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Old Mar 22, 2004, 6:08 PM   #1
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Default How do I photograph prairie chickens?

I'm going to watch prairie chickens soon and understand that the displays are in the early morning - ie, low light. My camera (FZ10) only goes as low as 2.8 fstop, with shutter speed ranging from 8 to 1/2000. I understand that digital ISO causes excessive noise, but I don't think I'll have a choice but to use 200 or 400. Will someone please suggest a setting that is most likely to work? I won't have much chance to shoot and review on this trip, so I'd like to start out as near to "perfect" as I can. Thanks.
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 9:50 PM   #2
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Without knowing exact conditions, I would say F2.8, 1/60 sec. Go with ISO 200. Tripod a must, Sun at your back, Get as close as you can and use a big lens.... Good luck..
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Old Mar 22, 2004, 10:01 PM   #3
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Take some test picture to see how bad the digital noise is at the higher ISOs. I bet you'll need higher than 1/60, but you might not get it. The only solution (I bet) will be 400 or 800 ISO (but I bet 800 will be too noisy.)

Also, look into using noise removal software. neatimage is what I use (www.neatimage.com) but I've heard good things about noiseninja.

Does that camera have an IR focus assist light? If not, you might have trouble focusing in such low light. Some cameras have a flash hot-shoe mountable focus assist module. You might want to research that.

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Old Mar 23, 2004, 5:41 PM   #4
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Default Thanks for the info

Thanks for helping me figure out a starting point. I'm going to try out the settings you each suggest before I go and see what happens. Worst case, I guess, is I have an experience but no photo memories!
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