Not long ago, capturing an eye-sharp image of a big dog in a great pose while running (bouncing) full speed toward and close to the camera was extremely challenging. With the Canon EOS R5's incredible animal eye AF combined with the 20 fps frame rate and the Canon RF 70-200mm F4 L IS USM Lens in front of it, the biggest challenge of this shoot was deciding which of the 1,400+ images on the ProGrade Digital 325GB CFexpress 2.0 Cobalt Memory Card to keep.
Bright white snow is a strong auto-exposure influencer, typically causing the camera to underexpose images. With bright white snow filling greatly differing percentages of the frame during each dog pass, exposure compensation was not optimal. Thus, my most frequently used exposure mode, manual, was the ideal choice.
This shoot's goal was to challenge the camera and lens AF system, so the shallow depth of field provided by a wide-open aperture was best, providing little margin for error. The wide-open aperture in combination with the longest focal length provided the strongest background blur possible, making the subject stand out.
Next, the shutter speed was selected, with freezing motion the goal. I opted for 1/1250-1/1600, choices that proved marginally short enough for this fast dog in some instances.
ISO was the last image brightness factor to be applied. As a rule, snow in the sun should be nearly blown-out white. To determine the optimal brightness, the histogram is the proper tool. The ISO setting was increased until the brightest pixels were registering nearly against histogram graph's right side. Note that the blinkies will likely show before color channel capacities are reached. Use the histogram.
This day was cloudy, and cloudy skies often bring brightness changes. Thus, the histogram required monitoring for ISO adjustment needs.
With the R5 in face and eye detection mode and animal eye AF selected, the remaining job was to keep the dog in the frame while holding down the shutter release as my daughter repeatedly positioned and ran Nala toward the camera.
With the R5 and a good lens, getting the perfect action shots is (often) only a small challenge.