I took Omar and Ozzy on a quick road trip today for some nearby birding at Barr Lake State Park after work. On the way to the park, I spotted this Ferruginous Hawk on a pole and took a picture of it:
The focus was dead on and all sequential images came out tack sharp, as expected.
As we arrived to the park right at sunset, we found a deer, along with a killdeer roaming around the park :)
The killdeer shot was taken at ISO 2,800, 1/1600th of a second.
Right after sunset, I noticed some pheasants in the field:
There were at least 5-6 of them in one spot and as I approached closer with the car, they all flew away:
Normally, I do not try photographing birds with the D700 after sunset, because of lack of light. In this case, I cranked up the ISO to 12,800 and let the camera manage the ISO for me. The first image was shot at ISO 1,600 and the second one at ISO 1,800, both at 1/1250th of a second @ f/5.6 on Nikon 200-400mm f/4.0 + 1.4x TC.
While returning home, I noticed a large bird flying off to the side of the road. I thought it was a hawk, but I stopped to take a quick look. It was so dark that I could not tell what it was, until I heard a loud screech. After I realized that it was an owl, I decided to try out the D3s at a really high ISO. I cranked up the ISO to 25,600 and took a few shots of the owl:
When I looked at the camera LCD, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The camera was able to capture the bird in such a dark environment, that I could not correctly focus through either the viewfinder, or the liveview screen. The image is obviously out of focus and noisy, but it is still not bad at all. I ran one pass of noise reduction and resized the image and I’m very impressed with the results. Nikon D3s is truly one monster camera for low-light photography!