Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
fairfaxian Regular Member • Posts: 293
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

What an excellent and appropriate thread! I've been shooting BIF for years w 7DII and some of the longer lenses mentioned above. Rather than covid, my GF caught the BIF bug from me. She has some shoulder injuries and need a lightweight camera/lens combo. We decided on the 90D with Tamron 100-400F5.6 She's a photo beginner, but very sharp spotting & bird ID.

I'm a geezer used to optical viewfinders. But my GF is used to her point & shoot & iPhone so the rear screen appeals to her. I pointed out that you can hold the camera closer with OVF and use your face as part of the "virtual tripod" for better camera stabilization.

The DPR review for the 90D touts the merits of the rear screen. But I can't tell if that's for video or includes action stills shooting like BIF. I'm used to rear screen for video, optical viewfinder for stills, esp BIF.

I prefer OVF with my left elbow pressed against my chest for fast tracking AND perched bird shots. For me, pressing the camera against my cheek adds better camera stabilization. Whereas using the rear screen forces you to hold the camera away from you. OTOH, using rear screen may offer an advantage if you spot a BIF with your eyes and can perhaps more quickly align the camera with your eye view of the subject. I sometimes have issues spotting a bird, then relocating the bird in the OVF using a 600mm lens.

We shoot mostly raptors and the harrier hawks here are very fast fliers. Once locked in through the viewfinder, they're easy to track. But switching from eye view to camera can be tricky.

I use a 9pt focus array. Not sure if that would be optimum for the 90D or the spot focus. To me the latter requires more accurate aim to lock in.

Can any experienced BIF shooters explain what would be optimum settings for BIF stills with the 90D? OVF or rear screen, focus array, etc? Thanks!

FYI- I use 7DII with Sigma 150-600S, and my GF now has 90D with 100-400 Tamron -which drops to F.6.3 fully extended. But with the extra pixels in the 90D, our comparison shots are very similar, yet her gear weighs half of mine. We haven't tested much yet, but I think her setup might have the sharpness advantage at full telephoto.

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