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R5 Settings that increase likelihood of camera finding bird in sky?


I have a Canon R5 and often take photos of birds in flight and to help finding birds in sky I use an Olympus EE-1 Dot Sight. When the dot sight is aligned, it is excellent. However, it is easy to knock the dot sight off centre.

I'm wondering if there's a better way of finding birds in the sky? Would be brilliant if the viewfinder could be used as a dot sight.



I’m not familiar with that tool.  It seems to be for exclusive use with the Olympus brand.

It takes practice to learn how to use a super telephoto lens effectively.  You have to grow accustomed to looking at the world through a straw and have a very steady hand.  I can grow fatigued fairly quickly, so I use a tripod or monopod to stabilize a heavy camera/lens combo.

Some photographers with long lenses use the lens barrel as a sight line.  Some prefer using a zoom lens, so that they can zoom out, get their bearings, and then zoom in on the subject.  

It takes practice.  The camera will only point in the directions that you aim it.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


What I do to assist aim for BIF and any other bird, particularly if they are in clutter, is use the flash shoe as my rear sight and the center top of the lens hood as the forward sight to find my target. I normally shoot with either a 100-400mm L on my DSLR's or the 100-500mm L on my MILC's. I will sometimes use a 1.4X extender on both, which makes my FoV even more narrow. My subject won't always be in the center when I put my eye back on the VF, but close enough to quickly spot.

As for focusing, for perched birds, I use the fine AF point and sometimes with eye tracking, but that depends on distance and how active the bird is. If at a comfortable distance, I just use the fine AF point. For BIF, I use the Face+Tracking AF selection found in the AF Method selection menu of the R5, with subject set to Animal. If I am steady that day (I have tremors), I will use the "Expand AF area: Around" which is the single center point with eight additional points.

As you get more experience, it will get easier. Kind of like a sharpshooter who can hit a target from the hip without using the sights to aim 🙂



EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.
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