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Since I took delivery of my new camera a couple of weeks ago I've been looking an opportunity to properly test its ability to track moving subjects accurately. What I needed was a ready supply of subjects who would obligingly keep speeding past my camera. The local birdlife hasn't been cooperative enough so I decided to seek out speed of a mechanical variety instead. Snetterton race circuit provided the source I needed, with a track day taking place today, so I drove up to Norfolk this morning. An eclectic mix of cars continuously sped around the track all day so I was able to try out lots of different settings. As I suspected the camera's bespoke tracking mode isn't very good, although I had the odd success.
I had much more success using a single focus point but with the camera set to continuous focus and I moved that focus point to where I wanted it with my thumb on the touchscreen. The other useful option was to activate all 225 focus points and tell the camera which group of points I wanted it to start with. Having locked onto the lead car the camera then tracked it across the viewfinder pretty well, although I suspect this would work less well with a large field of cars in a race.
Normally I would spend some time doing some slow speed panning work to create a sense of speed in my pictures. I did a little of that today, but most of the time I stuck to a shutter speed of around a thousandth of a second. That meant I was unlikely to have any problems with camera shake and any failures were going to largely down to the camera rather than me!
Some seven hundred frames later I headed home, happy that I'd give my camera a really good test. It achieved a much better success rate than my little GX8 and I think the G9 now matches the abilities of the Canon DSLR I've just sold so I'm happy with my choice. All I need now is for the weather to warm up so I can get out to photograph more motorsport and aviation events and hone my skills!
19 January 2018