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need a body for 100-400ii + 1.4TCiii. 7dmk2 or 80d or wait? Bird photography

bobbob2
Contributor

Hi.

 

I've been using the 70d with the 100-400ii+1.4tciii for bird photography for some time now and I'm ready to move to a new body. The 70d is great for what it is but it does not AF at f8. I've been shooting manual for almost a year, with some excellent results, but without a prism in the viewfinder, getting perfect focus is a question of luck more than skill, especially with subjects as unforgiving as birds. There is a certain comfort in knowing that any focus issues are entirely my own fault rather than gear related, but I'm ready to move on.

 

The 7dmk2 seems to ideal candidate for a new body but the 80d seems a worthy competitor, especially at f8. It's also cheaper but that's not the determining factor. I've been reading up on the subject and it seems that on paper the 7d2 is better for my purposes. However, I would really appreciate some input from people who have compared both bodies with the mentioned lens setup for birds.

 

There is a thread going over this question over at Fredmiranda but I'm not sure what to make of it. https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1488551/0

 

Additionally, rumours of the 7dmk3 and 90d coming out are holding me back. I'm not entirely sure what's going on with the 2019 releases? Should I wait? It would be at least another year until the release, get stock delivered and fix teething problems, if any, of the new models.

14 REPLIES 14

ebiggs1
Legend

IMHO, I would always go for the best built camera so I would always choose the 7D Mk II over an 80D.  However, the 80D is a great camera just not coming from a 70D, to me. Not that it isn't a nice upgrade which it is. I just prefer the more professional camera over the intermediate ones.

That said I might suggest a different approach. A new, or let's say different lens.  You can't use your 70D because of the tel-con. Not because it's a old camera. Take a look at the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2.  No tel-con needed! As you might tell I am not a fan of extenders.  I prefer native FL.

 

"... rumours of the 7dmk3 and 90d coming out are holding me back"

 

There will always be newer and more fantasticer cameras coming out. How many pictures, memories, are you missing out on by not getting it today instead of waiting? If it serves your purpose today go buy it today and start enjoying it today.  There may never be a 7D Mk III. Probably will but you never know and you waited and waited !!!!!!!!!!

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I don't know how to quote replies so this is for

 

The more I read the more I'm convinced that the 7d is the right choice. Someone who used both would know better, but the general sentiment is for the 7d.

 

I understand where you are coming from in re to the tamron suggestion. However, I am happy with the 70d, save for that 5% of missed shots where something amazing is happening for 2-3 frames but my focus is off. I actually love manually focusing, it's a great connection to the gear and subject. If it was a question of lacking skill I would work hard to get better, but the modern DSLR OVF simply is not up to the task.

 

I can't justify getting the tamron rather than a new body. I am very happy with the lens and TC combo. I'm sure the tamron is a great lens but if I ever decide to seriously get a new lens it will be a big prime, 600 or 800mm.

 

I entirely agree with your philosophy regarding waiting. Well said. Life is short.

 

 

I checked to see if one of my favorite YouTube channels had anything about the 80D with a 1.4x III, and IT DID!!!  I like Grant Atkinson’s videos.  He seems to be one of the most genuine and knowledgeable reviewers out there.  

 

 

https://youtu.be/Ir6kkSFS618

 

 

If you want to know how he does that neat little trick to display AF point selection on the LCD, this is how.  Use the [INFO] button to select the settings screen that is similar to the Quick Menu displayed when you press the [Q} button.  Next, press the [AF GRID] button in the top right corner of the rear panel.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

Thanks, good video!

 

You are the only one that's suggesting the 80d over the 7dmk2 and it's not making my life any easier 🙂

 

 


@bobbob2 wrote:

Thanks, good video!

 

You are the only one that's suggesting the 80d over the 7dmk2 and it's not making my life any easier 🙂

 

 


I do not feel that I am suggesting the 80D.  I have already pointed out that the 7D2 is probably the better overall choice.  I have simply been pointing out that  if you want to use the 1.4x III with that lens, and make sure it is the “III” version, then the 7D2 could be a major disappointment.  

 

In fact, it will be a disappointment.  From time to time, I might swap out bodies with a lens when the batteries get low.  Every so often I wind up putting the 7D2 on the 100-400 + 1.4x III.  It will take a few minutes to figure out that there is nothing wrong with the camera.  I just simply failed to notice the lens setup that I was using.  #seniormoments

 

 

 

You might want to check out Part 1 of that two part series.  It takes a lot of practice to track BIF with just a single focus point.  Grant Atkinson does an excellent job of explaining the AF settings in the 80D.  They are the same settings found in 7D2, and all of Canon’s current prosumer and professional bodies.  

 Atkinson spends some time to explain what settings professionals would use, and why.  He takes the time to make recommendations on what settings could work best for someone new to wildlife shooting with a super telephoto lens, and why.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

I see, I misunderstood you. To clarify, are you saying that the 80d focuses better with the TC than the 7d, but the 7d is overall a better camera even with the TC, slower focus issues aside?


@bobbob2 wrote:

I see, I misunderstood you. To clarify, are you saying that the 80d focuses better with the TC than the 7d, but the 7d is overall a better camera even with the TC, slower focus issues aside?


Pretty much, yes.  That is what I am saying.  The 7D2 is the better camera, overall.  But, the 80D will perform better when you are using a TC with a lens that creates a minimum aperture of f/8.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

ebiggs1
Legend

I forgot to mention, the 7D Mk II and the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 would make a super birder combo.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Can't help re any of the xxD series because I stopped buying them after owning the 40D. I have been a member at FM for many years so looked at who was giving advice as well as whet they had to say & I really only recognize 4 of the members & 2 suggest the 7D2 & I fully respect their advice. It's not an answer to your question but Arbitrage & Imagemaster are both very skilled & super serious bird photographers.

On the lens side of the question I have just bought a well used 100-400 (ver 2) but don't own a 1.4 TC but have been shooting a Sigma 150-600 C for a few summers & it AF's very well on my 7D2 shooting R/C aircraft which in general are faster than BIF but also their path is more predictible than a birds.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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