Combining Imaging Technologies

This article discusses combining imaging technologies… specifically Pro Capture L with Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking.

I went to Grimsby harbour this morning with the specific purpose of testing how well Pro Capture L would work when combined with my E-M1X’s  Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking.

When I first bought my OM-D E-M1X I hoped that Olympus may add birds to its Intelligent Subject Tracking capability. I was intrigued with the prospect of combining imaging technologies to see what would happen.

After spending a couple of hours shooting test photographs I came away quite impressed with the potential of combining these imaging technologies on a regular basis.

Photographing birds-in-flight using Pro Capture L in combination with Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking is a very different experience. One that requires changes to shooting technique. I’ll need a lot more practice before combining these imaging technologies feels natural. My impression is that it will be worth the effort.

Before you view the photographs featured in this article I’ll give you a bit of background. I believe that all of the images are of the same gull, repeatedly dropping the same object in mid-air and diving after it. The bird was too distant for me to determine what was causing its abrupt mid-air dives while I was capturing these photographs. My E-M1X estimated that the distance to subject varied between 40 and 74 metres depending on the fly pass. The gull was flying over the open water of the harbour during all of these image captures.

It circled back a total of 6 times, dropping the same object with each pass, then diving in mid-air to retrieve it. I was able to capture usable images from each of its dives/retrievals. Combining the imaging technologies of Pro Capture L and Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking creates a powerful approach to capture birds-in-flight. Future articles will provide further comment.

I have divided the photographs based on the fly pass that yielded the image.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

First Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-500, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3648 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-500, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3124 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-500, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3258 pixels on the width

Second Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 483 mm, efov 966 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3633 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 483 mm, efov 966 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3335 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 483 mm, efov 966 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3331 pixels on the width

Third Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2864 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3146 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 560 mm, efov 1120 mm, f/9, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3348 pixels on the width

Fourth Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3076 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3076 pixels on the width

Fifth Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2467 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2605 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2843 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-640, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2778 pixels on the width

Sixth Pass…

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-400, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 2601 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-400, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3396 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-400, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3426 pixels on the width
OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS with M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter @ 359 mm, efov 718 mm, f/8.7, 1/2000, ISO-400, Pro Capture L, Bird Detection AI, cropped to 3287 pixels on the width

I have no idea why this particular gull was behaving in this manner. Perhaps it was a young bird playing around, or practising mid-air retrievals.

The fact that I was able to reliably capture usable photographs from each fly pass that the gull made indicates to me that combining the imaging technologies of Pro Capture L and Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking has interesting potential, and deserves further investigation.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted for each photograph.

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8 thoughts on “Combining Imaging Technologies”

  1. I believe the Ring-billed Gull is playing. Birds do play! Also, this play could, as you suggest, improve its skills at catching objects in the air, which is a very important feeding strategy for these birds …they grab insects in emergent swarms and many of them are quite small. They will return to the colony and regurgitate large balls of such insects, representing many individuals. Ring-billed Gulls are very opportunistic … a discarded French fry, insects, garbage, and when available, small fish. Like all of us, they need protein.

    Great series of images Tom.

  2. Hi Thomas,

    Wish I could, one fine day, approach that kind of results, when I’m grown up in birds photography, perhaps – providing I live long enough to …
    In the meantime, I might consider taking that gull as a model, for patience, practice and perseverence

    Thanks for your always inspiring posts
    Stay safe and enjoy life

    1. Hi Vic,

      I agree that the gull is a great model for patience, practice and perseverance! It’s good to hear that you are enjoying the articles!

      Enjoy and stay safe too!

      Tom

  3. Great captures. Technically they are excellent. I use the same settings but ‘only’ have the 300 f4 and don’t have a harbour/ beach at the moment.
    I was wondering did the gull drop the object to the ground (in order to crack a mollusc shell) or was it catching it. I could understand the former but if the latter it might well be worth videoing for a wider audience.
    Thanks for this blog, there are some excellent examples that demonstrate both your and the camera’s capabilities

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for your comment! I added some clarification to the article by noting that the gull was flying over the open water of the harbour for all of these images. The gull was repeatedly catching the object in mid-air.

      I’ve been enjoying using my M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 and find it perfect for my needs, especially when used with the M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter.

      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the website!

      Tom

  4. As we photographers need to practice if we want to get good photos of birds in flight, so the birds need to practice if they want to make the most of opportunities they may have to obtain food. LOL! Thanks for your interesting articles.

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