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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

A7iii + 200-600 - a good birding combo? (1 Viewer)

katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
My wife and I are looking for a mirrorless full-frame birding/landscape combo. The desire to avoid the mirror rules out Nikon and Canon, which have a poor offering of native mirrorless long telephoto lenses. Trying to keep the costs down, we rejected Sony a9, and consider Sony a7iii + the 200-600 zoom lens. Is this a good combination? In particular I am interested in any feedback about the autofocus performance in low light (since low light shooting is the main reason for us to bother with a full frame camera).
 

Tanager

Well-known member
Hi,

I’ll be interested in any replies too. I tried Panasonic a couple of years ago with the Olympus 300mm f4, but I found the micro four thirds sensors just aren’t up to much cropping.

cheers,

Mark
 

katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
I am shooting Panasonic mirrorless. Given that you are fixated on full frame, that will not be for you. However, regarding Canoon, have you looked at So is the Canon R5 a bird photography body?

Niels

We currently have a mirrorless M4/3 setup (Olympus E-M1 II + Olympus 300 F/4 and Panasonic 100-400) and intend to keep it because of low size and weight - but the sensor does struggle a bit in low light. Hence the idea of buying another mirrorless setup but full frame. Canon R5 itself would not be interesting for me because I think 40+ mpixels is too much for wildlife photography, but R6 looks interesting. Thanks for the link.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
It is possible to use the R5 in a crop mode with a file size similar to APC, which some of the shooters with R5 are doing.

Which again is not my interest given that I do not shoot Canon.
Niels
 

mav12

Well-known member
have a look at alpha shooters on youtube he tests the a7111 and 200-600
i use the a6400 and 200-600 and find the af really good ,streets ahead of the canon i used to use
 

mav12

Well-known member
have a look at alpha shooters on youtube he tests the a7111 and 200-600
i use the a6400 and 200-600 and find the af really good ,streets ahead of the canon i used to use
 

Zackiedawg

Well-known member
I shoot with a friend who has that combo (among many others) - the A7RIII and 200-600mm and 100-400mm - he gets very nice results with them and feels it's a very good combo. If you search around on Dpreview forums in the Sony full-frame board, look for rgwaller. Here's a thread with some of his samples with the A7RIII (I think mostly with the 100-400mm in this post):
A7R3 great for wildlife photography: Sony Alpha Full Frame E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

He has a lot of gear - he also has the A7Riv, A9, and new A1. He put a lot of miles on the A7rIII with wildlife - a few hundred thousand shutter actuations...and was very happy with it.

I use the 200-600mm on the APS-C sensor A6600, and love the combo. I also shoot with the FE 100-400mm GM lens, and I use the 1.4x teleconverter on the 200-600mm when I really need the reach. The Sony bodies are quite capable with focus and resolution in low light, even APS-C...I shoot in dark forested areas with small warblers passing through on migration where I have to push to ISO 6400 and handhold shutter speeds under the 1-over-focal rule, and shoot birds-in-flight at dusk with very low contrast, and focus is still instant and reliable and image quality quite solid with good detail, low noise, and good color retention. Some lower light examples with the A6600 and FE 200-600mm below

Pine warbler, F6.3, 600mm, ISO 2,500, 1/500 shutter:

original.jpg


Grey catbird, F6.3, 338mm, ISO 6,400, 1/200 shutter:
original.jpg


Whip-poor-will deep under forest cover, F6.3, 600mm, ISO 3,200, 1/200 shutter:
original.jpg


Male painted bunting, F6.3, 506mm, ISO 3,200, 1/500 shutter:
original.jpg
 

Mark Jarrett

Up Ont’ Moors
England
I am contemplating moving over to Sony at some point from Canon. I currently have a Canon 7d2 with various lenses up to the 500mm F4 Mk2.

Regarding the Sony 200-600mm lens, are folk mainly using this hand held? I think it weighs roughly two thirds that of my Canon 500mm, which I find I can hand hold but not continuously!

I have in mind selling my 500 prime, keeping the 7d2 to use with my smaller lenses and moving over to a Sony a1/7/9 with the 200-600mm.
 

Zackiedawg

Well-known member
I do use it handheld, 100% of the time. I do a lot of walking in the wetlands, and prefer to stay flexible to shoot birds in flight in any direction, and also to travel light given the heat and humidity here...so I usually just head out with the lens attached to the camera, and that's it - no monopods or support, no backpacks or extra lenses, or bags. Spare battery in the back pocket and a rain sleeve in case I get caught in a downpour.
 
I see this thread is fairly old and you probably have made up your mind already, however, if I may add to it, I use this combination and am happy with my results.
 

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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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