Project 366 – Post No. 030 – Deadeye Robin

What is Project 366? Read more here!

I had been bushwhacking along the trails and through the brush at the Whitemud Creek for a few hours and the sun was getting low in the sky. I had just finished checking part of the trail where Pileated Woodpeckers often hang out (with no luck). As I started heading back a quick bout of chirping in the shrubbery along the trail caught my attention. The twilight made it tricky to find the culprit, but there it was – an American Robin sitting in a Mountain Ash just minding its own business. Initially I did not reach for my camera as I already have plenty of pictures of robins and it was getting too dark to take pictures anyway. The robin was, however, sitting completely still, almost like it was posing for me so I figured that I could at least try to get a picture of it. While I did have the camera on a monopod I figured that the chances of the pictures turning our would be quite slim. It was getting dark and there was jumble of twigs and branches between me and the robin. I doubted the camera would be able to focus properly through the shrubbery in the low light. To my surprise the camera nailed the focus immediately. At 1/60s (which is a really long exposure at 705mm zoom) and ISO 500 (which is a sure recipe for grainy images lacking detail) the exposure settings were a bit challenging to say the least. I ended up only taking a few pictures. When I inspected the images back at the car I was astonished. Every single image was razor sharp (by P1000 standards), the exposure was spot on and the the bokeh was awesome. The P1000 really throws me for loops at times. Only a few days earlier I had been shooting Ospreys in transmission towers under, what would be considered, ideal conditions (a backdrop of a bright blue sky, no interfering shrubbery, etc.). Despite this, I had great difficulty coaxing the camera into focusing properly (both with auto focus and manual focus) and the pictures came out unacceptably soft. For a brief moment the robin made me feel like a deadeye, but the truth is that I am still not able to wrap my head around why the camera struggled with the osprey in what should have been ideal conditions but nailed the robin in the twilight.

On a side note. This post is #30 of my Project 366. One month down, eleven to go. Congratulations to…, me! Keep up the great work. 😁

Nikon P1000, 705mm equivalent, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 500

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.

8 thoughts on “Project 366 – Post No. 030 – Deadeye Robin

  1. Here’s BSS explained (not quite the same as how it’s implemented on the P900 but pretty close).

    I’m not happy they removed that function.

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  2. Holy Crap on a Cracker! The reason it’s not in the manual is that I just read the feature is not in the P1000. I wonder what other stuff they removed? I know they removed the GPS option as well.

    My first instinct is to assume it was removed to help the abysmally small battery last a tad longer.

    I should download the P1000 manual and review what’s in and what’s not in the camera because I’m still considering purchasing one.

    http://download.nikonimglib.com/archive3/p1044003Mxlb03LfolT87ntpHC83/P1000RM_(En)05.pdf

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  3. Hm, you thing all of this info would be in he manual that cane with the camera…, but it is not. Clearly I have lots to learn by trial and error and the helpful advice of other bloggers :-). Thanks. I’ll spend some quality time with my P1000 tonight to play around for these things. I do find, however, that using it on a daily basis over the last few weeks have already helped me to get better pictures.

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  4. If you have subject tracking on, I think it keeps the subject in focus as it moves but, otherwise, I don’t think so (but I don’t know). At the continuous fast, that’s shooting 10 per second (I think).

    What it’s meant to eliminate (I think) is blurring do to movement.

    Those bursts are pretty quick. The BSS rate is slower.

    If you don’t share large versions of the photos, there’s a number of other modes you might find useful. There is a mode that as long as you half-press the button, it will, once you take the photo, save the photo plus 4 or 5 shots from the previous few seconds. That’s great if you want to catch action shots as it eliminates the possibility you miss the shot due to shutter lag.

    These are all modes on the P900 but I assume they’re also on the P1000

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  5. I have the (P900) camera set at either “best shot selection” or “continuous low”. BSS means the camera will snap photos for as long as you hold your finger on the button and then only keep “the best one” whatever that means.

    In that mode, I will take two or three different sets (meaning, I hold the button down for at least four-five shots and repeat the process two or three times to end up with two or three photos).

    The continuous low is basically a controlled burst shot. As you hold the button down, it takes multiple shots. I take a burst of three or four, repeat two-three times and end up with 9 to 12 photos I then inspect and choose which to keep.

    The BSS mode is by far the one I use most although it’s not always available depending on other settings.

    I also almost always shoot either center-weighted or spot metering and limit the ISO range to a maximum of 800. I also change the focus area to either small or medium as I want to control exactly what I focus on (small can be a challenge for subjects at full zoom).

    If the conditions are bad (low light) I will take a few photos with my customized settings and a few in the full-Auto mode. Usually, I get something decent if not stellar.

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