New Panasonic FZ8 and Wildlife Photog?
Hi all,.

I am new to this forum and have recently purchased an FZ8. Does anyone have a setting that works best for taking outdoor, wildlife pictures? I am a wildlife biologist and have many opportunities to take some stunning pictures. Please be specific as to what ISO and setting I should work with. I apologize for such a beginner question!Novice interested in outdoor/wildlife photography..

Comments (7)

Use ISO100 and shoot RAW. Pray to have enough light..

Panasonic FZ8 is not the ideal tool for wildlife where you need quite high shutter speed (at least 1/125 s) and long focal lengths. And high ISO is not an option on it. It has pretty fast lens (f/3.3).VictorBucuresti, Romania

Comment #1

What wildlife are you photographing?How close will you be?Will the wildlife be moving or still?Chris R..

Comment #2

I will be taking photos in all sorts of situations, moving wildlife, still wildlife, close up, from a distance.Novice interested in outdoor/wildlife photography..

Comment #3

Stoat wrote:.

I will be taking photos in all sorts of situations, moving wildlife,still wildlife, close up, from a distance.Novice interested in outdoor/wildlife photography.

That isn't a very useful reply. Will you be shooting moose or humming birds, for example!Chris R..

Comment #4

Sorry about that. I will be taking pictures of all wildlife, close-ups of fish and insects, ducks and geese from a distance, mammals (fisher, bobcat, moose, deer, raccoon, fox, coyote) in a cage trap and free from a distance. Let me know if you need more specific. I am mostly curious about wildlife from a distance, such as gadwalls 30 feet from me on the water during high sunlight.Novice interested in outdoor/wildlife photography..

Comment #5

I think that the camera will be very useful for some things and very poor for others. I would suggest that you try it out and come back with specific questions for situations where you are having problems..

If you are shooting moving animals you will need to keep the shutter speed high and this may be your biggest problem. As Victor has said in a previous post, the FZ8 has very poor high ISO quality because the severe noise reduction that it applies gets rid of most of the detail as well, and it is detail that you want in wildlife photography. So keep the ISO as low as possible which may restrict you to good light situations only and slow moving animals. Shoot with the widest possible aperture..

You may also have focussing difficulties with fast moving animals because the FZ8 isn't particularly fast focussing. One technique to overcome this is to pre-focus on somewhere in front of the animal and wait for it to arrive at the focus point..

If you are shooting a dark animal against a bright background you will have to dial in maybe +1 or more exposure compensation to ensure that the animal is correctly exposed. If you have problems with reflections on water you can fit a polarizing filter, but this will also reduce the amount of light getting through to the camera. A polarizing filter will also be useful if you want to photograph fish in water because it will cut down the reflections off of the surface..

Try using the flash if you are shooting animals in cages, provided this is acceptable. The camera may have problems focussing through the wire of the cage so be prepared to use manual focus if necessary..

Be aware that wildlife photography is difficult and some parts of it, e.g. shooting birds in flight, are extremely difficult even for professionals. Don't be disheartened if you get a very low success rate on difficult shots, so do the professionals! Also, even with the zoom on the FZ8 you will need to be very close to small animals and small birds to get them to fill the frame. You will soon find that shots that look good through the viewfinder look very poor when printed out simply because the animal fills such a small portion of the print..

Go out and start experimenting - the great thing with a digital camera is that it won't cost you anything. Come back when you have more specific questions..

If you have problems with any of the terminology that I have used, come back and ask.Chris R..

Comment #6

Thank you for the response. I will practice and come back with specific questions.Novice interested in outdoor/wildlife photography..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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