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So is the Canon R5 a bird photography body? (1 Viewer)

I was the same as you I used my 7D MKII constantly for the reach, but the more I used the 5D MKIV with the same lenses I realized that the reach was nice but what was more important was the noise handling and better sensor of the 5D.
It's always nice to have two bodies with you when you are out incase you need to change quick, but I cannot see myself carrying anything but the R5 from now on. The animal eye detect is a massive game changer even with stacked converters.
I have probably not used all combinations of my lenses yet, but all the ones I have tried work far better than they did on the older bodies. I have no intention of buying any RF lenses at the moment, I could be temtped if they bought out a 105mm macro but that is it.
The image cropability is better, the image quality is better, the IBIS and tracking is better. Use the inbody 1.6 crop to achieve the same as the 7D, why would'nt you if the bird is not going to fill the frame anyway.

I have EF400mm F4 DO IS II USM
EF100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM
EF70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM
EF2x III
EF1.4x III
 

colincurry

Well-known member
Thanks, Dale.

Very encouraging especially as I would not wish to buy RF lenses.

Nonetheless, I think I shall wait and see what happens on the R7 front.

Colin
 

Matt Bell

Registered User
Supporter
I’ve decided to switch over wholesale to RF lenses, mainly for the sake of portability. So much of the birding I do involves walking long distances over rough terrain (e.g. Cornwall coast) that my EF 500 just doesn’t get many outings. So goodbye to the EF 100-400 II and EF 500 f4 II, and hello to the RF 100-500 and RF 800 f11 — or at least hello once they’re in stock (probs early April).
 

capdegat

Well-known member
I havr had the rf1.4x for some time now but being in lockdown and winter has meant I only gave it a quick test before .Took in out down the lane in preparation for march 29th as it was sunny and f10 is not really what I want on overcast North eastern days .Using it with the 100-500 and r5 , focussing seems exactly the same as without . Nothing much about so had to make do with sparrows etc but quality seems very good . Not able to retract properly is a pain but I can now live with it for what it brings as it was only meant for those really long range shots.
 

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Dave Williams

Well-known member
Very impressive, Dale.

Have you used the 1.4 tc and 2x tc separately, and with which lenses? I have the 100-400 mk2 and 1.4 tc mk3 and handhold. If so, how do they compare, please? I am still hung up over 'losing' the reach of my 7D2.

Shall probably wait until we have more definite news of the rumoured R7.

Thanks

Colin
I have a feeling you will still be deliberating about the R7Mk2 Colin! You can get the R5 complete with the basic adapter, which in my opinion is all you need, for £3230 now. The difference between the 7D2 and the R5 is light years apart.
You can use both the 1.4 and the 2x TC's with the 100-400Mk2 and still have all the focus points to play with right across the screen. You can shoot in the 1.6crop mode and you still have a 24mp image.
Its high ISO performance needs careful usage, even at ISO3200 there is a fine grain showing and I found Topaz dealt with that perfectly. ISO 1600 is virtually noise free.
I moved over to the R5 with the ambition of loosing weight. I sold my 1DX2 and kept the 5D4, the latter being lighter, and sharing the same batteries and charger as the R5 which was advantageous. I regret that possibly, I should have kept the 1DX and sold the 5D although that said, I may well have not used either because I find it difficult to do without the advantages the R5 has given me.
I deliberated over the RF lens offerings...basically there are three currently in contention and after much deliberation I went for the RF 100-500 plus a 1.4TC. The lens and TC are capable of razor sharp images but I'm not 100% enthralled with the combination for three reasons.

The first is Bokeh. I still have the 100-400 and it was always an issue with that lens too but there again, I have been fortunate to work mainly with 500 and 600 f4 lenses which are of course a lot more expensive. Canon have a rumoured road map of new lenses and it will include replacements for the big white telephotos but they will possibly still be way too heavy for me want to buy one at the extortionate price they are likely to be!

The second is the fact that like the 100-400Mk2 the 100-500 has a wind out extending lens barrel. I'd much prefer an internal mechanism such as the 70-200f2.8 has. It's inevitable that this design, despite it's "L" class build quality will in due course get a certain amount of dust inside the lens. My 100-400 shows tiny amounts although it doesn't effect the image at all.

The third dislike of this lens is the fact that to use a TC on it you have to extend the lens to the 300mm mark so it can physically couple with the 1.4 TC. Once attached you then are limited to an effective 420-700mm lens with a minimum f10 aperture at the long end. It's a superb lightweight alternative to carrying my 500mmf4 Mk plus TC, the latter though would be f5.6 so we go back to reservation No 1 ...bokeh! With decent background separation the bokeh can of course be improved but that's not always possible. The other consideration is that when you have a 1.4TC to the 100-500 attached your lens combination is permanently extended by 4 inches which makes a considerable difference if you are carrying it over your shoulder on a strap or needing to stow it in a bag because conditions are not favourable to taking it apart such as a dusty safari or sea sprayed pelagic.
The 100-400 takes a TC and still extends to the full zoom at either end, albeit being 140mm-560mm with the 1.4 TC and at f8 at 560mm. The 2.0x does AF but it's slow. OK for static subjects perhaps? I'm not going to buy the RF 2x.

The other options you have are the 600 and 800mm f11 lenses that are really lightweight and from what I can gather give decent IQ considering they are less than 10% of their big white equivalents. Available light in the UK plus bokeh would be my reservations despite the tempting price however, with the Canon road map of rumoured new lens releases looking uninviting due to the likely price point and weights I might re think the 800mm if I ever get to plan a trip to sunnier climes somewhere in the distant future!!

So, in summary , yes it's always a big decision when it comes to spending the hard earned which once gone might not be replaceable but I'm pretty convinced you'd be a very happy ( Easter?) bunny ! I certainly have no regrets other than my advancing age making me make compromises on weight.
Advancing years though also makes you focus on the now because you might not have that long to enjoy these things.
Go for it.
cheers
Dave.
 
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Parryman1

Well-known member
Very interesting read Dave. I have a 7dii 400mm 5.6 and a 100-400 is ii. I broke my back 10 years ago whale watching in Canada (long story) so struggle with carrying the weight over long periods. I have lusted after a 500mm or 600mm prime for the last 5 years but keep dithering. I've discounted the 600 over weight and size as I travel to Spain regularly (not since covid). On my last trip to Spain I was lent a mk i 400mm 2.8 at Bonellis Eagle shoot and it blew my mind, it was amazing.
I've never been 100% happy with the 7dii with noise issues and found that exposure was critical. I'm leaning towards the R5 and 500mm f4 ii second hand as they are silly money new. With a 1.4 tc it will give me similar reach to the 7d and 100-400. Due to my back I now tend to sit and wait for birds to come to me more rather than walk around all day looking.
My question is with the R5 how are you finding battery life as the 7dii will last most of a full day on standby, also how quick is the R5 to start up out of its sleep if on standby. I would appreciate your views as a trusted user rather than the multitude of YouTube reviews.
Im going to hire a 500mm f4 from WEX Manchester soon as we can move around again and take a trip down to the Wirral to see how I cope with the weight
Thanks Karl
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
Very interesting read Dave. I have a 7dii 400mm 5.6 and a 100-400 is ii. I broke my back 10 years ago whale watching in Canada (long story) so struggle with carrying the weight over long periods. I have lusted after a 500mm or 600mm prime for the last 5 years but keep dithering. I've discounted the 600 over weight and size as I travel to Spain regularly (not since covid). On my last trip to Spain I was lent a mk i 400mm 2.8 at Bonellis Eagle shoot and it blew my mind, it was amazing.
I've never been 100% happy with the 7dii with noise issues and found that exposure was critical. I'm leaning towards the R5 and 500mm f4 ii second hand as they are silly money new. With a 1.4 tc it will give me similar reach to the 7d and 100-400. Due to my back I now tend to sit and wait for birds to come to me more rather than walk around all day looking.
My question is with the R5 how are you finding battery life as the 7dii will last most of a full day on standby, also how quick is the R5 to start up out of its sleep if on standby. I would appreciate your views as a trusted user rather than the multitude of YouTube reviews.
Im going to hire a 500mm f4 from WEX Manchester soon as we can move around again and take a trip down to the Wirral to see how I cope with the weight
Thanks Karl
Hi Karl,
If you turn the camera off it takes a couple of seconds to spring in to life but if it's on stand-by it's very quick to respond.
As for battery life, coming from a 1D series where I never ran a battery flat these little ones don't last forever but much depends on what you have going on in the camera as well as the number of shots you have taken, particularly video which will be very thirsty. One of the reasons I kept the 5D was it has two batteries I can use plus the charger. I think on some days , especially on photography trips I'm going to need then. Interestingly you can charge the battery if it's the latest one that comes with the R5 whilst it's still in the camera but I haven't tried that and don't know if the camera functions when the battery is charging. I don't want to buy a battery grip, I prefer to just slip a spare battery in the camera when needed.
As for lenses, well you are certainly not disadvantaged if you have EF glass although the Mk1 big telephotos are not as responsive as the Mk2 &3's apparently. The 500mm Mk2 is still the latest model but it will be replaced by an RF version in due course. I read that Canon are to stop making EF glass which doesn't surprise me, why would they if they no longer make DSLRs? The thing to be aware of is that in due course Canon will no longer have the parts to repair these lenses, they have already said they can't take the Mk1 telephotos in for repair as they don't have the parts. You can still pay a fair amount for a big lens and you don't want it rendered useless too soon!
As an aside and as a comparison the R5 plus a 1.4TC and 100-500 weighs in at 2.72kgs, the 500mm f4 Mk 2 plus 1.4 TC and the 5D4 ( which is similar to the 7D2 I imagine) weighs in at 4.835 Kgs which isn't inconsiderable if you have it on your back for a while. You are more likely to need a tripod too if you are using the 500mm f4. The one lens I toyed with was the 400mm f4 DO Mk2 but they are still hard to find on the used market , and like other EF lenses I wouldn't want to buy brand new anymore as the value will possibly soon depreciate.
One other thing to consider is that although noise is apparent to me at ISO 3200 it's due to the size of the crop. With 45mp a 100% crop is often what I'm using and that of course shows up the noise but I probably wouldn't be doing that on a 20mp camera so maybe the noise issue isn't that bad, particularly if you can clean it up easily enough in PP.
Anyway, hope those insights are of use.
Dave
 

Parryman1

Well-known member
Yes, very much so thanks Dave, like you said in a previous post, I am also at an age andl stage where the kids have gone and can now spend my money on me so I'm going to head down the R5 route and then hire a 500mm for a week to see how the weight is. I have looked at HDEW and can get get one for a huge saving on the average UK price with an adapter and money to spare for spare batteries and memory cards. I've never bought grey import before but tend to keep my gear so may go this route this time
Thanks again Karl
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
I had read exactly that too Roy but here is the exif from one of the shots I took last evening.That was in 1.6 crop mode.
 

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Dave Williams

Well-known member
I must admit I was surprised the Quality of the crop shot was a tad better than the cropped in computer version although that said the pose was better so it had an advantage there . My final like for like crop was 2.5mb for the computer vs 2.0 for the camera version. _G7A1252.jpg _G7A1261.jpg
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
One of the advantages of crop mode was that the enlarged view enabled the camera to more accurately apply eye detect ...the bird was about 30m away.
Although it might appear from the exif shown I was using the 100-500 I was in fact using the 500mm f4Mk2 with the EF1.4Mk3 teleconverter.
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
I had read exactly that too Roy but here is the exif from one of the shots I took last evening.That was in 1.6 crop mode.
If its a 1.6 crop Dave then it is bound to be 17.6 mp's (ish). It will be cropped by 1.6 on both axis's so 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. To get the same FOV as the 7d2 on any full frame camera you would need 57.7 mp. According to the R5 manual, it is "Approx. 17.3 megapixels (5088×3392) in 1.6 crop mode.
 
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Dave Williams

Well-known member
If its a 1.6 crop Dave then it is bound to be 17.6 mp's (ish). It will be cropped by 1.6 on both axis's so 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. To get the same FOV as the 7d2 on any full frame camera you would need 57.7 mp. According to the R5 manual, it is "Approx. 17.3 megapixels (5088×3392) in 1.6 crop mode.
How do you explain the 23.7mb exif then Roy? It's all a bit too technical for me!!
 

colincurry

Well-known member
It's certainly too technical for me!

Dave, I hear your siren voice. At the moment, I am pretty much limited to the garden and surrounds. I already crop to around 100% regularly using the 7D 2 and 100-400 2 and am usually happy with the results - especially when the sun is shining! As you say, summer is on the way which gives me something of a window. I am minded of an old colleague whose only decision was to procrastinate;)

Colin
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
How do you explain the 23.7mb exif then Roy? It's all a bit too technical for me!!
If that's from a 1.6 crop then they must have given you a 61 mp Camera Dave - lucky you lol.
to be serious I think what you are seeing is the file size on mb's and not the pixel sizes (two different things)
 
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Dave Williams

Well-known member
If that's from a 1.6 crop then they must have given you a 61 mp Camera Dave - lucky you lol.
Ah....I have spotted the difference now Roy. When you mentioned the 60mp I remembered the exif on the non in camera crop was in fact 60! However, we missed reading the exif actually is mb not mp!! So, 17mp it is for the in camera crop which when compared to most Canon bodies isn't too bad and you are only going to use crop mode when you know that you would be cropping the image anyway. Better the flexibility than to not have it I say!
 

Roy C

Occasional bird snapper
It's certainly too technical for me!

Dave, I hear your siren voice. At the moment, I am pretty much limited to the garden and surrounds. I already crop to around 100% regularly using the 7D 2 and 100-400 2 and am usually happy with the results - especially when the sun is shining! As you say, summer is on the way which gives me something of a window. I am minded of an old colleague whose only decision was to procrastinate;)

Colin
I also often crop very heavily on the 7D2 for web images Colin (see attached a near 100% crop from 7D2). The R5 will give a bit less pixels than the 7D2 when applying a 1.6 crop but better IQ, focusing and high ISO noise should more than make up for it.
Another option which I have been playing with at the moment is Topaz Gigapixel AI which can increase the MP's with very little IQ drop off.
 

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capdegat

Well-known member
The viewfinder size is as Roy said 5088x 3392 so 17m. An interesting point dave brought up is eye af in crop mode . Will it actually be any different because the amount of pixels on the eye should be the same ? If the pixels are the same , the camera will have exactly the same information irrespective of viewfinder size ? I'd be happy to be totally wrong because I dont normally use crop but better af would be great.
 

Dave Williams

Well-known member
The viewfinder size is as Roy said 5088x 3392 so 17m. An interesting point dave brought up is eye af in crop mode . Will it actually be any different because the amount of pixels on the eye should be the same ? If the pixels are the same , the camera will have exactly the same information irrespective of viewfinder size ? I'd be happy to be totally wrong because I dont normally use crop but better af would be great.
I guess it probably doesn't make a difference in acquisition Les but when you have the crop mode view which is magnified you can see where the focus point is locked on to which is reassuring too!
 

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