The setting is AI Servo on Canon models and AF-C on Nikon models. This mode is a must for keeping a moving bird sharp within the viewfinder as you track your sub- ject. When you press the shutter but- ton halfway while in this mode, the autofocus tracking system engages and attempts to keep your subject in focus as it is moving. Both cameras also have a single shot focusing mode, Canon's One Shot and Nikon's AF-S, which is used for stationary birds or landscapes. AI Focus mode on a Canon is meant to work when your subject is stationary at first but begins to move, such as a bird that is perched and starts to fly. So Which One Do I Choose? Selecting the right camera body for you will depend on your budget and what you want to accomplish. If you like the idea of speed, consider the faster- shooting cameras. If you aren't that in- terested in speed and plan to use your camera for landscapes, consider the full-frame camera models. In the end, whatever you decide to buy should be something that you are comfortable handling and that gives you satisfying images. The models and cameras de- scribed here can produce some amaz- ing images. It is up to you to capture that once-in-a-lifetime shot! n left to right : Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D810, Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Nikon D500 The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, which shoots seven frames per second, and the Nikon D810, which shoots five frames per second, are excellent for stationary birds or landscapes, especially using a tripod. But they may fall short in the speed category compared to a Canon EOS 7D Mark II or a Nikon D500.

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