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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 16:44   #51
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But most photographs posted on that forum are not of grotty little brown birds disappearing in the middle of a bush never to be seen again. Or a harrier disppearing in the mist on a foggy day in late September. In fact, most shots there look as if the photographer had all the time in the world to get the shot. But that's not the kind of shots I'm interested in, I'm interested that grotty brown bird that *may* have been a Siberian Accentor. Or perhaps not. And to get that shot I think you're better off with a decent DSLR than an m4/3 camera.
I would probably be rather close to your type of use of cameras rather than to those who spend a day to get the perfect shot of a common bird. However, I'm probably much less demanding, as I'm coming from the other end, using currently a bridge and just wanting to get better photos of more birds.

Regarding speed, I totally see your point, it's because of speed that I loose most opportunities. The bridge takes 2 seconds or more to power up, another second to zoom out, and then the autofocus takes time to lock. Autofocus time has been discussed above, zooming out shouldn't be a problem with lenses with manual zoom, but what about the start up time? Do DSRLs also have an advantage here over the latest M4/3 cameras?

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I notice dalat mentioned birding in a tropical forest,never been in one but would weather sealing be important in such a situation.
Here in Swtzerland, it's also raining pretty often unfortunately, so I think weather sealing would nice to have both here or in the tropics (but I could live with unsealed gear I think). Difference in the tropics is more the air humidity than the frequency of rains, and for air humidity, there is no difference in use but in storage of the gear
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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 17:20   #52
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what about the start up time?
I think it was the recent DPreview of G85 that mentioned a 1.2 second total time from flipping on the camera to the image was written to the memory card so including start up and AF times. In the Adds for the new Oly, they claim it is the worlds fastest camera so they must be doing even better

By the way: any AF is going to struggle with a bird behind branches. That is why I love the setting on my Pana with manual override: I autofocus (AF-S) while holding the focus ring, it is not where I want it, but as soon as I turn the focus ring the center of the image enlarges and I can manually change focus. I do not need to first flip a switch to allow manual.

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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 17:21   #53
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When i go out its maybe only for 3-4 hours and a spare battery lets me leave my camera switched on,no matter what system i used i would be looking at having enough batteries to leave it on,thats just me though.
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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 17:27   #54
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I would probably be rather close to your type of use of cameras rather than to those who spend a day to get the perfect shot of a common bird. However, I'm probably much less demanding, as I'm coming from the other end, using currently a bridge and just wanting to get better photos of more birds.

Regarding speed, I totally see your point, it's because of speed that I loose most opportunities. The bridge takes 2 seconds or more to power up, another second to zoom out, and then the autofocus takes time to lock. Autofocus time has been discussed above, zooming out shouldn't be a problem with lenses with manual zoom, but what about the start up time? Do DSRLs also have an advantage here over the latest M4/3 cameras?



Here in Swtzerland, it's also raining pretty often unfortunately, so I think weather sealing would nice to have both here or in the tropics (but I could live with unsealed gear I think). Difference in the tropics is more the air humidity than the frequency of rains, and for air humidity, there is no difference in use but in storage of the gear
We get just a little rain in the uk,it doesn't help image quality
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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 20:16   #55
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If you want to get a record shot of some interesting bird (like a hybrid harrier, for instance, or a rarity) you don't have a lot of time, and if you don't get the bird at once it may be gone forever.
Looks like we are using "record shot" in two different senses. I usually see it used, somewhat pejoratively, in the sense of "I don't care much about image quality, I just want a record (souvenir) that I've seen the bird." You are using it more in the sense of "I need confirmation of the species identity, e.g. to document a rarity." I'd consider that to be something of a special need outside of ordinary bird photography. I don't disagree that some DSLRs are probably going to be more reliable for the latter--at least excepting the most recent generation of m4/3s, for which the results are not in yet. As Niels points out, Olympus claims it has souped up the speed of the EM-1 mk ii on almost every level.
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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 20:37   #56
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Looks like we are using "record shot" in two different senses. I usually see it used, somewhat pejoratively, in the sense of "I don't care much about image quality, I just want a record (souvenir) that I've seen the bird." You are using it more in the sense of "I need confirmation of the species identity, e.g. to document a rarity." I'd consider that to be something of a special need outside of ordinary bird photography. I don't disagree that some DSLRs are probably going to be more reliable for the latter--at least excepting the most recent generation of m4/3s, for which the results are not in yet. As Niels points out, Olympus claims it has souped up the speed of the EM-1 mk ii on almost every level.
Yep, that makes a lot of sense. Documenting rarities (or "interesting" birds, like hybrids) has been getting more and more important over here over the past few years, and nowadays most records of such birds are supported by at least half-way decent shots. A typical combination used by a lot of birders is e.g. the Canon 7DII+100-400L.

It's going to be interesting to see if the latest Olympus does get close to some of the fast DSLRs - carrying a suitable DSLR+long lens isn't really a lot of fun. And the AF of the lightweight consumer bodies isn't really good enough, so we're talking about bodies weighing something like 800gr.+ in addition to the lens.

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Old Monday 14th November 2016, 20:37   #57
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A record shot is sometimes all you can get,due to a lot of circumstances.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 02:54   #58
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[...] (the m4/3 with a 100-400 lens is about the biggest gear I currently can imagine to lug around). I did this with binoculars, just bought a Leica straight away, which I think saved me quite some money, compared to slowly climb the ladder and upgrade in steps.
The best demonstration I can presently find for the new camera's BIF capability is a hovering Kingfisher. Obviously there is a certain amount of luck involved to have this bird hover in mid-air not far away from you, but I have faced this situation three times before (from a distance of about 15m). It seems to me that its BIF performance is on a par with my N1 cameras, maybe even a little better.

An informative comparison of the older Olympus model and the Canon 7dmkii is here.

If you lug around a Leica bin, a Swarovski scope and a tripod, an extra 1.4kg is a burden, but the photos may be worth it.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 08:36   #59
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When i made the decision i had to shed gear weight i was all set to get the EM1 then i watched this vid,i didn't want the GH4 as it had no stabilizing,so knowing the GX8 used the same focus system i opted for that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up8K_xd_iwU&t=13s
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 10:14   #60
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Interesting Video. You get the impression that all are very good in fast autofocus, very close to DSLR, and differences between cameras are minute. In this discussion here it sounded that difference between cameras and between mirrorless and dslr are much bigger. But perhaps birds in flight are more difficult than motobikes in flight
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 10:59   #61
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Interesting Video. You get the impression that all are very good in fast autofocus, very close to DSLR, and differences between cameras are minute. In this discussion here it sounded that difference between cameras and between mirrorless and dslr are much bigger. But perhaps birds in flight are more difficult than motobikes in flight
Most definitely the thing is we all love our gear choice,a lot of the arguments being put forward against mirrorless i was using 12 months ago.
I don't think you will fail which ever way you go.
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 13:46   #62
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Interesting Video. You get the impression that all are very good in fast autofocus, very close to DSLR, and differences between cameras are minute. In this discussion here it sounded that difference between cameras and between mirrorless and dslr are much bigger. But perhaps birds in flight are more difficult than motobikes in flight
The differences are small and getting smaller. But, at least in the past, the small differences can make a significant difference in certain contexts, e.g. when you are watching a stream of migrating raptors or landbirds in flight and are literally relying on your photos to ID many of them. In that situation, you have traditionally been better off with a DSLR.
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 14:09   #63
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A couple of numbers: The review of G85 that I am reading right now says that AF works down to -4eV, while the Nikon 7100 worked to -2eV and the 7200 to -3ev.

Quote from the review
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Focusing is very fast, acquiring focus in just 0.07 seconds. In my experience, while the continuous autofocus was certainly quick, the single-shot focus is where the G85 shines.
I am wondering if the use described by Herman, if the C-AF really is the most important or if fast S-AF really is the way to go. The C-AF to me is a question of getting a great image of the flyby where the wings are turned the way you want, so more a question of photo beauty rather than getting any photos at all?

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 15:57   #64
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To throw an additonal autofocus question in: one common tricky situation for getting focus is a bird in scrub or dense foliage, where you see only bits of the bird and have to get that bit in focus, but not the twigs or leaves before and behind the bird. On my bridge, I usually set the focus point on the smallest possible square in the centre and try to bring that on the bird. Works generally, but often not, especially in low light.

I guess better lenses with good manual focus help a lot in these situations, while manual focus does not work at all with my bridge.

But for AF only, is there any difference of the different systems discussed, or is that rather a question of settings and skills?
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:21   #65
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But perhaps birds in flight are more difficult than motobikes in flight
If they had focused on the heads, and not on entire fossil fuel vehicles, the scenario would have been closer to BIF.
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:26   #66
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To throw an additonal autofocus question in: one common tricky situation for getting focus is a bird in scrub or dense foliage, where you see only bits of the bird and have to get that bit in focus, but not the twigs or leaves before and behind the bird. On my bridge, I usually set the focus point on the smallest possible square in the centre and try to bring that on the bird. Works generally, but often not, especially in low light.

I guess better lenses with good manual focus help a lot in these situations, while manual focus does not work at all with my bridge.

But for AF only, is there any difference of the different systems discussed, or is that rather a question of settings and skills?
For the AF part, yes using the smallest possible focusing area is what I do as well. Regarding switching to MF after having used AF, I think the ease of doing that might be a little different in different systems and also depend on how you have customized your camera settings. It is very easy on my GH2 after changing one setting in the menu, I do not know about the other cameras.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 16:49   #67
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When reading about different camara's AF performance, I read things like "49 focus points" or similar. I assume that in the above described situation, when choosing the smallest possible focus area, then only a few of these many focus points would be used. This could possibly change the perfomance of the focus and also how one camera compares to others. Ok, perhaps a bit nitpicky now... But to keep it more simply, does a DSLR with its different focus technology perform better in principle in this type of situation, or not?
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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 18:19   #68
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Not all focus points are usable,some act as assist points.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 18:46   #69
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Not all focus points are usable,some act as assist points.

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I think the difference between primary and assist focus points only exists with phase detection AF so most m4/3 this is not relevant. I doubt there is much change to what we said above even regarding to use the smallest focusing point.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 20:10   #70
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I am wondering if the use described by Herman, if the C-AF really is the most important or if fast S-AF really is the way to go. The C-AF to me is a question of getting a great image of the flyby where the wings are turned the way you want, so more a question of photo beauty rather than getting any photos at all?
The thing is AF-S is really good enough with most modern cameras, even with low-end DSLRs. If you just use the central AF point even an entry level DSLR is quick enough. What's more important than a superfast AF-S is quick startup times, and that's where a DSLR still wins. Bridge cameras are notoriously slow, and all mirrorless cameras I know also take their time. More time than a DSLR anyway.

AF-C - you need AF-C for quite a lot of stuff as well. Take an acrocephalus warbler doing its thing in the reeds, there you need fast and reliable AF-C to document its features, like the wing and tail structure. Or a wheatear: For "difficult" species you need flight shots, often enough at longisch distance against some "noisy" background, to document the tail pattern. Or a harrier flying past, over a field ... The list is endless.

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 20:32   #71
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What is the time from turning on to getting a shot on a mid level dSLR such as nikon 7200?

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 21:27   #72
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What is the time from turning on to getting a shot on a mid level dSLR such as nikon 7200?
You turn on a DSLR as soon as you're in the field, and you leave it turned on. You can start shooting right away. No need to wait for the camera to power up at all.

Battery drain is negligible, you get on average ~600-1000 shots on one battery (unless you spend a lot of time reviewing the results).

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Old Tuesday 15th November 2016, 23:20   #73
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I have shot at least 600 photos in one day. Usually my Pana GH2 runs up to one day on a battery, sometimes I have to change towards the end of the day. But, yes, not if I do not turn off. I cannot imagine that being a problem, my thumb turns on the camera as I start raising it, by the time it reaches my eye it is ready for AF.

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Old Saturday 19th November 2016, 07:10   #74
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An interesting blog by an Indian photographer who shoots both Nikon and M4/2, including a review of the Panasonic 100-300 (https://mayurbehindthelens.com/2015/...-0-5-6-review/) and some general thoughts on M4/3 (https://mayurbehindthelens.com/2015/...tem-of-choice/) as a "second system".

The blog is a bit difficult to navigate, but it's well worth the effort. Lots of interesting thoughts and some excellent photographs.

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Old Saturday 19th November 2016, 14:59   #75
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Thanks Hermann,
I had not seen this. One thing to remember is that looking at his statements today, it is worth remembering that his m4/3 cameras are at least 1 generation back from those we have otherwise discussed. The second thing I believe is that the pana 100-300 suffer from quality variation one copy to another.

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