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Old Wednesday 15th February 2017, 10:12   #26
katastrofa
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The absolute max. budget is 4000. Above that, and I won't feel comfortable lugging such amount of expensive stuff around, say, Central America. Or East London, for that matter :P
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2017, 16:18   #27
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Strongly agree. In fact the latest micro 4/3s sensors appear to be the equal of the best APS-C sensors when it comes to noise and low light shooting (see Oly EM-1 mk ii and probably GH-5--though no rigorous tests of the latter yet). See here:

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Comp...00___1136_1061

Moreover, the Oly 300mm f4 is superior optically to the Nikon PF300mm f4.
If you look at the dynamic range diagram above ISO400 you see that the D500 is actually 1 stop better than the E-M1 II. That is as expected.

When choosing MFT you are stuck with the small sensor size, but the 300mm PF will also work on FF cameras, for even better high ISO performance.

No doubt the Oly 300mm is a superior lens, but it's also heavy and very expensive (with the EM1-II) in comparison.
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Old Wednesday 15th February 2017, 16:25   #28
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If you look at the dynamic range diagram above ISO400 you see that the D500 is actually 1 stop better than the E-M1 II. That is as expected.

When choosing MFT you are stuck with the small sensor size, but the 300mm PF will also work on FF cameras, for even better high ISO performance.

No doubt the Oly 300mm is a superior lens, but it's also heavy and very expensive (with the EM1-II) in comparison.
I wasn't commenting on dynamic range, but on noise/low light, which is reflected in the sports shooting scores. In any event, we are talking about small differences which most people could not visibly detect.

I was skeptical of the oly lens weight at first myself, but I have no problem carrying the Oly 300mm (600mm equiv on a m4/3 camera) with TC all day with the EM-1 on a shoulder strap. In any event, the D500 is heavier than the EM-1 mkii, so the phase fresnel weight advantage is partially offset by the body weight difference.

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Old Wednesday 15th February 2017, 17:26   #29
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I wasn't commenting on dynamic range, but on noise/low light, which is reflected in the sports shooting scores. In any event, we are talking about small differences which most people could not visibly detect.

I was skeptical of the oly lens weight at first myself, but I have no problem carrying the Oly 300mm (600mm equiv on a m4/3 camera) with TC all day with the EM-1 on a shoulder strap. In any event, the D500 is heavier than the EM-1 mkii, so the phase fresnel weight advantage is partially offset by the body weight difference.
Compare the RAW files at ISO 6400 for example and select "low light" (click the bulb).

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500/7

To me the D500 clearly wins, the higher ISO the bigger difference.
DR is definitely relevant, at least 10 stops is nice to have IMO at higher ISO.

Considering the differences seen on DPreview at higher ISO, I am a bit surprised of the DXO Sports rating results for the E-M1 II actually.
Other early tests I've seen also did not show much improvement from the E-M1 I,
rather than getting closer to Canon EOS 7D.

But as you say, the difference might not be important for your needs and type of shooting.

Much worse cameras than these have been used in publications for the National Geographic...

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Old Wednesday 15th February 2017, 21:30   #30
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Arthur Morris, long time professional and Canon user, has recently been discussing using a Fuji XT2 on his blog
http://www.birdsasart-blog.com (his Fuij posts start from about 6th Jan)
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Old Thursday 16th February 2017, 10:03   #31
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My #1 reason for considering a mirrorless camera is that they're said to be quieter than DSLRs. If there are quiet DSLRs which do not spook the birds with mirror/shutter sound, I'd go for a DSLRs, if only for the longer battery life and bigger choice of lenses.
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Old Saturday 18th February 2017, 14:28   #32
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I watch the camps debate this constantly on dpreview all the time. The truth is if you are serious about shooting birds, you will need a big lens, which will be heavy no matter what system you use.
Most of the cameras these days are amazing. You can do well with all of them.
I went with Canon because I was guaranteed not to have any regrets later. It is the most used system and is very intuitive to use and there is a massive community out there. I promise you can get amazing shots with it and that no matter what system you buy into your results will be limited by your ability and not the camera.

I bought the Sigma 150-600mm C lens along with a Canon 80D which is a $2000 package. It is very large and heavy but I don't mind it on a shoulder strap. If you prefer smaller and the same price I would recommend the Canon 400mm f/5.6 prime which is an amazing lens for the price.

Enjoy your research, it can be fun. There are a lot of great choices out there right now. After months of looking, I decided to go with the safe route but there are definitely a lot of alternatives that will work.
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Old Saturday 18th February 2017, 14:53   #33
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I agree, poring over reviews, sample photos and forum flamewars is part of the thrill of buying such gear :)
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Old Sunday 19th February 2017, 08:49   #34
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I really wouldn't bother too much about shutter noise. My experience photographing small birds from a hide at about 4 metres is that the vast majority of birds, whilst they undoubtably hear the shutter, are not spooked by it. Indeed some stop and listen which makes getting the shot easier. What does spook them all is movement, even in the hide. Even the slightest movement will spook some birds. I had a hide set up at 4 metres to get Greater Spotted Woodpecker photos. They flew off at the slightest hint of movement. The only way I could get the shots was to preset the camera and use a cable release and keep absolutely still.
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Old Monday 20th February 2017, 11:40   #35
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Shutter noise may be a minor factor when you photograph from a hide, not so when you walk around. Comparing my experiences with a noisy Canon DSLR to my four years with the silent Canon SX50, the latter clearly allowed a more relaxed kind of bird photography, less stress for the birds. Spending seven minutes with a Kingfisher just 10m away, or even more time with a very cooperative Firecrest - none of that is possible with a DSLR. Someone showed me how silent his 5D Mk iii in "silent mode" was, and I thought by myself: wow, that is loud.

Shooting a Dipper in a distance of 7m with a DSLR was fun and I really loved the results - but that was under the deafening noise of a waterfall, a rare exception. For me, noise is a major factor, but perhaps I am rather a birder than a photographer. I gave up the SX50 only because it wasn't good at BIF. Presently I love my Nikon V2 with the CX 70-300 lens, a very capable combination for BIF. Costs: about Euro 800, used.
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Old Monday 20th February 2017, 12:16   #36
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I was afraid of that! Now my life is more complicated - for a DSLR the choice was clear (Nikon D500), for a mirrorless there are several options, each with their own pros and cons...
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Old Monday 20th February 2017, 21:01   #37
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I value silent shooting for causing minimal disturbance to non-photographer birders in hides - brillant being able to sit there rattling shots off with no sound.
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Old Tuesday 21st February 2017, 09:24   #38
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On Saturday I met a Peregrine and was lucky to get some good photos. Posted in the other thread.
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Old Tuesday 21st February 2017, 13:47   #39
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Compare the RAW files at ISO 6400 for example and select "low light" (click the bulb).

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500/7

To me the D500 clearly wins, the higher ISO the bigger difference.
DR is definitely relevant, at least 10 stops is nice to have IMO at higher ISO.
I don't see any significant difference between the D500 and EM-1 mk II. Think you can see what you want if you look long enough at such shots when there are small differences. Also, those DP Review shots are not carefully controlled; they use inferior lenses on some cameras and process some shots differently than others.

Going beyond tests, here's a real world report from another forum that I linked to in another post:
I shoot with the D500 and assorted lenses up to the 600mm f/4. My wife shoots with the E-M1 Mark II and the E-M5 Mark II cameras and the Olympus Pro lenses (12-40 f/2.8, 40-150mm f/2.8, 12mm f/2, 300mm f/4). Her images are the equal of mine and sometimes better as the autofocus is more accurate with mirrorless cameras.
Her 300mm f/4 provides the field of view of my 600mm f/4 lens but cost a quarter as much and weighs a third as much. With the in-camera optical stabilization combined with the lens stabilization of the 300mm f/4 lens she can take a shot at 1/8s hand held and the image is perfectly sharp. I cannot do that with my Nikon D500 and any of my VR lenses (70-200, 80-400, 500mm f/4, 600mm f/4).
On a trip this month to Costa Rica we had equivalent kits and mine fit in a 32 liter bag and weighed over 36 lbs., while hers fit in a 18 liter backpack and weighed in at 19 lbs. Which would you rather carry?
I read so many posts where people agonize over what to take on a trip and with MFT cameras and lenses there would be no issue as they could take it all.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58988370

Last edited by Jim M. : Tuesday 21st February 2017 at 13:52.
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Old Tuesday 21st February 2017, 14:00   #40
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Thanks guys. I will have to reconsider Olympus again :)
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 21:47   #41
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PS. If I was to buy just 1 lens for Olympus, which one should it be? 100-400? 300? 70-300?
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Old Wednesday 22nd February 2017, 22:13   #42
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PS. If I was to buy just 1 lens for Olympus, which one should it be? 100-400? 300? 70-300?
The 300 is the sharper lens. I would wait for the GH5 and see how that compares. If you want stabilisation of the body to work with the lens you will have to match Panasonic with Panasonic, or Olympus with Olympus.

Personally if money and size and weight was no object I would want to see how the 300 (plus tc) compares on GH5 vs EM1 mk2 - I think it may be close - people will see pro capture as a swaying factor, although 6K photo might be quite good on the GH5.

I don't think there is a wrong answer, and there will always be something in the future that will be better, but I decided G85 plus 100-400 suited me, I don't think sensors seem developed enough yet to make 4MP a major enough difference to combat the downsides the extra pixel density can bring, and if I was after ultimate picture quality I would be going full frame anyway, I wanted maximum reach with quality in as compact a package as possible - my goal is for good record shots, and when I can get close enough in good light, the odd really good shot.

Good luck choosing, don't rush the decision, and enjoy whatever you may decide upon.
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 02:33   #43
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PS. If I was to buy just 1 lens for Olympus, which one should it be? 100-400? 300? 70-300?
Pretty sure NOT the 70-300. Some people say the 100-400 is not crisp enough at the long end, I would like to have one in my hands to know for sure.

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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 04:49   #44
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PS. If I was to buy just 1 lens for Olympus, which one should it be? 100-400? 300? 70-300?
It depends on your normal subject situation,the 300 would be no good for me i need to use the full range of 100-400,the new Panasonic 100-300 is showing some good results.
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 05:33   #45
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PS. If I was to buy just 1 lens for Olympus, which one should it be? 100-400? 300? 70-300?
The 100-400. Your original post mentions shooting large mammals, including cows and marine mammals from a boat. The 300 mm prime, which for birding purposes is usually used with the 1.4x teleconverter, won't work well for those subjects/situations because the field of view is too narrow. Unless your subjects are distant, all you will be able to shoot would be the head.

As for the 75-300 mm, you could get some good shots with it but having the extra reach of a 400 mm is definitely helpful for bird photography.
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 08:50   #46
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The 300mm lens is quite expensive... And there is the problem with fixed magnification, as Jim said.
But 100-400 lens is Panasonic / Leica, how this will affect image stabilisation?
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 09:58   #47
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D500 vs E-M1 MkII at ISO 6400 in low light.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500/7
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 10:08   #48
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D500 vs E-M1 MkII at ISO 6400 in low light.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d500/7
Thanks, that's one thing off my mind - the difference between Olympus and APS-C cameras is quite small at 6400 ISO.
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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 10:15   #49
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Thanks, that's one thing off my mind - the difference between Olympus and APS-C cameras is quite small at 6400 ISO.
If you think that it's a small difference you might need to calibrate your monitor...
the E-M1 II image have more blue pixels than black..and show clearly less details.
To me it looks like about 1 stop difference, and that is significant (at least to me..).
But if you only shoot up to ISO1600, the E-M1 II would be fine.
D500 I would shoot with confidence up to ISO3200, and D5 up to ISO6400.
(in "lower light" that is, in good light you can go higher)

Some more on Auto Focus and noise performance here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG69QUeOJpE

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Old Thursday 23rd February 2017, 11:06   #50
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Funnily, I thought that Olympus showed an excess of RED pixels :)

I compared Olympus E-M1 Mk 2, Fuji X-T2, Nikon D500 and (as benchmark) Canon 1D X Mark II. At 6400 ISO, all 4 have noise on the black background. Olympus is the worst of them, but not by the amount I expected.

Now, if comparing autofocus in controlled conditions was possible...
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