Originally Posted by zig-123
Thanks for posting your photos because, I think it helped explain why your photos aren't as sharp as you would like.
I took a look at the EXIF data of the 100% crop image of the Canadien Goose (just before the squirrel). The shutter speed @ 1/250sec. is way too low IMHO for you to consistently get good sharp results. I then took a look at the EXIF data of the mallard. It is a lot faster at 1/800 sec. That helps explain why that particular shot is sharper.
When I shoot BIF, my minimum shutter speed is 1/1000sec. and most times it is 1/1600 sec. or higher. Coming from using Olympus bodies, you no doubt, are concerned with introducing noise. Well, it has been my experience that you can get very high quality images with the D7000 at ISO1600 and I regularly use ISO3200 if that is what's necessary.
If you keep your shutter speed up around 1/1000sec. (hand held), I do believe that you'll see a significant improvement in image quality and sharpness.
hope this helps.
Thank you Zig for your advice and your time, what you state make sense and the softness of the pictures are definitely because slow shutter speed, I understand the tripod is very important for this kind of photography.
I did shot the squirrel with my tripod and the difference in sharpness is noticeable, this is the 100% crop of that picture:
Originally Posted by fldspringer
I'm pleased to see you pics. I think your lens is as good as mine
First, I'd like to agree with Zig. You have at least a stop of additional ISO to use over the Olympus. You can use it for more shutter speed when necessary. Play around with the higher ISOs to determine what you are comfortable with.
Back to depth of field. Your poste pics are a great illustration of what I want to point out. Look at the goose pics, and more to the point the area of sharp grass under the bird. Its generally narrower than the bird is wide. The head appears in focus, while the closer part of the body is not sharp. I think if light would have allowed, something like f5.6 or f8 would have helped the photo, but would have also changed how the background birds would look. Just something to consider. Its nice to have the eyes and everything closer (of the bird that is) sharp.
Now about the keeper percentage. A dirty little secret. Most of mine end up on the chopping block too. I won't say its because of focus, but between that and choosing the besy of similar shots, of subject motion, or stupid human tricks of other degrees all add up to scrapping photos. I guess I'm saying that don't feel bad about it.
The autofocus configuration of todays cameras can be quite complex. The one thing I'm wondering is if you might be shooting on "Auto Area" configuration. That is the one I wouldn't recommend for wildlife. The camera would choose the focal point instead of you. The rest of the configurations allow you to choose the home point. That allows you to place that point and the other settings offer various support from the rest of the focus points.
I don't have the D7000, so I'm not the best source as to the remainder of the choices, and the interface is likely different than my camera, but that is the one thing that came to mind when you mentioned low percentage in focus.
I have a clear idea of how DOF works with a bigger sensor and thank you for mentioning it because is something that I totally ignored.
About my settings I use to shoot in "Aperture Priority" and I change the ISO and exposure according with the situation.
Thank you for all your help Zig and Greg and sorry for my late reply.
Have a great day.