BIF with the Z series

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I have my Z7 for a couple of months and now that I am used to it, I want to give it a go at wildlife photography. There's a place in the Netherlands which I will visit where there are a lot of birds. There's also a big chance to photograph an Osprey while fishing. I still have my D500, but stupid as I am ... I want to give my Z7 a go, to see for myself how good (or bad) it is. I will be using my 80-400 or 200-500.

Anyone here tried the Z series for such type of photography? I imagine you need to predict a bit since there's an EVF lag?

I wonder which AF area mode will be the best?

I'm leaning towards wide area (small) .... would this be the best choice? I'm not sure dynamic area will be better. I have read very mixed opinions about this one. The auto af area mode with subject tracking is out of the question, since you need to press the OK button (or use your finger on the screen) to activate the subject tracking. That's a bit stupid to be honest ...
 
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You actually only need to press ok to start it in the mode, but it will start lock on when you half press the shutter. While not an optimal approach, it is quite usable once you get used to it.

I'd say for focus mode try wide area small first.
 
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The size of the AF box will be determined by the size of the bird being photographed, but I would start with the Dynamic AF mode. As for the Auto AF mode, while you can press OK, I've had good luck using it by simply placing the AF box over the subject and pressing "AF-ON" on the back of the camera. It may be worth giving this a shot as well.

I would also bring the D500 along so that you could get a true side-by-side comparison of how the Z7 does against one of the best focusing DSLRs.
 
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Fairfax, Virginia
I have my Z7 for a couple of months and now that I am used to it, I want to give it a go at wildlife photography. There's a place in the Netherlands which I will visit where there are a lot of birds. There's also a big chance to photograph an Osprey while fishing. I still have my D500, but stupid as I am ... I want to give my Z7 a go, to see for myself how good (or bad) it is. I will be using my 80-400 or 200-500.

Anyone here tried the Z series for such type of photography? I imagine you need to predict a bit since there's an EVF lag?

I wonder which AF area mode will be the best?

I'm leaning towards wide area (small) .... would this be the best choice? I'm not sure dynamic area will be better. I have read very mixed opinions about this one. The auto af area mode with subject tracking is out of the question, since you need to press the OK button (or use your finger on the screen) to activate the subject tracking. That's a bit stupid to be honest ...
Kattekrab - You might want to consider purchasing Thom Hogan's Z6-7 guide. I purchased his books for the D200, D800, and D810 and each book provided a detailed discussion of the focus modes for each camera. I found the information very helpful and still refer back to the 810 Guide when a question comes up. You download them as PDF files so even though they are extensive manuals it is very easy to search for information on various topics. If you go to his site; bythom.com there is also an interesting discussion on his safari to Africa shooting strictly with the Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. Although my photography skills and knowledge are pretty limited, his bird shots look fine to me. I hope this is helpful.
 
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Kattekrab - You might want to consider purchasing Thom Hogan's Z6-7 guide. I purchased his books for the D200, D800, and D810 and each book provided a detailed discussion of the focus modes for each camera. I found the information very helpful and still refer back to the 810 Guide when a question comes up. You download them as PDF files so even though they are extensive manuals it is very easy to search for information on various topics. If you go to his site; bythom.com there is also an interesting discussion on his safari to Africa shooting strictly with the Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. Although my photography skills and knowledge are pretty limited, his bird shots look fine to me. I hope this is helpful.
I am reading Darell Young's book Mastering The Nikon Z7, but I need to be honest. It's like reading a really extensive manual. I'm already through the autofocus modes, and while they explain what they are and how they work, there's nothing written on which to use for what occasion. So Tom's guide does that better?

I've already read his safari article. It was a nice read. :)
 
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What lens would you use for your BIF on your Z7? I have to find a use for that 12fps on my Z6, fall migration is starting to pick up down here.
Though question :)

The 80-400 is much easier to handle because it's lighter. It's also more flexibel so I don't need to carry a 70-200 with me for example. Also the AF is faster / snappier than the 200-500. On the other side, I prefer the image quality of the 200-500. The bokeh is creamier, while the bokeh on the 80-400 is more nervous. They're both very sharp, so no preference there. I also need to admit, I'm thinking of selling the 200-500 and buying a 500 PF. I can't remember when I used the 200-500 for another focal range than 500mm ...

Keep in mind, this is my personal experience with the 2 lenses.
 
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I've used auto area mode for BIF if the background is open to start and it works quite well. I hardly ever use the tracking via the ok button.

For other situations its wide area small which is essentially like the old group focusing.
 
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I am reading Darell Young's book Mastering The Nikon Z7, but I need to be honest. It's like reading a really extensive manual. I'm already through the autofocus modes, and while they explain what they are and how they work, there's nothing written on which to use for what occasion. So Tom's guide does that better?

I've already read his safari article. It was a nice read. :)
Kattekrab - I think it might. I went back and did a quick check on Thom's discussion of the D810 auto focus system and he provides an extensive discussion on how the system works as well as how the use of the AF modes and settings can affect your results and when to be wary about using a particular setting, e.g., the need to have a big subject in the view finder if you use AF-C, 51 point. This may not be what you are looking for but his discussion does provide more than just how the AF system works.
 
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I believe that Thom's book has the best and most useful AF instructions and explanation for the Z6/Z7. There is a lot there and worth of a second or 3rd read! He includes some practice tips for helping you improve and/or decide which setting works best for your type of shooting. Money well spent.
 
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Though question :)

The 80-400 is much easier to handle because it's lighter. It's also more flexibel so I don't need to carry a 70-200 with me for example. Also the AF is faster / snappier than the 200-500. On the other side, I prefer the image quality of the 200-500. The bokeh is creamier, while the bokeh on the 80-400 is more nervous. They're both very sharp, so no preference there. I also need to admit, I'm thinking of selling the 200-500 and buying a 500 PF. I can't remember when I used the 200-500 for another focal range than 500mm ...

Keep in mind, this is my personal experience with the 2 lenses.
I've been going back and forth over this for a few days. I remember renting the 80-400 a few years ago and thought it was heavy. 200-500 is a couple pounds heavier (dont think i'll really notice). with the snappier focus on the 80-400, was it noticeably faster than the 200-500? I can buy the 200-500 immediately but would have to have 80-400 shipped (yea, i need instant gratification LOL) . I'll at least see how it feels first but i'm leaning real hard on the 200-500.
 
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I've been going back and forth over this for a few days. I remember renting the 80-400 a few years ago and thought it was heavy. 200-500 is a couple pounds heavier (dont think i'll really notice). with the snappier focus on the 80-400, was it noticeably faster than the 200-500? I can buy the 200-500 immediately but would have to have 80-400 shipped (yea, i need instant gratification LOL) . I'll at least see how it feels first but i'm leaning real hard on the 200-500.
I have read reviews which say the AF is the fastest on the 200-500, while others say the 80-400 is the best. Don't get me wrong, the 200-500 is not slow. It's in the details...

If you're not buying a 500mm prime, I would go for the 200-500. For that price you get a lot of lens, which is very sharp and you can't beat the extra 100mm!
 
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I’d actually lose 100 since I have the Tammy 150-600 but that’s not a bad thing. I went to a Best Buy today and the guy put it on a z6 for me. That thing is a beast! You still thinking of selling yours?
 
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I’d actually lose 100 since I have the Tammy 150-600 but that’s not a bad thing. I went to a Best Buy today and the guy put it on a z6 for me. That thing is a beast! You still thinking of selling yours?
I'm not sure what I will do. I'm in doubt to buy a Nikon 500mm F5.6 PF or a second handed Nikon 500mm F4 FL. I like the flexibility of zooming in and out with the 200-500 when photographing from a hide for example. So the more I think about it, the more I don't want to sell it. If I buy the 500mm F5.6 PF ... there's not much that will change. The prime is a bit sharper and the autofocus is faster ... but in the end ... I still have 500mm and F5.6, while the other prime with F4 gives me one stop extra to photograph in low light. But that also means I need a new tripod head. I'll let my decision rest for a couple of weeks/months. In the meantime I'll have fun with the 200-500. :)
 
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I ordered the 200-500 from B&H. On first glance i'm very impressed. The quality of the image is so much better than my Tamron. Even my handheld images were good. Which isnt easy for me these days. I think I'm going to have fun with this setup.

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Forster's Tern, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Franklin's Gull
 

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