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Focus and area modes

edited March 2014 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
On my D5100, what area and focus mode should I use to photograph birds? I have a bird feeder in my yard and I am a little confused on these settings.
Thanks in advance.


  • edited March 2014
    I have shot a lot of backyard birds and feeders. I usually use Aperture priority with a low f number to blur the background with a zoom of 55-200mm or no flash and a zoom of 18-55mm depending on how close I can get. Try auto also and see what you like. I sometimes play with the shutter if I want to catch them flying or flapping their wings in the birdbath or on the feeders. Enjoy!
  • edited May 2014
    It depends on whether the birds are flying or not.
    If they're flying, use Dynamic Area. You'll need to pan your camera to keep them in the frame relatively close to the active focus point.
    If they're stationary or hopping around, I'd use 3D-Tracking.
    Either way, keeping the AF mode on AF-A should be fine.
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