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A little help?

cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
22 Nov 2021 5:07PM
Have been trying to use Manual mode (including manual focus) and sort of getting to grips, but had this opportunity this evening to capture this bird just outside our house (a Merlin, I believe).

Happy enough to get a discernible shot, but looking for suggestions as to how I could have improved sharpness, given the poor light (shot at about 16:00hrs, very poor light).

ISO is set to Auto, which jumped up to 12800...f6.3 and speed 1/320....
(Using OMD Olympus EM10 MK11 with an Olympus 12-200)

Would upping the speed help?

Regards Jeff 😁
sherlob Plus
16 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2021 5:40PM
Hi Jeff,

A little more info would help. E.g.focal length being used. Perhaps also add the resulting image.

An initial thought - yes using the shutter speed may help, but tbh when you shoot at high ISO's you can lose a lot of image detail. I'm not up on my micro 4/3 system performance, but the last time I looked (2020) I was put off by what was a relatively poor high ISO noise performance. Things may have moved on.

Obviously, the other way to up shutter speed is to have a faster lens, but these come at a price premium.

Hope this helps.
cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
22 Nov 2021 5:57PM
Hi Adam

Sorry, meant to load the shot!🤭 here it is..16933_1637603808.jpg

Lens at 200mm
22 Nov 2021 6:18PM
I always try to shoot my bird pics with a tripod.
dropping down to f4 or the lowest number your lens will go would have brought in more light and lowered the iso a little.

I think given the conditions this would have just been a record shot and not one for photo of the week.
Always good to get a bird picture thoughSmile

cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
22 Nov 2021 6:31PM
Thanks, Steve...a fleeting had gone within 30 secs..

Take the point about the f number 😁
dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 835 England
22 Nov 2021 8:28PM
The softness is due to the high ISO, so it looks, on this shot at least, camer movement wasn;t an issue.

That said, a faster speed (I guess you mean shutter speed) wouldn't go amiss. But that would mean pumping the ISO up further unless your lens can go any wider at the long end.

Going Manual is worth trying out, but it's really only useful in some situations (for example using stufio flash).

Though you're not using Manual because you have Auto ISO so he camera is still making exposure decisions. Proper full Manual means you set everything.

All that said, whatever mode you chose the lighting conditions were against you and you've done well to get something even if it's just to say that bird visited briefly, which is sometimes enough.
cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 30 Northern Ireland
22 Nov 2021 9:28PM
Thanks, Keith

The lens has it's limitations as it's trying to perform many different things..but having said that I think it would probably open up a little more. My version of Auto ISO was borrowed from another blog that suggested altering the Auto settings to 'All' allows Auto ISO... accepting that's not the normal model.

It's strange but I've been using Aperture priority for several years, but it never quite hits the mark...I like manual focus but it's not good when the subject won't sit still!!🤣🤣

My photography is very eclectic, so I'll probably have to learn to switch modes depending on the circumstances...

Thanks for everyone's input..and forebearance 😁


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