Tuesday, 16 November 2010

My Initial D3s settings for Bird/Wildlife Photography

Ok here are my inital settings for the Nikon D3s. These are only initial they will get changed as I get used to the camera and all its functions but this is my starting configuration if you like. These settings were used on the images in the post post prior to this. Next time out I am toying with the idea of activating the Auto ISO to give me a minimum shutter speed of 1/750 or 1/1000.

I will shoot in A mode Aperture Priority Auto
To focus I will use the AF-On button only set via Custon Function a5 (This means the shutter button will calculate exposure and take the picture only).
Metering, I set to Matrix
Release mode, I set to CH Continuos High
AF mode, I set to C Continuos Servo
AF Area selector I start with it set to single point AF, I will then use Dynamic Area AF or Auto Area AF depending on the subject/movement and background
ISO I will set at 400 (ISO 200 should be used for optimal performance form the D3s sensor) and increase as the light levels drop.
White Balance WB I will set accordinly, however should it be a typical UK day where sun goes in/out at an annoying rate I will leave it set to zero
Image quality, I always shoot raw
14 bit lossless compression
Picture Control set to neutral
Colour Space Adobe RGB

Custom Functions I have changed from default.

a4,  I have selected AF 1 (short)  I might select this to off in the future, I could see this being useful in surfing photography where waves sometimes cross in front of the subject. But for BIF I think this is just another calculation that the AF system could do without processing.

a5 I have selected Af ON  only , this ensures AF can only be activated via the AF on button.  I think this really helps when your trying to focus especially on subjects flying across busy backgrounds, it is a new method for me and takes some getting used to but I think its better as I can make the decision where the AF starts/finishes (so long as I can keep the AF point(s) on the moving subject)

a7 Wrap, for me it is the quickest way to move around AF point selection

a8 I have set this to AF11 on this assumption this is a quicker way of moving across the AF points, I don't think it affects af points/area activation

b1, I have set to 1/2 step (just my preference)

b3  I have set to 1/2 EV (just my preference)

b4 On (auto reset) expourse compensation is set via the command dial without pressing the +/- button but resets to zero when the metering system de-energises.

d2 Both set to 9 fps

Feedback and suggestions are welcome and I will update as I go along. Please point out any glaring errors etc, it best for everyone if we share on information and experiences with these innovative camera's.

1 comment:

holdingmoments said...

Lot of technical info there Bob.
My Canon would be pretty similar, but I shoot AV mode mostly. Average White Balance, Auto ISO setting, metering from centre, and burst mode for shutter.
Occasionally override settings, depending on weather, and if the auto focus is struggling on what I want it to shoot lol
And I shoot in JPG, highest quality.
I tried RAW, but to be honest, I couldn’t see any difference when viewed on the net, or printed to the size I need.