Yellowstone Wildlife & Canon 7D

Coyote, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage

Here are a few shots from this weekend down in Yellowstone National Park. I headed down there last Saturday to see what was happening in the park and what the conditions were looking like. Also I wanted to test out a Canon 7d that I recently picked up for use as a backup body and for occasional wildlife use.

There was actually quite a bit of snow going from Gardiner up to Cooke City at the northern boundary of the park and a ton of wildlife out. Conditions this last week in Montana have been sketchy at best and I have been cursing the weatherman more than once. Montana was sitting right on the edge of an arctic front from Canada and it didn’t know if it was coming or going, or I should say the weatherman didn’t know if it was coming or going. It certainly made things hard to predict, but we ended getting a ton of warm weather and high winds, which has wiped out a good portion of the snow we had and really made a mess of things.

But, you sometimes have to roll with the punches and make the best of it. Saturday I managed to get a little bit of shooting in and really got to test out the Canon 7d and surprisingly, it’s a really awesome camera.

I normally use Canon 5dII’s and 1 series bodies, for most of my photography. I use the 1d series for backup and wildlife photography, but really prefer the smaller bodies, especially when trying to travel light, so I normally use the 5dII for a majority of my work. The 7d looked like it might have the potential for a great wildlife body, especially in the much smaller size than the 1 series. It has a great auto focus system and shoots 8 frames per second with close to 18 million pixels on a 1.6 crop sensor. I was a little concerned about the noise issues people have reported, especially with so many pixels on a small sensor, but when doing comparisons, it’s really not bad at all and certainly great image quality for a crop sensor. Not to mention it has some really great focusing customizations not seen on any other Canon camera. I give it an A so far in my book, especially if you’re looking for a great wildlife body and on a budget or if looking for something a little more lighter than a 1 series. It’s also sealed up pretty well, Canon says equivalent to the Canon 1dn(film body), which was one of my favorite 35mm cameras I’ve owned, and that one was sealed pretty good, so the 7d should be able to take some abuse.

With the great wildlife and the always fun of testing out new equipment, it was a nice time in the Park. Soon we will have more snow and more great opportunities for photography in Yellowstone, matter of fact, it’s snowing right now:)

Bison, Yellowston N.P. © Jason Savage

300mmf4+1.4tc, f6.7, 1/1000 ISO 800

Mountain Grouse, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage

300mmf4+1.4tc, f5.6, 1/500 ISO 4000

Bighorn Sheep, Yellowstone N.P. © Jason Savage

300mmf4+1.4tc,f5.6, 1/8 ISO 6400

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