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Old November 14th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #1
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Black Oystercatcher Close Up

I went out this morning and found a couple of Black Oystercatcher at out local marina. This is a close up of one working on a small California Mussel for breakfast. This was shot at a distance of around 20 feet with the XL H1, HD down converted to SD, and with the Nikon 80-400mm. Shutter was at 1/60th at f11 with a 2 stop ND filter on the lens.
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File Type: wmv black-oystercatcher-2b.wmv (1.99 MB, 218 views)
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Old November 15th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #2
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those are some fantastic colors, the brights really jumped
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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #3
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I wonder what it would have looked like if you had not converted it to HD or would that have required more compression and therefore less clear image?
A good study of feeding technique.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 10:07 PM   #4
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Brendan,
"I wonder what it would have looked like if you had not converted it to HD"....
Didn't you mean SD. First of all I can't capture HD until I get Windows XP installed. If I could have left it HD and created a Windows Midea Video HD file, I don't think many would be able to play it, besides the fact that I'm sure that the 3Mb limit would be exceeded for this fourm. I create WMV files of about 16-20 seconds in duration at ~750Mb/s, so the file size is within the max allowed for attachments. The resolution of down converted HD I'm sure is as good or slightly better than something shot with a camera like an XL1 or GL2. Sharpness is also dependent to some degree on the quality of the monitor and speed of the computer's CPU, and motion within the clip itself. I have a very good 20 inch Sony CRT monitor and a 2,8GHz CPU, and they play great at 750Kb/s. If I take the same file and play it on my other computer, which is a 550MHz CPU and running Windows 98SE, it sometimes dosen't look as good, even though I have a nice 19 inch View Sonic CRT monitor. Another kicker is, that video played on a TV looks entirely different than played on a CRT type computer monitor. Digital video and digital photos tend to look flat because they don't have a lot contrast. I have to take that in account if the video is intended to be shown on a computer, and sometimes I have to add a just a little in post, and that all depends on content and shooting conditions of the clip. Even if I scan a perfect exposed 35mm slide, the output is digital and I have to bump the contrast up in Photoshop to match the original slide when displayed on a CRT monitor. That's the nature of digital, whether it's a photo or video. One thing also to remember, if your monitor your using isn't calibrated properly, what you think looks great on yours, might look like crap on someone elses. I don't know very much about LCD monitors, since I don't own one. It's not an equal world. I hope I answered all, or at least part of your question.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #5
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Silly me I did mean SD.

I'm just puzzled that I can't get a sharp image of the bird's head or beak or feet at any point in the clip and I know your camera is rock-steady; yes I can see that there are toenails on the feet and nostril on the left side of upper beak and a mollusc trying to stay inside the shell and gravel set in the conglomerate and soothing ripples on the water ... the clip is so expressive that I can sense the oystercatcher's exasperation at failing to extract the mollusc; so I'm surprised that I'm not getting a sharper picture at any stage ... it's as if it's all slightly out of focus all of the time (I know my own stuff is generally out of focus all the time, but that's me playing run 'n gun & badly at that). What you say about monitor quality varying and the downside of the digital effect must contain the answer.

I guess I've been spoilt with the amazing image quality on your owl, kite, harrier, hawk etc clips. It could also have to do with the sunlight being strong and at about 80 degrees above your cam ... this might have reduced the contrast on the oystercatcher's plumage ... I'm only guessing.
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