Well, at least I keep you all hopping. Going to take another trip to conowingo in a week or two. Don't have anything more in the way of lens as I did before, but heck, that's okay, I'll use what I have. My question is this, actually two questions, I bit the bullet and ended up getting the ballhead and tripod I wanted. I simply love the ballhead, it makes me feel like I know how to use a camera! Anyways, does anyone else find it a little awkward say shooting birds flying overhead or is it just that I'm not used to manuvering it yet? I had it outside with my camera and felt kind of awkward trying to keep track of the bird without feeling like I was going to lift the tripod right off the ground..just wondering. Also, I was wondering about memory cards. My d90 uses the sd cards and when I was in continous mode, it didn't seem like it was firing the shots off fast before it started to slow down. Would that be due to my memory card? I think it is just a cheap hp card. If I get a change to shoot some of those fine bald eagles that swoop down to peck at my head, I want to be fast on the trigger. See my friends, I think a while back some of you folks complimented me on never being afraid to ask any dumb questions because some of you pointed out you were thinking the same things but always afraid to feel silly asking, well don't worry, you guys will ALWAYS have me and my questions...(SMILE)
#1. "RE: I go from one thing to the next don't I?" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 03-Apr-12 01:41 AM by quenton8
I spent 30min the other day shooting a pair of ducks in our "covered for the winter" swimming pool.
The tripod and ball head were great while they were in the pool, but at the last minute I must have scared them as they flew off. Had the camera been on the tripod I would have nothing, but I had just a few seconds before popped it off and I followed the birds with the camera and got one great shot and one OK shot -- only because the camera was following them.
On the tripod? no way would I have even had them in the frame to shoot them - so I figure the tripod is only a good answer "sometimes!"
#2. "RE: I go from one thing to the next don't I?" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 03-Apr-12 04:23 AM by ShrimpBoy
Brighton and Hove, UK
I can imagine that using a ballhead on a tripod to track birds is hard. Sports shooters tend to use monopods, and I know people with lenses in the 500mm class tend to use gimbal heads. I don't shoot birds in flight myself but I would imagine the tripod isn't doing a whole heck of a lot to help stabilize you for a moving target and that cranking up the ISO and hand-holding would be more successful. But please ignore me and listen to the people who shoot birds.
As for continuous shooting, you're probably bumping into a combination of card speed and buffer space limitations. The maximum frame rate is dictated by how fast the camera can process data off the sensor. It stores this stuff in internal memory (the buffer) and writes it from the buffer to the card. Unfortunately the camera can fill its buffer much faster than it can write to the card, so once the buffer fills up (something like ten frames or less, I think) each subsequent frame cannot be shot until a frame has been written out to the card. At this point I think you're down to not much more than one frame per second. I presume you can help yourself a little by shooting jpeg instead of RAW because jpeg files are smaller, but I haven't tried it.
Note that the camera is rated to write at a maximum of 20Mb/s, which is Class 6 speed in card rating. Buying faster cards than that doesn't speed up the camera, it only helps with data transfer from the card to your computer and only then if you use an external card reader.
Pro cameras like the D300 and D3 have much larger buffers and better write hardware so they can effectively go flat-out all the time.
#5. "RE: I go from one thing to the next don't I?" In response to Reply # 4
You're absolutely right Gary, the good stuff is expensive, and I am okay with that, but sometimes you see these photos that are just so beautiful and you know that you have the skill to get it, but just not the right equipment. But like they say, and if we would all get it into our heads, it's not the camera, its the person behind it. I need to have that tatooed on my forehead!! And Dennis, I know what you're saying about missing the shot, I tried my ball head out on the porch with my backyard birds and just about killed myself falling over trying to hang onto the camera and panning it around and up and over my head,,,it's quit the trip!!!!
#6. "RE: I go from one thing to the next don't I?" In response to Reply # 5
I feel the same way about birds in flight. I gave up trying with the tripod. I went to the raptor center and they had a flight show. The distance between the start of the bird in flight to the end was to short for me to follow. By the time I found the bird it was over and I got no shot. I have not been able to get them in flight to this day. I think it will be easier to get if they are further away (not miles away) and you can pan from left to right or right to left. I was told that it takes time and practice. I am still trying. Good luck and post. Fran
#8. "RE: I go from one thing to the next don't I?" In response to Reply # 7
I certainly will post Fran, and Jerry, I ended up getting the manfrotto 190xprob and the manfrotto 498rc2 ballhead. It was within my price range and not so heavy that I wouldn't use it. I really love it. I love the way it can be used for macro as well. And the ballhead is such a treat from the pan/tilt from walmart that I've used forever. I know it's not the top of the line, but it's the top of the line for me and my use...