This article features a selection of 14 consecutive images of a male mallard being overtaken in mid-air by a female. What makes this series remarkable was the the Bird Detection AI on my OM-D E-M1X was able to maintain focus on the male mallard even though the female flew past it in the foreground.
The Bird Detection AI of my OM-D E-M1X was locked on the head of the male mallard and ignored the female duck that had overtaken it in mid-air.
Other factors which make this series of images noteworthy to me is that they were captured handheld about 45 minutes before sunset in fading light at ISO-6400. My M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS zoom was fitted with the M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter. The combination was fully extended to 560 mm, or an equivalent field-of-view of 1120 mm.
Let’s have a look of this image run showing the male mallard being overtaken in mid-air. I was positioned about 40 metres from this mid-air action.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
In the first four photographs of the image run, the female mallard is not visible.
In frame 5 of the image run we can see the female mallard entering the scene. The following four frames show the male mallard being overtaken in mid-air, with the female mallard flying through the foreground of the scene. As you can see, the female mallard remains out-of-focus.
The artificial intelligence of the Bird Detection AI in my E-M1X is simply incredible to be able to ignore the female duck that flew through the foreground of the four photographs above.
The next three frames of the image run show the male mallard flying by itself with no obstructions in the foreground.
In frames 12 through 14 of the image run the male mallard flies past some distractions in the background. Once again the Bird Detection AI of my E-M1X does a stellar job ignoring those distractions and keeps locked on the male mallard.
I still have a lot of experimenting to do with the Bird Detection AI technology of my E-M1X before I become fully competent using it. These images were from my very first day using this incredible feature of my E-M1X. When I returned home and started to review these specific photographs I was astounded with how well Bird Detection AI could hold focus in this situation.
One of the reasons that I decided to invest in the OM-D E-M1X was the potential for birds to be added to its Subject Tracking AI capability. Now that it is here… it makes the 18 month wait worth every minute.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs were cropped to approximately 400 pixels on the width, then resized for web use. A lens module for the M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS lens was not yet available for DxO PhotoLab 4 at the time of writing this article.
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