Canon R5 Crop-ability. And A New, Brian Sump, Hand Held, Ground Level/Rear Screen Shooting Technique That is Not for the Average Joe … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon R5 Crop-ability. And A New, Brian Sump, Hand Held, Ground Level/Rear Screen Shooting Technique That is Not for the Average Joe ...

What’s Up?

On a gorgeous Monday morning, I concentrated on the two large colts and the two growing chicks. A rather late visit to the marsh to the left of the pier revealed that at least one pair of Black-necked Stilts might have a nest … I ran down at sunset for a short sunset session. So far, only Boat-tailed Grackles have landed on The Perch II.

I got some more work done on the second edit of my APRIL 2021 folder. I will start work today on a simple Viveza II instructional video.

The forecast for ILE for this morning — Tuesday 25 May 2021, is perfect: clear and sunny with a gentle breeze from the northeast. I will likely spend a good deal of time sitting on the milk crate in the marsh in hopes of getting better images of the Limpkin chicks that I photographed yesterday. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took about two hours to prepare, and makes 151 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords and is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great if you opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

Image #0: From the last two mornings at ILE

What You’ve Been Missing

All of the images in the screen capture above were created on either May 23rd or 24th with the hand held SONY 200-600 and the a1. The pickings are easy.

ILE In-the-Field Sessions
Sandhill Crane colts and small chicks guaranteed!

Wednesday May 26 or Sunday May 30, 2021.
2-hour session: $300.00/each

The crane colts family and the crane chicks family have been utterly dependable for the past few days. Join me for a morning at Indian Lake Estates with a money-back guarantee: if we do not get to photograph either the colts and/or the chicks at close range, you will get every penny back. Also possible: Ospreys in flight and Black-necked Stilts.

Lodging and Photoshop lessons available. If you are seriously interested in joining me for one or more sessions, get in touch via e-mail or call or text me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now at zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

Brian Sump created this image with the handheld Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, and the highly-touted Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera body (in 1.6 crop mode). ISO 1250. Exposure determined by test exposure & histogram and blinkies evaluation: 1/5000 sec. at f/8.

Face Detection plus Tracking AF got both eyes sharp — see the screen capture below.

Image #1: Western Grebe down-the-throat shot: boxy crop. The Carol Holmberg Preserve, Broomfield, CO.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2021: Brian Sump Photography.

Sump Scores and BPN

I met Brian Sump more than a year ago in the Avian Forum at BirdPhotographers.Net. Like Kevin Hice before him, Brian is a shining example of a young bird photographer who has worked hard and vastly improved his skills and the quality of his images by participating full out in the Avian Forum. You can learn more about Brian’s progress in the blog post here.

Brian is quite clever with words when he chooses titles for his BPN posts. For this image he came up with Warning!, and followed that with May cause nightmares … You can learn what the boys and girls on BPN had to say about this image here in the Avian Forum.

Brian Sump created this image with the handheld Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, and the highly-touted Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera body (in 1.6 crop mode). ISO 1250. Exposure determined by test exposure & histogram and blinkies evaluation: 1/5000 sec. at f/8.

Face Detection plus Tracking AF got both eyes sharp — see the screen capture below.

Image #1A: Western Grebe down-the-throat shot: 2X3 crop. The Carol Holmberg Preserve, Broomfield, CO.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2021: Brian Sump Photography.

A New, Hand Held, Ground Level/Rear Screen Shooting Technique That is Not for the Average Joe …

I spoke by phone with Brian about the creation of this image. I had assumed that he had been lying down working with his eye to the viewfinder. Not. He was sitting on a rock dam holding the lens about in front of him, sort of Indian- style, with his heels together and his knees apart. The camera rests on the inside of his heels. He’s holding the camera — with the rear screen tilted out about 45 degrees, in his right hand. With his torso leaning forward, his left hand supports and aims the front of the big lens. He states that every shooting session is an incredibly difficult best core workout.

Even finding the bird in the frame is very, very difficult. This technique is one that I would not attempt, even once.

Image #1B: DPP 4 AF Points for the Western Grebe down-the-throat shot original.

The Active R5 AF Points

Here is an adapted excerpt from The BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide:

When Face Detection plus Tracking AF cannot detect an eye, the system will revert to a box of varying sizes with smaller boxes when it gets on the bird’s face, and bigger boxes that cover large parts of the subject. And at times, when it is struggling even more, it goes to a zone-like AF with the dancing points. The good news is that in most cases, the image winds up being razor-sharp on the bird’s eye.

And that is exactly what occurred successfully with Brian’s spectacular image.

Canon R5 Crop-ability

As seen here, sharp R5 images can stand up to healthy crops. I’d estimate that Image #1A above contains no more than 30% of the original pixels. Yet the image quality remains superb.

Boxy or 2X3?

A tough question: which crop do you prefer, the boxy crop of Image #1 or the more traditional 2X3 crop of Image #1A? Please let us know why.

Cover Image courtesy of and Copyright 2021 Brian Sump (Sump scores!)

The BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide

The BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide: $75.00

The guide is 82 pages long: 21,458 words. More than 50 DPP 4 Autofocus-depicting screen captures. And a 31 minute 44 second educational video. This guide took three and a half months of hard work and a ton of help from at least seventeen very helpful and generous folks.

The guide covers — in great detail — all Menu Items that are relevant to bird, nature, and wildlife photography. It does not cover video. The section on AF methods and the AF Gallery has been expanded from the R5/R6 AF e-guide. It remains the one of the great strengths of this guide. I share my thoughts on what I am sure is the single best AF Method for photographing birds in flight. As most of you know, the guide includes a simple and easy way to change AF Methods that was introduced to me by Geoff Newhouse. In the AF Gallery you will see exactly how Face Detection plus Tracking AF works. In the Educational R5 Gallery video, I share my favorite R5 images along with dozens of bird photography tips and techniques.

In addition, I teach you how to get the best exposures with your R5. Detailed instructions on using the great In-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure features will be appreciated by creative folks who like to have fun. The three shutter modes are explained in detail as well. Bruce Dudek solved the can’t-get-to-Auto ISO problem that had stumped everyone at Canon. This information is of course shared in the guide. You will learn how to set up your EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and Screen toggle options. Not to mention that the mysterious performance of the Q Button is revealed and simplified. Brian Sump’s images reveal how well you can do when using the R5 with EF lenses using one of the three Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapters (as Donna did with Image #1 below). You will learn how I use Customize Dials to put either ISO or EC on the Thumb Dial and how to set up and save Custom Shooting Modes (C1-C3) that can remember both your Customize Dial and Customize Button settings! That is something that none of the SONY bodies do. 🙁 Near the end of the guide I share my all-important MY MENU items with you.

Like all BAA educational materials, the R5 guide is written in my informal, easy-to-follow style. I am quite proud of this guide and look forward to hearing your thoughts on our hard work.

You can purchase your copy of the BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide for $75.00 here in the BAA Online Store or by calling Jim in the office weekday afternoons at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

From the late Luis Grunauer via e-mail

I’ve watched the R5 gallery video. I LOVE THE PHOTOS and the stories behind them, not to mention that the EXIF data is displayed in Photo Mechanic. Your explanations of the settings and the processes are very helpful. Your comments on framing and composition (both the great ones and the ones you refer to as “created by operator error”) were enlightening. It gives folks a chance to learn from someone with lots of in-the-field hands on experience with the R5! Well done and thanks so much for sharing it with me. There is some awesome teaching in the video to say the least!

From Ron Santini via e-mail

I have an R5 and purchased your “The BAA R5/R6 AF Guide” about a month ago. It has been a game-changer for me. I previously used back button focus (BBF), but after following your guide, that is a thing of the past. You truly simplified the process and I just want to thank you.

Typos

With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

16 comments to Canon R5 Crop-ability. And A New, Brian Sump, Hand Held, Ground Level/Rear Screen Shooting Technique That is Not for the Average Joe …

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    I prefer image #1
    Don’t want to distract from this beautifully intense image, but I can see Groucho Marx in the mouth, complete with glasses and moustache!

  • avatar Kathy Kunce

    I can’t look at this image without seeing a dog’s face in it’s open mouth.

  • avatar Chuck Carlson

    Great images all. Good teaching tools. I’m curious about RAW cropped file size of image #1. 10Mb?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Chuck. No idea. I do have the raw file but it is difficult re-do the exact crop. Eyeballing that one I’d say about 40% of the original pixels.

      with love, a

  • avatar James Saxon

    Wow! That is a strong image. Love the eyes and open mouth.

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    I read that sometimes the 1.6 crop setting allows you to see the subject a little better, larger in the viewfinder, when the subject is very far, helping to know when to press the shutter button. But I don’t have the R5 (yet) so I haven’t tested that theory.

  • avatar Neal McEwen

    Great shots! Out of curiosity, what’s the advantage of using the 1.6 crop mode? Is it simply to increase the buffering capacity and/or speed? Or am I missing something else?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Some folks say that working in crop mode enables Face Detection plus Tracking performance to improve. I never tried it, but as I wrote in the R5 guide:

      I have had instances when working in good light with the bird’s eye in plain sight, when the system becomes fixated on the bird’s tail and refuses to let go. Fortunately, those occurrences are rare.

      I would add that the above was true for already large-in-the-frame subjects. Therefore, using crop mode might or might not help and would always limit crop-ability …

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    I prefer the boxy crop. I agree with Ryan Sanderson that shooting in crop mode makes no sense. I’d much rather crop after the fact than limit my opportunity in the field. Of course a 1.6 crop SENSOR is a totally different matter. Great image in any case.

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Exactly what I was going to say….. or a Fox!

  • avatar Ryan Sanderson

    Excellent exposure on this highly contrasting bird.

    I personally don’t find much benefit in shooting in 1.6 crop mode. Had this not been in crop mode perhaps the whole bird would have been in the frame? Just a thought as this would yield more latitude in cropping in post-processing. A superb image nonetheless!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Ryan, I should have mentioned that RawDigger showed the brightness of the raw file to be just about as perfect as you could aim for.

      with love, artie

    • avatar Brian Sump

      Ryan, good comments. Always appreciate hearing from you!

      This month’s BPN theme is “Portrait” so I was specifically working to compose as would best produce a portrait, especially when it was this close. I was careful not to have the subject move too far left in frame, forcing me to add canvas in post if I needed more left margin.

      As is the crux of the article, and seeing how rotated the image is out-of-camera, I do find it very challenging at 840mm with a very close and swiftly moving creature to execute this holding technique and there are certainly shortcomings with it. But, as mentioned, sitting on the rocks of a dam leaves far fewer options for true water-level captures.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Did you ever figure out exactly what a portrait is? Good to see you here and thanks again for the image.

        with love, a

  • avatar Richard Lethbridge

    An astounding image by Brian Sump. It looks like there’s a dog’s head
    at the back of the throat, contributing to the nightmare!

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