The Nikon D500 Does Tree Swallows! - 17 Jul 2016

I took the Nikon D500 and 300/2.8 VRII down to Lake Erie Metropark to practice Group Autofocus and Rear Camera Autofocus. Of the ~700 shots I took approximately 300 were keepers (sharp focus) so I was very pleased w/ my performance. I spent the time next to shore near one of the nest boxes and tried photographing the swallows as they fed over the water.

Group Autofocus is supposed to help maintain tracking efficiency when birds pass into areas of busy backgrounds (foliage) and I have to say, it did very well once locked on. The trick is getting the birds locked in... It worked much better w/ larger subjects. But be forewarned, Group Autofocus focuses on the closest object, so its easy to lose eye-focus when a wing flap occurs. I noticed this yesterday when an Eastern Kingbird was perched on a tree - even though it was centered in the camera the focus was on a branch sticking forward. So, now I have the front camera function button set to Single-Point Autofocus for birds in denser foliage.

I can't believe how much fun I'm having w/ this camera...


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