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Thread: Z9 and 400 f2.8

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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    Default Z9 and 400 f2.8

    Nikon is out with the Z9 at less money than Sony or Canon and also
    new 400 f2.8 w/ built in 1.4 tc...Kind of a dream combo I think.
    If it is is comparable, it will make those of us who stayed with Nikon
    and the 500pf pretty happy....
    Dan Kearl

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Looks like a very nice camera. Would be interesting to see how the AF performs for BIF. It doesn't match Sony in burst speed but it's priced a bit lower and much better than Canon's 20-mega pixel camera. Did you pre order ? I bet it will be sold out for a long time....

    IMO 400 f/2.8 is not a very good birding lens, it doesn't have any reach even with 1.4X. It's also heavy and big with the TC attachment....If I still had Nikon I'd hold on to the 500PF until Nikon makes the Z 600 f/4 I bet it will be lighter and more compact than the 400...
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    BPN Member sasan nejadi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    Looks like a very nice camera. Would be interesting to see how the AF performs for BIF. It doesn't match Sony in burst speed but it's priced a bit lower and much better than Canon's 20-mega pixel camera. Did you pre order ? I bet it will be sold out for a long time....

    IMO 400 f/2.8 is not a very good birding lens, it doesn't have any reach even with 1.4X. It's also heavy and big with the TC attachment....If I still had Nikon I'd hold on to the 500PF until Nikon makes the Z 600 f/4 I bet it will be lighter and more compact than the 400...
    Of course, you have to compare this camera with the R5, which is 45 megapixels, not with the R3, which is 24 megapixels, and in the end, the R5 will be much better than Nikon at $ 3,800! and weighing 700 grams. In terms of focus, it will not be the same as Alpha One and R3

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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasan nejadi View Post
    Of course, you have to compare this camera with the R5, which is 45 megapixels, not with the R3, which is 24 megapixels, and in the end, the R5 will be much better than Nikon at $ 3,800! and weighing 700 grams. In terms of focus, it will not be the same as Alpha One and R3
    This sounds like wishful thinking....the reviews coming out are very good on the autofocus... It appears to be a winner, I have no idea why you "know" that the R5 is better or the autofocus is not as good as Sony..
    Canon has no lens even remotely comparable to the 500pf or even the Sony 200-600.
    I have no affiliation with any brand but Canon lens are just stupid.
    the 100-500, f7,1 for $2500?
    Laughable , sorry.
    Last edited by dankearl; 11-01-2021 at 05:48 PM.
    Dan Kearl

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Sasan,
    Canon does not advertise R5 as a "pro body", and the paper spec do not tell everything. Nikon thinks the Z9 is a pro's-worth body so it competes with something like the non-existing EOS R"1" if Canon had such camera, so the closest is the R3 which also has integrated grip and advertised as a pro body. The Nikon DSLR's blew the Canon DSLR's out of the water back then, and I suspect the same is true about the mirrorless.
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    BPN Member sasan nejadi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dankearl View Post
    This sounds like wishful thinking....the reviews coming out are very good on the autofocus... It appears to be a winner, I have no idea why you "know" that the R5 is better or the autofocus is not as good as Sony..
    Canon has no lens even remotely comparable to the 500pf or even the Sony 200-600.
    I have no affiliation with any brand but Canon lens are just stupid.
    the 100-500, f7,1 for $2500?
    Laughable , sorry.
    I respect your thoughts, but in photography it will be clear which brand is better , not by overt or covert ambassadors!!

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    BPN Member sasan nejadi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    Sasan,
    Canon does not advertise R5 as a "pro body", and the paper spec do not tell everything. Nikon thinks the Z9 is a pro's-worth body so it competes with something like the non-existing EOS R"1" if Canon had such camera, so the closest is the R3 which also has integrated grip and advertised as a pro body. The Nikon DSLR's blew the Canon DSLR's out of the water back then, and I suspect the same is true about the mirrorless.
    I think the SLR era is over and there is no reason to compare to the past, Nikon has lost its customer market so far because it has no good Mirrorless camera for use, so I hope the Z9 is a good camera and the competition gets hotter. This will benefit the customers

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasan nejadi View Post
    I think the SLR era is over and there is no reason to compare to the past, Nikon has lost its customer market so far because it has no good Mirrorless camera for use, so I hope the Z9 is a good camera and the competition gets hotter. This will benefit the customers

    I have tried the R5 now a few times while I find its AF to be much better than the 1Dx series which is a joke toady, it is still inconsistent and cannot keep up with BIF against varied BGs. It’s nothing like even the older Sony A9. It still locks on the BG too often and misses the critical frame. I believe Artie used one for a while and this was his conclusion as well before he dumped it. I have no reason to believe Canon will be able to ever make something as good as Sony when it comes to BIF and I suspect Nikons Z9 is better than Canon in this regard. Of course this is my speculation. We will see. Nikon doesn’t make a half baked product they are late to the market but I suspect they want to deliver a mature product.
    Last edited by arash_hazeghi; 11-05-2021 at 03:28 AM.
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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    The Z9 with the 500pf shoots BIF very well with the 1.4 extender according to several reviews..
    One review I watched the 500pf got good results with a 2x…
    Game changer I think, good luck with that Canon and it will give the A1 some competition.
    Last edited by dankearl; 11-05-2021 at 11:25 PM.
    Dan Kearl

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    A few relevant thoughts on the current mirrorless camera bodies:

    Dear Photographer-friends,


    Thanks for writing.

    I will be assuming that folks have been following the blog. You should already know that Sony high-end bodies offer Zebra technology that — when the camera body is set up correctly, enables users to get the right exposure through the viewfinder without having to create a test image as you must do with Canon and Nikon. The in-viewfinder histograms on the best Nikon and Canon camera bodies are worthless, just as they are on the best Sony bodies.


    I consider the following to be indisputable facts:


    1: When shooting birds in flight and in action the R5 and the R3 will get you lots more sharp keepers than even the best Canon dSLRs (including the 1DX Mark III). That especially true with birds flying right at you.


    2: When shooting birds in flight and in action the Z9 will get you lots more sharp keepers than even the best Nikon dSLRs (including the F6). That especially true with birds flying right at you.


    3: There are many skilled photographers making great images with the Canon R5 and the R3 and the Nikon Z9.


    4: Consistently getting perfect exposures is easier with Sony mirrorless than with either Canon or Nikon mirrorless.


    5- It is always easier to do one thing than it is to do two things to accomplish the same result -- having to use various back buttons to access different AF areas while photographing a single bird in flight is insane to me.


    6- The Nikon Z9 is only fractionally lighter than the behemoth D6. Less than one ounce lighter, I believe.


    7- Shooting full sized raw files with the Z9 gets you 20 fps max. The same is true of the Canon R5. With the a1 we get 51MP files at 30fps.


    8- The Sony A1 weighs only 1.6 pounds (without the grip).


    9- If any mirrorless user tells you that their latest greatest camera body focuses accurately on the bird’s eye 100% of the time when photographing birds in flight and in action, ask them to let you download a card of flight images. Check the AF points and you will make a liar of them. You will find that even the best AF systems focus on the bird’s eye or face perhaps 50% of the time with even the most skilled users. Yet 90% or more of the images will be sharp on the bird’s eye. And that is true for the R5, the R3, the Z9, and the a1. I believe that the system that records the position of the AF point is not fast enough to keep up with the actual tracking (that is superb on all four of the camera bodies in question).


    Now that we all agree on the above, I will get to the main point of this e-mail:


    Nearly all of the very best Nikon and Canon mirrorless flight photographers recommend using either back-button AF with two buttons (one for one AF method and another for a different AF method!), or using the shutter button for one AF method and then switching to rear button AF once focus has been acquired. Insanity.


    When I first learned that folks were doing this I was baffled. With the a1, I can track a bird’s eye anywhere in the frame; why in the world would I ever want to use rear button AF? And why in the world would I need to use two different AF methods to photograph one bird in flight?


    So, I asked both Canon and Nikon folks, Why? They all said the same thing: one AF method is best for acquiring focus and one is best for tracking birds in flight.

    That left me scratching my head, giving me a headache, and wishing that I had some hair to pull out.

    And as if that is not bad enough, both the Canon and Nikon folks have assigned a variety of buttons and dials the job of toggling tracking on and off and toggling eye detection on and off. I watched an R3 video made by a very skilled fight photographer. When he was explaining why it is necessary to use two different AF methods to photograph a single bird in flight and explaining when and why he sometimes cancels tracking and sometimes cancels eye detection, his comment were peppered with lots of “I know that this is confusing.”

    Let’s compare that with the Sony a1. I leave only two AF methods active. I can switch from one to the other almost instantly by pressing the set button in the center of the Thumb Wheel. I never do that once I have acquired focus on a flying bird. Ever. I switch depending on the situation: I use one method for 99% of flight and action and 50% of the time when photographing single birds either perched or on the ground. I use the other method 49% of the time for single birds either perched or on the ground, again depending on the situation.

    I leave Eye Tracking/Face Detection enabled 99% of the time. If the system is confused by the eyes of more than one bird in the frame, I press a single button to turn off eye-tracking.

    In other words, the AF set-up for Sony and the act of photographing birds in flight and in action is 100 times simpler with the Sony A1 than it is with the R5, the R3, or the Z9.

    If you purchase an a1, be sure to use my B&H link or to use the BIRDSASART discount code at Bedfords to receive 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air Fed-Ex. That gets you free entry into my a1 Group. The gets you my complete camera set-up that you can be copied onto your a1along with detailed instructions on what each button and dial does. You will be able to go out and start making great images from the get-go.

    In short, the a1 AF set-up is very simple; performance — including AF tracking and accuracy — is fantastic as you have been seeing on the blog for two years; the process of photographing birds in flight is simple— all that you do is half-press the shutter button to acquire focus; and, you get 30 fps while creating stunningly detailed 51MP image files.

    With love, artie

    ps: One more thing for those raving about how great the Nikon Z9 is. The way that you change the AFMethod on the Z9 is barbaric and prehistoric compared to the way you do the same thing with the a1 set up properly. Kudos to Nikon for failing to address one of the major problems that was the same with their dSLR bodies. I raved about the problem when I used Nikon for two years.



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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    I don’t argue camera brands but I have no idea what you are talking about regarding shooting birds in flight with Nikon.
    GRP setting., back button focus and shoot is what 99% of people do.
    There are no other settings anyone uses I know, simple as can be.
    If you used something else, you were wrong.
    I am not referring to the Z9 which I have not used but you were not either.
    If you shot the D850 or D500 with anything other than GRP setting that was not the way to use them.
    Last edited by dankearl; 05-17-2022 at 04:17 PM.
    Dan Kearl

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    Back button focus is not "as simple as can be." Pressing the shutter button is as simple as could be. In addition, with both the Z9 and with the Canon bodies many folks are using various back buttons to activate different types of AF. And some Sony folks are doing the same thing. That makes zero sense to me. When I used the D850 and the D5 I used shutter button AF and always used GRP for flight :) Why have to do two things when you could accomplish the same thing with one. Not to mention that the Z9 weighs an incredible 2.9 pounds.

    with love, artie
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions; we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    Check out the new SONY e-Guide and videos that I did with Patrick Sparkman here. Ten percent discount for BPN members,

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net.










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