August 17, 2017, 05:13:55 PM

Author Topic: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?  (Read 2945 times)

langdonb

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what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:58:10 PM »
hello,

I have been using a 7Dii and a 5D3 (with 1.4TCIII) with a 100-400 mark 2 for wildlife in Africa. The 7DII is being sold due to Canon's inability to solve soft, low contrast images. I am happy with the 5D3 , but wonder if the 5D4 with it's larger sensor would allow more cropping as often my subjects are 150 meters away. Or would the quality of the 1DX2 be a better choice, even with the same sensor size of the 5D3.

I do plan to buy a longer lens, likely a 500 f4 II in the near future.

Thanks for any recommendations, particular those based on hands on experience.

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what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:58:10 PM »

Mikehit

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 05:44:39 PM »
Given that you have the mkiii extender, the 5D4 offers all-point AF at f8 with the 100-400ii which I think is a big advantage.
I have read comments fro several people whose opinion I respect and they say that they are happy using the 100-400ii as a lightweight alternative to their 500mm f4ii which I think pays the zoom a massive compliment.


But you do have options:

5D4 with 100-400ii

If you are really struggling to get a decent sized image in the frame, I would say get the 500mm f4ii now - despite all the hoo-ha about sensor improvements, I really don't think that image the sensor quality of cropping the 5D4 with 400mm f5.6 will make a significant improvement over 5D3 with 500mm f4.  I was talking to a naturalist who goes to the Amazon quite often and regularly shoots the 5D3 at 25,600 and did not think the 5D4 offered enough improvement to justify the cost - but his subjects did not move very fast.

If you are pushing the AF of the 5D3 to its limit then the 5D4 with 100-400 may be a better bet.

Having rented the 5D4 to try it out I would say get the 1Dx2 only if you need high frame rate or push the AF hard for fast action.


langdonb

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 06:42:28 PM »
Given that you have the mkiii extender, the 5D4 offers all-point AF at f8 with the 100-400ii which I think is a big advantage.
I have read comments fro several people whose opinion I respect and they say that they are happy using the 100-400ii as a lightweight alternative to their 500mm f4ii which I think pays the zoom a massive compliment.


But you do have options:

5D4 with 100-400ii

If you are really struggling to get a decent sized image in the frame, I would say get the 500mm f4ii now - despite all the hoo-ha about sensor improvements, I really don't think that image the sensor quality of cropping the 5D4 with 400mm f5.6 will make a significant improvement over 5D3 with 500mm f4.  I was talking to a naturalist who goes to the Amazon quite often and regularly shoots the 5D3 at 25,600 and did not think the 5D4 offered enough improvement to justify the cost - but his subjects did not move very fast.

If you are pushing the AF of the 5D3 to its limit then the 5D4 with 100-400 may be a better bet.

Having rented the 5D4 to try it out I would say get the 1Dx2 only if you need high frame rate or push the AF hard for fast action.
Hello Mikehit,

Thanks for your well thought out reply. The reason I was including the 1DX2 was exactly for what you mentioned, pushing the auto focus hard for fast moving predators. As I am just beginning to think about my options, my next question about the 1DX would be is the IQ so much better that the 5D3? And it's hi ISO performance? I feel the 5D is very noisy from 3200 on, but that is likely due to low light situations. Most of my action shot opportunity are early and late in the day and the subject can be in the shadows.

Re 5D4, I think you are right about the sensor difference. All the reviews lead to that conclusion. But the additional focus points would be nice, but not absolutely needed. By keeping my 5d3 and buying the 500 f4II a good chunk of money would be saved by not buying the 5D4. But all changes if I want to 1DX2!!

I live in Panama and there is no opportunity to rent a 1DX or 5D4 that I know of. I suppose on my next trip to Southern Africa I could rent those in Johannesburg and go to one of the close by parks/reserves to give them a try.

cpsico

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 09:08:16 PM »
I always liked the battery life and build quality of the 1 d series over the 5d. The 5div has fantastic IQ up to 1600, 3200-6400 with noise reduction are also quite good. I have never used a 1 dx II so I can't compare the two first hand but the extra detail over a 20 megapixel picture is noticeable. The touch screen is also very nice on the 5d IV, I didn't think it would be something I would like but I love it!

dslrdummy

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 10:10:22 PM »
The sensor in the 1DXii is so good I don't notice it is only 20mp, unless I need to radically crop. It produces superior images in all lighting conditions to my old 5d3 and 7dii. I will be taking the 1dxii, 70-200ii, 100-400ii and 300 2.8ii on safari in November. The 300 comes out at dawn and dusk, when I particularly want to isolate a subject or with the 2xtc if I desperately need some more reach; the zooms for everything else. Those combos are enough for me in eastern Zambia where you can get pretty close to most wildlife and the f/2.8 is essential for night-time game drives which are permitted in South Luangwa. Admittedly if you are heading to the wide open plains of Tanzania/Botswana/Kenya etc you may want the 500. 5d4 seems like a nicely spec'd camera, I'm sure it will produce some lovely images. Remember, it's about getting the shot.   
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scottkinfw

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 11:11:45 PM »
Congrats on your trip, wish I could go too!

Last September I went to South Africa and took with me 5DII, 5DII, 1DXII.  I took the following lenses: 300 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8 II, 70-200 2.8II, and a Samyang14 mm 2.8.

I would say that 90+ % of the time I used the 1DXII with the 300  2.8.  We shot early AM (Golden Hour) and later PM (again Golden Hour).  We went out and shot some astrophotography (14 mm Samyang, and 24-70 mm 2.8 II).

I used the 5DIII for about 9%, and the 5DII I could have left at home.

My thoughts are that the 1DXII were new to me so I likely had a bias to use it.  That said, we got very close to the wildlife and so the 300 was more than adequate, and sometimes was too close.  We didn't have that many "action shots" requiring the high frame rates of the 1DX, however, the focus was better, so that helped a lot.

I am not exactly sure how to advise you .  The 500 mm lens is sweet, but big and heavy (you may need to purchase a second airline seat), and I'm not sure how much benefit you get vs. your current rig.  I love the 1DX, it performed flawlessly ( bad pics, which I had many, were my fault).  On the other hand, you can get great pics with the 5D3 or 4.

The way I see it, the worst you can do is make a good choice.

Sorry for the rambling, but perhaps you can get something out of my musings.

sek
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canon1dxman

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 02:20:21 AM »
This has been on my mind this year and I nearly bought the 5D4 recently but finally jumped to a 1DX2 two weeks ago and haven't regretted it for a second. However....

Had some time with Andy Rouse recently who is really impressed with the 5D4 and 100-400 II combo. OK, he is a Canon Ambassador but he has never seemed to be a guy who utters regular falsehoods. The 100-400 II now gets far more use by him than his 500.

I used a 7DII in Africa on my last trip there but will be back in December with the 1DX2/ 100-400 II and a 1.4X. Previous 1 series always delivered there so I am happy with my decision.

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 02:20:21 AM »

tomscott

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 05:05:56 AM »
I traveled and safaried Africa for 3 months, South africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Milawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda. I took 7DMKII, 5DMKIII 100-400mm MKII, 24-105, 16-35 and 1.4x.

TBH unless dusk or sunset the 5DMKIII had a 24-105 attached. I must have a good copy of the 7DMKII because mine never missed a beat and was my go to for wildlife. I was happy with it up to 4000 iso and at times did hit 6400 with a bit of work in post.

AF was super fast. The other thing to bare in mind is past 500mm you tend to get atmospheric issues so I was already hitting that with the 7DMKII and 100-400 combo at 640mm. TBH the only thing that would have been nice would have been F4 or larger but unless its a 400DO or 300 F2.8 the larger lenses are incredibly difficult to work with especially shooting on safari with a few people in the vehicle. Unless its your own vehicle or a specific photographic tour vehicle, when the canvas roof is up moving the lens around in the 6ft space to capture moving animals is a nightmare. People that I was with using them werent that happy either they ended up having another 2 bodies with a 100-400 and a standard zoom. So for me the 500mm just wasnt the right lens. The nice thing about the 100-400 is its size and the zoom. Its IQ is stellar its a great compromise.

I was backpacking, I also took an 11" MB air and 2-3 drives so my photographic gear bag was already 15kg with the above gear not including water and daily essentials then I had a 15-20kg bag with my clothes etc so a big white wouldnt have been feasible.

The nice thing about Africa is travel is easy so I didnt carry the bags oftern, and I also camped for 90% of the trip keeping the gear safe was a concern.

I also trecked a lot like Biwindi national park in Uganda, about 40 deg ridiculously humid and I trecked for 6-7 hours through the rain forest cutting a trail with machetes with my 7DMKII 5DMKIII 24-105 and 100-400 with food and water. I was 26 and pretty fit and it was hard work but was an incredible experience.







Not sure if thats a concern or you are generally in the vehicles a lot?

I found that the 1.4x got used once or twice and I wasnt overly impressed with the combo on my 7DMKII but on the 5DMKIII it was useable but found AF slow and IQ better on the 7DMKII bare.

Also there was only a couple of occasions where I needed more than the 100-400 some birding and a leopard in a tree. Other than that you get so close its crazy, many worry about what they need for safari taking big whites but in 90% of cases its not needed.

For example this pride just followed our defender





they were so close I was using the 24-105 most of the time and the 100-400 for portraits.





The 5DMKVI would be a great upgrade and thats my next body but im going to keep the 7DMKII because I really enjoy using it and its speed is fantastic. 1DX would be nice but I think 20mp is a little too limited for all aspects like birding etc for large mammals it would be no problem. You would have to take a big white.

For me with the heat and the miles I traveled which was around 20,000 I needed to think about my own well being as well as my photographic goals. Some of the people I saw trying to wield these lenses was comical and im sure a lot would have been better off with gear suitable for them. It was a compromise for me, not just the images but my back. I think the compromise was a really good one.

The first big travel I did was 2 months across south america and I went to the amazon as well as Colca Canyon etc I took my 5DMKIII 24-105 16-35 and 70-300 L and the kit was fantastic so light in comparison but 300mm on a FF body was so short I came away very disappointed in the Amazon. Although I got some great shots I was cropping more than 50% so wish I had taken a bigger lens.

That said there is no in between lens between the 70-300mm and 100-400. The 70-300 is so compact it can sit upright in a bag like a 24-105 and is less than a KG the 100-400 is 2-3x the size 50% more weight. For a backpacker its a tough one. The second time round I bought the 150-600 tammy wasn't impressed so got the 100-400 with the 1.4x to ensure I would have enough. 

The other option I would look as is a 400 DO on a FF body, standard lens on another and a 100-400 on a crop. The 400DO is probably the best combination. The 300 would be a great choice too but I think I would end up having a 1.4 attached to it all the time so would take the 400.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 05:15:59 AM by tomscott »
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Maiaibing

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 05:21:31 AM »
hello,

I have been using a 7Dii and a 5D3 (with 1.4TCIII) with a 100-400 mark 2 for wildlife in Africa. The 7DII is being sold due to Canon's inability to solve soft, low contrast images. I am happy with the 5D3 , but wonder if the 5D4 with it's larger sensor would allow more cropping as often my subjects are 150 meters away. Or would the quality of the 1DX2 be a better choice, even with the same sensor size of the 5D3.

I do plan to buy a longer lens, likely a 500 f4 II in the near future.

Thanks for any recommendations, particular those based on hands on experience.

1) Do upgrade to the 1DxII or 5DIV for sure. I even preferred taking a 6D as extra on Safari rather than a 5DIII to have better high iso - which you need a lot for when the animals are out and active - and the 6D's -3ev focus point.

2) To me the perfect combo is a 1DxII and a 5DS/R. 5DS/R with its 50 MPIX has a huge advantage in effective reach. Safari shots often need a lot of cropping. AF is great. DR/noise is very good. Its only real drawback is fps and total shots before slowing down - which you will want/need from time to time on a Safari. This is of course where the 1DxII shines.

3) 5DIV sits comfortably in the middle. Less MPIX but more fps and continuous shooting (RAW). Better video options than 5DS/R - even if not great according to some. A little extra DR too. If I was going to travel with one body only I'd bring it along - but then again, I wouldn't! 

Good luck with your choice!


ashmadux

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2017, 08:26:39 AM »
I traveled and safaried Africa for 3 months, South africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Milawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda. I took 7DMKII, 5DMKIII 100-400mm MKII, 24-105, 16-35 and 1.4x.

TBH unless dusk or sunset the 5DMKIII had a 24-105 attached. I must have a good copy of the 7DMKII because mine never missed a beat and was my go to for wildlife. I was happy with it up to 4000 iso and at times did hit 6400 with a bit of work in post.

AF was super fast. The other thing to bare in mind is past 500mm you tend to get atmospheric issues so I was already hitting that with the 7DMKII and 100-400 combo at 640mm. TBH the only thing that would have been nice would have been F4 or larger but unless its a 400DO or 300 F2.8 the larger lenses are incredibly difficult to work with especially shooting on safari with a few people in the vehicle. Unless its your own vehicle or a specific photographic tour vehicle, when the canvas roof is up moving the lens around in the 6ft space to capture moving animals is a nightmare. People that I was with using them werent that happy either they ended up having another 2 bodies with a 100-400 and a standard zoom. So for me the 500mm just wasnt the right lens. The nice thing about the 100-400 is its size and the zoom. Its IQ is stellar its a great compromise.

I was backpacking, I also took an 11" MB air and 2-3 drives so my photographic gear bag was already 15kg with the above gear not including water and daily essentials then I had a 15-20kg bag with my clothes etc so a big white wouldnt have been feasible.

The nice thing about Africa is travel is easy so I didnt carry the bags oftern, and I also camped for 90% of the trip keeping the gear safe was a concern.

I also trecked a lot like Biwindi national park in Uganda, about 40 deg ridiculously humid and I trecked for 6-7 hours through the rain forest cutting a trail with machetes with my 7DMKII 5DMKIII 24-105 and 100-400 with food and water. I was 26 and pretty fit and it was hard work but was an incredible experience.







Not sure if thats a concern or you are generally in the vehicles a lot?

I found that the 1.4x got used once or twice and I wasnt overly impressed with the combo on my 7DMKII but on the 5DMKIII it was useable but found AF slow and IQ better on the 7DMKII bare.

Also there was only a couple of occasions where I needed more than the 100-400 some birding and a leopard in a tree. Other than that you get so close its crazy, many worry about what they need for safari taking big whites but in 90% of cases its not needed.

For example this pride just followed our defender





they were so close I was using the 24-105 most of the time and the 100-400 for portraits.





The 5DMKVI would be a great upgrade and thats my next body but im going to keep the 7DMKII because I really enjoy using it and its speed is fantastic. 1DX would be nice but I think 20mp is a little too limited for all aspects like birding etc for large mammals it would be no problem. You would have to take a big white.

For me with the heat and the miles I traveled which was around 20,000 I needed to think about my own well being as well as my photographic goals. Some of the people I saw trying to wield these lenses was comical and im sure a lot would have been better off with gear suitable for them. It was a compromise for me, not just the images but my back. I think the compromise was a really good one.

The first big travel I did was 2 months across south america and I went to the amazon as well as Colca Canyon etc I took my 5DMKIII 24-105 16-35 and 70-300 L and the kit was fantastic so light in comparison but 300mm on a FF body was so short I came away very disappointed in the Amazon. Although I got some great shots I was cropping more than 50% so wish I had taken a bigger lens.

That said there is no in between lens between the 70-300mm and 100-400. The 70-300 is so compact it can sit upright in a bag like a 24-105 and is less than a KG the 100-400 is 2-3x the size 50% more weight. For a backpacker its a tough one. The second time round I bought the 150-600 tammy wasn't impressed so got the 100-400 with the 1.4x to ensure I would have enough. 

The other option I would look as is a 400 DO on a FF body, standard lens on another and a 100-400 on a crop. The 400DO is probably the best combination. The 300 would be a great choice too but I think I would end up having a 1.4 attached to it all the time so would take the 400.


I'm not huge on backpacking or traveling the woods, but I'll be damned, those are some sweeeeet images..the lion and dead on portrait....just wowza. Bravo.
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langdonb

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2017, 11:27:26 PM »
Thank you all who responded to my questions. Most if not all confirmed I am on the correct track to upgrading my safari kit. Re big whites, they are indeed big and heavy, but will still be an option for me as I do all my safari trips self driving/self guiding myself. As such the camera/big white lens combo would be supported by a window mount gimbal setup which  would take the pain out of supporting the combo. With the 5d3/100-400 I used a bean bag which works great.

Thanks again and if you haven't visited Africa, you should!

tomscott

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 05:07:48 AM »
Thank you all who responded to my questions. Most if not all confirmed I am on the correct track to upgrading my safari kit. Re big whites, they are indeed big and heavy, but will still be an option for me as I do all my safari trips self driving/self guiding myself. As such the camera/big white lens combo would be supported by a window mount gimbal setup which  would take the pain out of supporting the combo. With the 5d3/100-400 I used a bean bag which works great.

Thanks again and if you haven't visited Africa, you should!

Wow in that case go mad! With the room you could have a few cameras set up for all situations that present themselves.

The primes are amazing but as you know its not always the case that animals are far away. In those situations the great whites are really hard to use or even useless because of MFD and the fact you get nothing but very tight portraits or even aspects of the animal.

5DMKIV/1DXII with 100-400 for the versatility, 5DMKIII with 500mm and another camera say the 7D with a standard lens like a 24-105 would pretty much cover all bases.

Very jealous indeed. Would love to see some images! :)
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tomscott

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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 05:24:46 AM »

I'm not huge on backpacking or traveling the woods, but I'll be damned, those are some sweeeeet images..the lion and dead on portrait....just wowza. Bravo.

Thanks! It was an amazing experience.

Backpacking certainly has its drawbacks but means you can travel a lot further on your budget instead of staying in hotels, generally the hotels out in the wilds arent much better than camping anyway. It also meant I could be a lot closer to the areas and sometimes trekking is the only way of getting into those situations! The mountain gorillas are really remote and love to be deep in the vegetation.

Hard work but certainly worth it!

The lions were amazing, the vehicle the pride was used to had broken down so we used another. They were so inquisitive that they followed us throughout the whole safari. Had about 2 hours with them within 5-25ft absolutely incredible.

I photographed the portrait of the lion with the 100-400 but the portrait of the gorilla i took with a 24-105... the group I was with wanted to continue a little further up and see the silver back and this black back was being a little aggressive so they went off and I stuck at the back. After the group moved up he came out of the grass and basically sat right in front of me, literally could have shaken its hand. Crazy experience.

Here is an image a friend took of me just after I took the first Gorilla portrait.



Another of me and the gf with the pride of lions



And then 4 of the 5 white rhinos left in Zambia which are escorted by armed guards at all time, they just took us to see them pretty much walked right up to them.





People really worry about how much reach you need and obviously with it being a trip of a lifetime dont want to come home disappointed. From my experience I had too much reach most of the time. Especially for mammals, some are more difficult like leopards and cheetahs as they are pretty stealthy and tend to keep their distance, or for small birds like bee eaters etc

The 7DMKII and 100-400 is such a good combo it covers all ranges and if you have a full frame body the 100-400 is even more impressive, 400 on full frame can be a little short. 400-640
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 05:29:01 AM by tomscott »
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Re: what body for African safari, 1DxII or 5D4?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 05:24:46 AM »