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BIF Focusing Techniques

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So, last week I took possession of the Nikon z9. After playing around with it for a few days, I have come to the realization that what I thought was a focusing issue with my z7 and z7II may in fact be, in fact, an overall weakness of mirrorless cameras. For example. I am shooting small birds with the new Nikon 100-400mm z lens at about 30 to 40 feet. All of a sudden a a hawk flies overhead at approximately a hundred feet. I lift the camera into the air but, because the camera is focused at 30’, it’s impossible to locate the hawk. To make matters worse, the 100-400 has an electronic information panel that indicates focal distance, aperture, exposure compensation, etc.. that is activated with the push of a button. So, there is no way to tell what distance one is focused at without activating the display. This isn’t a problem with my 500PF as it has a focus recall button which I have programmed to focus at infinity with the push of a fn button on the lens. As soon as I would see a subject at a further distance than what i was shooting I could immediately recall the focus at infinity. This was never a problem with the d500 and d850 since they don’t have electronic viewfinders. I would be interested to hear from those of you that have had similar issues and if you have found a workaround.
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I'm not sure whether I should respond to this because I very rarely attempt to capture BIF. For me, BIF are perhaps the most difficult photos to do well. My take is that to spontaneously capture BIF, you need:

a) a camera/lens that very quickly (and automatically) focus on a subject (a BIF): a wide range of focus points (camera) and a lens that very quickly respond to these

b) camera settings that allow you to (automatically) focus on moving subjects (Canon: servo mode)


From your post, I get the impression that you're trying to 'manually preset/program/monitor' your BIF focus and exposures. I humbly suggest that you don't have time for this. Set up your camera to quickly locate (focus points) and track (Canon servo mode) a BIF with a fast shutter speed and hope for the best.


I have only an old DSLR so I've no idea how mirrorless cameras might be limited in BIF photos. But if the camera settings and camera-lenses response are equivalent to DSLR's, then perhaps there is hope

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