Canon 7D or 70D for birds in flight

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,160
Re: re: macros in a wind with the AF on 70d + 100/2.8L ??

jpr2 wrote:

R2D2 wrote:

One note: the AF with the 100L Macro (at 1:1) has been simply outstanding with the 70D. It can now out-focus me! (I normally use the manual "sway" technique). It's now my preferred method when shooting macros in the wind! No joking.

now that is very, very interesting - may I ask what targets specifically you did that the macros in a wind with AF on 70d + 100/2.8L outperform the swaying technique?

Yeah, it was pretty breezy that day.  I usually wait for a still moment, then bang bang bang (I use diffused flash in burst mode usually).  I normally focus manually via viewfinder (preset the lens and then try to keep still!).  It was warm and sunny that day so the bees were very active (I call them "crazy bees" because trying to photograph them when they're in that mode will drive you absolutely bonkers!).

Now I remembered that the 7D's AF is designed so that the camera is aware of when you are focusing at near Macro distances, and then it doubles the AF sampling rate (in AI Servo mode), to great effect actually (I've tried it).  So I thought I'd give the 70D's AF a try (I've tried it with my 650D and it can sometimes about match my manual focusing ability, about what the 7D did).  I shoot thousands of macros a year.

And the 70D won!

It didn't try to focus on the far legs, or the wings, or the shoulder, or the flower parts (like so many other cameras do).  It hit right where I had the center AF box; right on the eyes (all 5 of them to be precise    ).  I even tried it when the flowers were in motion, and the AF was responsive enough to track right along and get the focus right.  More often than I could.

Here are a couple of shots from that day.  Best viewed at "Original" size.  EXIF is intact...

The 650D (T4i) is no slouch at macros either.  My 100L Macro basically lives on it now...

Sometimes I have to throw the (astounding) MP-E65 on it though for kicks...

Do you feel that it can perform well for IIFs (insects in flight, and I don't mean hoverflies or other hovering species - say, a tough case of an ever-direction-changing butterfly at a pretty close distance, approaching the 1:1 magnification)??

I haven't tried to capture any IIFs yet, but if the AI Servo AF performance in the breeze is any indicator, I'd speculate that it will perform better than any other camera ever made.  Just my take.

Thanks for looking,


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