I went out this morning to do my first field test of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X Pro Capture mode. I can give you my summary evaluation right up front… photographing swallows taking flight with the E-M1X Pro Capture mode is so easy… it’s basically a “no brainer”.
To give readers a good idea about how I framed my photographs in order to use the E-M1X all of the images in this article are straight out-of-camera jpegs without any cropping. All of the swallows in this article were perched when I engaged the E-M1X Pro Capture Mode. I then fired off my Pro Capture Mode run of images as soon as the birds launched into flight.
The first set of sample images are 15 consecutive photographs captured using the High Pro Capture Mode (i.e. 18 frames per second in continuous auto-focus). All were captured using an Olympus OM-D E-M1X with the M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/6.3, 1/4000, ISO-500.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
The Olympus Pro Capture Mode begins recording image files as soon as you half depress the shutter and saves them in temporary memory. Once the shutter is pressed it locks in up to 35 pre-shutter images that have been spooling in temporary memory, then captures additional photographs. Photographers can set the number of pre-shutter images from 0 to 35.
Even if you press your shutter after the bird has left the frame, you will likely still get usable images. The swallow in the next photograph flew right past my shoulder. It had almost reached me by the time I pressed the shutter. This image was one of the ones stored in the E-M1X’s temporary memory. (EXIF data was the same as previous images expect ISO-1250)
Here are six more consecutive images from another High Pro Capture run… EXIF data the same except ISO-1600.
The E-M1X Pro Capture Mode (and also the E-M1 Mark II) basically removes guesswork and luck from the equation when trying to photograph birds taking off. Out of 7 attempts this morning, I got 7 successful image runs. This feature is really a “no brainer” for avid bird photographers.
If you are able to anticipate the flight direction of your subject bird you can move your focusing box to one side of the frame. This will provide more lateral room to capture a bird in flight. This is demonstrated in final sample AF-C image run of 12 photographs. The camera and lens settings are similar… EXIF differs slightly with f/8, 1/4000, ISO-2500.
I will certainly be doing more field testing with this function! Photographing swallows with E-M1X Pro Capture Mode is a ton of fun. This function changes photographing swallows taking off from something that was hit or miss at best – and turns it into an almost 100% certainty.
I had read about the Olympus Pro Capture Mode and thought it may be useful. Now that I’ve had some first hand experience using it, I can say that most bird photographers would absolutely love this capability.
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All of the photographs displayed in this article were produced from straight out-of-camera jpegs.
Use of Olympus Loaner Equipment
All of the photographs in this article were captured using Olympus Loaner Gear which was supplied by Olympus Americas Inc. on a no-charge basis. We are under no obligation what-so-ever to Olympus Americas Inc. in terms of our use of this loaner Olympus camera equipment. There is no expectation or agreement of any kind with Olympus Americas Inc. that we will create and share with readers any images, articles or videos, or on what that content may be.
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