This article shares a collection of six consecutive photographs of a killdeer in flight at Hendrie Valley, captured with an E-M1X. All images were captured handheld using the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking.
During a recent visit to Hendrie Valley I found myself on the bridge that overlooks the ponds. I heard the call of a killdeer… quickly glanced to my right… and noticed the bird flying against a busy background of trees. The killdeer in flight was approximately 35 metres away (~115 feet).
All I had time to do was bring my E-M1X up to my eye and quickly find the killdeer in my viewfinder. The E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking immediately drew a white box around the killdeer.
Without waiting to half depress my shutter release to formally acquire auto focus on the killdeer, I fully depressed my shutter release and fired off a short burst of images.
My E-M1X did a good job acquiring auto-focus on the killdeer in flight and all of my 6 ‘quick grab’ photographs were usable for the web, although all of them were subject to very severe crops.
Here is a full frame capture (resized for web use) of the entire scene so readers can get a better sense of the photographic scenario.
I’ve been using the E-M1X’s Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking for the vast majority of my bird photography for a number of months now. During this period I’ve captured over 35,000 photographs and have been slowly learning about what to expect from this technology under different shooting scenarios.
I would usually half-depress my shutter release and wait for the ‘green box’ confirmation of acquiring auto-focus. However, in this type of ‘quick grab’ scenario I’m not shy about immediately firing off a burst of images once my E-M1X has drawn a white box around the target, like this killdeer in flight.
To do this successfully I need to make an instant decision about the clarity of the bird in my viewfinder. If it looks sharp when Bird AI draws a white box around it, I fire away. More often than not my E-M1X will still produce usable photographs… even though I haven’t completely followed proper technique.
Here are the 6 consecutive photographs from my ‘quick grab’ image run. All have been severely cropped to about 2000 pixels on the width, then resized for web use.
The takeaway from this article is not to be shy about pushing our camera gear and breaking a few rules to see what it can do for us. There will be times when an image run may fail… but there will be others when our camera equipment will perform well under challenging scenarios. And, may even surprise us! Either way, there is good learning available.
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 of the original images are indicated where appropriate.
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