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Graham Whistler



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First few pix in the garden with the new high-end Sony mirrorless A1. So far no complaints these all with 200-600 at 600mm Squirrel at ISO 2500 other two ISO 12500. The motor drive is very fast at max 30 fps and little or no noise. 50MP CMOS sensor image size 7680x5760 raw file 102,731 the autofocus is the best I have ever seen and picks up every time look forward to some action pixs. The eye-level viewfinder is very large and pin sharp.

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Last edited on Sat Apr 3rd, 2021 12:18 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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Sorry JK two up please delete one!.

Last edited on Sat Apr 3rd, 2021 12:10 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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chrisbet



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Impressive - if you right click on the images and select "View image", then use control + to zoom in, the images are clear and crisp.



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jk



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Yes a lot of detail there.
I wonder how much extra it is compared to the D850.  You need to do a side by side to accurately compare.  Pictures taken on different days are not directly comparable.
There is no doubt that the Sony AF options are IMHO more exhaustive than the Nikon ones and more useful to typical everyday use.

There is value to having more MP especially if you want to crop images and use them as large detailed prints.
Posters can be printed at 36/72dpi and look good as they are meant to be viewed at a distance but a gallery print is looked at as closer than the recommended 1.5x diagonal.

Graham Whistler



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Chris you are looking at the JPG as you know so the full 7680x5760 would show a lot more. I was glad that Photoshop CC had updated raw drivers a few day ago so I was able to avoid using JPG to start with as many of the early reviews were made from. I hope to get images of more interest ASAP at moment I have been making use of my garden. I think I have made the right choice but am sad to part with ALL my Nikon kit as I needed to in order to make the change, body alone for the A1 is £6349.99oi in UK.

chrisbet



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Huge investment! I hope our embracing of other makes means you will stay on here!

jk



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I think that you need to drop all the Nikon gear like you have done Graham. Otherwise you get caught in a situation of betwix and between like I am with the Nikons and Fuji.  I have Nikon FF and APS-C as well as Fuji MF and APS-C.

I have recently got the Fuji GFX50R as a test of whether I need the 51MP of MF.
I am finding there are subtle differences and the Fuji lenses just like the Hasselblad lenses deliver very sharp results which are very subtle.

Graham Whistler



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Chris I have made some very good friends here and see no need or wish to move. Several of us go back to the D1 first serious DSLR' more than 20 yrs ago and at that time learning an all-new way of taking photos and helping others find the good news.

jk



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Yes so many years of learning and experimenting when we were in the days before the D3.  The old D1 and D2 series cameras were a real trial and tested many of us. The D3 and subsequent FF sensored cameras really help the quality emerge from digital shooting.

Iain



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Those images look good Graham. For me I am still having trouble accepting the electronic viewfinder.

novicius



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Iain wrote:
Those images look good Graham. For me I am still having trouble accepting the electronic viewfinder. And that shows the " problem " in a nutshell, the EVF is Unusable with certain lenses like the PC (E) Nikkors when handheld ,which is what I use `em for...and some other lenses with man.focus , there are features to overcome that ,which will slow down operations and become cumbersome in use,  ....for me it`s the SLR all the way..:applause:

novicius



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I would Love the GFX 100...I know a gent in Argentina who is using that camera with the PC-E Nikkors...19...24...45...albeit on full lens opening only ,as it can n`t control the electric aperture, yet,he still achieves good results tho`, .....and that`s another thing with mating modern gear of different makes , namely Incompatibility Issues !!...

jk



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novicius wrote:
I would Love the GFX 100...I know a gent in Argentina who is using that camera with the PC-E Nikkors...19...24...45...albeit on full lens opening only ,as it can n`t control the electric aperture, yet,he still achieves good results tho`, .....and that`s another thing with mating modern gear of different makes , namely Incompatibility Issues !!... Well I have the GFX50R and for the time being I can be satisfied by it.
I wish I could fond a way (hack) that allowed me to directly control the 24mm f3.5 PCe lens aperture as it covers the 44x33 sensor size easily with no vignette visible.  Also considering the Laowa 17mm f4 lens.

Iain



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novicius wrote:
And that shows the " problem " in a nutshell, the EVF is Unusable with certain lenses like the PC (E) Nikkors when handheld ,which is what I use `em for...and some other lenses with man.focus , there are features to overcome that ,which will slow down operations and become cumbersome in use,  ....for me it`s the SLR all the way..:applause: It depends on what your shooting I found that when using the evf for BIF what I saw in the viewfinder and what I got were ever so slightly different.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
It depends on what your shooting I found that when using the evf for BIF what I saw in the viewfinder and what I got were ever so slightly different. I found that true of the Fuji mirrorless cameras I had.
The Sony camera I now have (A7 iii) is much better. It’s focusing system is also a lot faster and more true.  

The A1 that Graham is using, has an EVF that is purportedly better than many top DSLR! Sony have also countered the black flashing between exposures even at 30fps.

The one thing I haven’t gotten used to with mirrorless, is the playback in the viewfinder (not sure if a I can cancel that?). If I pause to preview a captured image on the back screen then suddenly have to lift the camera to the eye to resume shooting, there is an eyeful of that file still in the evf which blanks the view of the next subject... for what seems to be an eternity. I’ve missed several unexpected bif while the evf playback image clears.
I have to try to remember to touch the shutter to clear it while I am lifting to the eye.

It may be there’s a setting I am missing or I need to get used to a new system...but it does jarr a bit.

jk



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There is an 'EVF eye sensor' that switches between TFT screen and EVF so all you need to do is touch the shutter to revert from playback to shooting.
It is the same on Nikon D850 but of course with DSLR there is no playback in viewfinder.

Playback in viewfinder is not something I like except when it is under very sunny/bright conditions.

Eric



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jk wrote:
There is an 'EVF eye sensor' that switches between TFT screen and EVF so all you need to do is touch the shutter to revert from playback to shooting.
It is the same on Nikon D850 but of course with DSLR there is no playback in viewfinder.

Playback in viewfinder is not something I like except when it is under very sunny/bright conditions.
That’s exactly the point I was making.
If I want to pick up the camera to take a photo after being in playback mode, I HAVE to press the shutter to clear the image in the viewfinder before I can ‘locate’ the new target. 

With a DSLR even with the rear screen alight in playback mode you can see immediately the live action through the viewfinder. Sure you need to touch the shutter to get operational just like the mirrorless but you have that extra time to locate and compose before touching the shutter.

I found this frustrating yesterday practising bif. Birds were flying erratically overhead....I take a shot, check the exposure on the LCD and go to take another shot, but the bird has moved and I need to find it again in the viewfinder... but there’s a frozen picture of the last bird blocking my view. 😡 

I haven’t found it (if it exists) but it would be so much better if the playback cancelled itself when the eye went up to the viewfinder.

Last edited on Tue Apr 6th, 2021 10:07 by Eric

jk



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Do you have playback enabled automatically for when you take a shot?
I think that is a nightmare so I dont do this but I know people who have this routinely enabled.  It would drive me nuts. 

I think what you are saying is something that is part of the 'way the camera works' with mirrorless.  To get away from that you need a Fuji X100V which had an optical and a EVF so you can choose what you view with.   Playback only works on back TFT and EVF.  The optical is always active for viewing subject.   I prefer to shoot with EVF.  I guess after 10 years using mirrorless it is all habit for me.

It is like somebody with a film camera that is not fitted with a motordrive, wanting to have the film wind on automatically!  When you have the motordrive you learn that if you keep the button pressed then you use your 36exposures very quickly!
:lol:

chrisbet



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Eric wrote:
I haven’t found it (if it exists) but it would be so much better if the playback cancelled itself when the eye went up to the viewfinder. Is finder/monitor set to auto in Camera Settings 2 / Display Auto Review 1?

Iain



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Didn’t realise you had got a Sony as well Eric.

Eric



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chrisbet wrote:
Is finder/monitor set to auto in Camera Settings 2 / Display Auto Review 1? That setting (which manually selects the LCD, or the Viewfinder or Both) is set to Auto.(Both) 

I have the Auto review switched OFF.... as I don’t need to preview each and every image. I prefer to put the camera in playback periodically to review several images at a time. And then the camera switch to Shooting mode with the eye move to the viewfinder.

Apparently what I am wanting isn’t possible or not programmed in by Sony. Mirrorless users actually see my perceived negative... as a benefit.
They use the viewfinder to review images, in preference to looking at the back screen ...especially in bright light. Having it switch to Shooting mode as soon as the eye is upto the viewfinder would screw this for them.

They may have a point.

Last edited on Thu Apr 8th, 2021 15:04 by Eric

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Didn’t realise you had got a Sony as well Eric. Yes I am trying the A7m3.
Having tried the Fuji mirrorless and the Nikon Z6, I thought I would give Sony a go. There is no doubt the Sony focusing speed is better..but some of their thinking on menus and key functions is a bit bizarre.

Just a gulls dropping in for bread, shot through the window, but happy with initial result....

.


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Last edited on Thu Apr 8th, 2021 15:52 by Eric

jk



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Those are exceedingly good  (just like Mr Kipling's cakes and mince pies)!
Seems like you have taken to the Sony like a duck to water!  
:lol:

Iain



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What lens are you using on it Eric?

Eric



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Iain wrote:
What lens are you using on it Eric? Sony 200-600

Took advantage of January cashback🥳

Eric



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Not suggesting for a moment these are anywhere near worthy aircraft photographs but there was a ‘dog fight’ between an F15 and a Typhoon over my house. I thought I would test the Sony 200-600 as all the birds had left the garden and the wax had left my ears 😳

There was a little bit of haze about and the sun periodically went behind high cloud messing with exposure. (Excuses, excuses!)

Flighttrader app told me they were at 18,000feet.








Heavy crop.......






The Typhon then shot off up to nearly 20,000feet...





I was happy the resolution in the lens was good. I just need to get exposure right....when my stiff neck loosens up and my hearing recovers. 😳.

Last edited on Thu Apr 8th, 2021 22:15 by Eric

chrisbet



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Nice pics - no chance of any of that down here - we have had 8/8 cloud cover :thumbsdown:

novicius



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Nice pics. :applause:  is n`t that sony camera/lens combo a rebranded Nikon...

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Jackdaw is regular to our bird table. With the new Sony A1 mirrorless 200-600 lens at 600mm 1/500 sec at f6.3 ISO 2000

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Graham Whistler



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The problem with feeding birds is rats come up from the River Meon my trail camera is out at night and there are well over 6-8 every night. Ratman has been hired and will be here next week! Senior Management has said no air-rifle this time! Oh and pix same kit as above.

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You are doing well with your flight pixs Eric.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Jackdaw is regular to our bird table. With the new Sony A1 mirrorless 200-600 lens at 600mm 1/500 sec at f6.3 ISO 2000

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I love Jackdaws. We have a family that calls in occasionally.
Lovely bird, well caught. They really are in best plumage now.

jk



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Got plenty of jackdaws here in Cornwall.

Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
The problem with feeding birds is rats come up from the River Meon my trail camera is out at night and there are well over 6-8 every night. Ratman has been hired and will be here next week! Senior Management has said no air-rifle this time! Oh and pix same kit as above.

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We should have a quiz to guess the bird in the feeder, just from its feet. :lol:

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Feet?

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chrisbet



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Starling ...

Eric



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chrisbet wrote:
Starling ... I think you are right.

Graham Whistler



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Yes!

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WOW been a few changes on here since my last visit , which will now increase in frequency .super move by one and all and nice to see the core members embracing it all ..
  and with me being a couple of years into the mirrorless scene can I offer all my old friends on here a bit of Stirling advise from the depths of experience .. I find that with most mirrorless systems (yes I have tried other brands ) digital noise can and will be a problem in shadow areas .. the best workaround myself and others have found is TOPAZ DE-NOISE A.I it really does do what it says on the tin

Graham Whistler



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Only been able to do test shots on my local walks with the new Sony A1 this is with 24-105mm standard lens and the detail in this Eric need sunglass when I sent him a copy!! 1/400 sec f16 400ISO very clean crisp 50 MP raw files little on no post required.

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Graham Whistler



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Same walk same lens even the Dandelions look good in all this sun last few days!

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Graham Whistler



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Same walk Titchfield Abbey. As you all may know my posting of this one of my local test subjects!

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jk



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Was looking at a Peter Coulson YouTube session where he was testing a Sony A1 camera.  The shutter sound was very nice.
Small thing really but it it all adds to the positive vibes.
AF is definitely very good with manual focus as well as the awesome AF.

Iain



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Same walk Titchfield Abbey. As you all may know my posting of this one of my local test subjects!

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That looks very sharp Graham

jk



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Where are all the A1 photos?
I think that Graham must be reading the Sony manual!

Graham Whistler



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Sorry not done much at all been very busy with a large skip and getting rid of a great deal from our large loft. Rushed into the garden in guilt JK and shot this for you will try and do better next week back to a more normal life.

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Last edited on Thu May 6th, 2021 12:44 by Graham Whistler

jk



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One thing at a time Graham.
Get the chores out of the way and then you will feel more relaxed.

Graham Whistler



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Family of swans at Fort Brockhurst this morning: Sony A1 600-200mm lens at 600mm 1/1250 sec f8 ISO 1000

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Iain



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Nice and sharp Graham. The Sony seems to be working well for you and Eric.

jk



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The A1 v Z7ii shootout will be interesting.
It is probably too early for this review to be delivered but I remember there were Canon models that looked mouthwatering just before the D3 was delivered.

The Sony really wins at present with all its AF options and great AF speed but the menus on Sony cameras are designed to drive you nuts!

Then of course there is the Z9 that is due later this year which is D3 sized!  I am not sure that I want a Z9 as it will be large and heavy and be Z mount.  What I would like is a D850-mirrorless.

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Menus on the Sony A1 are much improved compared with the Sony A7iii. Quick and easy to find what you want with most regularly used items. Extra controls on top left of camera make it much more like Nikon D850 ie make changes to Focus and frame rates without the need to go into menus that may not be so easy to see in bright light. I now also have the x1.4 extender like Nikon it is -! stop but so far with the 200-600 no loss of contrast or sharpness. No regrets so far Sony is all I need and the results are very good.

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I have just got their x1.4 Sony lens extender this is one of the first tests with the A1 and 200-600 lens with x1.4 is now 840mm this is hand held and only 25% of the full image 1/500 sec at F9 ISO 500. As I found with the Nikon x1.4 extender and long lenses no loss of quality and loss on I stop exposure. 

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Sharpness test again with the 200-600mm plus x1.2 extender Sony and A1 camera. This whole of the frame and zoomed back to 494mm 1/500 sec f10 iso 500

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This is the Sony A1 again today with the 60-200mm Sony lens at 600mm plus the x1.4 tele extender giving it a length of 840mm this is also quite a big blow=up of part of the full-frame image. 1/640 sec f11 ISO 1250.

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Last edited on Thu May 13th, 2021 15:58 by Graham Whistler

Graham Whistler



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This is the Sony A7iii but with my new Sony 90mm Macro lens.

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Certainly a top notch performing set up. Lens and sensor resolution excellent. Nice images too Graham.

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In our garden this morning GS Woodpecker, A1 again with 600-200 lens plus x1.4 exender.

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Plenty of young starlings with us most of the day had to do a big cleanup with the birdbath just now they are not very well potty trained yet!

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jk



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No doubt about it that the A1 is giving you some stunningly sharp images with fine sharpness.   What is the %age success rate of focus?

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JK: Focus works well 90% of the time as with any system errors are down more to the photographer. These Sony have made huge progress with this camera it is hard to fault it. I tested a quick burst with 30 frames a sec hardly any noise and 47 frames hardly touched the buffer all pixs were sharp of a moving subject.

jk



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Well here is the review that I was asking for!
Not my favourite reviewers but they seem to have made some good tests and comparisons.
https://youtu.be/Wj5vydR3ymE

The DPReview team do it as well, but not the Sony A1, instead the Panasonic S1R.
https://youtu.be/l2tcc8ooDas

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This is the whole frame shot this morning ie small bird not very close even with A1 plus 840mm lens 1/1000 sec f10 ISO 1600

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Nellie Moser its first flower this year to brighten our garden today! A1 Sony with 70-200mm lens.

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Parent Little Owl with three week old young. A1 with 70-200mm lens

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Graham, what are the Sony’s like for birds in flight?

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Ian too early to say I have only tried in the garden with the starlings on flutter butter. I need to learn how to use the tracking detection mode then give it a go with some local seagulls. So far can not fault the auto focus. Camera noise at medium to ISO 4000 is about the same as Nikon D850. Yesterday Owl shoot was first big shoot with it 270 shots in 2 hours and no problems apart from battery ran out just before the end and viewfinder went black! All OK with new battery.

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Eric



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Iain wrote:
Graham, what are the Sony’s like for birds in flight? Iain
I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do anything on birds in flight apart from seagulls over the garden....




This is the Sony A7 iii (not the A1) and the zone tracking is very good.
It focuses fast and locks on the subject...as good if not better than the Nikon 500 imho.
The only issue I had was when the subject moved below tree line and the zone tracking focus jumped to the trees.
Like Nikon there is a feature to delay focus shift but I haven’t yet explored how this can be best set to avoid this..

Last edited on Thu May 20th, 2021 22:18 by Eric

jk



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I guess that that is as good as can be reasonably expected without having human intelligence built into the camera.  Mind you need to be aware that all are not equally gifted!!

I would be interested in how it copes with a kingfisher or a wagtail in their various settings.

Eric



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jk wrote:
I guess that that is as good as can be reasonably expected without having human intelligence built into the camera.  Mind you need to be aware that all are not equally gifted!!

I would be interested in how it copes with a kingfisher or a wagtail in their various settings.
I believe Graham will be testing the camera on the Kingfishers in the not too distant future.

Small birds are always going to be challenging in flight. Not just because of their size but because they fly more erratically and don’t tend to fly above the skyline to help the camera differentiate between them and the background. I am not sure that any camera will have the capability to effectively master that without the help of ideal positioning, prior knowledge and fieldcraft of the photographer.

Besides, small birds aren’t as impressive in flight as the bigger ones, so more often are better photographed at rest.

Last edited on Fri May 21st, 2021 08:59 by Eric

jk



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Yes this the really the absolute test.
Small birds in flight are the ultimate test of any camera AF.

I am very interested in the results that Graham gets from the kingfishers shoot with the Sony.

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Starlings on the Flutter Butter today, very poor light Sony A1 with 600-200mm lens 1/1600 sec f6.3 ISO 2500 tracking focus first test.

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jk



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Need to see kingfishers as they are faster.

Eric



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Not a kingfisher or any feathered friend but flew over my place at 21000 feet. 

Corporate jet ....how the other half live. o.O




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They look quite good. I’m still not sure, it’s the viewfinder that puts me off and battery life. D4 battery just went flat today, 3127 shots.
Sony seems interesting though.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
They look quite good. I’m still not sure, it’s the viewfinder that puts me off and battery life. D4 battery just went flat today, 3127 shots.
Sony seems interesting though.

Why do you need to get 3000shots out of a battery? I have never taken more than 500shots at any one event and always had a spare battery or two that were only were ever needed when I forgot to insert a freshly charge battery before the start of the event.

Whilst we might decry the ‘400 images’ that mirrorless offer, in practical terms I’ve never had to change battery at a critical time ……..so far.  

That said, there are moments when I say “this is a bit irritating”, “it’s a shame…”, “it would be better if…”.  

The truth is it does take a step change in your thinking and modus operandi to switch to mirrorless.  If you are getting the results with your current equipment…why change?

Your desire/need/benefit to do so has to be clear …..and the equipment good enough to encourage you to persevere.

It may even need an epiphany to change an irritation into an advantage you are more comfortable with, like  ……


After retiring, I raged about teachers from the school opposite parking outside the front of my house all day, rather than use the school carpark. Not having a drive entrance at the front I liked to park my car there, rather than having to get it out of the garage at the rear of the property, every time I needed to just pop out for a few minutes.

It irritated the hell out of me….until we had some daytime burglaries in the street. Several neighbours houses were targeted, we fortunately escaped attention. 

The police said that their empty driveways could have been an indicator of people out at work….where cars outside our house might have made it more questionable.

From then onwards I was happy for people to park there (I even encouraged someone who wanted to park their daughters car for a month) …. while we went out regularly for the day! 👍 

I came to realise my car was safer away for vandalism and damage in the garage anyway… any minor inconvenience was soon managed or forgotten.

Last edited on Mon May 24th, 2021 09:41 by Eric

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Ian I agree about battery power 270 pixs on this shoot and as stated viewfinder went black at 20% but the spare battery in pocket back to 100%  for these last few shots at quite a high ISO in poor light. With two camera bodies and 6 batteries, I should get through most normal shoots for a retired 80 yr old photographer! I did miss my old 80-400mm lens on this shoot so I may trade in the 70-200 for one as plenty of very good deals going at present.

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Eric



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Graham Whistler wrote:
Ian I agree about battery power 270 pixs on this shoot and as stated viewfinder went black at 20% but the spare battery in pocket back to 100%  for these last few shots at quite a high ISO in poor light. With two camera bodies and 6 batteries, I should get through most normal shoots for a retired 80 yr old photographer! I did miss my old 80-400mm lens on this shoot so I may trade in the 70-200 for one as plenty of very good deals going at present.

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Well if you decide to sell the 70-200 I may be interested 😉….but surely the 1.4x converter with the 70-200 would have done the job?

Iain



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Eric wrote:
Why do you need to get 3000shots out of a battery? I have never taken more than 500shots at any one event and always had a spare battery or two that were only were ever needed when I forgot to insert a freshly charge battery before the start of the event.

Whilst we might decry the ‘400 images’ that mirrorless offer, in practical terms I’ve never had to change battery at a critical time ……..so far.  

That said, there are moments when I say “this is a bit irritating”, “it’s a shame…”, “it would be better if…”.  

The truth is it does take a step change in your thinking and modus operandi to switch to mirrorless.  If you are getting the results with your current equipment…why change?

Your desire/need/benefit to do so has to be clear …..and the equipment good enough to encourage you to persevere.

It may even need an epiphany to change an irritation into an advantage you are more comfortable with, like  ……


After retiring, I raged about teachers from the school opposite parking outside the front of my house all day, rather than use the school carpark. Not having a drive entrance at the front I liked to park my car there, rather than having to get it out of the garage at the rear of the property, every time I needed to just pop out for a few minutes.

It irritated the hell out of me….until we had some daytime burglaries in the street. Several neighbours houses were targeted, we fortunately escaped attention. 

The police said that their empty driveways could have been an indicator of people out at work….where cars outside our house might have made it more questionable.

From then onwards I was happy for people to park there (I even encouraged someone who wanted to park their daughters car for a month) …. while we went out regularly for the day! 👍 

I came to realise my car was safer away for vandalism and damage in the garage anyway… any minor inconvenience was soon managed or forgotten.
The battery life stems from the days working as a press photographer where 2k+ shots in a shift was normal and having a camera that was able to do that without a battery change was great.
The other week while taking pics of two Red Kites displaying my friends Olympus m1 battery went flat, by the time he changed it the Kites had gone.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
The battery life stems from the days working as a press photographer where 2k+ shots in a shift was normal and having a camera that was able to do that without a battery change was great.
The other week while taking pics of two Red Kites displaying my friends Olympus m1 battery went flat, by the time he changed it the Kites had gone.
That’s not good ……but really down to planning.  Like I said, you have to have a positive reason to go mirrorless and long battery life is never going to be top of its benefits. I find I am taking a lot less photos now a I am retired. The Sony A7 has only accumulated a total of 2400 actuations so far and I  am sure I’ve only had 3 cycles of my twin battery charger….so 400/battery including the chimping while learning it’s menus.
It won’t compete with a mirror camera battery but good enough for me.

Last edited on Mon May 24th, 2021 22:57 by Eric

chrisbet



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"chimping" :lol:

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Very pleased with Sony 100-400mm pin sharp and autofocus spot on I hope to have some flying pixs from it soon. First pix is only 25% of full-frame lens at 400mm

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jk



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Looks like you have some back focus happening there!
:lol:
Duck!!!

I am waiting for kingfishers!

Graham Whistler



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Focus on the head and light poor 2500 ISO 1/1250 sec f5.6 fast shutter as I hoped they would take off for flight pix, no go!

jk



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You need to get some little people to act as duck chasers/scarers.
:lol:

Eric



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Talking of poor light….


12800 iso

(With 1% luminance noise reduction)


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Graham Whistler



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Looks good to me that ISO is out of this world!

Eric



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This one is at 3200 ISO, confirming what we have said that if the light is right, noise issues become irrelevant.




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Last edited on Thu Jun 17th, 2021 10:23 by Eric

Iain



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Those look good at 3200 Eric.

Eric



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Iain wrote:
Those look good at 3200 Eric. This is 10,000….



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