One of the things of interest to folks who enjoy photographing birds, especially birds-in-flight, is the continuous auto-focus (AF-C) performance of a camera body. This article features some sample Nikon 1 V3 AF-C image runs of swans coming in for water landings.
The first run is of 22 consecutive images. These were captured at a focal length of 121mm, efov 326mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO-400. Since I use Manual setting with my V3 and an Auto-ISO of 160-3200 the ISO can shift marginally between images.
I did a very modest amount of image processing with all of the photographs in this article as my main intent with it is to demonstrate the AF-C capability of the Nikon 1 V3.
Some readers may find it interesting that I did not have the VR on my Nikon 1 CX 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens turned on for these AF-C image runs. After some experimentation I have discovered that I get better and more consistent image framing without the use of VR for this type of photography. I’m certainly not attempting to tell readers how they should use their camera gear – just simply sharing my experience.
The best way to view these AF-C images in succession is to click on the first one to enlarge it, then continue clicking through the balance of 21 remaining ones in this run.
All of the images in this article are 100% captures with no cropping done at all. All were captured hand-held in available light.
You can see in the image above that my V3 missed focus on the first photograph of this AF-C run.
Focusing is getting closer, but still not quite there in the photograph above.
As you can see in the photograph above, my V3 has now found focus. Let’s look at the balance of the AF-C image run.
Other than a portion of the yellow ID tag on the left wing being visible in the image above, this photograph is close to being usable.
Very small amount of yellow ID tag is visible on left wing. I like the ‘walking on the water surface’ position of the swan’s feet.
I personally like this capture. The yellow ID tag is barely visible and the swan is overflowing the frame giving the image a ‘close up and personal’ feeling.
Oops! I didn’t track with the bird as well as I should have and missed framing this photograph.
Almost have the bird framed correctly again.
If I would have photographed an untagged swan this would have been a nice capture.
Larger birds, like swans, are easier subjects for any camera with which to maintain focus. It can be a bit tricky for a camera to maintain focus with a bird drawing nearer as was the case with the V3 AF-C image run you have just viewed.
For those readers who are interested in another example the second AF-C run contains 40 consecutive images (I shot until my V3’s buffer filled). These were captured using a focal length of 204mm, efov 552mm, f/8, 1/2000, ISO-720. If you would like to see this longer AF-C run simply go to the next page of this article.