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Sony RX10iii for birding/wildlife (1 Viewer)

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
After a couple of weeks of research on how to replace my much loved but ageing Canon SX50 I took the plunge on Friday and bought a Sony RX10iii on the day the new stock arrived in Hong Kong. My motivation was to try to increase the overall image quality by moving to a camera with a larger sensor, even at the expense of the excellent telephoto zoom range of the SX50.

This morning was my first chance to give it a try, and while it is clear I have much to learn about finding the right settings - and indeed how to use the camera at all - I was delighted to nail a few decent shots.

These are of course common parkland birds that allow close approach, so did not really test the full capabilities of the RX10iii, but they did provide an indication of the exciting potential of this new camera.


Cheers
Mike
 

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Sharpbill

Well-known member
Hi Mike,
I am thinking of splashing out on an RX10 111 for an up-coming trip. Were the shots on your Sokoke Forest thread taken with this camera? Were they (and the ones above) shot in RAW?
Thanks, John
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
About time I got this thread going again. First up, some pix from my summer trip to Kenya.

Cheers
Mike
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
And a few mammals from the same trip.
 

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MalR

Well-known member
Some cracking pictures there.:t: You seem to be getting the best out of the camera. Have you had much chance to use the clear image zoom, and if so, what are your thoughts?

Malcolm
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Many thanks Malcolm.

To be honest the mammals are relatively easy as you can pretty much drive up to them. The sterner test comes with trying to nail passerines in cluttered habitats and worse air quality in Hong Kong

Clear image zoom is my default setting, but I have also just started to play with Smart Zoom, which provides:
1. an additional 4x magnification when you reduce image size to small (5 mega pixels) - equivalent of 2400mm and
2,. an additional 2.4x magnification when image size is set to Medium (10 mega pixels) - equivalent to about 1400mm

The shot of the Black-headed Buntings was taken on this high zoom/small size setting.

The Forest Wagtail shows the capability for attractive shots in low light, and the Crested Goshawk, which was taken in the same woodland, and a shot I'm really pleased with, the ability to get really sharp images in variable light.

By way of contrast the two wader shots were in very different light conditions, but from the same site (Pui O).

Cheers
Mike
 

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etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Many thanks Malcolm.

To be honest the mammals are relatively easy as you can pretty much drive up to them. The sterner test comes with trying to nail passerines in cluttered habitats and worse air quality in Hong Kong

Clear image zoom is my default setting, but I have also just started to play with Smart Zoom, which provides:
1. an additional 4x magnification when you reduce image size to small (5 mega pixels) - equivalent of 2400mm and
2,. an additional 2.4x magnification when image size is set to Medium (10 mega pixels) - equivalent to about 1400mm

The shot of the Black-headed Buntings was taken on this high zoom/small size setting.

The Forest Wagtail shows the capability for attractive shots in low light, and the Crested Goshawk, which was taken in the same woodland, and a shot I'm really pleased with, the ability to get really sharp images in variable light.

By way of contrast the two wader shots were in very different light conditions, but from the same site (Pui O).

Cheers
Mike

Very fine shots! Sony should use them for their marketing.
Impressive performance even in backlit conditions.
 

Sharpbill

Well-known member
Hi Mike,

Finally bought a Sony RX10 III and received it today. Appallingly gloomy, rainy weather so didn't take it outside. My first shot was this Woodpigeon taken through a patio window at 1/250, 600mm, 5000 ISO and was hand held. Looking forward to learning much more about the intricacies of this camera.

Cheers, John
 

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Sharpbill

Well-known member
Getting the hang of this camera a little more. Still groping around a bit though. Some nice subjects this weekend in decent weather. All handheld at 600mm. The Barn Owl was taken in approaching darkness at dusk, not brilliant but only 1/13th second exposure.

(The preening Snow Buntings on posts were taken with an iPhone down a telescope, but included because I like the photo ;) )

John
 

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MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Some great shots John, and many thanks to etudiant for your kind words - high praise indeed!

John - the pigeon is a fine shot through glass, you've caught the Waxwing in a great pose and that owl is really evocative.

Stephen Ingraham has written about using the RX10iii to shoot birds in flight here:

http://psnp.lightshedder.com/?p=998

He helpfully includes his settings.

Shooting owls in flight at night is way beyond the level of my ambitions right now but I did get my first reasonable shots of a BIF a few days ago - of an Oriental Pratincole on my airport patch. I did better when it was on the ground and typically confiding.

I almost forgot I was also pleased with my BIF shot of a Siberian Crane - something of a mega in HK!

Cheers
Mike
 

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Sharpbill

Well-known member
Thanks for the comments Mike and also the useful link to birds in flight photography.

I am mainly a point and click photographer and wondered if you could offer any advice on your preferred settings.

One thing I notice is this camera seems to be battery hungry. I have bought an external charger and a couple of spares but, as I predominantly use the electronic view finder, I would also like to disable the the monitor 'live view' whilst shooting to preserve battery life.
I have bought the Kindle version of Alexander White's book and am aware that it is possible to switch the monitor on and off via the menu (fig 7-39). However, this also means that images cannot be reviewed until the monitor is switched on again.
One alternative that should be possible it to add 'monitor on/off' to a function button but I haven't worked it out yet. Have you tried this or hit on any solution to improve battery life.

Cheers John
 
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Zackiedawg

Well-known member
Yes nikonmike - the RX series can both shoot and play back images in the EVF or LCD...when playing back images, you can zoom in, move around, etc through the EVF just like on the LCD.
 

Sharpbill

Well-known member
Thanks Nikonmike and Zackiedawg, You are correct and the full display is visible through the EVF when the monitor is disabled. In an ideal world I would like to turn off the monitor to save battery but have it instantly available when reviewing.

I have discovered that 'Deactivate Monitor' is assignable to a function button - I used 'Down' on the control wheel and this now acts as a toggle on/off switch. Trouble is that, in use, if you brush near the eye sensor with hand or clothing it automatically re-activates. Still it is a partway solution to preserving battery life.
Cheers John
 

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Very much a point and shoot guy myself John.

This week is a little intense, but I have a 9-day break starting Saturday and will map out all my settings - all though most of them are straight out of the factory.

I struggle to find the patience to do well with manuals and am keen to figure out how to switch with one button between high and media or low quality so that I can grab the extra zoom reach more quickly when needed.

I would also like to know where the zoom assist is as I miss this feature from my Canon SX50.

Here's a couple of shots from a work trip to Dubai in October.

Cheers
Mike
 

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Sharpbill

Well-known member
Very much a point and shoot guy myself John.

This week is a little intense, but I have a 9-day break starting Saturday and will map out all my settings - all though most of them are straight out of the factory.

I struggle to find the patience to do well with manuals and am keen to figure out how to switch with one button between high and media or low quality so that I can grab the extra zoom reach more quickly when needed.

I would also like to know where the zoom assist is as I miss this feature from my Canon SX50.

Here's a couple of shots from a work trip to Dubai in October.

Cheers
Mike

Hi Mike,

I am very much a novice with this camera but I think what you want (Zoom Assist) is not in the up-front menus, you have to dig deeper and assign to a function key.

Try this,
In the second block of menu functions (the cog wheel symbol) go to Menu 5
Scroll down to Custom Key (Shoot.)
Choose a button to customise, I chose Custom Button 3
You now see a whole new range of customisable options
Keep scrolling down and select to Zoom Assist

Now, when C3 is pressed it zooms in but, for me, not far enough

Unhelpfully the 'range of zoom assist' is placed in an entirely different part of the menu system.

Go to the first block of menu functions (camera symbol)
Across to Menu 6
Scroll down to Rng. of Zoom Assist
Mine was set on S and I changed it to L

Hope this helps, just sat at my computer and not had a chance to try it in the field yet.

I assume your second query related to quickly changing from Optical Zoom to Clear Image Zoom or Digital Zoom. I also would like to assign this to a custom button but have not yet found out how. Anyone else out there have a solution?

Cheers, John
 

Sharpbill

Well-known member
I should have added that for reasons known only to Sony longer, or shorter, lists of customisable functions are available depending on which button you assign. Zoom Assist is not on all customisable menus (Cannot be assigned to 'Left' on the centre wheel for example). Complicated isn't it?

Cheers, John
 

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