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Old Apr 23, 2011, 9:33 PM   #1
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Default EOS 60D autofocus mode question, etc.

I'm a DSLR rookie and will be taking along my 60D on a guided birdwalk for the very first time.

It was announced at a meeting of a local camera club and the club president said "Bring your camera and bring your tripod".

This will be my first time at Nature View Park in the town of Amherst, NY.

My (first and only so far) lens is the Canon EF-S18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS.

I hope to get some pictures I think are good enough for club projected image competition (max 1024 by 768 pixels).

I will be shooting RAW mode to get the best picture quality.

I see in my manual (yes, I DO read the manual) that I have 3 choices for autofocus mode:

One Shot for still subjects;

AI Servo for moving subjects;

AI Focus which automatically switches from One Shot to AI Servo if the subject starts moving.

It seems to me that AI focus would be the best choice to cover all possibilities. I would appreciate forum members sharing their experiences to help me decide which autofocus setting would be the best choice.

I plan on trying both Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority modes and would also appreciate forum member input on this.

Thank you.
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Old Apr 23, 2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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I don't know if it would switch quickly enough from al servo to single shot mode, but others may have the answer to this. It if were me I would set it on al servo and change the mode to one shot when appropriate. If it's like my 1D, its a 2 second effort to change for your still shots.

As far as settings, I would set it to manual, set the shutter speed to at least 1/400, probably 1/500 and set aperture & ISO accordingly to get the best exposure level. I've found that when trying to capture bird in flight, AV or TV modes just won't get me what I need to get a sharp picture with no blur. I'm not a great bird "catcher", but others on this forum get some wonderful pics. You might google "Arthur Morris". He's one of Canon's pro's and he is "the man" when it comes to birds in flight. You might find some good information on his web sight. He has also written 2 or 3 books on the subject that you might be able to find at your local library.

Unfortunately you probably won't have enough focal length with your maximum at 135mm. I would think you would need something closer to 300mm, but maybe not.

By the way, welcome to the forum. I'm looking forward to seeing some of your photographs.

Last edited by jdnan; Apr 23, 2011 at 10:26 PM.
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Old Apr 24, 2011, 8:01 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply.

I will give those settings a try.

I did a quick search on Arthur Morris and there is certainly a lot to learn from his website.

This park is close by and I think the guided walk with some other photographers will be a good introduction so I could come back by myself later and have some ideas for good photo locations.

Now that I have a DSLR I want to take advantage of photo opportunities to gain experience and learn what I like to do.

My tripod is a Vista Ranger with a 3 way head. I want to get the most out of what I have now so that when I eventually do start upgrading, I will get things I will use and not sit around gathering dust.
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