18 September 2017

Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens

Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D - Woodbridge Island Cape townCanon EOS 6D  / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens - Birds In Flight AF Test Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Objective: Testing the Canon EOS 6D  body / EF 400mm f/5.6 USM lens AF tracking and accuracy in a Birds in Flight Photography environment.

Note: I generally do most of my Birds in Flight photography with the canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens, but wanted to see how the full frame Camon EOS 6D (with its basic 11-Point AF System) will perform in more / less the same shooting conditions (distance, location and weather).

I am quite happy with the image quality considering the Canon EOS 6D's AF system, slower frames per second continuous shooting speed and the lack of the Canon 7D Mark II's 1.6 crop factor reach. Most of the images are substantial crops (more than 50 to 60% off the original image).

What impressed me most was the ability of the basic 11-Point AF system for tracking small birds through the reeds - using the Center AF Point option).

Canon EOS 7D Mark II vs Canon EOS 6D AF System
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II's 65-Point AF System is by action photography design and purpose superior to the Canon EOS 6D 11-Point AF System in many ways - with the EOS 7D Mark II's AF tracking and focus lock therefore notably faster for moving subjects like Birds in Flight (as experienced by me around Woodbridge Island, Cape Town during the last three years).

The Canon EOS 6D's Centre AF Point option will be more than suitable for birds in Flight photography with a fast prime lens (i.e Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM) or zoom lens (i.e. Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM).

All images processed in Lightroom 6. Converted from RAW to JPG. Lens profile correction. Minor colour correction.

Cape Town Location / Conditions
Milnerton Lagoon Woodbridge Island, Cape Town / Sunny with very little wind

Equipment (Birds In Flight / Action Photography)
  • Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera body
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Lexar Sandisk 95MB/s 32GB SD Card

Manual Mode Settings
  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Shutter speed: 1/4000s
  • ISO (Auto-ISO 640 - 1250)
  • Focal length 400mm
  • AF Mode Option (Center Point)
  • Continuous shooting mode (4.5 fps) / AI Servo
  • Lens AF On / No IS / Handheld

(Click to Enlarge)
Double-Breasted Cormorant : Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Cape Shoveller Ducks: Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 800 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 800 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Reed Cormorant: Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 640 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Southern Masked Weaver: Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 1250 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 1250 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Pied Kingfisher: Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 1250 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Canon EOS 6D / 400mm Lens ISO 1250 /f6.3 1/4000s - Woodbridge Island, Cape Town


Birds in Flight Photography with Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens - View


Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - Birds in Flight Photo Gallery

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town