I took my new Canon EOS 7D out for a field test on Sunday. Practiced a lot of shooting on these mallards and gulls trying to get a feel for how the auto focus system works and what settings are the best for tracking birds.
The detail captured by the 7D is amazing. Shooting these ducks on the water it captured incredible amount of detail compared to my old 10D or even to the 1D Mk2 that I have used for bird photography before.
A male mallard flapping his wings.
Here’s an 100% crop of the shot above. Click on the thumbnail to see the image in its full resolution. Check out the little water beads on the head of the mallard and the details in the feathers.
Canon EOS 7D can shoot at 8 fps. Now I’m not exactly a fps fan because I still believe that pressing the shuttle at the right time is the only way to get the right shot. Imagine that you want to take a photo of a world class tennis player returning the serve with the ball right in front of the racquet. The ball will be traveling at 100 kilometer per hour or 27.78 meter per second. At 8 fps the time between frames would be 0.125 second, which means the ball would have traveled 3.47 meter between frames. Putting that into the context, it meas that even at 8 fps, you might miss the intended shot. Now that’s not saying 8 fps doesn’t help. It helps in shooting events that’s hard to gauge the exact time you want the shot to be taken. For example the following sequence of a American black duck flapping the wings were taken with the 7D shooting at 8 fps. I wanted a shot with the wing opened fully at the back and the timing is hard to get unlike say sporting event. As you can see 8 fps certainly helped in getting the shot.
The 7D is really quick on focusing. The camera feels very snappy on acquiring the focus and very good at tracking the bird as it flies around. And the 18 million pixels allows you crop really heavily. For example, the following shot, the gull covers only 10% of the frame, yet if I crop the gull out, it is sharp and every usable in a print.
A few more bird in flight shots.
I was tracking a gull with my camera and as the gull flies right in front of me I took a few shots.
However, it seems that someone was feeding the gulls. I caught the bread right in the air without knowing. I only saw the bread after I came back and checked the photo on the computer.
The gull took a dip in the lake and then fly off. You can actually see the water in its mouth.
This one was shot around sunset and I had to use ISO 800 to get a fast enough shuttle speed. The noise level is very good from the 7D and the light from the sun just before sunset looks really good on the bird.
Okay this is not a bird shot, but this raccoon was circling around me when I was waiting for the sun to go down.