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Old Wednesday 18th March 2015, 19:58   #1
i321587
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Switch from Canon equioment to smaller system

Hi

For the last few years I've being using a Canon 7D and 300 2.8 lens and teleconvertors for my bird photography and have been very happy with the results. Following surgical operations on both hands I am now finding it increasingly difficult to carry and hold this package. As I like the challenge of birds in flight I'm not keen on using a tripod or monopod as I find they tend to restrict the spontaneity.

I'm therefore considering "down sizing", possibly to a 4/3 system (Olympus or Panasonic would seem to be the most popular). Has anyone experience of such a change and, if so, with what results; particularly in terms of image quality etc.

All suggestions and experiences welcome.

Tony
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Old Wednesday 18th March 2015, 20:33   #2
johnf3f
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I am a very long way from an expert on any of the smaller systems having only tried a couple of examples. Whilst they were nice cameras their AF was almost laughable for Birds - I am sure newer models are better but are they good enough?
Given your problems with your hands have you considered the Canon 300 F4 L IS? It is not quite as good as the F2.8 (my F4 was pretty close to my F2.8 IS Mk1) and it is VERY much lighter. Additionally it focuses much closer which makes it great for reptiles and larger insects.
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Old Thursday 19th March 2015, 18:50   #3
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I have never tried Canon gear, but those who have say that there is no long lens for m4/3 that can compete with canon L glass. That might change when Olympus finally comes out with a 300 f4 that is promised for this year.

Oly has just release firmware update for the top model of their lineup that improved continuous autofocus, and the review for the Em5-II that I just read on dpreview talks about being able to get about 75% of shots in focus with continuous autofocus (once you figure out the necessary tweak in the menu). These results likely were with shorter lenses so not completely comparable. There was a video review of the current top pana model that to me sounded somewhat similar in its AF capabilities.

Niels
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Old Saturday 21st March 2015, 20:35   #4
i321587
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Many thanks for your replies.

I think I'll hold off on making a decision until a longer lens becomes available in 4/3 format.

Tony
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Old Sunday 29th March 2015, 13:16   #5
Neil
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Hi

For the last few years I've being using a Canon 7D and 300 2.8 lens and teleconvertors for my bird photography and have been very happy with the results. Following surgical operations on both hands I am now finding it increasingly difficult to carry and hold this package. As I like the challenge of birds in flight I'm not keen on using a tripod or monopod as I find they tend to restrict the spontaneity.

I'm therefore considering "down sizing", possibly to a 4/3 system (Olympus or Panasonic would seem to be the most popular). Has anyone experience of such a change and, if so, with what results; particularly in terms of image quality etc.

All suggestions and experiences welcome.

Tony
Tony,
You won't be happy with Micro 4/3rds for fast action and birds in flight. Have a look at the Nikon 1 Series. It's fast,light and silent in Electronic mode. Great for birds. With the Nikon 70-200/2.8 or 70-200/4 you get good range for birds, or the new Nikon 300/4 PF.
Neil.
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 09:17   #6
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wise decision IMHO. my suggestion if you are on a limited budget to get Olympus OM D 10 + Lumix 100-300 mm, that lens is really super, just turn off the in body IS of the camera and use the OIS of the lens. and you will get sharp crisp details. can't tell you how the camera handles high ISO values, in sunny Jeddah i never go above 1000.

if you can afford the new OM D 5 Mark II that will be a super choice, with the lumix lens. also you can have the bit slower Zuiko 75-300 mm alternative it doesn't have IS but it works so well with the IBIS of the OM cameras, specially for videos, i have tried with nice results even with my weak left shoulder.

also expected in November the professional 300 mm f 4 prime , which is going to be a bit bulky maybe heavy, and surly no less then 3000 USD.
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 10:23   #7
peter.jones
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I'm about to sell my canon 70-300l lens, but I suspect that would still be too heavy.. In fact I'm selling for "portability" reasons.
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 13:08   #8
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Many thanks for your replies.

I think I'll hold off on making a decision until a longer lens becomes available in 4/3 format.

Tony
Tony,
you might like to consider buying a lighter body. The current Canon 700D and the soon to arrive Canon 750D & 760D are 30% lighter than the 7D. It'll reduce the weight by about 300g which may help. From what I've read, the new 760D body has a similar button setup as the 7D so the switch would be easier and you'd keep the great L series glass. I know the body isn't as "good" as the 7D but it may well be better than a micro-four-thirds alternative when it comes to birds in flight. Just a thought.
Good luck
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 19:55   #9
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. No decision yet but my wife has recently started using a Panasonic FZ1000 and is getting some excellent results. Hasn't tried birds in flight yet but for static birds the results take some beating.

Tony
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 20:10   #10
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Regarding the FZ1000, look at this thread for what can be achieved using 4k video to produce stills, including video of flying birds. If you want a better quality lens and 4k video, you can do the same thing with a pana GH4.

Niels

Here is the link: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=285035
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Old Friday 3rd April 2015, 20:12   #11
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you can never go wrong with Olympus OM's or Pana FZ's.
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Old Friday 17th April 2015, 18:51   #12
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One of the regulars on another site I frequent had the same issues - he was having problems with the weight of his full Canon gear so moved to Olympus E-M5 (then E-M1) with the macro lens and 100-300. When that started taking its toll he moved to the Nikon V2 and seems to be very happy with it, even for windsurfing, motorsports and bees.

http://www.imagesfromnature.co.uk/ar...otography-5707

He explains this in his blog and his photos show the quality of what he is getting, and his photos have hi-res options so you can check out some real-world quality.
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Old Friday 17th April 2015, 21:22   #13
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A couple of thoughts. The first is a friend of mine and a much better photographer than I just made this change. He went with the new top of the line Fuji X-t1 and he gets some great shots. It has an Aspc sensor like your Cannon but being mirror-less its much smaller and lighter. He told me he went there instead of Olympus because of better IQ, Better low light performance and better auto-focus. He works at Roberts Camera here in Indy so he has complete access to about anything to try it. The FZ 1000 isnt a bad camera at all but its a little reach limited at 400 mm. I dont know if anyone is making a good extender for that but there is one for my ZX-200. Finally Olympus make a somewhat expensive but first rate red dot sight thats complete with hot shoe mount and it works very well. Makes the supper-Zooms much easier to track a bird especially if your firing bursts.
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Old Saturday 18th April 2015, 02:21   #14
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What kind of lens is he using on the X+t1?

Niels
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