Squirrels with Bird AI

This article discusses photographing squirrels with Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking and shares a selection of new handheld images recently captured at LaSalle Park in Burlington Ontario.

NOTE: Click on image to enlarge.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 6 metres

After I began using my first E-M1X in June 2019 I did some experimentation with Intelligent Subject Tracking to see if I could use it for other subjects.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 186 mm, efov 372 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 4.2
metres

At that time it was using the Airplane mode to photograph birds-in-flight. I had some success with that approach, but not sufficient to use it on a regular basis.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 7 metres

Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking was introduced in November 2020. It took me some time to fully adapt my technique to this technology. I’m now at the point that I use it most of the time for both static and birds in free flight. The only exception is when I use Pro Capture H.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 3.2 metres

I haven’t had much opportunity to experiment using Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking with other animals. It occurred to me that this technology may work well with other static animals as long as their eyes were clearly visible.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 6.7 metres

So I did a little experiment with Bird Detection AI photographing some squirrels. It worked extremely well as long as the eye of the squirrel was clearly visible. As is my standard practice with birds, I used a small, single AF point placed appropriately in the frame, and shot in continuous auto-focus +tracking at 18 frames-per-second using silent shutter.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/400, ISO-6400, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 4.4 metres

Bird Detection AI quickly locked onto the eye of the squirrel without any issue at all and held focus throughout short bursts of images. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns I haven’t had any opportunities to test this technology in other venues such as a public zoo. I anticipate that it will work equally well with other static animal subjects as long as their eye is clearly visible.

Technical Note:

Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Photographs are shown as full frame captures, reduced for web use. This is the 1,098th article published on this website since its original inception.

OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS @ 400 mm, efov 800 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO-4000, Bird Detection AI Subject Tracking, subject distance 5.1 metres

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6 thoughts on “Squirrels with Bird AI”

  1. The bird detection works great for Koi. Koi fish match the parameters for the bird detection AI perfectly.

    Note that your “Website” fill the blank below will not allow any posting of my websites. Keeps saying “you cannot copy contents of this page”.

    1. Hi Reno,

      Thanks for sharing your experience photographing koi. I think that we’ll find that the eye detection part of Bird AI will enable us to photograph a wide range of animals as long as we are close enough and the animal’s eye is visible.

      Our website does use various plug-ins to help combat spam as well as content theft. Every month we get thousands of spam attempts which would make it extremely onerous to try to control manually… not to mention subjecting our readers to these types of comments. Sorry that part of your comment wasn’t allowed. Trying to post live links on other websites in the comment section are usually not allowed by the plug-in.

      Tom

  2. I am always amazed by your photography, I don’t have EM1X, but am thinking I want that 100-400 lens. You sure seem to make it work.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Steve. The M.Zuiko 100-400 mm is a great lens that I am very much enjoying using. It is a perfect fit for where I am right now with my photography.

      Tom

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