Three Little Birds...in Slow Motion

June 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment


May/June: Awesome time of the year to go bird watching because I think they are the most active building nests, attracting mates and of course raising little chicks. I haven't had a lot of time in the past few weeks due to work travel but I'm sneaking in some outdoor time in-between. I delayed this post, waiting out Fujifilm's re-release of Firmware 4.0 for the X-T2 camera. I initially downloaded the now recalled Firmware only to hear a week later of the issues. As I was in transit there really wasn't a good time to reset the camera. Actually I haven't experienced any real problems except for the flickering EVF...no lock-ups etc. so I carried on using it as-is. I'll wait until it's released again before doing a more in-depth review.

The above video: F-LOG/1080P 120 FPS | XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens and conformed to a 1080P 24P timeline. Also since it was shot at a high frame rate the audio wasn't recorded. I did some sound design and artificially added some in along with the soundtrack. One of these days I'll get around to making a post about how I do that. For right now the short answer is a Zoom H5 field recorder paired with a boom mic for the bird calls and background sounds. A few of the other clips (crickets etc) were from a stock library...another thing I should get around to doing, building my own sound library for these kinds of situations.

I also included a couple of clips filmed with the old Firmware using the Pro Neg Hi Film Simulation at (-1, -1, -1 Saturation/Sharpness/Contrast) for comparison. In case some of you don't know what F-LOG is...it's Fujifilm's FLAT PROFILE, essentially a near equivalent of a RAW file with the objective being to provide the most dynamic range while filming and flexibility for later editing/color-grading.

XF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRXF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

400mm | F/5.6 | 1/250 seconds | ISO 800 

This Yellow Warbler was just singing it's heart out calling for a mate (I know the feeling buddy...keep up the good work). My birder friend and I were loading our kayaks unto his truck when I heard the singing. I basically dropped the boat, ran back to the vehicle and got the XF100-400mm...about a 10 minute hike. When I returned he was still darting around the general spot and posed for this shot.

XF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRXF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

400mm | F/5.6 | 1/800 seconds | ISO 400

Caspian Terns are among my favourite birds to photograph...also the most frustrating. I've been trying for several years on end to make a capture of one snatching a fish out of the water. This one posed up pretty nicely while calling out for her mate who brought a small fish shortly after I captured this image.

XF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRXF100-400 F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WRLeigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca

386mm | F/7.1 | 1/1000 seconds | ISO 800

Sparrows are fairly common in Southern Ontario but I do wish that I still had a backyard to set up a perch...these little guys are gorgeous up against a clean background. This one kind of snuck up on me while I was stalking a swan...wish I had the presence of mind to open up on the aperture and blur those twigs a little more.

Although preliminary, the firmware has been pretty good. My autofocus has been a little faster and much more sure. I used to tease the company about that "Fuji Shuffle" where the lenses would shimmy back and forth hunting for focus lock. Those concerns are long gone, far in the rearview mirror. 


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