01 July 2017

Canon EOS 70D: Birds In Flight Photography, Cape Town

Canon EOS 70D for Birds In Flight - paired with EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D / Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Birds In Flight Cape Town

After some serious deliberation between the Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II for my Birds In Flight (BIF) photography, I ordered and collected a new Canon EOS 70D body during May 2015.

The Canon EOS 70D is a very responsive and relatively fast continuous shooting Canon EOS APS-C DSLR body for serving my BIF shooting requirements. With the leftover budget I added a new Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro lens and Canon Professional Gadget Bag 1EG to my growing Canon EOS system. (At the time of purchase the Canon EOS 7D Mark II was almost double the price of the Canon EOS 70D in ZAR).

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Update: During October 2015 I started facilitating Birds in Flight Workshops in Cape Town and acquired a Canon EOS 7D Mark II body for studying and getting up to speed with the more advanced 65-point Autofocus system. I mainly pair the dual Digic 6 image processor / 10 fps Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the (same) Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. AI Servo / Frames per Second Test with Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds in Flight gallery with Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM LensPaired with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens the Canon EOS 70D quickly delivered the expected results via application of the 19-point Autofocus system, Digic 5+ Image Processor and 7 fps / frame rate (compared against my Canon EOS 700D's 9-point Auto-Focus system, Digic 5 Image Processor and 5 fps / frame rate and same Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens).

Birds In Flight Test ShotsManual Mode with deliberate fast shutter speeds of 1/1200 - 1/2000s to freeze the wings and to compensate for the lack of Image Stabilization on the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. All photos created handheld with Single Point AF or Zone AF. Post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 and converted from RAW to JPG (minor colour adjustments, noise reduction and lens profile correction). Overcast / low light conditions.


Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens for Birds In Flight, Cape Town
Canon / SanDisk Equipment (Birds In Flight Photography) 
  • Canon EOS 70D SLR camera body 
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM telephoto prime lens
  • SanDisk 32GB Extreme PLUS 80mb/s SD memory card
  • SanDisk 32GB Extreme PRO 95mb/s SD memory card

Canon EOS 70D Manual Mode Settings

  • Shutter speed: 1/12000 - 1/3200s 
  • Aperture: f/5.6 - 8 
  • ISO 250-800 
  • Focal length 400mm
  • No Image Stabilization 
  • Autofocus mode (Centre Point or Zone AF)
  • Continuous shooting mode / AI Servo (up to 7 fps)
  • Handheld

Cape Town Birds In Flight Photography Location
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

(Click to Enlarge / Slideshow)
Canon EOS 70D for Birds In Flight Photography, Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D for Birds In Flight Photography, Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D for Birds In Flight Photography, Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D for Birds In Flight Photography, Cape Town
Canon EOS 70D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Prime Lens

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens: Links to professional / consumer reviews - View


Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens


Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D over the EOS 700D for Birds In Flight (own experience only) 
  • Dedicated Auto-focus (AF) button on EOS 70D vs none on EOS 700D
  • Improved / more adjustable Auto-Focus (19 Points vs 9 Points)
  • Improved control button on the Canon EOS 70D 
  • Improved battery life with battery charge(r) indicators (+1200 vs +- 650 shots) 
  • More frames per second for Birds In Flight (7 fps vs 5 fps) 
  • Top LCD and intuitive switch-gear with handy AF selection mode (vs Mode dial) 
  • Slightly bigger / brighter viewfinder (pentaprism vs pentamirror / 95% vs 98% coverage) 
  • Improved (body) balance with Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens 

Article Source © Vernon Chalmers (with Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens)


Canon EOS 80D Birds in Flight Testing / 1st Impressions