Tag Archives: bird photography

Nikon Z9 eBook Released

The complete settings guide to bird and wildlife photography with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera

American coot © Jason P. Odell
Discover the secrets to bird photography using the Nikon Z9 camera.

I’m pleased to announce the official release of my newest PDF eBook, Bird Photography with the Nikon Z9. This comprehensive guide has all of the settings and customizations I use for bird and wildlife photography with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera. But this book is more than just a list of settings. I will walk you through not just which settings I recommend, but why I recommend them.

Bird Photography with the Nikon Z9 offers an in-depth look at the inner workings of the Nikon Z9 autofocus system, with detailed descriptions of all of its customizations. You’ll also learn how to optimize the buttons and controls on the Nikon Z9 for bird and wildlife photography, plus everyday settings. I’ve included sample configurations for both regular (shutter) and back button focusing setups, too. You’ll get shooting settings for exposure, frame rate, and metering for all types of bird photography scenarios, including birds in flight.

Beyond the camera settings, you’ll also get my tips and tricks for capturing dynamic bird photos with the Nikon Z9, and ways to improve your photography.

  • Includes a custom Nikon Z9 camera settings file, Adobe Lightroom develop presets, and a structured keyword list of over 10,000 bird species
  • View the table of contents here
  • Bird Photography with the Nikon Z9 is available now via digital download

What’s the best frame rate for photographing birds in flight?

Is 20+ frames per second really necessary in wildlife photography?

Brandt’s cormorant on final approach, La Jolla, CA | Nikon Z9 + 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6S VR Z Nikkor

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Introduction

Wildlife photographers love mirrorless cameras because many of them offer incredibly fast frame capture rates. I recently got the new Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera, and one of its best features is its ability to shoot RAW at up to 20 frames per second (fps) with no viewfinder blackout. Other mirrorless cameras, like the Sony A1 and Canon R3 offer frame rates as high as 30 fps. The appeal of such fast burst rates for still photography is that these speeds increase the probability that you’ll capture a moment of peak action, or a dynamic animal pose.

The downside to capturing images at these high frame rates is the sheer volume of images you’ll end up with. Not only will you fill your memory cards faster, but you’ll also have to slog through hundreds or even thousands of shots in your triage/culling workflow. Another challenge with setting your camera to high-speed frame advance is that it becomes nearly impossible to fire off a single shot. Even with practice and good shutter release technique, once the camera is set to capture images at greater than 12 fps, shooting individual images is really difficult.

Obviously, there are certain subjects and situations that call for fast burst rates, and for most wildlife photographers, flying birds are most frequently that subject. In most wildlife photography scenarios, super-fast frame rates just lead to lots of redundant images. But when you’re trying to capture flying birds, high frame rates do offer an advantage.

Continue reading What’s the best frame rate for photographing birds in flight?

New eBook Coming Soon!

Bird Photography with the Nikon Z9

Coming soon: the complete guide to bird photography with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera.

I’m putting together a complete settings guide and best practices for photographing birds with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera. Watch this space for pre-ordering details!

A complete settings and techniques guide to bird photography with the Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera

  • Printable PDF eBook
  • A complete list of every setting I use in my Nikon Z9 camera for bird photography, including Shooting Menus and Custom Menus
  • My Z9 Birding Settings file that you can use to load my settings directly onto your Nikon Z9 camera
  • A complete hierarchical (nested) set of keywords of birds of the world
  • My Nikon Z9 Birding Preset for editing RAW images in Adobe Lightroom Classic
Get notified when Bird Photography with the Nikon Z9 is available

POTD: Royalty

Royal tern in flight captured with the Nikon Z9

Royal tern in flight, La Jolla, CA | Nikon Z9, Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6S VR + Z 1.4x TC

I spent most of last week in San Diego, leading my annual Southern California birding & wildlife workshop. It was my first real test of the new Nikon Z9 and Nikon 100-400mm S lens. The camera and lens combo performed flawlessly, tracking the fast-moving royal terns along the coast as they circled the rocky shore, looking for a landing spot.

Image Specs

  • Nikon Z9
  • 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Nikkor + Nikon Z teleconverter 1.4x
  • 1/2500s f/9, ISO 1400
  • Hand-held

Mastering Lightroom for Bird Photography

Online Class with Jason Odell, Monday, Feb. 8th

Discover how to work with bird and wildlife images in Adobe Lightroom Classic with Jason P. Odell

I’m pleased to offer online training Monday, February 8th. Mastering Lightroom for Bird Photography is a comprehensive look at using Adobe Lightroom Classic for managing, keywording, and processing bird and wildlife photos.

When: Monday, Feb 8th, 2021 1-2:30pm US Mountain Time
(check the time in your area here)
All registered participants will receive a video replay link! Registration closes prior to the class start. You must be registered before the class starts in order to attend.