Canon 7D, Birds and the Hershie Center
Earlier this year I increased my collection of camera gear with the purchase of the new Canon 7D. This is actually the very first non full frame DSLR that I’ve ever owned. When I made the decision to shoot digitally, back in January of 2006, I went directly to the full frame Canon 5D, which had been introduced in the later part of 2005. At that time Canon had the monopoly on full frame 35mm digital cameras, which pretty well placed them in the driver’s seat – one of the reasons I then decided to go with Canon. Today I would have plenty of good choices, but frankly, I would stick with Canon – just because I can .
Why the 7D? For a few good reasons:
First, let me tell you about my new interest in exploring bird photography. It is a subject that I have always been fascinated by, and one that I experience quite often through my daily hikes. It seems magical, anytime I watch a bird in flight. For me, it symbolizes freedom; allows us to dream of horizons that otherwise would be impossible to get to, and, you have to admit, it is just the perfect portrait of grace. This is so powerful, that at my age, I still dream occasionally of soaring like an eagle, with the ease of a ‘master in flight’, commanding admiration and respect from anyone down below (no, I don’t wear a cape and I’m not on drugs either .
I’m also pretty excited about a job I will be helping with, scheduled for July 4th of this year, to photograph a LITHUANIAN SONG FESTIVAL. It will take place at the Hershey Center in Mississauga, Ontario, where singers will gather from all over the world to celebrate their LIthuanian cherished traditions. This production is huge, to the point that there will be 4 of us shooting the event for two consecutive days. My understanding is that the photos have to be uploaded almost immediately, to be processed and shown on the large screens surrounding the stage, in real-time. It definitely will be a very cool experience and one to be excited about. More on this later, as we get closer to the shooting day. For now you may reserve July 4th for a great experience in Lithuanian traditional singing, by checking the link for ‘I AM THE SONG’ at Lithuanian Songfest.
Now, where is the connection between birds, stage performers, and the new 7D? Well, let’s see:
- it shoots at a rate of 8 frames per second (just about double what I had)
- it has a multiplying factor of 1.6 on my telephoto lenses, due to the its APS-C size sensor.
For example, a 300mm lens becomes a 480mm, when coupled with the 7D, while still maintaining its widest aperture: a very important aspect as there is no loss of any quality that might be generic of a particular lens — quite the contrary if you decide to use a tele-extender instead, especially if you go for the 2X extender. This will automatically make your lens slower by 2 full stops, down to f5.6 in my case, and decrease somewhat image quality.
- and finally, it does not cost a fortune (I really like this part).
The first two reasons translate to speed and glass (lens) power, respectively – it makes shooting birds or stage performers, a lot more manageable. It gets me closer, and I stand a much better chance of increasing the pool of shots which turn out to be keepers. All of this is achievable at a fraction of the cost that would take otherwise, should I have opted for the Canon 400mm f2.8 lens and the EOS-1D Mark lV combination. If my budget were somehow different, naturally, I would’ve settled for the king of the hill .
I’m presently experimenting with this set-up for my bird shooting, and I will post some results, hopefully, soon enough. In the meantime check my bird image down below .
All these photos were taken with the 7D this past week, by Toronto’s Harbour Front, while scouting about with a good friend of mine. It turned out to be more of a study of form, colour, texture and light. This kind of shooting, I entertain regularily, as it gives my right side of the brain, quite a good workout. Enjoy.