Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Using both Canon EOS 5D and Nikon D2x in the field

Action Photos

An experience report by Uwe Steinmueller @Digital Outback Photo

Also photos by Bettina Steinmueller


Action photos are not really the domain of the Canon 5D as it features only a frame rate of 3fps. The D2x can do 5fps at full resolution and also has a High-Speed Crop mode that allows full 8fps. We only show some samples with the D2x here.

We would say that bird photography starts at about 300mm FOV (for larger birds) and then 400-1200mm are often needed with smaller birds.

High-Speed Crop sequence shot at 8fps

Photographing sequences at 8 fps is fun.


  • 6.8MP files at not bad at all (remember a bit more than a year ago the max you got from any DSLR at 8fps was 4MP
  • We could do the same or better with our Canon 1D2 Mk. II (8MP) and the 400mm f/4 DO lens. But this is a heavy and expensive equipment when these kind of photos is not your main domain

Note on noise

Above sequence was shot at ISO 400 (and about 1/3 f-stop underexposed to prevent losing the highlights). At these levels the D2x starts showing quite noticeable noise levels in the shadows (not sure how much better the 1D Mk. II would have behaved though):

Noise already slightly reduced in RSE

Here is a different photo from a full resolution sequence with the D2X:

Nikon D2x at 300mm (1/800 sec, f/4, ISO 200), FOV 450mm

The high frame rate of the D2x allows you to cover quite a range of action photos. With Canon cameras you need two different cameras to capture high res images (12MP or more) and 5-8 fps images. The Canon 1Ds Mk. II can do 4fps but the FF sensor would require heavy and expensive lenses to get into this range beyond 400mm FOV.



We used RSE for the D2x files and DPP 2.0.3 for the 5D photos.


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