31 August 2020

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography
Many photographers, when they first getting interested in Birds in Flight / Action Photography, are of opinion that they require professional grade gear, or at least the latest and / or greatest DSLR / Lens combination that they can afford.

With more than eight years of personal experience in the capturing of Birds in Flight and the training and development of new photographers in the capturing of Birds in Flight I have seen quite a number of substantial improvements via the photographer's ability without any significant change in body and / or lens combinations.

The more advanced Canon APS-C or Full Frame bodies (paired with i.e. a 300mm or 400mm prime lens) will provide for an excellent basis to start from, but from personal experience, have seen many new photographers with professional grade equipment coming to my Birds in Flight Photography Private Training / Workshops with the total honesty (and frustration) of not being successful in this exiting action genre.

Also read: Setup and Tips for Birds in Flight Photography

What I tell many Cape Town photographers staring out with Birds in Flight Photography is that they may just have a possible body / lens combination in their bags without spending any money on new gear.


'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'
Birds in Flight Photography gear acquisition (as referred to tong-in-cheek globally as GAS - 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome') can very quickly spiral out of control for new photographers putting gear first and not considering a more complete range of requirements / skills development for getting started. I generally recommend Birds in Flight photography delegates / beginners not to make any changes to current gear for at least three to six months (to focus on skills development first).

Birds in Flight Photography Learning and Training Opportunities Cape Town
For Birds in Flight Photography training and shooting opportunities please Contact me

Capturing Birds in Flight is a combination of the following requirements:

DSLR Bodies: FPS / AF / Shutter Speed
Any DSLR capable of shooting between 4 and 14 frames per second (fps) in continuous shooting mode are suitable for Birds in Flight. I.e the Canon EOS 600D / 700D's at 5 fps will get the job done. Even entry-level DSLR bodies with a limited 9-Point Autofocus (AF) system is responsive enough for tracking fast flying birds. 


Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography
Shutter Speed: 1/3200s
Understanding and application of shutter speed is a critical requirement in my view. About all DSLR's will offer shutter speeds of a maximum of 1/4000s up to 1/8000s (in some higher-end bodies) of which all is suitable for freezing the wings of most birds.

I generally use 1/3200s to 1/4000s shutter speeds for the majority of my Birds in Flight photography.
Popular Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography
After training many new Birds in Flight photographers at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town the following Canon, Sigma and Tamron lenses are the most popular for Canon APS-C and Full Frame bodies:
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens
  • Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens
  • Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens
  • Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS (II) USM lenses
  • Sigma 150-500 / 600mm lenses
  • Tamron 150-600mm lenses

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town
With Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Lenses: Minimum Focal Length and Apertures
Telephoto zoom kit lenses in the minimum focal length range of +- 250mm are just about suitable as an entry lens choice for starting out at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - as some areas will allow for very close access to low flying birds.

The 55-250mm or the 70-300mm variable-aperture f/4-5.6 tele-zoom lenses can't really be compared with the optical quality of a prime lens of 300mm or 400mm lens (with apertures of f/4 or f5/6), but under sufficient light you will be surprised of what is achievable - even at f/8 (the 'sweet spot' for image quality / sharpness of many 70-300mm lenses). 

Image one:  King Gull captured using an entry-level DSLR (EOS 700D) and the kit variable aperture zoom lens (Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.5.6 IS II Lens)

Image two:  Grey Heron captured using an entry-level Canon DSLR (EOS 700D) and a consumer variable aperture lens (Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens).

Image three:  Reed Cormorant captured using a mid-range enthusiast Canon DSLR (EOS 70D) and the very cost-effective 400mm telephoto lens (Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens)

Image four:  Swift Tern captured using a semi-professional Canon DSLR (EOS 7D Mark II) and the very cost-effective 400mm telephoto lens (Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens)

Image five:  Pied Kingfisher captured using a semi-professional Canon DSLR (EOS 6D) and sharp and fast Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens)

Image six:  Swift Tern captured using a semi-professional Canon DSLR (EOS 6D) and professional-grade prime super-telephoto Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens)

The biggest success criteria of the three images below are not the gear, but the most applicable exposure settings, quality of the light and the fact that I was quite close to the bird with an anticipation / understanding of the subjects's behaviour / flying pattern(s).

Birds in Flight Photography: Skills / Techniques
With learning any new photography genre there is a learning curve. Only many hours in the field will ensure the understanding and mastering of the most suitable camera body / AF / lens settings and the best exposure modes for action photography (ito best results for depth of filed, subject sharpness and overall satisfaction rate of the photographer).

It can take anything from six months or longer for getting a thorough understanding of the camera / lens settings, exposure settings and to learn the different bird birds ito their flying and general behaviour patterns. The objective should not be to master this as quick as possible, but to take time to learn, have fun and spend time with like-minded photographers.

Personal Dedication: Commitment / Motivation
I've seen many of my Birds in Flight Photography delegates increasing their Birds in Flight capturing skills over time well past the original workshop and practical shoots. Some then go on to purchase new and more advanced bodies and lenses, but most just keep on working their skills lens (by shooting as often as they can, asking as many questions as possible and not be afraid to experiment with camera / lens and exposure setting.

Two Cost-Effective Canon Birds in Flight Lens Options - Go Here>>

Capturing / Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography
Capturing / Tracking Variables for Improved Birds in Flight Photography

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography King Gull: Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens
King Gull: Canon EOS 700D / EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography - Grey Heron: Canon EOS 700D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens
Grey Heron: Canon EOS 700D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens


Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography - Reed Cormorant: Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Reed Cormorant: Canon EOS 70D / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens


Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography - Swift Tern: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
Swift Tern: Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens

Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography - Pied Kingfisher: Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens
Pied Kingfisher: Canon EOS 6D / EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Lens


Starting out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town - Swift Tern: Canon EOS 6D / EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
Swift Tern: Canon EOS 6D / EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

All 9 Birds in Flight images were captured around the Milnerton Lagoon / Woodbridge Island, Cape Town in mostly early morning and sunny conditions.

20 August 2020

Birds in Flight Photography - Skills Training Cape Town

Swift Tern Woodbridge Island : Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens

Recent Vernon Chalmers Bird In Flight Photography Cape Town images published here

Private / Small Group Birds in Flight Photography Skills Training Cape Town
Increase your Canon EOS DSLR Birds in Flight photography skills with individual / small group workshop skills development training with Vernon Chalmers in Milnerton / Woodbridge Island Cape Town. Master the required camera and exposure settings with hands-on practical sessions around Woodbridge Island. 


Intermediate to Advanced Birds in Flight Photography Training Cape Town
Any photographer with a Canon EOS DSLR who wants to get a more in-depth understanding of the Canon EOS Exposure Modes, Autofocus (AF) system and its application / tuning for Birds in Flight / Action photography. Detailed instruction will be provided for all modern Canon EOS bodies up to the 65-point AF system. Please see the skills development  / learning areas below.

Egyptian Goose Woodbridge Island (Canon EOS 70D)
Birds in Flight Practical at Woodbridge Island
With more than 25 bird species Woodbridge Island offers year-round opportunities for capturing birds in flight.  A practical / walk-around shooting session will be arranged as soon as possible after completing the theory session. This is an opportunity for experimenting with the various exposure settings, AF system configurations and capturing / composition techniques. Guidance will be on hand for fine-tuning of exposure settings and AF system configurations.

Cost: From R850-00 (depending on training requirements)

What do you need to bring? A Canon EOS DSLR Camera, telephoto or zoom lens & your own memory card.

Recommended min lens focal length

250mm - 300mm ie: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6(L) IS USM zoom or EF 300mm f/4L IS USM prime lens (or any 3rd party lens of similar FL). I predominantly use the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens or Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens with both Canon Full Frame or APS-C / Crop bodies. I've had success with the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens in the past as well (paired with the Canon EOS 700D).

Continuous Canon AF and body assistance / support for fine-tuning specific Canon EOS body / lens combination.

Contact Me  for more information / booking detail (or Canon EOS training in other areas).

Delegates will receive a ring binder folder with all the relevant information and other useful resources.


Skills Development / Learning Areas*
  • BIF Fundamentals / Considerations 
  • Canon EOS Bodies / Lenses for BIF 
  • Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Exposure Settings 
  • Continuous shooting / AI Servo Modes 
  • Canon AF Systems (9-point to 65-point) 
  • Advanced AF System tuning (AF configuration / Area Selection Modes) 
  • Advanced body / lens focus tuning / techniques / recommendations 
  • Post-processing considerations for Birds in Flight Photography 
* Specific learning areas will depend on learning requirements / current skills levels

Canon EOS Training Cape Town
Canon EOS Bodies / AF Systems
All EOS body owners (or future EOS owners) are welcome to attend. Please note that the in-depth discussion / tuning around AF systems will primarily be focused around the following AF systems with specific emphasis from the 19-point AF system EOS bodies which offers more advanced case and zone configurations:

  • 9-point AF System (EOS 500D / 550D / 600D / 650D / 700D / 60D / 5D / 5D Mark II) 
  • 11-point AF System (EOS 6D) 
  • 19-point AF System (EOS 750D / 760D / 70D / 7D) 
  • 45-point AF System (EOS 1D / 1D Mark II / 1D Mark III / 1D Mark IV)
  • 45-point AF System (EOS 80D) / Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • 61-point AF System (EOS 5D Mark III / EOS 5Ds / EOS 5Ds R / EOS-1D X) 
  • 65-point AF System (EOS 7D Mark II)

Birds in Flight Photography - Individual Skills Training Cape Town
Canon EOS 7D Mark II (AI Servo Case Menu - Case 2)

Canon EOS AF Guidebooks

Owners / users of the following Canon EOS bodies will receive a matching e-copy of the Canon EOS Autofocus Guidebook:
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • Canon EOS-1D X
(Click to Enlarge)
Birds in Flight Photography - Individual Skills Training Cape Town
Small Bird Woodbridge Island  (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens)

Birds in Flight Photography - Individual Skills Training Cape Town
Sandwich Tern Woodbridge Island  (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens)

Birds in Flight Photography - Private / Individual Training Cape Town
Sandwich Tern Woodbridge Island  (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens)

Birds in Flight Photography - Private / Individual Training Cape Town
Swift Tern Woodbridge Island  (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens)

Birds in Flight Photography Private / Individual Training Cape Town
Sacred Ibis Woodbridge Island  (Canon EOS 7D Mark II / 400mm Lens)

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

07 August 2020

A few Birds in Flight at Woodbridge Island

Cattle Egret in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Cattle Egret in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Friday late morning I went for a short walkabout just outside my training studio here in Milnerton, Cape Town (opposite Woodbridge Island) and quite quickly captured a few local birds in flight:
  • Cattle egret
  • African ibis
  • Little egret
  • Pied kingfisher
  • Yellow-billed duck

Conditions and Location
Crisp late morning sun with no wind at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (just off the small island). Woodbridge Island Map>>

Canon Camera / Lens Settings
  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens
  • Manual Mode
  • Auto-ISO: 400 - 800
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Shutter Speed: 1/3200s
  • AI Servo: Case 1: Wide Zone
  • 10 fps High Speed Continuous Mode
  • Handheld

Post-Processing
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC 9.0: Colour correction / noise reduction / lens profile correction.

(Click to Enlarge)

African Ibis in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
African Ibis in Flight above the Milnerton Golf course, Woodbridge Island, Cape Town

Little Egret in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Little Egret in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (against the Milnerton Golf Course)

Pied Kingfisher in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Pied Kingfisher in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (against the Milnerton Golf Course)

Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town
Yellow-Billed Duck in Flight Woodbridge Island, Cape Town (Against Lion's Head / Signal Hill side of Table Mountain)

Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

01 August 2020

Landscape Photography Training Milnerton

Landsscpe Long Exposure Photography Training Cape Town Vernon Chalmers Copyright 01

Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Training Milnerton, Woodbridge Island

Vernon Chalmers facilitates beginner / intermediate level Landscape / Seascape / Long Exposure Training Courses at Milnerton and Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - with guided sunrise and sunset shooting sessions.

Training Dates: To be confirmed with individual delegates

Delegates are welcome to attend Sunrise and / or Sunset Sessions.

Training Cost: R2 450 per delegate for up to four sessions (two to three practicals)


Self Catering Accommodation Milnerton
Vernon Chalmers photography training is facilitated from a self-catering apartment in Arnhem, Milnerton (opposite Woodbridge Island) with an option for local and international photographers to overnight during the various training sessions. Optional accommodation will be calculated at reduced rates into the Photography Training Proposal / Invoicing. More Information

Photography Training Gift Voucher
Landscape / Long Exposure training is available as a Birthday / Christmas Gift training option with a one year validity period. It could also form part of general Canon camera training option as well. More information

Method of PaymentPayment Options>>

Booking: Contact Vernon Chalmers 

25% discount for delegates who made any previous booking(s) via the Vernon Chalmers Website

Membership to the Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town Support Group

Delegates during a Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Milnerton Beach Photo Credit Steve Williams
Delegates during a Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Milnerton Beach
Training Objective / Training Level
For assisting the developing photographer with the understanding and application of intermediate to advanced landscape / long exposure settings and techniques (with ongoing Landscape Photography Training support).


At the end of the workshop / practical sessions you should be able to understand / grasp the techniques required to get the most from your own gear / and take your own photography to the next (more advanced) level. 

For Canon APS-C / Full-Frames DSLR bodies / lenses
The Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop will start with exposure / focus settings with reference to APS-C and Full Frame bodies) and then up to three practical sessions at Woodbridge Island / Milnerton Beach: a sunset session and again at sunrise and / or sunset session. Delegates are welcome to attend all three practical sessions.


Workshop Contents / Learning Areas
  • Introduction 
  • Camera Bodies / Lenses 
  • Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Exposure / Focus Settings 
  • Long Exposure Techniques
  • Tripods / Remote Releases
  • Filters Overview / Application 
  • Composition Guidelines
  • Introduction to Landscape Panoramas
  • Copyright / Online & Social Media Publishing
  • Practical Sessions (Milnerton Beach / Woodbridge Island)

Canon DSLR Camera Body / Lens Requirements
Any Canon EOS DSLR camera body with an ultra-wide / wide angle lens in ie. 10-18 / 18-55 / 18-135mm focal length APS-C format or Full Frame ie.16-35 / 24-70 / 24-105mm focal length will be suitable. Feel free to contact me if you're not sure.

Tripod
A sturdy tripod will be mandatory for the low light / long exposure sessions.

Cost: R950-00 per delegate for up to four sessions

Contact Vernon Chalmers for more information

All Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop Cape Town promotions, bookings, and logistics are facilitated by Vernon Chalmers.

(Click to Enlarge)

V&A Waterfront Sunrise - Canon EOS 700D / 18-135mm Lens
V&A Waterfront Sunrise - Canon EOS 700D / 18-135mm Lens

Landscape / Long Exposure Workshop Cape Town - October 2016
Sea Point Sunset - Canon EOS 6D / 16-35mm Lens 

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Lagoon (Canon EOS 6D)
Table Mountain / Cape Town Before Sunrise - From Milnerton Beach (Canon EOS 6D)

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Lagoon, Cape Town (Canon EOS 6D)

Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach (Canon EOS 700D)
Long Exposure Photography - Milnerton Beach, Cape Town (Canon EOS 700D)

The Wooden Bridge  Woodbridge Island After Sunset (Canon EOS 6D)
The Wooden Bridge  Woodbridge Island, Cape Town - After Sunset (Canon EOS 6D)

Photography Private Training Courses Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More 
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More

Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton

Birds in Flight Photography Training Classes Cape Town - Image Vernon Chalmers  :  Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton - With EOS 7D Mark II
Canon Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town

 Vernon Chalmers facilitates the popular Birds in Flight Photography Workshop / Private Training (for Canon EOS DSLRs) in Milnerton, Cape Town - with hands-on practical sessions along the Diep River, Milnerton Lagoon and around the Table Bay Nature Reserve, Woodbridge Island. 


Please note that the Birds in Flight Photography training is for Canon EOS bodies only. 

New / Updated: The Advanced (AF) Autofocus photography training workshop is now integrated as an advanced AF Module in the current Birds in Flight Photography workshop. 

Birds in Flight Practical Training / Application
More than 55+ different bird species (in-flight and perched) have been photographed over the last couple of years at Woodbridge Island, Milnerton- all within a relatively short walking distance from the training studio apartment. Bird Species | Google Map

Canon EOS bodies covered in Birds in Flight Photography application / training:
  • Canon EOS 700D / EOS 750D / EOS 800D
  • Canon EOS 60D / EOS 70D / EOS 77D
  • Canon EOS 80D /  EOS 90D
  • Canon EOS 7D / EOS 7D Mark II
  • Canon EOS 6D / EOS 6D Mark II
  • Canon EOS R / EOS RP (Mirrorless)
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III /  EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Canon EOS-1D X / EOS-1D X Mark II

Recommended lenses for Birds in flight Photography (Focal Length)
  • 70 - 300mm (Canon / Sigma / Tamron)
  • 100 - 400mm (Canon / Sigma)
  • 150 - 600mm (Sigma / Tamron)
  • 300mm / 400mm / 500mm / 600mm (Canon)

Birds in Flight Photography Training Costs:


Cameras with less advanced AF Systems R1 250-00 (Two Sessions x 5 Hours each)
There will be some Lightroom (Classic CC up to Ver 9 )post-processing orientation (if required) and an extra session could be costed in for Lightroom training at half the cost of a separate Lightroom training session.

Optional Lightroom Session: Add R450-00 for 1x five hour session ((total programme hours = 15)

___________________________________________________________________

Cameras with Advanced AF Systems R2 450-00 (Four Sessions x 5 Hours each)
There will be some Lightroom (Classic CC up to Ver 9) post-processing orientation (if required) and an extra session could be costed in for Lightroom training at half the cost of a separate Lightroom training session.

Optional Lightroom Session: Add R450-00 for 1x five hour session (total training hours = 20)

___________________________________________________________________

Please note: 25% discount applies if you've attended any of my previous workshops

Self Catering Accommodation Milnerton
Vernon Chalmers photography training is facilitated from a self-catering apartment in Arnhem, Milnerton (opposite Woodbridge Island) with an option for local and international photographers to overnight during the various training sessions. Optional accommodation will be calculated at reduced rates into the Photography Training Proposal / Invoicing. More Information

Photography Training Gift Voucher
Birds in Flight Photography training is available as a Birthday / Christmas Gift training option with a one year validity period. It could also form part of general Canon camera training option as well. More information  

Method of Payment
Payment Options>>

Read more about Starting Out with Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Intermediate to Advanced BIF / Action Photography
Anybody with a Canon EOS DSLR who wants to get a more in-depth understanding of the Canon EOS Exposure Modes, Autofocus (AF) system and its application / tuning for Birds in Flight / Action photography.

Detailed discussion will be provided for all modern Canon EOS bodies up to the 65-point AF system. Please see the session's contents / learning areas below.


Exclusive Ongoing Birds in Flight Photography Support
Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Any registered delegate who attends the Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town is welcome to join the Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Support Group for uploading / discussing photos, learn more, get online support and / or shoot with me at Woodbridge Island (after the original workshop practicals). 

More information will be provided during the registration / payment process.

Further no-cost fine tuning is available after the initial workshop practicals at Woodbridge Island. 

Detailed notes and other relevant information resources will be provided during / after the workshop.


Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Practice at Woodbridge Island
Practical / walk-around shooting session for attendees of both Session 1 and Session 2. This is an opportunity to experiment with the various exposure settings, AF system configurations and capturing / composition techniques with the various birds species around Woodbridge Island. Guidance will be on hand for fine-tuning of exposure settings and AF system configurations.

What do you need to bring?DSLR Camera, telephoto or zoom lens & your own memory cards.

Recommended lens focal length300mm ie: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (STM) or EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6(L) IS USM lens (or any 3rd party lens of similar focal length).


Birds in Flight image samples with a 70-300mm variable aperture Zoom Lens

Contact Me if you need more information about your DSLR body and lens pairing.

Each delegate will receive a folder with all workshop information and other useful resources.

Private Training / Workshop Learning Areas

  • BIF Fundamentals / Considerations 
  • Canon EOS Bodies / Lenses for BIF 
  • Camera / Lens Settings 
  • Exposure Settings 
  • Continuous shooting / AI Servo Modes 
  • Canon AF Systems (9-point to 65-point) 
  • Advanced AF System tuning (AF Configuration / Area Selection Modes) 
  • Advanced body / lens focus tuning / techniques / recommendations

All EOS body owners (or future EOS owners) are welcome to attend. Please note that the in-depth discussion / tuning around AF systems will primarily be focused around the following AF systems with specific emphasis from the 19-point AF system EOS bodies which offers more advanced case and zone configurations:

  • 9-point AF System EOS 500D / 550D / 600D / 650D / 700D / 60D / 5D / 5D Mark II) 
  • 11-point AF System EOS 6D 
  • 19-point AF System (EOS 750D / 760D / 70D / 7D)
  • 45-point AF System EOS 80D / EOS 90D / EOS 6D Mark II
  • 45-point AF System EOS 1D / 1D Mark II / 1D Mark III / 1D Mark IV / Older 1D's) 
  • 61-point AF System EOS 5D Mark III / EOS 5D Mark IV / EOS 5Ds / EOS 5Ds R / EOS-1D X (II) 
  • 65-point AF System (EOS 7D Mark II)

(Click to Enlarge)
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Training Milnerton, Cape Town 

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town


Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight Photography Workshop Cape Town - February 2017
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight / Action Photography Skills Development Training 2017 Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

Birds in Flight / Action Photography Skills Development Training 2017 Cape Town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town


Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape town
Birds in Flight Photography Workshops Woodbridge Island / Cape Town

More Birds in Flight Photography Cape Town Images



Canon Photography Private Training Courses Milnerton, Cape Town
  • Introduction to Photography / Canon Cameras More 
  • Canon EOS Autofocus / AI Servo Master Class More
  • Birds in Flight Photography Workshop More
  • Canon Speedlite / Ring Lite Flash Photography Workshop More
  • Macro / Close-Up Photography Workshop Cape Town More
  • Landscape / Long Exposure Photography Workshop More
  • Digital Workflow / Lightroom Post-Processing Workshop More

    The Future of the Canon EOS 7D Mark III?

    Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for Birds in Flight Photography / Image Copyright: Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
    Canon 7D Mark II  / 400mm Lens  :  Image: Vernon Chalmers
    The Canon EOS 7D Mark II was released on 15 September 2014 as the replacement for the Canon EOS 7D that was released on 15 September 2009. 

    I have used the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, almost exclusively for Birds in Flight photography, throughout its life cycle and am still an avid user of this extremely capable APS-C DSLR body for action photography.

    We may be edging ever closer towards the end of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's life cycle and with current (competitive) advancements in the APS-C DSLR and Mirrorless camera market showing the real age of the EOS 7D Mark II's features and specifications.

    Future of the Canon EOS 7D Mark III?
    After the launch of the Canon EOS 90D there are more and more speculation and rumor that we will not see the Canon EOS 7D Mark III as Canon's future high-speed action APS-C camera, but it will be positioned as a mirrorless (APS-C) body possibly in the make-up of a new EOS R (or even as an EOS RS).

    It will be a sad reality for many Canon EOS 7D Mark II photographers. Where some will embrace the modern mirrorless technology many other would probably keep their current EOS 7D Mark II's for longer or look for an alternative Canon EOS DSLR i.e.the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or possibly the the new Canon EOS-1D X Mark III - more about the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III development Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Development Press Release.

    Current Canon EOS 7D Mark II for Birds in Flight Photography
    The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is in my opinion a formidable APS-C DSLR with an advanced AF system just about straight out of the Canon EOS-1D X / Canon EOS 5D Mark III professional bodies. The 65-point AF system and the 1.6 crop sensor advantages were part of my decision-making for adding the Canon EOS 7D Mark II to my existing gear.

    Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens First Impressions Article

    I use the Canon EOS 7D Mark II exclusively and very frequently for Birds in Flight Photography paired with the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens (at Woodbridge Island, Cape Town). I'm quite happy with this pairing and the only in-the-near-future upgrade that I'm considering is the replacement of my current 400mm lens with the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens.

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

    I wrote the following about future expectations of a rumored Canon EOS 7D Mark III in June 2017

    Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for Birds in Flight Photography / Image Copyright: Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
    Canon 7D Mark II  / 400mm Lens  :  Image: Vernon Chalmers
    What I like most about the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
    Before upgrading to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II I was quite satisfied capturing Birds in Flight with my Canon EOS 70D (which I still use) and if it was not for the Birds in Flight workshops I present would probably have stayed with the Canon EOS 70D for a year or so longer.

    I had a brief opportunity to test a Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens pairing before upgrading to my own Canon EOS 7D Mark II. When comparing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II directly to the Canon EOS 70D I appreciate the following features the most: 
    • Advanced AF system with multi-controller support
    • Wide Zone AF option for erratic and small birds
    • 10 frames per second continuous shooting
    • Deeper buffer for RAW shooting
    • Slightly better ISO noise improvement
    • CF Card / Dual memory card slots

    Please Note
    : This article is not a Canon EOS 7D Mark III rumor, but as a current user of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II I have certain expectations (wish list) of possible specifications and features of a Canon EOS 7D Mark III DSLR camera should there be such a camera.


    Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List for Birds in Flight Photography / Image Copyright: Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
    Canon 7D Mark II  / 400mm Lens  :  Image: Vernon Chalmers
    Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List / Requirements
    Different Canon EOS 7D Mark II Birds in Flight photographers users will probably list all sorts of required / improved functionality that they would like to see added to a possible Canon EOS 7D Mark III - especially now after the early 2016 release of the Canon EOS 80D and the more recently released Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

    My Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List is based on personal preferences and will most likely be quite different for many current Canon EOS 7D mark II photographers around the world.

    Other photographers may want to see 4K video, faster frame rate and a few other enhancements - below is my Canon EOS 7D Mark III wish list for my own Birds in Flight photography. 

    I personally have no issues with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II's battery life,10 fps or AF / AI Servo tracking performance. 

    My Canon EOS 7D Mark III Wish List Specifications (compared to Canon EOS 7D Mark II)
    • 24 - 28 Megapixel Sensor (20.2 MP) 
    • Dual DIGIC 8 Image Processors (Dual DIGIC 6) 
    • ISO 100 - 32000 (ISO 100-16000) 
    • AI Servo AF III+ Focusing / Tracking System (AI Servo AF III) 
    • 65-point AF system with 25+ AF points at f/8 (65-points / limited AF point coverage at f/8) 
    • Broader AF Point spread across the sensor 
    • Deeper Buffer / 40 - 50 RAW for continuous shooting (31 RAW) 
    • Wi-Fi / NFC and Bluetooth (none) 
    • CFast & SD Card Slots (CF & SD Card slots) 
    • 3.2" LCD touch screen (3.0" LCD non-touch screen)

    Read / Rumor: Canon EOS 7D Mark III Coming with Dual Digic 8 Image Processors

    New Canon EOS 7D Mark III Rumors & Announcement Updates
    New Canon EOS 7D Mark III Rumors & Announcement Updates

    I'm in no real hurry for adding a possible Canon EOS 7D Mark III to my Birds in Flight Photography gear - the possibility is very exiting, but before then I would more than likely replace my Canon EOS 6D with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and wait for the new Canon EOS APS-C flagship announcement (possibly later in 2018).

    Article: Vernon Chalmers

    Images: Images on this page with Canon EOS 7D Mark II

    Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens  / Image Copyright: Vernon Chalmers Cape Town
    Canon EOS 7D Mark II / EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Lens : Image: Vernon Chalmers


    Canon EOS 7D Mark II Resources / Birds in Flight Photography Gallery View

    Two Cost-Effective Canon Lenses for Birds in Flight Photography View

    Birds in Flight Photography View