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Bird photography equipment setup


My complete bird photography gear setup.

Equipment summary

I spent my first nine years as a hobby photographer with my original Canon camera setup: a Rebel T5i and EF 400mm lens. In 2022, I upgraded my equipment to Canon’s mirrorless lineup and RF lens line. I‘m not a spec expert, but I’ll share why I selected each piece and what I appreciate.

Camera Canon EOS R6
Lens RF 100 – 500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM
Teleconverter RF 1.4x Extender Teleconverter

The camera body

Canon EOS R6


Type Mirrorless
Brand Canon
Model R6

Why I chose it

In Canon’s mirrorless lineup, I chose the R6 because I didn’t need the added megapixels offered by the pricier R5.

Favorite features

  • Animal Eye Autofocus – The camera has a mode that detects animals and locks the focus on the subject’s eye. It works amazingly well.
  • Focus anywhere – I love not being limited to specific focal targets on the viewfinder
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) – This mirrorless camera has a small OLED screen in the viewfinder. The benefit of this over a DSLR is that what you see in the viewfinder is what the image captured will look like. This enables you to adjust camera settings and see the results in real-time.
  • In-body Stabilization – Helps reduce shake and improve sharpness.


RF 100-500mmwebpc-passthru.php-4.webp

Type Telephoto
Brand Canon
Model RF 100-500mm

Why I chose it

Coming from a 400mm prime EF lens, I was looking for a bit more reach and versatility. The 100-500mm RF lens hits the sweet spot. One of the reasons I chose it, other than the superior image quality, is the in-body stabilization. This works in concert with the stabilization in the R6 camera body. I love this for video and when shooting on the wide end of the zoom.

Favorite features

  • Customizable function ring that can be assigned to various settings
  • Sharpness across the entire zoom range
  • In-body stabilization


RF 1.4 Extender Teleconverter


Zoom H4N Pro handheld recorder
Type Teleconverter
Brand Canon
Model RF 1.4x

Why I chose it

Birds are almost always small and far away. This recent addition to my setup gives 40% further zoom to every shot. It has the downside of letting less light into the camera and restricting the zoom range of the camera. It’s easy enough to pop on and off as needed.

Favorite features

  • No learning curve or large adjustment needed to benefit
  • Passively enlarges your shots
  • Compact and easy to add or remove



Camera Canon EOS R6
Lens RF 100 – 500mm F4.5-7.1 L is USM
Peripheral RF 1.4x Extender Teleconverter