2023—The Hummingbird Test

When I get a new camera, my favorite test subject is a hummingbird. I love hummingbirds and because I make my garden as hummingbird friendly as possible, there are usually test subjects available. Surprise! I have another new camera and a female Anna’s Hummingbird was my first test subject. Bedford Camera and Video of Arkansas shipped my new Nikon Z8 camera to me Thursday and I picked it up from the Roseville FedEx office when it arrived late Friday afternoon. The smaller, lighter size of the Z8, plus the fact that it is almost identical to the Z9, appealed to me. Using the lighter Z8 instead of the heavier Z9 when using larger telephoto lenses will make a big difference in my ability to get sharp images when I am handholding. By the time I personalized my camera settings Saturday morning, the sun was bright and directly overhead but the Anna’s Hummer was sipping nectar at the purple salvia so I stood in the doorway and photographed her. The camera performed flawlessly, not so much the camera operator. I forgot to program the button to switch seamlessly between FX and DX mode, a feature I use often. Because I forgot to program that button, I couldn’t easily switch between modes so I took these images in DX mode instead of FX mode, creating a larger subject in the image than I intended. It is awesome to think that just a week ago I was filling the frame with 1000 lb. Kodiak Bears and now I am filling the frame with Anna’s Hummingbirds that weigh less than a quarter ounce.