As a full-time software engineer, I don’t have nearly as much time to spend out and about with my camera as I would prefer. For all the money I’ve put into photography gear, I use it about 10x less than I wish I could. Since the first time I really used my new Canon 7D in December getting some landscape photos of the peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park, I haven’t had much chance to really use it. I’ve experimented with it plenty, and learned quite a bit about its advanced features. The auto-focus system is truly something else, and combined with the high frame rate of 8fps, allows you to capture around 20 shots in a matter of seconds. Combined with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens, the pair make for a superb wildlifer and birders kit.
I’d been wanting to get out and really put this gear to the test for a while. It has been almost seven weeks since I first purchased the camera, and I had yet to really use it for what it was meant for, until today. I headed out to Cherry Creek State Park, a short drive from my home, to shoot some birds and wildlife. Compared to my previous Canon Rebel XSi, the 7D made capturing wildlife a breeze, and the higher resolution sensor really captures a lot of detail. There weren’t many birds today, and by the time I found a spot where the birds were, it was sunset, and I don’t yet have much experience using an AF system in such dim light. I did manage to get a few good shots of some deer, though. One in particular turned out really great with a doe licking her nose, partly thanks to a camouflage coat that allowed me to get pretty close to some grazing deer.
I also managed to get a few bird shots. The advanced autofocus (AF) system of this Canon 7D is quite amazing, and while I currently have no skill in tracking birds in flight, it feels almost natural with this camera. The light was very dim by this time as the sun had set, but I managed to capture a couple decent silhouettes of gulls flying through a colorful sunset sky.