Camera body selection for long telephotos?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by popcan, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Hello all, I am seeking advice or opinions about which camera body might be better for use with long (manual) telephotos.
    I have coming a canon 400mm FD 2.8, which I plan to use for birds and other wildlife around our lake on a GX8 body.... But I have read that some feel that the older Olympus EM 5 body works very well with the longer adapted lenses. Perhaps due to the 5-axis IBIS?
    Do you think the GX8 IBIS will do as well?
    Or is this just a matter of preference? I'm willing to dedicate a specific body to this canon lens if the results will be noticeably better.... Thoughts?
    Thank you
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    For manual focus lenses ONLY I'd go for an Olympus 5-axis camera. I think is going to be better then the 2-axis one found in the GX-8 (the GX-7 was not impressive in some tests, better in others).

    But if you plan to shoot from a very solid tripod only (it's a 5.3kg 800mm equiv. lens after all...) even the IBIS is not that important. I assume you'll be using at least a monopod.

    If you plan to use AF lenses too the answer is more complicated, depends on lens availability, budget, timing, etc. as a few more lenses and bodies are coming out in early 2016 that can change the answer.

    If you already have the GX-8 try it and see what you get. I cannot think of any other bodies that can give you better results then a m43 one with good IBIS. Even the Sony A7Rii is a bad idea as you loose reach (cropping you get a 10.5MP shot) and...well...the price...
  3. popcan

    popcan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 3, 2013
    Thank you- yes I do plan to be on a good tripod with this beast. I've never been much good with a monopod for some reason.
    I also do have a number of other manual lenses, so perhaps my answer is to go mainly with an Olympus body for those, and the GX8 with the native Panasonic lenses.
    I wonder how manual focussing is with the Olympus. I will try the GX8 before investing in another body though.
  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    E-M5 has no focus peaking, while the one on the Pana bodies should be a little better the the Oly one you find on all the recent models. I prefer magnify but depends on the shots.
    With Oly you assign a Fn button or two to magnify/peaking and you start these as needed. I suppose it is about the same for Pana bodies.
  5. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    My favorite would be something with a good grip, the E-M1 with a vertical grip handles longer lenses very well in my experience.

    (it's hands down one of the best cameras to handle I've ever owned)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    With a lens like that a support will be essential. If you don't get on with monopods & instead are tied to a sturdy tripod the grip & IBIS are unimportant.

    I'm glad I don't have to carry it my 150-500 is quite heavy enough & weighs a good deal less than half as much. I'll have to keep that in mind or I might start to get jealous of the lens!
  7. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    While support is essential I meant more that the camera fits snugly in your hand with minimal force from your fingers (having to grip tightly is tiring, it doesn't work long term). Having to wrestle with a heavy lens is work enough without the body slipping out of your fingers as well, I find the shape of the E-M1 grip is better than others your fingers tuck into/under the grip.

    Compact Camera Meter (the area in shadow on the left side of the camera, notice how the lower part of the grip isn't as deep as the top part?)