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Wildlife Photographers

Discussion in 'Canon Conflab' started by Claire Cohen, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Claire Cohen

    Claire Cohen New Member

    Camera buying advice from canon wildlife photographers out there.

    Hi all , Can anyone recommend a decent second hand or new canon camera good for wild life – birds in flight ect. I’m thinking a 5d Mark iv – But I’ve been told 8 fps is really a minimum . I have approx. £1600 to spend , I’ve had a sony a6000 using canon lenses with an adapter hence me wanting to move to canon.

    Thanks for any advice out there.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Claire, the challenge with bird photography is getting close enough as long lenses are expensive. Burst rate (fps) is and isn’t that important. I bought a 1Div for bird photography and although it will do 10 fps (for ever if shooting jpgs) quite honestly having zillions of near identical pictures is really boring and a pain to sort out. Most often I take 2 frames in quick succession (double tap on the shutter release) rather than use burst mode and Imhave it on 3 fps rather than 10 fps. Others do swear by machine gunning and, if you sit in a hide, you’ll hear people rattle through hundreds of exposures of birds doing not a lot. Where burst rate matters is if you want to catch movement but it is second fiddle to anticipation because the first frame is vital for acquiring focus.

    The best and probably cheapest birds in flight combination would be a 7D ii and a Canon 400 mm F5.6 L. It isn’t stabilised but it is (relatively) light, has excellent AF speed and is sharp wide open. On full frame 400 mm is not really long enough, you have to get quite close and birds can seem very small in the viewfinder.

    In a year or so there will be experience with the new Canon Mirrorless R5 which might turn out to be a good birding camera but is presently unknown.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

  4. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    You don't say which Canon lenses you already have. The 7dII body with it's excellent auto-focus, teamed with the mkII 100-400L lens and 1.4x teleconverter would be my recommendation. If you buy used then the combination without the TC should be just about in budget.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    For general wildlife, and using a monopod, I agree but the 100-400L is very heavy for birds in flight.
  6. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Please let me know where you found these prices.
  7. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Another vote for this combination. For larger wildlife the lack of a zoom can be an issue.

    I also use a Sigma 150-600 C which is very good.
  8. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Wex for the body. Google for the lens as they're as rare as hens teeth used.
  9. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I cannot find any “cheap” mkII 100-400L used lenses.

    Do you use one with your 7Dii?
  10. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

  11. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I know owning one for A few weeks doesn't make one an expert but check out the spec of the 7D mk1 it certainly has 8 fra!mes/sec. I bought a mint copy from WEX recently for not much money at all specifically to use with a 70-300 I already had and it seems to work very well
  12. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Here's a shot of a gull taken from the pier with my 7D in 2014 on a visit to Aberystwyth. Lens used was the EF 70-300L at 300mm.
    01616pcs Gull, Cardigan Bay .jpg
    RogerMac likes this.
  13. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    The original 7d or a 70d would definitely fit the bill too. Both can be had at bargain prices. The 7d is more robust build with weatherproofing, but the 70d has more recent tech inside and handles high ISO better.

    Merlin taken with a 7d and mkI 100-400L.


    Stooping Lanner Falcon taken with 70d and the same lens.

    RogerMac likes this.
  14. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Lovely bird.
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Good shots.

    The Merlin is very good. You’ve got me thinking now. In the past weeks I’ve been cycling down into Shropshire down by the big mosses and have seen several of what I took to be Hobbies, one even came down into the lane where there were a lot of dragon flies. I hadn’t realised that Merlins also had such long wings and pale colouration. I think I need to take the car, bins and camera and do some proper watching.

    Good capture on the Lannar Falcon. I should think it was really moving apace.
  16. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Wow ! !
    RogerMac likes this.
  17. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

  18. Claire Cohen

    Claire Cohen New Member

    Thanks all for the recommendations , I think i'm going to go with the 7D Mark ii .
  19. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you'll be happy with it. But, it's a complicated body, and if you get puzzled, you know where to ask...
  20. WillieJ

    WillieJ Well-Known Member

    A 5DS is well worth considering if you want full frame as the extra pixels mean you can crop more. I got mine second hand, mint less than 2,000 actuations off ebay for £1,400 in 2018.

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