One for the birds.

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Ziggy, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Ziggy

    Ziggy Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    For a recent outback trip I got an FZ1000 as a walk-around camera as the same old story applies to me as well, the Pentax K3 and tele lenses are getting to be a burden.

    And I was blown away by the speed of the AF on the Lumix. A smudge in the sky in the viewfinder would get an almost instant lock, while the DSLR would very often hunt and the shot get lost.

    So I'm looking to move to an MFT kit assuming Panasonic or Olympus can perform as well in this format. Reasonable assumption?

    Panasonic are offering CDAF with Depth from Defocus - the same as on the FZ1000 I believe. The 4K photo modes are attractive - I can live with 8MP files - but one review I read said that its CAF wasn't up to the 30 FPS rate when tracking birds.

    Of course the new EM1 has all the fruit salad for good tracking CAF. So it's the obvious choice, when it comes out?

    What does the brains trust think?
  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm not certain I've got brains you can trust but the new E-M1 is sounding good but when it comes to how it works, it all depends on how well everything has been implemented. We aren't going to know that until people start getting their hands on it and we start seeing results and reports. What I think is that it's too soon to say that an unreleased camera is the obvious choice.
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  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'll be reading the reviews before joining any queue.
  4. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    I found m4/3 to be a pleasant surprise as far as focusing was concerned,i did my own tests for focus lock on small distant subjects with the 12-35,this is the only example i have left,removed from another forum to re post.

    GX8 @ 35mm full frame



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  5. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    This may be outside the scope of this forum, but a Fuji XT2 was suggested to me along with their 100-400 lens, as a lightweight birding alternative to a DSLR. It's a mirrorless camera- I am not sure that it qualifies as a :43:. And that combo is very expensive (about $4000). . But...since you asked.........You would get something way beyond what Panny and Oly can produce in the bird world, I believe, without the weight and bulk of say, a Canon 7DII and 100-400II, which I have, and can barely carry it around. The biggest problem with my Panny Gh3 and 100-300 lens is the extremely slow focusing, slow shutter speeds, and noise. (Of course that's not the latest and greatest M43, so I may be talking through my hat!) A bird nearby, not moving much in good light is OK, but how often does that happen? I use the Panny combo for movies with the digital zoom-that's the best use I have found for it, for birds. I'm impressed with Panamike's picture, but it would not be my ultimate goal, so small in the frame. That said, I tried the FZ1000 and I was pretty impressed! Another lightweight option in the smaller DSLR world is Nikon D500 and their new 300 f/4 VR lens.

    Yeah, I've probably gone way beyond what you are asking- sorry for the diversion, if so.

    All these ideas, by the way, come from a discussion I started about switching to Nikon on the the Naturescapes "photography equipment" forum. ( Forums • View topic - Switching from Canon to Nikon-what am I in for?) . (I don't know if you can see this if you are not a member....).
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  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the suggestions p-a. All welcome. Haven't really made commitments yet.

    The new Lumix FZ-2500 is also a contender. Has some pros: a familiar user interface and I know what it's likely to be able to do. The big con is a FE reach of only 480mm.

    Yes, the lens choice is going to be critical. The Pana 100-400 has been said by some to be a bit quicker focussing than the 100-300 as well as a bit sharper. And you pay for it!

    But the AF on the new EM1 II on paper looks very good: 121 cross points with PDAF and a dedicated processor, and ProCapture mode.

    Of course the tool is only part of the game. I'll be working on technique as well by taking a bird photography course.
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Well, now the EM1 II price is out I'm looking seriously at other options.

    The critical function is AF speed and accuracy.

    The EM1 II has all those points plus a dedicated processor. OTOH when shooting BIF I only use a centre point or centre cluster - don't need 121 points. But it has hybrid modes.

    On the other side, Panasonic boasts DfD so in principle the lens shouldn't start out by hunting and the birding lens will be a Pana so known to the body. There's 40 odd AF points and a quad-core processer I think (in the G85). And the 4K photo modes will work better for me than the Olympus ProCapture option. Reviews of the Pana CAF performance indicate that it's OK.

    Will the difference in performance warrant an extra AUD1600?!
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