20 September 2019

Canon EOS 7D Mark II versus Canon EOS R Birds in Flight Observation

Not a true empirical / ideal comparison, but its the best I have on the EOS 7D Mark II and the Canon EOS R (for Birds in Flight / Action photography).

Shooting conditions more / less the same at Woodbridge Island ito weather. Image of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II may have been a tad closer.

Image 1: Canon EOS 7D Mark II (APS-C / Crop body) with EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens @ f/5.6

Image 2: Canon EOS R (Mirrorless Full Frame body) with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens with EF 1.4x tele-converter @ f/8

Notes on Focal Length and Field of View:
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Lens = 400mm focal length x 1.6 crop factor
  • Canon EOS R / Lens / TC = 400mm focal length x 1.4x tele-converter

Notes on Continuous Speed Frames Per Second (fps) Shooting
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II / Lens = 10 fps via Optical Viewfinder (OVF)
  • Canon EOS R / Lens / TC = 5 fps via Electroniv Viewfinder (EVF)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II (APS-C / Crop body) with EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
Image 1: Canon EOS 7D Mark II (APS-C / Crop body) with EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens Source>>

Canon EOS R (Full Frame body) with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM with EF 1.4x TC
Image 2: Canon EOS R (Full Frame body) with EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM with EF 1.4x TC Source>>

AF comparison at the time: EOS 7D Mark II much more responsive through the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) than the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) of the EOS R.

I had quite a few opportunities with the EOS R in my Birds in Flight shooting environment (in various light) and at the time could not get / configure the AF responsiveness to anything close to what I'm used to with the EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Although the EOS R had a recent Firmware Update addressing the lethargic AF there is no way I would personally change the EOS 7D Mark II for EOS R / EOS RP / EOS M for Birds in Flight / Action photography.

Latest EOS R / RP Full Frame Mirrorless Firmware Updates
Since my initial observations there was a Firmware Update (Canon EOS R) for enhancing various functions and I believe AF performance as well. I have not worked with the body again, but will follow the update(s) with interest.

Canon Releases EOS R Firmware Update 1.4.0  as an AF Improvement Update during September 2019.

Link to the Canon EOS R on my Canon Camera News Cape Town Website: Canon EOS R / RP Firmware Update

Motivation for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II vs EOS R Comparison
As an experienced birds in flight photographer and birds in flight photography trainer I had a fair amount of requests from local photographers to do this comparison. It is probably not a fair comparison to compare the action performance of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon EOS R, but it was nevertheless done to provide potential buyers of the EOS R with a sense of the expected action performance of the EOS R vs a high-performance Canon DSLR.  

First Impressions Canon EOS 7D Mark II View>>

First Impressions Canon EOS R View>>

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town View>>

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town Training>>