Cedar Waxwing in Flight, ISO 800, 420mm, f/8.0, 1/2500 second
Bird Photography,  Olympus / OM System,  Photo Gear

Cedar Waxwings, the Perfect Subject for Olympus Pro Capture?

Olympus’ Pro Capture is an amazing technology to capture action photographs of birds, especially bird take offs.  But even with Pro Capture technology, you have to be patient to get  good birds in flight photographs. Sometimes, the bird doesn’t want to take off and other times it takes off faster than you can half press the shutter.

Cedar Waxwings are social birds that flock together all year round.  So, if you see one Cedar Waxwing, there are likely more around.  On a side note, a group of Cedar Waxwings is called an ear-full or a museum.

Cedar Waxwings will also feed in groups gorging on berries and insects.  Cedar Waxwings have also been known to get intoxicated from eating overripe berries.  This is a perfect opportunity to capture Cedar Waxwing takeoffs with Olympus’ Pro Capture.

On this morning, I was photographing Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons fishing using Pro Capture for a previous blog.  Things were slow, so I decided to take a walk around the park.

Cedar Waxwing Takeoff, ISO 800, 420mm, f/8.0, 1/2500 second
Cedar Waxwing Takeoff, ISO 800, 420mm, f/8.0, 1/2500 second

I came across an ear-full of Cedar Waxwings feeding on mosquitoes.  I stood there photographing the Cedar Waxwings taking off from branches to feed on the mosquitoes for at least 20 minutes.

Topaz Labs

The Cedar Waxwings moved continuously taking off, chasing the mosquitos, and landing.  This provided continuous photo ops using Pro Capture. I came home with hundreds of images to cull through, but I was able to capture their amazing behavior and their interactions between each other.

Cedar Waxwings, ISO 800, 420mm, f/8.0, 1/2500 second
Cedar Waxwings, ISO 800, 420mm, f/8.0, 1/2500 second

Here are the Olympus Pro Capture Settings that I used:

Pro Capture Low

Pro Capture Low Settings (Set in the Gear – C1 – L Settings – Pro Cap menu)

  • Max fps – 18fps
  • Pre-shutter Frames – 15
  • Frame Count Limiter – Off

Continuous AF (C-AF)

Bird Detect AF Tracking

I’ve also included the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings with each image in the blog.

For these Cedar Waxwing Pro Capture photographs I used my Olympus OM-D E-M1X paired with the Olympus 300mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

It is important to understand the behavior of the birds you are photographing.  Understanding the behaviors plus Olympus Pro Capture can help you get great shots and to observe the birds demonstrating these behaviors.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Posts

Top Tips and Settings for Birds in Flight Photography using Olympus OM-D Cameras
Photographing Bees with Olympus Pro Captures
Using Olympus Pro Capture to Photograph Fishing Birds in Action

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