Birder's Guide

DEC 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 26 of 43

25 November 2015 | Birder's Guide to Gear the bird is the same size in the fnal im- age, the image quality of each may actual- ly be about the same. In other words, the sensor quality difference negates the crop factor. Couple that with the 5D Mark III's much better low-light performance, and you may actually get better images with that body than with the 7D, despite the fact that the 5D Mark III doesn't magnify the length of the lens. If all that is too confusing, just follow the rule of thumb that in low light or with subjects that fll 1 /3 of the frame or more, the full-frame sensor (as in the 5D Mark III) is usually better. For objects that are small in the frame, like a dis- tant bird, the crop-frame sensor (like the 7D or 7D Mark II) has the edge. In our shoot, distant small birds were the norm, so a crop-frame sensor usually made the most sense. The rigs ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Scott's setup was a Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens on a 70D body with a 1.4x telecon- verter. Cameron, Sam, and Tom all had the same setup: a Canon 7D with a 400mm f/5.6 lens. In terms of the biggest bang for your buck, this rig is hard to beat. The 400mm f/5.6 is a very fast-focusing lens, and it's light enough to carry all day. The 7D is also pretty quick at focusing and, despite an aging sensor (this camera body is almost fve years old now), still holds its own, especially for fight photography. (The 7D Mark II wasn't out at the time but is now available and has a substantially better sensor.) Clockwise from top: The worst/best shot of the day: Blue Grosbeak. No one said Photo Big Day images had to be pretty! Photo © Sam Galick Birds in fight are no problem with the right setup and a little practice: Osprey in fight, Canon 7D/400mm f/5.6. Photo © Sam Galick Sam Galick and Tom Stephenson with Canon 7D/400m f/5.6 rigs at Bolivar Flats, Texas. Photo © Scott Whittle Roseate Spoonbills from the Texas Photo Big Day, High Island, Texas. Photo © Sam Galick

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