Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Anyone switched to mirrorless?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 16:25   #1
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Anyone switched to mirrorless?

I'm seriously considering it and have been looking at Sony's a7r iii. But not sure which lens to go for. Any advice on switching or lenses appreciated. Alan
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 17:40   #2
marcsantacurz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 840
I've shot the Nikon d500 and now the d850 w/ 9FPS battery grip. I use the Tammy 150-600g2 and now mostly the Nikon 500 f/5.6e.

I have tried the Oly E-M1m2, E-M5m2 with the Panny 100-400 and Oly 300mm f/4. The E-M5 is out for action, not responsive enough. I did like the E-M1m2 + Panny 100-400. It is not quite as responsive as the nikons, especially coming out of sleep, but it does a pretty good job. The IQ can be very good and I think if I shot it more I'd get used to the handling. But after only 1 week of trying one out, I still had not gotten used to the handling differences. I found it not as responsive. I am very happy with many of the photos I got from it.

I have also tried the Nikon Z7. IQ-wise it is right up there with the d850 and the mirrorless AF can knock them out as good or better than the DSLR, but I still do not think it is as good for action with cluttered scenes. I have still not gotten used to the extra turn-on delay compared to the DSLR. I try to keep the focus around the distance I expect to shoot to help it lock on better, and if I need to press the shutter release early, it will focus up close and then need to seek again to try and lock on. I need to sell the Z7 and get a 2nd gen Z, or a Sony.

I shot the Sony a6400 + Sigma 150-600 C and Sony 100-400. It was a clear win for the 100-400, so I would think the Sony 200-600 would be the lens to get for birding nowadays. The a6400 took excellent pictures. The menus and all the AF & drive modes takes some learning to figure out what modes you really want to be using. I was not totally sold on the a6400 ergonomics, but it was a better experience for me than the Oly. I think the Z7 can take better images in most circumstances, but the a6400 was better for action and reach. I got some very nice hummingbird shots with the a6400 tracking them from a perch into flight.

I am waiting for the end of August announcements, as I think Sony will be releasing a sports-oriented crop camera. I'd like to see that with the 200-600.

I bet if you wait just a little bit, you'll see a lot more used A7R3 and more discounts on new ones (or more open boxes / demos) as the A7R4 sales pick up. From what I have heard the A7R3 for action is only very good (as opposed to a9 fantastic), and it will miss a bit and does have some blackout when shooting. It's not the a9. I am pretty sure I would always be inadvertently hitting the exposure comp on the A7R3 too -- putting a lock button on the A7R4 is an improvement. I suspect the next batch of cameras, like the RX100VII, will fix most of those shortcomings.

Marc
__________________
https://tear.com
marcsantacurz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 18:41   #3
nikonmike
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: grimsby uk
Posts: 827
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcsantacurz View Post
I've shot the Nikon d500 and now the d850 w/ 9FPS battery grip. I use the Tammy 150-600g2 and now mostly the Nikon 500 f/5.6e.

I have tried the Oly E-M1m2, E-M5m2 with the Panny 100-400 and Oly 300mm f/4. The E-M5 is out for action, not responsive enough. I did like the E-M1m2 + Panny 100-400. It is not quite as responsive as the nikons, especially coming out of sleep, but it does a pretty good job. The IQ can be very good and I think if I shot it more I'd get used to the handling. But after only 1 week of trying one out, I still had not gotten used to the handling differences. I found it not as responsive. I am very happy with many of the photos I got from it.

I have also tried the Nikon Z7. IQ-wise it is right up there with the d850 and the mirrorless AF can knock them out as good or better than the DSLR, but I still do not think it is as good for action with cluttered scenes. I have still not gotten used to the extra turn-on delay compared to the DSLR. I try to keep the focus around the distance I expect to shoot to help it lock on better, and if I need to press the shutter release early, it will focus up close and then need to seek again to try and lock on. I need to sell the Z7 and get a 2nd gen Z, or a Sony.

I shot the Sony a6400 + Sigma 150-600 C and Sony 100-400. It was a clear win for the 100-400, so I would think the Sony 200-600 would be the lens to get for birding nowadays. The a6400 took excellent pictures. The menus and all the AF & drive modes takes some learning to figure out what modes you really want to be using. I was not totally sold on the a6400 ergonomics, but it was a better experience for me than the Oly. I think the Z7 can take better images in most circumstances, but the a6400 was better for action and reach. I got some very nice hummingbird shots with the a6400 tracking them from a perch into flight.

I am waiting for the end of August announcements, as I think Sony will be releasing a sports-oriented crop camera. I'd like to see that with the 200-600.

I bet if you wait just a little bit, you'll see a lot more used A7R3 and more discounts on new ones (or more open boxes / demos) as the A7R4 sales pick up. From what I have heard the A7R3 for action is only very good (as opposed to a9 fantastic), and it will miss a bit and does have some blackout when shooting. It's not the a9. I am pretty sure I would always be inadvertently hitting the exposure comp on the A7R3 too -- putting a lock button on the A7R4 is an improvement. I suspect the next batch of cameras, like the RX100VII, will fix most of those shortcomings.

Marc
Did the EM1MK11 have the latest 3.1 firmware update, i found it made it even better.
__________________
Nikon Z50 16-50,50-250 FTZ
Sigma 100-400mm,105mm macro
nikonmike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 19:00   #4
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 6,730
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Shearman View Post
I'm seriously considering it and have been looking at Sony's a7r iii. But not sure which lens to go for. Any advice on switching or lenses appreciated. Alan
I'm currently using Nikon D7200 + Tamron G2 150-600 f6.3

The question of what the next rig will be has been on my mind for quite a while too ......

There's plenty of goodies on their way (or rumoured to be on the way) from now until the next 6 ~12 months .....

Depending on budget and preferences, you may want to wait, or you might want to pick up superceded gear on run-out or even second hand.

Nikon:
FF DSLR D6 flagship - end of this year or early next.
DX DSLR D500S (Pro) upgrade may follow or may not at all.
FF DSLR D760 before the end of the year.
FF Mirrorless High Resolution Z8 (61MP - Sony a7R IV equivalent) also end of this year or early next.
F mount PF lens 600mm f5.6 due within the next 6~12 months?

Sony:
FF Mirrorless a7R IV announced (61MP)
FF Mirrorless flagship a9II (36MP ?) sometime in the next 6 months or so.
DX Mirrorless (Pro) a7000 rumoured in the next 6 ~12 months ?
Prosumer G lens 200-600mm f6.3 released.
Pro GM 400mm f2.8 and 600mm f4 released.

Canon:
FF DSLR 1DX III flagship - end of this year or early next.
FF Mirrorless High Resolution R8 (70MP - Sony a7R IV equivalent) rumoured for 6 ~12 months?
DX DSLR 90D Prosumer (32MP) imminent announcement in a fortnight - quasi 7D II sucessor.
Prosumer Mirrorless 'R' mount L lens 100-400mm f5.6 rumoured ?

Olympus:
150-400mm F4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO lens announced - available 2020.

All of this gives plenty of grist for the mill.
Your glass options are the latest high $ lightweight Pro offerings, or the previous heavier generation(s). The Diffractive Optics Canon 400mm f4 DO IS II, or Nikon PF 500mm f5.6 are the next ports of call. The Canon 300mm f2.8 L IS II with 2xTC also works well. After that you have the superzooms - native 2.1kg Sony 200-600mm f6.3 for that brand, or new 2.7kg Sigma 60-600 f6.3, or the venerable 2kg Tamron G2 150-600mm f6.3 for CaNikons. There is also the excellent 2.3kg Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 if you go the Nikon route.

Logically the next lightweight 300mm f2.8's from Canon and Nikon will be amongst the earliest to get the new Mirrorless mounts treatment ('R' and 'Z' respectively) - though when that will be is just guessing ..... say 12 months ++

It will be interesting to see how these options pan out in comparison to the present ranges. Either way, performance is plenty for what they are required to do, and the gear should give a good half dozen years service before GAS starts to rear its head !




Chosun
Chosun Juan is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Saturday 17th August 2019, 19:07   #5
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 23,161
I have been shooting the panasonic mirrorless for a while, currently using the G85. The last 100+ images in my BF gallery are from a trip to Ecuador, most of the way in cloud-forest, so lots of low light situations.

Niels

https://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sh...00/ppuser/7427
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Recently moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 01:02   #6
rrybicki
Registered User
 
rrybicki's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 25
Hi,

I switched from a D500 / 300 pf to an Olympus OM-D EM1 MkII Panasonic 100 - 400. I travel a lot and wanted 800 mm of reach. Birds tend to be small and wary. Plus I am a ‘walking birder’ with some neck issues so weight is important.

The 200-500 and various 150-600 were too large to pack and too heavy to carry. The 500 PF is nearly $4000. I tried N1 and liked it, but the IQ was not there.

Been super happy with the Olympus, especially after the 3.1 update. I miss the OVF of the Nikon, and it’s better autofocus, but the IQ is virtually the same. Especially using DXO PL2 for post, which works great with the Oly/Panny combo, but unaccountably has no module for the D500/300PF+ 1.4 TC.

One man’s story, (so far). But everything is a compromise. I found the m4/3 was the best for me. YMMV.

Russ
__________________
Flickr Photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rrybicki/

Last edited by rrybicki : Sunday 18th August 2019 at 01:03. Reason: Spelling
rrybicki is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 06:54   #7
nikonmike
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: grimsby uk
Posts: 827
Your reason for changing needs to play an important part in the decision as to what system, if its to reduce weight you may need to drop sensor size, yes you can save weight on the body but you would need a large budget to get light lenses to cover DX or FX otherwise the total weight could end up fairly high.

I tried to avoid m4/3 by getting a D500 and 100-400 but 400 was too short i needed 600 which was too heavy for me.

I now use the Olympus EM1MK11 and the Panasonic 100-400, after a fairly steep learning curve i can get it to do most things the D5OO did.

This is a thread of mine on another forum, i like to get BIF, some examples on this thread but if you scroll down past the two Muscovy shots you will find all 25 shots of it flying towards me,the most difficult thing in some ways for mirrorless.
At first i thought it had missed some but on closer inspection i had not kept the focus point on its head so the focus is further back on the duck,the lens was wide open so lacked a bit of DOF,

https://fourthirds-user.com/forum/fo...t-3-1-firmware
__________________
Nikon Z50 16-50,50-250 FTZ
Sigma 100-400mm,105mm macro
nikonmike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 08:14   #8
Vespobuteo
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Utopia
Posts: 2,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Shearman View Post
I'm seriously considering it and have been looking at Sony's a7r iii. But not sure which lens to go for. Any advice on switching or lenses appreciated. Alan
The Sony 200-600/5.6-6.3mm seems like a nice and cheap lens and good value for money. A bit heavy though. The 600/4 is a gem, if you don't mind the price. Can compete with any similar Canon or Nikon lens.

Personally I would rather take a D500 with a Nikon 500/PF or a 300/4 PF (+ the TC1.4 when you need it). The main reason is that I don't find the ergonomics of the Sony cameras that intriguing. Total weight will also be a bit lower.

The shorter battery life is also something you have to consider with mirrorless cameras.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Sunday 18th August 2019 at 09:27.
Vespobuteo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 09:07   #9
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Niels

Thanks and you have some stunning images :-)
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 09:11   #10
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Wow thanks for all your feedback it really is helpful and given me more to think about lol. One or two comments mentioned waiting six months or so as more technology appears to be in the pipeline and that is probably what I will do for now. But blown away by the detail of all your replies, thanks :-)
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 18th August 2019, 17:12   #11
njlarsen
Opus Editor
 
njlarsen's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: St. James, Barbados
Posts: 23,161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Shearman View Post
Niels

Thanks and you have some stunning images :-)
Alan,
Thanks for looking! Light was challenging on this trip.

Niels
__________________
Support bird conservation in the Caribbean: BirdCaribbean

Recently moved to Barbados
njlarsen is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 20th August 2019, 19:15   #12
marcsantacurz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 840
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Shearman View Post
Wow thanks for all your feedback it really is helpful and given me more to think about lol. One or two comments mentioned waiting six months or so as more technology appears to be in the pipeline and that is probably what I will do for now. But blown away by the detail of all your replies, thanks :-)
In the US, we have a few companies that rent gear. If you can rent an OM1m2 + Panny 100-400, that would be excellent to try. Or the a6400 + sony 100-400. I think those two combos would give you a pretty good idea of what each system is like. Hopefully the a7000 (or whatever the sony sports crop sensor will be) will have a bigger body and better ergonomics than the a6400.

Whichever you try, spend a day or two before it shows up looking at birding forums on how to configure the camera settings. It makes a really big difference having it set correctly.

Marc
__________________
https://tear.com
marcsantacurz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 10:17   #13
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Thank you Marc really useful :-) I've still not yet made the switch but 2020 maybe the time :-)
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 10:20   #14
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Thank you that was really helpful, may bite the bullet and make the change this year :-)
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 10:22   #15
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Thank you :-)
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 10:26   #16
Alan Shearman
Registered User
 
Alan Shearman's Avatar

 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 18
Thank you
Alan Shearman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 13:51   #17
Chosun Juan
Given to Fly
 
Chosun Juan's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central West NSW, Australia
Posts: 6,730
Arrow

Alan, I look back on some of those rumoured projections I made in post #4 and a lot of them have turned out to be laughable - we're still waiting for some of them with no hint of their imminent arrival. The industry is going through somewhat of a contraction, and the players are doing very little to break the mold and introduce something really compelling. I'd only consider what is actually here or announced - otherwise you could wait your life away.

I don't think we really have very much idea of what your budget is, or how much you want to carry. All decisions primarily come down to those two factors.

By mentioning the Sony a7RIII, I'm going to assume that you don't want to spend ~$20K PRO money and carry ~10lb around + tripods etc.

At the risk of setting off endless to/fro discussion, I'm just going to say that currently the best bird photography setup available is the DSLR NIKON D500 + 500mm f5.6 PF lens ...... that will be ~$5K and ~5lb.

I don't think there are better mirror less options in Nikon, or Canon at the moment. The future will arrive slowly with them .....

SONY has the well regarded 200-600mm f6.3 lens. Either the FF a7RIII body or the newer more ergonomic a7RIV body would be suitable ..... that will be ~$4.5K to ~$5.5K. Add another $1K if you went with the 'Pro' a9II body ..... and weights will be ~6lb.

You could also pair it with the DX a6600 (though ergonomically you'd be better off using the 100-400 f5.6 GM lens with that one ..... that setup will be ~$4K and ~4&1/2lb).

Your other good option is the newly announced OLYMPUS OM-D EM-I MkIII for just under $2K and just over 1lb body only. There are a few lens options:-
300mm f4 PRO ..... ~$3K and ~3lb.
100-400mm f6.3 .... ~$1.5K and 2lb
150-400mm f4.5* ....... $$$$$ and 4&1/2 - 6lb ??? *(this lens is announced but has no firm arrival date yet)


I think that narrows it down a lot.





Chosun
Chosun Juan is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2016 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 14th February 2020, 20:14   #18
Hermann
Registered User

 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chosun Juan View Post
At the risk of setting off endless to/fro discussion, I'm just going to say that currently the best bird photography setup available is the DSLR NIKON D500 + 500mm f5.6 PF lens ...... that will be ~$5K and ~5lb.
And if you want to keep the price (and the weight) down even further, get a D7500. It's AF is a heck of a lot better IME than the AF of the D7200.

Hermann
Hermann is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mirrorless katholdbird Canon 2 Monday 20th August 2018 18:03
Are Canon going mirrorless FF soon nikonmike Canon 2 Sunday 21st January 2018 22:06
Should IS be switched on when mounted on a tripod Mark Batten Canon 8 Friday 16th December 2016 22:43
GH4 and other mirrorless vs Nikon D4s njlarsen Micro Four Thirds 4/3 Photography 8 Monday 16th June 2014 17:04
Swaro STX + APO + Mirrorless dhapp The Birdforum Digiscoping Forum 3 Tuesday 12th March 2013 05:34

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.18174410 seconds with 30 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:10.