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Old Monday 24th April 2017, 21:45   #1
Dave Hawkins
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Lumix G80 + 100/300 Power OIS vs Sony RX10Mk3 vs Nikon P900 vs Lumix FZ330

Looking for some advice please!

First and foremost, I am a birder who likes to get record shots of birds and wildlife. I almost never print, content just to look at images on my monitor. A lot of my shots tend to be on wetlands at the long end of the zoom.

Current camera for last 4 years Lumix FZ150. I have been very happy with this camera but now want to upgrade and increase the quality of my images a notch.

G80 - Ive liked what Ive read about the camera and the new Power OIS lens. There's also the chance to upgrade the lens to the 100/400 at a later date if I do some weight training! I believe I could also digiscope with this body but am unsure on lenses or adaptors. I have a Kowa 883 and zoom.

RX10Mk3 - impressed with the quality feel and EVF (cf the FZ150) The images I saw on the back of the camera looked great. It fitted in my hands very nicely indeed. I saw images hand held at 600mm that looked absolutely fine.

P900 - I know a couple of folk with it one loves it and the other is not at all keen except for the reach.

Finally my FZ150 has on the whole been ultra-reliable despite some roughish handling and i am tempted simply to upgrade to the FZ330.

My requirements are in no particular order.
Minimum 600mm reach and a bit more would be nice.
Good under dull UK skies.
Good image stabilisation as most shots will be hand held.
Fast accurate autofocus, I like to (try) and get birds in flight or doing something.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Wednesday 26th April 2017, 05:34   #2
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Dave,dont know about any one else but ime not ignoring your post,its just i cant see one camera that would fulfill your needes,it sounds to me like you are wanting too much from one camera.

The P900 i would choose for reach,the G80 for speed and action,the Sony not sure of but 600mm on a 1 inch sensor is not that long although i have read good reports on thiere digital zoom?.

Panasonic bridge camera i know very little about.
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Old Wednesday 26th April 2017, 13:45   #3
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I - or rather my wife - has been in a similar situation to yourself. She inherited my old Panasonic FZ200 when I went down the DSLR route last year (D7200 +300mm PF). Although like you, we both prefer to walk around and watch birds first and take photos second, her interest in photography really grew, along with her awareness of the deficiencies of a superzoom vis a vis the DSLR.
Partly in order to alleviate this (and also to stop her snatching the Nikon off me when anything interesting came along) I bought her a G80 +100-300mm MkII lens last month for her birthday.
Coming from a Panasonic superzoom, she has had no problems with handling what is a very light and compact combo, and is generally pleased with the results so far, which are much closer to the DSLR in terms of fine detail resolution, while she has the same FF equivalent reach (600mm) as the old FZ200. The electronic viewfinder is also 100x better than the superzoom, and image stabilisation works fine for handheld images at full reach.
Where she is less happy is with autofocus, which does tend to hunt a bit - we're going to experiment with reducing the number of focus points for perched birds to try and rectify this (BIF against uncluttered background are fine), although manual focus (with focus peaking) is easy to implement.
The other thing is the manual which comes with the camera is a very limited 'quick start' - type guide - you really need to download the detailed version - and the menu system for adjusting settings I don't think is anywhere near as clear as the Nikon. So in some ways it (perhaps surprisingly) has a slightly steeper learning curve than the D7200, despite us both being familiar with the typical Panasonic layout of controls which is replicated in the G80.
Overall I'd commend the G80 / 100-300 mkII, which you'd certainly regard as a vast improvement over the FZ series you're used to, maybe not DSLR standard for low light but a big improvement. For the specific purpose of taking acceptable pictures of faraway wetland birds you're probably looking at a DSLR with a lens the size (and price) of a handheld rocket launcher, but you will be able to crop in with the G80 to a much greater extent than an FZ superzoom or (I suspect) the P900.
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 07:53   #4
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Thanks nikonmike and kb57.
Ive now had hands on with the Panasonic 100/400 on a GH5 body and also on a GX4. I was blown away by the image quality (at least on the back of the camera) and image stabilisation! Birds in the middle of Titchwell freshmarsh at 400 (800) were easily identifiable I.e more than just a record shot and I could see no sign at all of camera shake. Close birds were simply stunnng .....thanks for the hands on whoever you were!

My budget would cover G80+100/400 but won't stretch to a GH5, so am wondering what the practical differences are between the GH5 and G80?

What is the lens like for BIF? On my FZ150 I've perfected my settings and have found putting the bird in the camera at x10, then tracking it as I zoom in to be the best option.

How practical is this on the non motorised zoom on the 100/400?

Many thanks for further advice !
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 10:22   #5
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Never seen a GH5 but i am happy with the G80 and 100-400 once you get set up right and get used to using it,BIF can be a steep learning curve and my best advice would be with the 100-400 dont go too long on the zoom to start with.
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 10:24   #6
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Just noticed your zoom bit i cant stand a motorised zoom for stills they take too long to get there,video i understand is different but i never used to zoom while fliming,well not much any way.
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Old Monday 1st May 2017, 13:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hawkins View Post
My budget would cover G80+100/400 but won't stretch to a GH5, so am wondering what the practical differences are between the GH5 and G80?

What is the lens like for BIF? On my FZ150 I've perfected my settings and have found putting the bird in the camera at x10, then tracking it as I zoom in to be the best option.

How practical is this on the non motorised zoom on the 100/400?

Many thanks for further advice !
I've just bought exactly the same combo (g80 + 100-400) and am a couple of weeks into using it. I'm also coming from a Lumix bridge (FZ200). Menus and settings work similarely on the G80 as on the FZ200, so I was rather quick into it. However, getting the perfect settings and most out of the camera takes time, and I feel the learning curve is still steep for me. Skills, e.g. aiming and panning with the large lens will also need to develop.

To your question, the manual zoom on the 100-400 works well, much better than the bridge's motorized zoom. Mostly I use the lens at the long end, and it's much faster to zoom out fully than with the bridge. Also zooming while filming should be easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb57
Where she is less happy is with autofocus, which does tend to hunt a bit - we're going to experiment with reducing the number of focus points for perched birds to try and rectify this (BIF against uncluttered background are fine)
For stationnary birds, I have good experience using the single AF field in its smallest size, that is extremly fast and precise.

For BIF against cluttered backgrounds, I'm still struggeling, but that's probably more due to skills for keeping the bird centered than due to the camera's abilities.
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Old Thursday 4th May 2017, 17:47   #8
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Many thanks guys.
After due consideration I've saved myself 1200 and gone for the P900. I'll post a few images after the weekend
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Old Thursday 4th May 2017, 18:14   #9
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Many thanks guys.
After due consideration I've saved myself 1200 and gone for the P900. I'll post a few images after the weekend
Well the camera can do it so its all up to you
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Old Sunday 7th May 2017, 23:03   #10
Dave Hawkins
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Well, the P900 is here and we've been out in the field together but the cloud cover has been thick meaning the light has been dismal.

Tried to copy my tried and tested settings on the FZ150 to the equivalent settings on the P900 ... but mixed results so far hopefully due to the poor light.

Bit disappointed with the EVF which even on the brightest setting is hardly what I'd call bright! It might buck up though if the sun ever comes out again

Anyway its over to the P900 thread with an appeal for the best settings ... any help appreciated.
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