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D7000, 7D, A55 or GH2 for sports and wildlife?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dulaney22, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    I'm fairly set on buying a second body to compliment my E-P1. I had planned on buying a GH2, but still undecided. Of course the D7000 and GH2 aren't out, but it seems that everyone already knows their capabilities.:smile: Anyway, the only thing holding be back from the GH2 are the availability of fast zoom (or prime) telephotos. The Canon and Nikon appear about equal in all respects in that regard. I'm kinda leaning to the SLT A55 at the moment, as it's much cheaper and would, therefore, afford the difference being put to a great telephoto in the $1500-2000 range.

    All three cameras appear capable in low-light for my kids sports, gymnastics, etc., or if I want to capture a strutting wild turkey at 50 yards a little after daybreak. I figure the AF on the Canon and Nikon are fairly similar. I don't know about the GH2 and A55 in that regard.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are requested and appreciated.
     
  2. EasyEd

    EasyEd Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Feb 16, 2010
    Hey All,

    I have been in the market for about a year now for a camera. Meanwhile I continue to use a G1 that I bought for work. It's OK that I use it as it would otherwise just be sitting but if I break it I buy it - which is fine with me. That said...

    What camera/camera system to buy into is very daunting as there are so many options and in my opinion the technology is moving incredibly fast right now. I expect whatever I buy to be good for 5+ years not 6 months or less the way it is now.

    That said I've been looking hard at some of these same models (or derivatives thereof). For me the D7000 and 7D (and hence T2i/550D) are just too big so I have eliminated them.

    This then pretty much leaves me with the GH2 and A55. I was actually at a store a couple hours ago with a G1 and an A33 (55s little brother) right beside each other. Basically the two cameras are really really close to the same size but proportioned a bit differently. The A33 feels "chubbier" (shorter distance between the handgrip and lens and a bit thicker - height about the same) but I could probably get used to it. The kit lens on the A33 was much bigger than the kit lens on the G1.

    On the internet there are reports of the A55 (and A33) overheating and shutting off if you use the video function very long - especially if the in body image stabilization is on. Does the GH1 and will the GH2 have any problems along these lines? I don't know. My interest is much more in stills and I don't know if there are any heat issues shooting stills on the A55.

    What the 10fps mode on the A55 is good for I don't know as you don't get either LCD or EVF updates when in that mode. Plus you can apparently fill the buffer in a few seconds and it apparently empties to the card slowly. Don't know how much of a weakness this is.

    From what I can tell the menu options are more extensive in the Panasonic cameras than in the Sony. One that I noticed was the single spot focusing ability in the Panasonics that is not apparently available in the Sony. I often wonder if multispot focusing can result in "soft" or even out of focus images. I think but I'd have to test more that I often get sharper images with single spot focusing. But I don't think I fully understand the relationship between focusing method and image sharpness assuming there is one. What do you all do? Single or multispot?

    In terms of megapixels the Sony and Panasonic are basically the same so I assume the same resolving power. From my perspective they both have the number of megapixels I'm looking for.

    As for high ISO performance differences - I just don't know yet - I'm hoping the GH2 really steps up. The Sony twilight mode is really good and their sweep panorama is cool as well.

    In terms of lenses available for the two systems - well I think the edge would go to the Sony. That Zeiss and G series glass is some of the best out there but man it ain't cheap! Course Panasonic glass isn't cheap either.

    So right now I'm in the same boat as you only I'm just looking to decide what buy into and it isn't a simple decision. I'll probably go Panasonic though hoping the GF2 is a high performance rangefinder with EVF unless some of my other concerns over the A55 resolve themselves. Now watch Fuji come out with an interchangeable lens x100 - then what?

    I'll be curious to see what others say.

    -Ed-
     
  3. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    I can only recommend what I know, but the EOS 7D is scary fast! I used to own the EOS 1 series in the past (EOS 1D Mark II N), which is the pinnacle of Canon engineering, and the 7D is as good as that, and better in some respects. It is thought to be the best APS-C sensor DSLR out there at the moment by many reviewers, and I have to say that I agree with them.
     
  4. Herman

    Herman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
  5. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    So sports and wildlife translate to reach (long lenses), fast AF and tracking and if we are talking night or indoor sports, fast long lenses. Granted that the GH2 would appear to be much better than current M43 solutions in the AF area, but it is going to be hard to beat the AF performance of the latest Nikon or Canon prosumer or pro level bodies and lenses. We are also talking significant differences in cost, especially with glass.

    The only long glass available or scheduled to be available for M43 that I know of is f/5.6 or worse. While that is OK for daylight wildlife or outdoor sports. it will be a big problem for indoor or night sports. There is also the issue that most of the long M43 zooms I've seen have no tripod provision.

    I think M43 might be viable for some of these applications in a few years (assuming the correct lenses come along as well as body development), but today, I still think DSLR is the answer. I would also not go Sony - nice cameras and lenses (the Zeiss ones), but a very limited system with much fewer options in long glass than Nikon & Canon. Be aware that Canon super-tele's are cheaper than their Nikon equivalents (I'm talking the 400/500/600 stuff).

    Of course, your idea of what sports or wildlife means might be different than mine - I'm thinking of minimum 600mm full-frame equivalent, usually need considerably longer. I'm shooting large birds here in FL with 500mm on APS-C (D300s) and really need longer. You will also want flash with a Better Beamer, high end tripod, gimbal head, etc. It ain't cheap. Indoor or night sports is worse because you really need 300/2.8, 400/2.8 lenses to keep the shutter speeds up - we are talking $6000 - $10,000 just for glass.

    On the other hand if you are talking about shooting ducks, deer and squirrels at the local park or backyard, a GH2 with the upcoming 100-300 might suffice.

    I love my E-P2 for many things, but there is no way the system is ready to be my birding or wildlife rig.
     
  6. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Keith, right now I'm not looking at the super telephoto stuff, but who knows what mindset I may have later.:biggrin: My plan is to put a 70-200mm or equivalent on so I can shoot indoor dance, cheer, etc. and my little boy playing soccer, baseball, whatever. I'm an avid turkey hunter and am gonna give photography a go in that arena this year. I don't need a super zoom for that, since most all shots will be inside 50 yards. I will likely be more worried about available light in dark woods and swamps than anything else.

    My concerns mirror what Ed stated. The technology is changing so fast that I hesitate to by anything at the moment, but then you don't have a camera for this stuff. Right now I am actually pretty pleased at what I can get out of my E-P1 and some fast manuals by shooting hyperfocal, but I can't get those close shots. I have no intention of this camera being carried for anything other than action or wildlife.

    I agree that Sony's lens lineup isn't as good at the moment, but the price of the body is hard to fault. On that same note, the price and performance of the Nikkor 80-200 is really appealing. For a little over $2k, I could put it on the D7000 and have a winner, but it wouldn't have IS or some of other newer features of both the Nikon and Canon lineup.

    Then you have the 7d, a proven winner and workhorse, but a good chunk more expensive than the others. The lens are comparable and/or exceed that offered by Nikon . . . some cheaper some more. I had initially worried about the two big boys going mirrorless, SLT or some other direction, but that really only affects the body I guess. It would be hard to imagine all that glass being useless.

    The oddballs are Pentax and Olympus 4/3. From everything I've read, the Oly glass is spectacular, but you may be buying a dead system. I don't know much about Pentax, other than their reputation for solid bodies and quality lens.

    Right now I'm leaning to the D7000 and 80-200 lens. Like I said, $2k or so will get it. I don't know how many stops I'll lose without the IS, but due to it's size and weight, I will be shooting off a monopod almost always. I appreciate all the input and hope others will chime in.
     
  7. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    Shooting in low light with 200mm with no VR is going to be tricky even with a monopod. 2 stops is within the "VR/IS advantage" so a f/2.8 without VR versus a f/4.5 with VR may be a wash except that the 80-200 is a better lens than the 70-300VR or 55-22VR.

    The bigger problem is the indoor sports - you need shutter speed there and VR doesn't really help you. You need an f/2.8 lens and good high ISO in the body.

    The 7D is a nice body, but low noise doesn't seem to be it's forte. Canon put a lot of pixels in an APS-C sensor and I read of the bird photographers using 3rd party NR even at ISO 400. If Nikon can maintain or improve the D300s high ISO performance with 16Mp in the D7000 (and not cripple the AF) it will be the leader for now. I'm sure Canon has something even better in the pipeline.

    Personally, I would not bet on Olympus or Pentax surviving long term in the high-end DSLR market. I would also write Sony off except they have a ton of money and can afford to stay in the market for prestige if they think it helps then sell consumer stuff. Like it or not, Canon & Nikon are the industry leaders as far as technology innovation, breadth & depth of system equipment and market share. I think Pentax, Oly and Sony make some nice (and occasionally interesting) cameras & lenses, but I really wonder if they can/will survive in that market. It appears Oly is even struggling to remain competitive in M43. I love my E-P2, the IBIS and my first film camera was an OM-1 34 years ago, but the camera market is getting squeezed hard.
     
  8. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    So you would recommend the D7000 with the more expensive, but stabilized, lens? It looks like that's where I'm headed. Probably $3k + change or so total. Of course I haven't handled the D7000, but I like the feel of the 7d/60d over the D90.
     
  9. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    If you are concerned about performance in low light, Nikon seems to have the edge at the moment over Canon. Canon chose to a) fix their AF system, b) up the frame rate without a battery grip and c) push the resolution with the 7D. The D7000 is still guesswork at this point, but based on some samples that have leaked out, I would be willing to bet it will better the noise performance of the 7D. It's funny because 5 years ago, we Nikon guys were complaining about how the Canon's had such better high ISO performance. The D300/D3 changed all of that and Canon is still chasing Nikon in that particular area.

    They are both very good cameras, but a friend has a 7D and I'm underwhelmed by the noise. Your mileage may vary.

    I shoot a D300s and D700. I never warmed up to the D90 either. Then again I hate the UI on the Canons because I have shot Nikons for over 25 years.
     
  10. EasyEd

    EasyEd Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Feb 16, 2010
    Hey All,

    The whole who will survive in the high-end DSLR market discussion is interesting but from my perspective I just don't want to carry a big camera around and neither Canon or Nikon appears to be particularly interested in the small body DSLR market. Thus the issue for me is who is going to end up producing the best quality product (body and lenses) in the small body market? So that is where my quandry is focused.

    As for the D7000 versus the 7D I know 3 people who are almost literally salivating at the thought of getting a D7000 to replace either D90s or D5000s. Of course they are pretty heavily invested in Nikon glass to start with. I also know two people who swear by their 7Ds - of course they were both heavily invested in Canon glass to start with. I doubt you can go wrong either way.

    -Ed-
     
  11. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    You can't - as I said they are both excellent systems (not just cameras).
     
  12. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    One of my pro buddies loaned me his back-up (a 7D) and 70-200mm 2.8L IS lens. All I can say is wow!! It's amazing what AF and low-light capabilities are in these systems. 3200/6400 ISO is no problem. I would like to wait around for the D7000, but if I go Canon I can borrow any of his lens. He actually said the Nikon would probably be the better camera, but he's too heavily invested in lens to change now.
     
  13. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    Few more thoughts for those considering this as well. After using the 4:3 aspect ratio, I didn't realize that I wouldn't care much for the 3:2. Yes, I know this can be changed, but it's wasted megapixels for what I do. Some of my soccer shots benefited, but most I changed back to a 4:3 crop in LR. For candid shots of my kiddos and such, almost every shot I had a lot of wasted real estate. Great pictures, but any extra resolution is kinda lost in that regard. The 7D takes excellent photos and I really like the colors, but it's really about the same as my E-P1 w/20 Panny in good light. However, outside shots in bright sun did seem a touch tamer with the D7. I don't know if that's the camera or the fact that I'm learning how to adjust for it.
     
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I think maybe you're going about this backwards.
    For sports & wildlife the lens is the most important thing : and good C-AF.
    Once you've got a proven lens shortlist and have checked real-world results from those lenses you can match a camera body to it.
    You obviously have a lot of money to spend so be careful.
    Get something that really works well, maybe last year's model.
    Personally for sports & wildlife I'd be leaning towards a Nikon setup : their C-AF seems proven and with less anecdotal problems than similar canon setups.
    Whatever the setup, with a good lens it is probably going to be BIG.

    I'm glad I don't want to photograph sports... :smile:

    edit :
    So why'd you even bother posting??
    Obviously buy a Canon, probably 7D or 550D.
    dont buy any lenses, you've got it made.
     
  15. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    I don't wanna be that guy. I'm planning on buying the lens i anticipate using. After some real world use, I don't know if that's gonna be the long zoom. 100-135 prime may be better.

    Also, everything I read says Nikon is better for what I want and the $500 or so difference in price between the 2 will pay half that lens.
     
  16. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    My advice is to investigate which system has the best lenses for you. Each system has really good lenses but Nikon and Canon can vary in options. I've had both. One option that Canon has over Nikon is the 70-200 F4 L IS which is a really nice lightweight zoom costs $800 less than the Canon 2.8, Nikon has nothing to compete, sure there is the Nikon 70-200 F 2.8 VR II but that compares with the Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS II also Nikon lenses are generally a bit more expensive.

    I'm sure you will get good pictures from any system but lens selection is often a second thought and it should be considered more important.
     
  17. ronbot

    ronbot Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Apr 27, 2010
    I too have been considering a D7000 and a GH2 but for other reasons.

    I have an E-PL1 since it came out. Love that camera especially with a 20mm Pany. Also got some nice vintage lenses to use with it. However, I would like to complement it with another camera.

    At first, I was thinking of the new GH2 for better video, more MP, nice 14-140mm lens, lens sharing with my E-PL1 and so on. But, it doesn't solve some of the E-PL1's deficiencies: low-light capability, ISO noise, very small selection of fast and wide lenses, no real OVF, etc. Faster AF would be nice too.

    The only other options that interest me are the 60D and D7000; K-5 seems nice but too expensive. Then I played with a 60D at a store and was not impressed much especially for the price. For $100 more over the 60D (for bodies) and same prize as the GH2 (with 14-140mm vs 18-105mm lenses), the D7000 seems to have better value, at least on paper.

    If I settle with the D7000, I'd probably get the following Nikkor lenses for it: 18-105mm, 35mm f1.8, 50 f1.4, and 10-24mm. Or the 2 Nikkor primes with third party zooms from Tokina/Tamron/Sigma. There are some interesting ultra wide angle lenses such as the Sigma 8-16mm and the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8.
     
  18. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hey Ronbot. I have the Nikon 18-105mm VR lens and it is great. Nice size and a very versatile lens, although low light brings it to its knees. So that's why I recently got myself a Nikor 17-55mm 2.8. Now I can say that is one Freakin good lens. Built out of steel and feels perfect, weighs a ton, feels like a pro, looks like a pro. All i need now is to get pro quality images- although that's easy with a lens like that.:smile: I've just put a Hoya UV filter on the front and at 77mm it looks like a weapon.

    Have fun... and remember the body will outdate with a few years but the lenses wont. Even though its DX, I am fairly confident that Nikon will keep producing the DX format for a while yet, as it's the best way to create the multiplication factor.


    Cheerio,
    icon
     
  19. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    D7000s have been available for a few weeks now. I've heard Best Buy has them, if you're in the states.
     
  20. 996gt2

    996gt2 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Oct 27, 2010
    The D7000 AF is good, but do not mistake it as being on the same level as the 51 point AF of the D300, D700, and D3. Early reports that I've read say the D7000's AF has a harder time tracking moving subjects.

    The 7D may have fewer AF points, but I have a hunch that its AF system is actually faster and more accurate in tracking since it was designed from the ground up as a sports camera. Plus, 8 FPS is really useful!