Birding & bird watching / Singapore / WS 101 Basic Photography workshop

How good is the camera image stabilizer and how to maximize it ?

How good is the camera image stabilizer and how to maximize it ?

Today I decided to go extra light in my bird photography equipment to photograph the Hooded Pitta at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I left my big lens and Gitzo tripod. I brought only my 70-300 walk about zoom (with image stabiliser)  and a Canon 60D. The light was very dim, the exposure was ISO3200, f/5.6, 1/13 sec at best.

I missed many shots either the bird was moving or I was shaking my hands holding my camera zoomed at 300 mm @ f/5.6 without tripod and any kind of support.

 

Hooded Pitta Singapore-2

Hooded Pitta, Singapore Botanic Gardens, ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/13 second Singapore with image stabiliser. Handheld.

 

Finally, I was lucky enough to get this shot. Hooded Pitta, Singapore Botanic Gardens, ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/13 second Singapore with image stabiliser. Handheld.

Based on my calculation, the lens should be able to capture a sharp image at 4 stops below 1/300 second. After waiting for almost 30 minutes, I had the chance. The Hooded Pitta came near and I fired 4-6 shots continuously. Mostly all rejects except one.

Hooded Pitta Singapore-1

Finally, Hooded Pitta at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/13 second handheld.

 

The lesson learned is :

1) Fire continuously for 4-6 shoots. ISO3200, f/5.6, 1/13 sec handheld.

2) Use a higher shutter speed will help to get better images.

3) Use tripod when possible or support camera elsewhere.

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2 thoughts on “How good is the camera image stabilizer and how to maximize it ?

  1. Dear John, I am only a newbie and dare not comment on what you wrote. I comment only because you responded on my Timeline on Facebook. As an elderly photographer, I always shoot on tripod with the minimal shutter speed, highest aperture to give the sharpest image for my lens and the lowest possible ISO depending on the ambient light. Nice meeting you this morning.

    • Hi Shunda, Good to have met you. You have taken many wonderful birds. We seemed to be going to the same places to photograph birds; I was in Thailand last week. Hope to meet you in Singapore soon.

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