Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Started 4 months ago | Questions
BirdFan2000 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?


I am seeking recommendations on camera body and lens

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 bird photography.

The 24-105 L is permanently mounted on my 5D II for landscape and other nature photography.

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 and foreground 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 sprinting 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.
- If possible, I’d like to utilize my Canon 100-400 L (original, NOT Mark II).
- The cost should be less than USD 2500.

I have been researching for the last month or so. So far, I have short-listed the following camera bodies to use with my original 100-400 L.

1. Canon 7D Mark II

2. Canon 90D

3. Canon M6 Mark II (with converter)

Alternatively, I’m considering:

4. Sony a6600 with Canon 100-400 L or Sigma 150-600

5. Panasonic G9 with Panasonic 100-400

Considering my specific needs, can you please offer recommendations?

This question has not been answered yet.
ruley74 Contributing Member • Posts: 723
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Hi there,


Without over analysing I would suggest either the 7DII or 90D to get you started again with the wildlife and supplement your current gear. Then you can consider if you want more focal length as time goes and get a 150-600 added to your kit.

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 ruley74's gear list:ruley74's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D5 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +5 more
bobgilbody Senior Member • Posts: 1,371
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Have you thought of getting a grey import 5Ds? Could use it for landscapes as well.

 bobgilbody's gear list:bobgilbody's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS 80D Canon EF-S 10-18mm F4.5–5.6 IS STM Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Canon EF 50mm F1.8 STM +5 more
Red Barchetta
Red Barchetta Senior Member • Posts: 2,840
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

I would think that for an amateur the 90D would be sufficient and easy to work with. I would want a lens with a large aper more than anything if it's dark and cloudy with birds in the shadows of the trees most of the time. GL!

 Red Barchetta's gear list:Red Barchetta's gear list
Canon EOS 80D Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +5 more
OP BirdFan2000 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Thank you. That was my initial thought too. But the more I hear about the autofocus capabilities of Canon M6 II and Sony a6400, the more curious I am about their performance with the original 100-400 L.

OP BirdFan2000 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Thank you. I haven’t heard much about 5DS AF. I see that it is in your gear list. Would you like to share your feedback / experience on the Camera?

OP BirdFan2000 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Camera and Lens for Bird Photography?

Thank you for your feedback. 😀

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