Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

Started 5 months ago | Questions
Old Greenlander Veteran Member • Posts: 4,337
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

I had 7D2 for many years

Get the 90D for the better image quality

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Saumbi
Saumbi Regular Member • Posts: 148
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

The 90D has come and gone, it carried to much baggage in the IQ department for me.

first off it needs the latest glass, not at all happy with my old L glass, the 300 f4, the 34-70, and the non IS 70-200 which is close to my 70-200 IS II did not work for me.

Seemed not to play well above 800 ISO, I just didn't like it, softer images and even raw only seemed to be soft but harsh.

Did I have a copy with focus issues?? Not sure, but I could be spoiled by the 1DX and 5DIII I updated from. I think I will just grab a 7D MarkII and know at least focus issues will be over, the 70D in my opinion was better using anything but the very newest L glass in less than full sun and lower light, just to many misses with focus from either.

Like I said, maybe I just got a bad copy, but for me the bigger files were not as clean as my 70D, and it is just has to many images that miss for sports and wildlife. I think the XXD cameras are better at satisfying those looking for video or still when at leisurely less than fast action, but not wildlife or sports.

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Rocket13 Senior Member • Posts: 3,491
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
5

Sorry to hear of your bad experiences.  I love mine but came from 80D so maybe why I was able to settle right into it. I shoot wildlife almost exclusively. It does seem to be either people love it or hate it body.

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Duckman21 Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

Rocket13 wrote:

Sorry to hear of your bad experiences. I love mine but came from 80D so maybe why I was able to settle right into it. I shoot wildlife almost exclusively. It does seem to be either people love it or hate it body.

How do you find the AF between the 80D and 90D. The 80D does fine for me most of the time but it does encounter inexplicable hiccups. For a duck or gull it's something like every 2-3 shots is in good focus (albeit at f8-9), then hunt, then focus again. Perhaps my lens motor was damaged in wet conditions though I feel like it has more or less been always like this.

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sam12 Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
3

I use Fuji cameras and lenses and Canon cameras and lenses.  My number one camera for most work, birding etc is a Canon 5D3.  Operationally, af and the ability to use presets for af action is great.  However, I am at a point where I want more reach than the 5d3 can provide.  Do I buy a new lens or a new camera?  Tried the 90D a while back, it is not in the league with the 5d3 or the 7D2.  In order to stay with the Canon system and share things with my wife I decided today and bought a used 7d2.  Have had them in the past for sports.  Solid workhorse that will do the job I need.  If I was you I would get a 7d2 also.  I'm never disappointed with the 5d3 and I know the 7d2 will give me equal if not better photos.  One bit of advice, learn to use the af presets for the situations you shoot in.  They can be your best friend.  The 90d lacked these and it made a huge difference.  On youtube check out videos by Fro Knows Photos, he is very good at giving info.

Steve

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Rocket13 Senior Member • Posts: 3,491
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
3

Duckman21 wrote:

Rocket13 wrote:

Sorry to hear of your bad experiences. I love mine but came from 80D so maybe why I was able to settle right into it. I shoot wildlife almost exclusively. It does seem to be either people love it or hate it body.

How do you find the AF between the 80D and 90D. The 80D does fine for me most of the time but it does encounter inexplicable hiccups. For a duck or gull it's something like every 2-3 shots is in good focus (albeit at f8-9), then hunt, then focus again. Perhaps my lens motor was damaged in wet conditions though I feel like it has more or less been always like this.

I find it works just fine, but I have always been a single point shooter, I know there were complaints about multi point shooting but I haven't had any issues.

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RogerZoul
RogerZoul Senior Member • Posts: 2,765
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

BirdFan2000 wrote:

Hello,

I am seeking recommendations on the above camera bodies.

Some background first. I am an amateur photographer seeking to get back into pursuing my hobby. I currently own a 5D Mark II with 24-105 L, the original 100-400 L, a Rebel XSi and a variety of other lenses and camera bodies. I had purchased the equipment back in 2010 when I was actively pursuing this hobby. Then, life events happened and I couldn’t pursue my hobby for several years. In the last few days, I feel inspired again to be outdoors and get back into wildlife photography in general and bird photography specifically. I intend to keep my 24-105 permanently on my 5D II for landscape.

As I reflect on my bird photography experience from several years ago reflection, I feel I missed opportunities because of limited autofocus capabilities of my Rebel. I mostly shoot smaller birds like finches and sparrows. From memory, I find them in a busy background with twigs and leaves with very low or no sunlight. I do not pursue Birds in Flight as much, although I take photos of birds flying from tree to tree.

My needs:

From experience, I have found myself in situations where I wish I had more light or better ISO performance. A superior AutoFocus would be ideal for my needs. Where I live currently is cloudy most days in the winter and I need a camera that works around poor lighting. I feel that I have such a good lens in my 100-400 (original), that I should get a camera that’s able to fully utilize its potential.

I have done my research online and in the DPReview forums. Here’s my assessment:

Benefits of 7D II:

- Demonstrated capability for bird photography.

Concerns with 7D II:

- Doesn’t have WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity (somewhat important to me).

Benefits of 90D:

- 10 fps.

- Has WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity.

- Tilt screen will help with difficult angles.

- For my bird photography needs, would single point AF meet my needs? I read a comment that the performance of 90D exceeds that of 7D II for single point AF.

- Higher megapixel count will allow me to zoom in more (by cropping).

- Better IQ

Concerns with 90D:

- Saw comments that its AF doesn’t perform as well using viewfinder. However, that concern is offset by its good performance using live view. - Dual pixel AF also seems to be a feature that I might make use of.

Between a new 90D or used 7D, what would you recommend for my specific needs?

Thank you in advance.

How do you plan to use LV for bird photography with the 90D?  Tripod? How do you plan to use the flip out screen for birds?  I find it useful for macro (one of my main uses for my 90D) but not so much for birds

The build quality of the 90D falls far short of the 7Dm2.  On mine, the joystick is unreliable and results in my focus point jumping around.  Never had that on any other canon body (70d,80d, 7DM2,6D,5DM4,5DSR, r5) I have owned. I have a buddy with a 90D and he is having all kinds of issues with his, I think his is worse than mine, in fact.

Both 90D and 7DM2 go at 10 fps, but 7DM2 does it better, less noisy and deeper buffer.

7DM2 has DPAF too, but I think the 90D’s version is newer and likely tracks better.  I think it also has advantages for stills, too.

put you are not big into BIF, then the 90D is fine, but if you are, the 7DM2 is better. But for perched birds, the 90D will get the job done.

I would say it would be wise to get the newer 100-400 mk 2 so you can get more focus points with a 1.4x tc III on the 90D.

I like the MPs on the 90D, so I sold one of my 7DM2s and kept the 90D for macro and when I want more reach on my 500 mm f4 + 1.4x tc, when I got my R5.

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Gopi L New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
1

i use 7D mark ii and it is excellent for birding...

steinr98 Regular Member • Posts: 443
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

steinr98 wrote:

There is no question the 7D MkII has better and faster AF. Especially for BIF. Many pros use this camera as a back up. I have both models and for wild life 7D MkII. The 90D is better for video! Not all older lenses work on the 90D. Could be a big factor $$$$. 7D II has better specs for wild life. I should have bought another new 7D II but went for the newer specs- mistake for wild life!! Ask 10 people get 10 different answers. Suggest U purchase from dealer that u can return! Good luck!

For a copy of glass that is too old for the 90D See "Marvin The Maven" on UTube!!  he has an excellent review of the 90D.

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Dave
Dave Veteran Member • Posts: 5,633
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

steinr98 wrote:

steinr98 wrote:

There is no question the 7D MkII has better and faster AF. Especially for BIF. Many pros use this camera as a back up. I have both models and for wild life 7D MkII. The 90D is better for video! Not all older lenses work on the 90D. Could be a big factor $$$$. 7D II has better specs for wild life. I should have bought another new 7D II but went for the newer specs- mistake for wild life!! Ask 10 people get 10 different answers. Suggest U purchase from dealer that u can return! Good luck!

For a copy of glass that is too old for the 90D See "Marvin The Maven" on UTube!! he has an excellent review of the 90D.

Michael the Maven? Here's the link:

http://www.michaelthemaven.com/?postID=5117&canon-90d-m6ii-lenses-which-have-enough-resolving-power-which-do-not

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BirdShooter7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,385
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

Dave wrote:

steinr98 wrote:

steinr98 wrote:

There is no question the 7D MkII has better and faster AF. Especially for BIF. Many pros use this camera as a back up. I have both models and for wild life 7D MkII. The 90D is better for video! Not all older lenses work on the 90D. Could be a big factor $$$$. 7D II has better specs for wild life. I should have bought another new 7D II but went for the newer specs- mistake for wild life!! Ask 10 people get 10 different answers. Suggest U purchase from dealer that u can return! Good luck!

For a copy of glass that is too old for the 90D See "Marvin The Maven" on UTube!! he has an excellent review of the 90D.

Michael the Maven? Here's the link:

http://www.michaelthemaven.com/?postID=5117&canon-90d-m6ii-lenses-which-have-enough-resolving-power-which-do-not

Interesting list, I’ll have to try my old 100-400 L on my 90d when it gets back from service.  The list indicates its confirmed very soft “one of the worst”

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Duckman21 Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

How does 90D work if you use AF for live view and a LCD viewer? Though 7fps is a lame choice for ducks that flap their wings at around that speed so you'll get the same wing posture between most shots.

Has anyone tried performance with AI Focus? As poor as it is for detecting a movement object (I can never get it to go from one-shot to tracking mode), I suspect Canon wants us to use it for "optimal" AF tracking.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 24,325
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
2

Duckman21 wrote:

How does 90D work if you use AF for live view and a LCD viewer? Though 7fps is a lame choice for ducks that flap their wings at around that speed so you'll get the same wing posture between most shots.

I played around with a Hoodman loupe on my 90D's LCD screen before I bought the R5, and the AF was clearly better than DSLR mode for auto-AF in the zones with AIServo.  The framerate and lag are not ideal with the LCD, though.

Ad12 Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

This is interesting to read, many thanks! I made a thread about the 7dii yesterday. not enjoying my Fuji experience, so looking to Canon. I already own my Tamron 100-400 which I love, currently adapted to an Xt3. I could go back to my 800d, lovely images i got of birds, but the lack of manual controls, AF customisability, small viewfinder, and it wasn’t great to track, made me move. I wanted mirrorless so had no choice but Fuji.

Reading this thread, it seems that the 90d, and also by extension the 80d, are inferior to the 7dii? Good to know. I’m considering splitting strategy and having 7dii for purely birding and wildlife, and EOS R for everything else. If i trade my xt30, xt30, 800d, 3 fuji lenses etc, i can get the 7dii (already have the 100-400 for this), and an R with 24-105 f/7.1, and MPB would owe me some money, 65!.

Based on this wonderful thread and the experience of people commenting is it fair to say; for birding, you either go R5, R6+long lens, 1dx+long lens, or 7dii? In Canon land. I’m hoping but also moderately confident the 7dii should AF equal to my XT3.

I did see the eos R tracks really well, but lets down with the FPS. Is it accurate to say for small fast birds, 7dii > R ?

The main concern of 7dii i sensor. On DXO the DR and ISO performance seems worse than 80d (which has same sensor as my 800d). With Xt3 I’m used to a modern BSI sensor.

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John Sheehy Forum Pro • Posts: 24,325
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
2

Ad12 wrote:

The main concern of 7dii i sensor. On DXO the DR and ISO performance seems worse than 80d (which has same sensor as my 800d). With Xt3 I’m used to a modern BSI sensor.

The 7D2 has less noise at high ISOs than the 80D (and the 90D the least).  You can't go by "DR" for high ISO noise; DR includes highlight headroom which is highly variable, and always available with HTP or by using a lower ISO and under-exposing it and pushing the RAW conversion.  IOW, DR at high ISOs is a meaningless and cheap academic trick.  DR at base ISO is what matters, for when you have lots of light and maximize exposure, or to know that it is relatively safe to under-expose from a lower ISO.

The 80D is designed to have more highlight headroom than the 7D2, and that is where any edge in DR at high ISOs is to be found.  Shoot the same scene with both at the same high ISO with the same Av and Tv values, and the 80D will have slightly more headroom, but the 80D will have more visible noise in the darker areas.

Canon APS-C ISO 12800

Ad12 Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography

John Sheehy wrote:

Ad12 wrote:

The main concern of 7dii i sensor. On DXO the DR and ISO performance seems worse than 80d (which has same sensor as my 800d). With Xt3 I’m used to a modern BSI sensor.

The 7D2 has less noise at high ISOs than the 80D (and the 90D the least). You can't go by "DR" for high ISO noise; DR includes highlight headroom which is highly variable, and always available with HTP or by using a lower ISO and under-exposing it and pushing the RAW conversion. IOW, DR at high ISOs is a meaningless and cheap academic trick. DR at base ISO is what matters, for when you have lots of light and maximize exposure, or to know that it is relatively safe to under-expose from a lower ISO.

The 80D is designed to have more highlight headroom than the 7D2, and that is where any edge in DR at high ISOs is to be found. Shoot the same scene with both at the same high ISO with the same Av and Tv values, and the 80D will have slightly more headroom, but the 80D will have more visible noise in the darker areas.

Canon APS-C ISO 12800

Thanks for the info, really really useful.   I got great results with my 800d but the AF, VF and manual controls let me down. Seems the 7dii should be better in every single way. I suspect it won’t be quite as good as my XT3, but who knows. Alternative is to wait for the R7, but no idea when it will be!

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Rocket13 Senior Member • Posts: 3,491
Re: Canon 7D Mark II or 90D for Bird Photography
2

Of course since the 7D2 is made for action and above the the pro entry level of the 80D and 90Ds  With the 90D being made for more general use the 7D2 should out perform it, no argument there. But the 90D I feel gets much maligned and regarded as a not so great body when in fact for what it is made for it does quite well. I will share a series of bullheaded shots i took the other day in low light  (Rain)  against a busy background and they came out just fine . Buffleheads are ducks that are 15 inch's in size and fly at 48mph I was at least 20 yards from them (To far) but the crop capability of the 90D helped in this scenario.   Of course on stationary subjects it does amazingly well .

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Rocket13 Senior Member • Posts: 3,491
Re:The buffles

No light as you can see by the EV setting but the 90D still held up well on these fast erractic ducks.

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TheBlackGrouse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,571
Re:The buffles

Rocket13 wrote:

No light as you can see by the EV setting but the 90D still held up well on these fast erractic ducks.

We have to be fair, these are high-contrast birds, easy to pick up for the AF. Although the camera performs well I'd like to see the results with female mallards.

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Rocket13 Senior Member • Posts: 3,491
Re:The buffles

Will Wigeons or shovelers do?

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