Nature. Up close.
Gustav Kiburg & Alexander Heinrichs
Big Pictures, Small Cameras
The Sony RX10 IV offers the versatility of a large, interchangeable lens camera in a small package that’s easy to use for the keen wildlife photographer. With a high-resolution 600mm super-telephoto lens, the camera has the capability to capture extreme close-up shots with ease.
Photographers Gustav Kiburg and Alexander Heinrichs tell us how the flexibility of the Sony RX10 IV enables them to take incredible wildlife images, without compromising on image quality.
For wildlife photographer Gustav Kiburg, photography is an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, as he says, he actually likes to incorporate the beauty of the world we live in. Not just animals in exotic locations but those that are equally as beautiful in our backyard or in local neighbourhoods.
© Gustav Kiburg | Sony RX10 IV| 1/100s @ f/4, ISO 400
In contrast, photographer Alexander Heinrichs is always telling stories with his images; whether it be a fashion or ad shoot or capturing wildlife in the African plains.
‘I’m looking for those special moments. After a while you start to get a feeling for what the animals will do. I don’t take picture after picture, instead I wait for the perfect moment to take my shot. Each image is like a little piece of art. I’m showing the picture in a way that appeals to me in my own style’
© Alexander Heinrichs | Sony RX10 IV| 1/3200s @ f/2.8, ISO 100
Alexander Heinrichs waits for a special moment, such as this perfectly timed shot of a pelican about to land, which was taken with the RX10 IV.
‘If you are on a trip through Africa, travelling through the desert in 45 degree heat, you notice every kilogram you have to carry. Because of this I often left my bulkier camera equipment and went out shooting only with the RX10 IV’.
© Alexander Heinrichs | Sony RX10 IV| 1/1600s @ f/4.5, ISO 100
The versatility of the RX10 IV lens means it is just as at home taking close-up images as it is long telephoto shots. This image of a chameleon by Heinrichs made great use of the 24fps shooting rate to capture the exact moment the chameleon grabbed the insect with its tongue.
Meanwhile the weather conditions were quite the opposite for Gustav Kiburg:
‘I was in Norway to photograph killer whales with the RX10 IV. I went for three days. It was 20 degrees below zero and I was photographing whales from a little RIB boat. There were high waves and the camera had a salty sea water shower a few times each day, and yet it is still working great.’
© Gustav Kiburg | Sony RX10 IV| 1/1600s @ f/5, ISO 800
Gustav was also able to capture extreme close-ups of birds, despite sitting a fair distance from his subjects, thanks to the powerful 24-600mm zoom lens.
© Gustav Kiburg | Sony RX10 IV| 1/2500s @ f/6.3, ISO 400
Both photographers are more used to using interchangeable lens cameras, but the RX10 IV offers many of the features they are used to, in a smaller form. In Namibia, Heinrichs made the most of the huge zoom range of the camera.
‘I only had my RX10 IV with me - it’s easier to work with and it’s faster. For example, I snapped an elephant coming really, really close to our car, if I had to change lenses on my bigger camera it would have taken too much time and I would have missed the shot. Instead, I just zoomed out and got it.’
© Alexander Heinrichs | Sony RX10 IV| 1/1600s @ f/4.0, ISO 100
Out in Norway it was a similar story for Gustav:
‘The weight of the RX10 IV is 1kg and because of the 4.5-stop optical stabilisation you don’t need to use a tripod or a monopod. You can hold the camera for longer which allows you to react faster. When there are lots of sea birds flying all around or I am waiting for a whale to emerge, I can be shooting in one direction and notice something happen in the other direction and have to react; turning and shooting very quickly. The autofocus system is so fast, it is able to respond quickly’.
© Gustav Kiburg | Sony RX10 IV| 1/2500s @ f/5.6, ISO 400
Gustav prefers to shoot in overcast conditions because of the soft light that is produces, such as in this shot of a Northern Gannet. Even with the lower light, the RX10 IV’s autofocus system and long lens can capture this great image. He sums up just why the RX10 IV is a great all-round camera:
‘It is for people who want to have fun outside, but they don’t want a weighty bag full of lenses. It offers an all in one solution; great in low light, steady autofocus and tracking so precise it can photograph birds in flight. Combined with the ability to take macro images - all the key things that people want to do with a camera’.
Top Tips for Wildlife Photography
• Observe the animal and wait for the perfect moment to fire the shutter and take the photo.
• Use a longer focal length for macro images - anything beyond 200mm. This will allow you to be further from your subject so you don’t disturb it.
• Don’t be afraid to go for an extreme close-up. Having just your subject in the frame can really make an image stand out.
• Go out whatever the weather, but often early in the morning is the best time. During this time animals can be most active, and insects are often basking in early morning sunlight.