This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The key is to keep tracking the bird, or maintain the autofocus, long enough that you start to feel comfortable and in control. With your autofocus on "Continuous" mode, birds should remain in focus as they fly into your viewfinder. Achieving top-quality images here requires much awareness and some special camera techniques. The selected AF sensors move around by magic, saving you the trouble of selecting them! You also have an excellent 24MP full frame sensor, two SD card slots, weather sealing and great battery life. Mayslake Nature Study & Photography Club â February 3, 2014 Nikon Camera Settings for Photographing Birds in Flight and Other Fast Moving Animals Duane Heaton 847-358-5856 firstname.lastname@example.org Page 3 of 5 Iâve almost stopped using â3D-trackingâ, but I still keep it in mind as an option if the right situation Dynamic AF with a wide grouping (25/72/153 points) works pretty well when your subject is fairly close and against a clean background, but it is still prone to inadvertently locking on to the background. This mode defaults to a fast shutter, perfect for fast-action wildlife photography. Some new cameras allow you to group a small number of points together to form a larger focusing area. This AF mode has some huge advantages for birders. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve struggled with photographing birds in flight for years. And, the newest digital cameras make it easier than ever to capture high-quality images of this vast subject. The autofocus subject-tracking modes of the Z6 are an unfortunate step-down from Nikonâs best-in-breed 3D tracking system implemented on its DSLRs. Some automatic cameras offer a “sports mode,” or “action mode.” This is often depicted with a “running man” icon. With 3D tracking, you may prefer always to focus with the middle sensor, and then move the camera to recompose. When I shot with the D5, the 3D tracking AF mode seemed like it could read your mind and kept whatever you locked onto tack sharp even with extremely fast moving subjects. In this case, Nikonâs âGroup Focusâ comprising four central focus points is helping me nail shots I used to miss. I will only use a tripod if the bird poses for me. Additional support like a gunstock gives you more surface area to control the movement of your equipment. Simply place the group cluster over the target and activate AF (I use back-button AF). The popularity of nature photography grows each day. I recently switched to Nikon from Canon and am finding the AF system in the D850 (which is the same in the D5 and D500) is the best Iâve ever used for birds in flight. Sign up for Learn & Explore emails and receive inspiring, educational and all around interesting articles right in your inbox. You just helped me with a big “huh? One of the questions I am getting a LOT is about bird-in-flight (BIF) settings. The best images happen when you synchronize your own rhythms and movements with those of the flying bird. If your panning is perfectly synchronized with the movement of the bird, your image should be sharp. He has authored 13 comprehensive photography guides, including guides to Nikon’s Capture NX, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Nik Plug-ins. Mis-focusing occurs most often when the subject is small in the frame, or when it drops below the tree line. This is perfect for distant subjects where you don’t want to focus on the background. Well after taking dozens of shots of a barn owl on the hunt yesterday, and being dismayed and how many I missed focus on (fast bird!) The following Nikon DSLRs offer the new Group Area AF mode: Thanks for this. This is one setting that you might be changing from time to time especially when your backgrounds change or interfere with the birdâs flight. Great video Mark, clear instructions, easy to follow even for someone new to Nikon. Your email address will not be published. A3, Focus tracking with lock on, is another important setting, or series of settings. Complete Guides to Nik Collection Plug-ins, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S Lens Hands-on Review. This helps somewhat to switch between the two quickly. Birds-in-flight are particularly challenging. In bird photography, knowing how to prepare your camera for bird photography is super important. I’m pleased to offer private online trainingÂ and image review sessions for my clients. Nikon Z6II Autofocus Settings For Birds in Flight. I too have a Nikon D500. After pounding my brain on D7100 camera settings I have done the following. I gather that even if I get pretty good at panning, I'll still have best success with one of the dynamic modes or the group mode. Although I like some kind of additional support like a monopod or gunstock, I typically avoid tripods. Simply find the bird in your frame, and follow it as it flies. Jason has been a full-time photographer since 2010, and holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Riverside. Also see my post on my initial D850 setup here. Sign in or create an account to access your information. D3S, AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D IF-ED with 1.4 teleconverter, 1/1250 of a second shutter speed, f/8, ISO 400. I came to this camera after stints with D3, D4, D4s D850 and more recently the D6. I found over the years (and talking with other bird photographers) that 1/2,000 second will stop pretty much every large birds wings in flight. 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