I had a chance this morning to test the Canon EOS R7 against the R5 and R3. All cameras were set to roughly the same menu settings. Each was used in shutter priority (TV), shutter 1250, ISO Auto, and F/11. Each had the same 100-500mm RF lens with a 1.4x converter.
My subject stayed the same as well. Lucky for me, a fledgling eastern bluebird stayed on the same branch during my test.
All images were taken while I was seated in the same chair at the same angle. The sky was partly cloudy with lighting remaining generally the same during the test.
Notice that the bird photographed with the R7 is larger in the frame. The Canon EOS R7 has a cropped sensor so the subject will appear bigger with a telephoto lens. Hence, the reason a lot of bird photographers like photographing with a crop sensor camera.
Here’s the images larger:
I was impressed with the auto focus on the Canon R7. The camera was set to Flexible Zone 1, Subject, and Eye Detect. The Canon R7 never failed to acquire focus on the small bird. (Watch for my post on camera set-up.)
I’ll compare ISO in a future post but here’s a look at the Canon R7 image enlarged to 100%.
Posts coming up will show my set-up for the R7, file size, ISO, and night photography. Stay tuned!
First impression with the Canon R7 shows that this is going to be a great camera for bird photography.
If I have it on autofocus and it looks clear in the view but comes out completely blurry, is that the autofocus not working, or is it just me? I have a Canon Rebel T1i.
My Answer: Good question. When you look through the viewfinder and focus – there’s a green dot in the lower right or left of the viewfinder. That green dot flickers if you’re on AF-C and it’s solid if you’re on AF-S. That’s the focus confirmation. Your camera is focusing on something.
BUT, if the shutter speed is too slow then you won’t stop the action. Shutter speed too slow and the subject will be blurry.
Here are some screen grabs from various camera manuals to illustrate:
Reminder that shutter speed stops action. The shutter speed (that’s the 125 above) needs to be fast enough to freeze the action.
Shutter speeds to keep in mind when shooting:
1/8th of a second blurs water (that’s 8 in the view finder) if camera is on a tripd
1/15th of a second is needed if camera’s on a tripod but the subject is gently moving
1/60th of a second is needed for living subjects standing still
1/250th of a second is needed to stop fast walking or slow running
1/500th of a second is needed to stop running
1/4000th of a second is needed to stop a duck in flight
Canon has finally announced their less expensive line of R mirrorless cameras. Both the R7 and the R10 look like great cameras to me. Each is smaller, lighter and less expensive than the R3, R5 or R6. Yet, each is loaded with a ton of features that will make any photographer happy.
Both come with a cropped sensor and their own line of lenses.
I haven’t had a chance to touch or feel the R7 or R10 yet. The folks at B&H Camera, though, have put together a nice comparison chart.
Galveston Featherfest 2022 began for me with a Birds in Flight workshop on East Beach. We found these little sanderlings feeding along the shore. Sanderlings are only 7-inches long and they are in constant motion. You can imagine the fun we had photographing them. Canon R3, 100-500mm RF lens, 1.4x extender, shutter speed in the 1/4000th to 1/8000th range.
Have you photographed Sanderlings? Are they a challenge?
Continuing my test of the Canon R3, I turned to small birds in flight. There are two rufous hummingbirds in my yard so I figured they would be a good test.
FYI — below is an analysis of 516 pictures taken over 4-minutes with the camera on electronic shutter. The hummingbird left and I had more than enough photos to analyze.
There were bees around the feeder. In only one instance did the auto focus leave the bird and hook on to a bee.
The Whole Area Auto Focus left the hummer and locked on the feeder for five frames out of the 516.
Analysis of minute one: I captured 129 images during the first minute of shooting using the electronic shutter. Two or three images were out of focus when the hummer buzzed backwards but the rest were in tight focus. 1/3200th shutter speed with auto ISO. ISO was usually in the 5000 range.
Analysis of minute two: I captured 141 images with the electronic shutter. Shutter speed is 1/6400th with auto ISO in the 8000 range.
The autofocus lost the hummer for four frames as the bird hovered. Then the auto focus reaquired the hummer and locked on. The hummer was in motion as it flew in and out to feed at the feeder.
The hummer took a drink of sugar water from the feeder and then hovered to swallow for 21 frames. There’s tight focus on 16 of the hovering frames. The camera got a bit confused as it changed focus to the feeder and then back to the hummer.
In this instance, the R3 lost focus on the hummer when the bird was mostly obscured by the feeder. Focus locked back on the bird when the hummer moved more of its body toward the camera.
During this same minute, the hummer drank from the feeder again and the R3 never lost focus on the bird. There are 16 frames where the hummer is behind the feeder and the R3 is locked on the hummer. The hummer hovers for 11 frames with no loss of focus.
Three to four frames per wing flap, if you’re curious.
When birds are in flight, my Canon R5 and R6 would auto focus on bird-wing-bird-wing-bird-wing. I didn’t see the R3 get distracted by the wing more than once or twice in 141 frames.
What Happened During Minutes Three and Four? More of the same. Sharp, tight focus on a hummingbird in flight. I am so impressed with the auto focus on the Canon R3.
Questions or comment? Please feel free to post below. Thanks for reading.
Someone recently asked me to test the Canon R3 in low light. Little did I know I’d find myself in overcast, dreary, drizzly, windy, and cold conditions all weekend. What a test!
All of the following photos were taken with the Canon R3 in Case 2 Auto Focus, High-Speed burst, and Whole Area Auto Focus. The camera is still set-up as it came out of the box otherwise.
Camera Settings: Shutter Priority, 1/6400th second, ISO Auto, f10, over-exposed by +1 because it was so overcast. (The exposure compensation was based on a test shot using the histogram and the exposure simulation in the viewfinder.)
All photos have been processed in Adobe Camera Raw. Settings: Texture +20, Vibrance +20, Saturation +20, Shadows +35-40, Noise Reduction 16. No other hocus-pocus or magic.
Merlin in Flight From a Boat
Notice that the R3 acquired focus on the merlin in flight and then held the focus until the bird was out of my sight. That’s exactly what I expect of a camera at this level. No hesitating and no delay.
All of the above are are ISO 16,000 with Adobe Camera Raw’s Noise Reduction at 16.
Northern Shoveler’s in Flight
Back on land but in the same weather conditions. Cold, overcast, drizzly, and windy. I wasn’t dressed for the weather so only stayed at this location for 10 minutes. Ducks were taking flight in front of me and flying to the right. I took 219 photos in that 10 minutes. Same settings and processing as above.
I realized at this point that the Canon R3 was going to acquire focus and not let go even on these flying ducks. For the next 10-minutes, I photographed any duck that flew by. Reminder that I am pivoting to the right on each duck that flies by.
ISO 8000 on this series. I captured 22 frames of this female as she flew by.
I am totally impressed with the auto focus on the Canon R3. The camera never lost focus on a flying bird. I shot for a total of three hours on this day and never was I disappointed in the performance of the Canon R3.
For users of the Canon EOS 1-D x — The R3 is equal to and better. Canon has given us an amazing camera.
Questions or comments? What me to test something else on the R3? Post below.
I always loved my Canon D1X for the way it locked on to birds in flight. The camera did its job and I had to make sure everything else was in sync to get the photo.
The Canon R3 appears to be meeting those same standards. My test today involved birds flying around a neighborhood lake so not the most dramatic species for photos. Good test subjects, though. Take a look.
In both instances, the R3 didn’t hesitate. It locked on to the bird and held focus while I tracked the subject with the camera. The focus confirmation stayed on the screen. The camera never lost focus or tried to hunt.
Very impressive so far. I’ll try smaller birds next.
Questions or comments please post below. Thanks for reading.
Day 2 with the Canon R3 and I went to a nearby lake to photograph birds in flight. Someone nearby was flying a drone so I took a picture of it. The drone flew over to me and hovered. Photo Opportunity!!
Shutter speeds range from 1/64000 to 30″ seconds on the R3. Life just got a lot more interesting.