Canon invited me to test and review the new Canon EOS 7D Mark II which launched recently in Australia. I trialled the Canon EOS 7D Mark II using a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens on a shoot photographing various species of birds on the South Coast of NSW, Australia.
One of the birds I wanted to photograph was the elusive Sooty Oystercatcher, a species of bird listed as vulnerable in NSW under the Threatened Species Conservation Act. The Sooty Oystercatcher is a superb looking bird with black plumage, pink legs, orange-red bill and red eyes. It is found near rocky shorelines and headlands, stony beaches, offshore islands and exposed reefs. At low tide Sooty Oystercatchers feed on mussels and limpets on exposed rocks using their long bills to prise open the shells.
For the period of time I was testing the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the weather on the South Coast of NSW was mostly wet, windy and cool. Not ideal conditions for photographing birds! Nonetheless it provided an opportunity to test out the camera in adverse conditions and low light.
Equipped with wet weather gear, a thermos of coffee and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, I was lucky enough to be rewarded with a lone Sooty Oystercatcher foraging for limpets on the rocky foreshore.
High continuous shooting of up to 10 frames per second means you don’t miss a moment of the action with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. The shutter on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II is quieter than my Canon EOS 1DX when shooting in burst mode.
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II with its excellent weather sealing and rugged magnesium alloy body handled the wet weather conditions well.
Auto focus accuracy is of critical importance to wildlife photographers. It doesn’t matter how good the image quality is if the subject is out of focus. Throughout the shoot the auto focus performance of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II was fast and responsive locking on to the subject quickly and accurately. The 65 point auto focus system (all 65 points being cross type) resulted in accurate images even in low light conditions. One of the handy features of the camera is the toggle button on the rear of the camera body which allows you to move easily and quickly between auto focus selection areas. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II offers the same AF configuration tool as the Canon EOS 1DX allowing you to match subject movement by selecting tracking sensitivity and Accel/Decel parameters.
The shooting speed, image quality, excellent AF performance and affordable price point of the new Canon EOS 7D Mark II make it a desirable camera, particularly for sports and wildlife photographers.