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Camera/lens recommendations for BIF in low light

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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 05:41   #26
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The Fuji X-T2 (with the XF 100-400) seems to be a very attractive camera. I've just googled for it and its low-light abilities are often mentioned. I hope you'll occasionally post some of your owl and bat BIFs!
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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 08:34   #27
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Originally Posted by ialarmedalien View Post
.....I ended up buying a mirrorless system..... I'm now using a Fujifilm X-T2 + XF 100-400, which I'm very happy with ....
Congrats on the new system. It looks like ISO performance is near the Nikon D500, and you would have spent a similar amount of money to that camera equipped with a 200-500 f5.6. You're losing 150mm equivalent reach to that rig and some AF performance , but also ~1.3kg (nearly 3lb) in weight which is pretty handy.

It will be interesting to see what shots you come up with

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Old Friday 25th May 2018, 12:49   #28
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Originally Posted by ialarmedalien View Post
I'm now using a Fujifilm X-T2 + XF 100-400, which I'm very happy with; it has customisable continuous autofocus settings, the image quality and sharpness are excellent, SOOC JPGs look great, and I can put together an astro time-lapse movie without any effort.
I've been a Fuji "X" user since the day the first X100 hit the shelves. The current 24MP X-Trans sensors (I own 3 Fujis with these) have a 1 or 2-stop advantage over m4/3 when it comes to noise. You can check this out at DPReview by comparing the most recent m4/3 20MP sensors with current APS-C 24MP sensors. Look at both RAW and JPEG at different ISOs

With the X-T2 (or in my experience the Nikon D500 and D7200) you should have no problems shooting at ISO 3200 or 6400. This particular shot of my cat Psotka on Flickr is generally representative of the current sensor class at ISO 6400.

Time spent post-processing X-Trans will pay off. If you are using Windows, the Iridient RAW converter has worked best for me -- I'm playing with digiscoping now and shoot everything RAW with an X-T20. Find a good noise reduction application. One of the best sets of plugins is the Nik Collection (Once sold by Nik, then bought by Google and made available for free, then abandoned by Google and acquired up by DxO -- which filed for Chapter 11...But new software, including Nik, is supposed to be released within a few months.) You can download the pre-DxO versions from DxO's site. Check out Viveza, which allows simultaneous adjustment of brightness, contrast, saturation, and structure.

I have some camera trials albums on Flickr. Included in each are some high ISO shots. Not birding photos, but you can pixel-peep and for some of them I added notes on the PP: Fuji X100F / Nikon D7200 / Nikon D500

Last edited by ljclark : Friday 25th May 2018 at 17:37.
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Old Sunday 27th May 2018, 06:23   #29
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@Chosun Juan I do have a 1.4 TC for extra reach, although most of the time I haven't needed it. The light weight of the rig is definitely appreciated; it's easy to handle and carry around, so I don't need to think twice about taking it out on walks, etc.

@ljclark Thanks for the tips and links. I haven't really explored RAW post-processing much yet - I used to use DxO with my Panasonic, but haven't spent the necessary time to properly try out the different X-Trans processing software options. I have the Nik software, but also need to dedicate some time to learning to use it effectively (although I'm good at using it ineffectively!). With the improved weather and longer daylight hours, sitting at my laptop going through tutorials is a lot less attractive than going out to take photos! :S

I've attached a few photos (cropped, resized for the forum) taken with the new gear for comparison with those at the top of the thread.
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Last edited by ialarmedalien : Sunday 27th May 2018 at 06:26. Reason: adding attachments
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Old Tuesday 29th May 2018, 16:54   #30
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Excellent photos, the Barn owl is a shocker. But apparently the UK is a special place: "The barn owl is nocturnal over most of its range, but in Britain and some Pacific islands, it also hunts by day." (Wikipedia)
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