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2 hours ago, RobinHood said:

My $0.01 - I won't annoy you any more.

You're not annoying me in the least.  I'm trying to avoid annoying anyone else!

2 hours ago, RobinHood said:

My finding was that when using a fairly wide range zoom lens like this one the exposure settings change too quickly for M mode to be practical - you need to be concentrating on the bird not exposure settings.

Please try S mode (aperture is not as critical with a small sensor camera) with a default of1/500 (easily adjusted to suit conditions with the large rear wheel) and auto ISO with an upper limit of 3200 (I use 6400 but shoot raw).

I know 'bridge' units are compromises, and I don't expect NatGeo results.  I going to stick with trying M through the weekend but as you noted, I'm beginning to think other modes may be bettter suited for me.  Let's remember the discussion started about the use of 'Sport' mode, which I've since found less satisfactory than S, A, or even auto.

I don't know why I'm reluctant to set the ISO above 400 or so.  I got very grainy results above that point, although I haven't tried it since I started playing with the other settings.  I'll revisit it.

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3 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

I don't know why I'm reluctant to set the ISO above 400 or so.  I got very grainy results above that point, although I haven't tried it since I started playing with the other settings.  I'll revisit it.

I know, I know, that was supposed to be my last post however.......

....in my experience an underexposed photo with a modest ISO setting usually looks far noisier/grainier than a correctly exposed photo with a much higher ISO number.

Definitely over and out and good luck on your next outing.

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44 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

an underexposed photo with a modest ISO setting usually looks far noisier/grainier than a correctly exposed photo with a much higher ISO number.

If you'll click my Pileated avatar and look at my profile background, that ISO 100, under-exposed, first light of dawn Great Blue Heron is my favorite photo by far.  The reduction as background doesn't do it justice.  At full size you can see the fish in its bill and the water droplets flying from its wingtips.  Sure, it could have been much better, but it captured the moment exactly.  I look at it and I'm back in the swamp, seeing it flying over, suddenly banking hard left into a Gannet-like dive I didn't know herons could pull off, stabbing before it ever touched down, pushing off, and spreading its wings like the Angel of Death.  I wouldn't trade that shot for the Mona Lisa.

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I took this photo in manual mode o a rainy day. The ISO was set at 2000, shutter speed was a risky 160, and the aperture was F/8. I was using an F/4, 300mm lens with a 2x extender, so having to shoot at F/8 was not the best for these conditions. There is more noise than I'd like, but I'm not afraid to shoot at up to 2500 ISO if necessary.

 

i-4p6L2gs-X3.jpg

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That's another difference between budget point-and-shoots/bridge cameras and DSLRs.  My DSLR has much less noise than my point-and-shoots at higher ISOs.  Or at least the noise isn't as annoying.

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11 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

But it definitely isn't a case of 'set for the day and forget it'.

Okay, I admit that I might have exaggerated a bit there.  The theory is to set a base exposure using a mid-tone subject, something that's not bright or dark. When you change your aim to something that is brighter or darker than your base line, it will appear brighter or darker in your photo but hopefully still look natural, mostly, and not too far on either end of the baseline.  You didn't end up taking more photos of black cats in a coal mine, did you? 😁 If you want your dark areas to be as bright as the the baseline shot, which admittedly you'll want to do at times, you just have to turn the dial a bit. Knowing when and how much to turn the dial is something that only practice can really teach, but it sounds like you're already picking up on that since you've been monitoring your meter and checking results as you go. You can read a lot of valuable tips on many websites, and I did, but I still don't know what I do wrong to ruin a picture until after I've already ruined the picture. Sometimes I find out my shutter speed was too slow because the bird turned it's head a bit, other times I might realize that I could have lowered my ISO and eliminated some of the graininess, quite often I wonder if the photo would have been better if I did this or that before I pushed the shutter button. Photography is one of those things in life where we often get the test before the lesson. Don't give up on it. 

Making mistakes is all part of the learning process and since they don't cost anything with today's cameras...I won't charge you the $0.02 because of the mistake you made by listening to me. 🤪

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Posted (edited)

Just as an example and since we are talking photos for ID purposes only the shot below was taken at around 8.00am at the end of last September on a cloudy day with the bird deep in the shrubbery (the photo does not reflect how dark it actually was). The bird was really active, typical Redstart, so I needed 1/500 and ended up with ISO 51,200.

Yes it was a DSLR and I have applied some noise removal but for a smaller sensor camera an ISO up to at least 1600 or 3200 is worth considering for these types of conditions. In-camera processing has improved tremendously over the past few years including noise removal.

American Redstart ISO 51,200 D750391-.jpg

Edited by RobinHood
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Oh dear, I think I am morphing quickly into a cranky old man (good thing I am the only one on this forum) - as proof my son hits 50 this weekend.

Charlie, today was a pretty good example of what you can be up against with wildlife/bird photography.

This was a beautiful day for Southern Ontario at this time of year - 8C (guessing 45F) and sun all day, absolutely no change in lighting.

Two photos below under exactly the same conditions.

Photo 1. Trumpeter out in the open - camera was already set at 1/640 and F10 with auto ISO - camera selected ISO 100.

Photo 2. Muskrat somewhat in the shade - same shutter speed and aperture - camera selected ISO 7200.

This is a difference of 6.5 EVs (Exposure Values), or full aperture/shutter speed increments (requiring 1/8 second rather than 1/640 if sticking to ISO 100) and may explain what you were finding when you were trying to balance exposure in the manual mode.

For the second photo I was also shooting a Mink (a particular favourite of mine) at the same time in the background. It was finding a meal (a mouse based on the tail hanging out of its mouth), eating it and then cleaning itself on a tree branch, so auto ISO allowed me to jump between the subjects.

If you are "focused" on just one subject in constant lighting conditions then M mode is certainly viable and provides more control.

However, if you are out on the trails and want to be ready for whatever comes along ................

Definitely my last post on this thread, I will never come back, honestly.

Trumpeter Swan T08-7223756.jpg

Muskrat c-u-.jpg

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On 3/11/2020 at 7:32 AM, RobinHood said:

My last post on this topic Charlie, honestly.

My $0.01 - I won't annoy you any more.

Something about that sounds familiar...

59 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

Definitely my last post on this thread, I will never come back, honestly.

 

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Posted (edited)

@RobinHood Your definitely not annoying me, and do not think anybody else.

You posts have been helpful to me.

Edited by Kevin

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Posted (edited)

I swear I am never coming out of 'P' mode again.  the camera picked ISO-100, f5.5, 1/800.

Fit to screen:

P1090191.JPG

Crop of actual size.

image.png.0f018090c82c7b28682a61d900a963bb.png

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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