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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

advice on settings please (1 Viewer)


Active member
After years of putting up with cheap and primative cameras i have retired from work and treated myself to a canon eos 90d , a canon 100 to 400 zoom and a standard 50mm f/1.8.

Have experimented a bit with manual focus and understand how to get certain bits out of focus. Dont want to be lazy and have camera and/or lens on auto because unlike manual a half press on shutter shows everything in focus , or am i looking at this wrong.

I would apreciate any advice you could give me on suggested setting for static or in flight shots for birds.

Later in the year the big lens will be used for dolphins in scotland
Last edited:

Dave Williams

Well-known member
Manual and auto-focus shouldn't make any difference to the end result, it's a) where you focus on in the frame and b) which f stop you use.
The wider the aperture the more light you let on to the sensor which in turn means a lower ISO so less noise which is usually more apparent in the dark areas of the shot.
However, the wider the aperture the less depth of field which also varies from one lens to another. Depth of field is the area in focus.
Try experimenting with different settings to see the results. I was advised to go manual with everything right from the start but I have to admit in the last few years of higher ISO performance, particularly on my model of camera body, I tend to use auto -ISO and let the camera select the appropriate one depending on which f stop and shutter speed I use.
Shutter speed is purely to freeze , or if you wanted to, deliberately blur motion in the end picture. Again, the higher the shutter speed, the less light that hits the sensor and consequently it pushes the ISO and might cause more noise in the end result.
That is the very basic description of how a camera works. Most DSLR's have similar features that allow auto settings to compensate for a selected aperture ( AV in Canon) or Shutter speed (TV). Alternatively you can let the camera attempt to do everything (P) but that won't deliver the perfect shot in many instances or you can be the one who chooses everything (M).
Have a play and try all the settings, the beauty of digital is it cost nothing to try!


Active member
thanks for reply dave , I have booked a jessops beginner course but its not for another 5 weeks , plenty of time to play around I guess.

Geoff Pain

Rural Member
Have a look at Tim Boyer Photography he did settings for the 7Dmkii so I would think some would apply to your camera another to look for is Grant Atkinson.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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