Sony RX10 IV vs Canon 7D mk II & 100-400 IS mk II

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
edform Veteran Member • Posts: 6,173
Re: Sony RX10 IV vs Canon 7D mk II & 100-400 IS mk II

Mark in Tampa wrote:

The only drawback with the Sony compared to the Canon gear is trying to photograph birds in flight. Even when I'm in continuous center lock-on AF (which I find best), I find the Sony to be harder to locate the subject and it takes longer to get it in focus. Therefore, for flying birds, I like my Canon gear better.

You'd be much better using a wider focus zone for BIF, especially against sky.

This will sound like heresy, but the AF capabilities of the RX10-iv are distinctly superior to most, if not all, DSLRs, provided the target can be brought into the AF system's zone of action, and that is a big problem. The complete absence of margins in an EVF make initially lining the camera up on the target much harder - a nightmare actually. OVFs show a bigger patch of sky so catching that vital first glimpse of the target, and bringing the camera into line with it, is substantially easier.

I used an Olympus EE-1, red dot sight mounted on my RX10-iv via a £6 multi-shoe-to-cold-shoe adapter. Set up properly, the work of a few moments, such a sight has a much higher visual capture area than any OVF. Then I usually set the AF zone wide.

When I first tried this arrangement, my target was swifts over neighbouring gardens behind our house, and I was able to reliably follow them across the sky with only a few minutes of practice, after which I could produce 30-40 shot bursts at 25FPS with almost every shot in focus. Bursts were sometimes terminated by the camera locking onto tree branches at the end of a sweep but using the expanded flexible focusing zones largely cured even that at the expense of slightly more difficult initial target acquisiation. The images I produced that first day are not much use, of course, small birds at a distance do not subtend many pixels, but as a demonstration of the system's ability to grab tiny, very fast moving, objects out of the sky they are remarkable.

One shot from near the beginning of a 30 shot burst. The bird at the top is just commencing a turn.

Ten frames later and the bird formerly at the top of the frame is a blur below and to the right of the other which is still firmly in focus.

Half a wing beat later, same pair of birds.

The little chaps [or chapesses] are high in the frame because I had the dot-sight calibrated too far away - I used the eaves of a house as the range-setting target - should have used the top branches of the trees which are just out of frame to the right and quite close to the birds.

With bigger birds, using the RX10-iv in this way is killer. No DSLR can do stuff like this - I imagine an experienced BIF practitioner can catch swifts, but give me a list of DSLRs that can do 25FPS with almost all the shots in focus.

I sold my RX10-iv at the end of last summer, BIF are not my thing, and bought myself a Sony A7, which just didn't suit me, so I swapped it recently for a Nikon Z6. I'll be using it with an Olympus EE-1 for fast moving stuff when the weather improves.

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Ed Form

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