Buy Used 1DIV or New 5DIII for Bird Photography?

Started Nov 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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riknash Veteran Member • Posts: 6,798
Buy Used 1DIV or New 5DIII for Bird Photography?

Being not really happy with the AF and mid ISO performance of the 7D for in-flight bird photography, I'm debating what makes better sense. The options seem to be one of the following;

  1. purchase a used 1DIV
  2. purchase a 5DIII
  3. purchase a 1DX
  4. wait for 7D to be improved with a replacement model
  5. look at other makes like Nikon or Sony
  6. take up basket weaving instead of this hobby
  7. do nothing

Assuming either a 300mm/2.8 or 500mm/4 lens (not series II),  would be used, what makes the best sense for obtaining the best performance for BIF?

The full frame options seem rather a give and take. Both the 1DX and 5DIII have much improved servo AF,  but the pixel density per millimeter on the sensor is far less than the present 7D. Examining 1DX RAW crops, it was rather disappointing with how quickly the image pixelated compared to the 7D. The pixels were far cleaner at higher ISO but useable crops that we were used to making with the 7D were no longer satisfactory as the pixel density rapidly dropped off. The objective was to produce acceptable prints of at least 20 x 30 inches that could stand up to close scrutiny rather than web sized photos. Can someone illustrate some acceptable FF crops of our feathered friends with more than 75 percent of the sensor surface lost to cropping?

Alternatively, the 1DIV seemed to be the compromise between AF servo performance over the 7D and some degree of ability to crop the image.  Upgrading to a 1DIV, will the performance offset the loss in some crop-ability? How many bird photographers have upgraded from a 1DIV to a 1DX and what are the pros and cons? Was it really worth the upgrade or did it require you to also have to upgrade to a longer lens? Are the resultant images that much better?

 riknash's gear list:riknash's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x HTC One
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS-1D Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Canon EOS-1D X
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