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Best portable birding camera + lens set-up (3 Viewers)

dalat

...
Switzerland
I broke my lens, and while I still hope it's repairable, it made me start thinking about what if I were to buy a new set-up.

I use a MFT set-up, Panasonic G9 with the Panasonic 100-400 lens (both Mark 1 versions). I'm overall very happy with it. I appreciate the portability of the set-up and also the performance is fine overall. I feel limitations mainly with birds in flights and the image quality at the longer end. While I would be ready to carry a slightly larger lens, it's clear that portability and hand-held shooting for record shots and the occasional beautiful images will remain my priority

The updated versions are more performing (e.g. all the newer bodies seem to be quite good with birds in flight now), but prices have also increased. If I were to replace this with current versions, either G9ii and Pana 100-400 ii, or OM-1ii and Oly 100-400, this would cost around 3500 €. If I were to invest in a new lense, the obvious upgrade would be the Oly 300 mm, this would cost around 5000 € (including new body). Not cheap at all.

While a few years back, MFT was the only really portable alternative to the heavier DSLR rigs, a lot has happened with mirrorless bodies and new lenses of the other brands in the last years.

So with the options available today, what would be an alternative camera + lens set-up from e.g. Sony, Canon, Nikon or other, that still offer good portability, reach of 600-800 mm equalivalent, equal or better image quality to the Pana 100-400 lens, and within the price range of 3500 or not much more?

Thanks, Florian
 
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I can't speak to the other brands but I use OM-1 v1 with the Olympus 300mm plus 1.4 extender. I got the lens second-hand from a reputable vendor offering a limited warranty which saved me a fair amount. I'm very happy with the sharpness of the results & portability.
 
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So with the options available today, what would be an alternative camera + lens set-up from e.g. Sony, Canon, Nikon or other, that still offer good portability, reach of 600-800 mm equalivalent, equal or better image quality to the Pana 100-400 lens, and within the price range of 3500 or not much more?

Thanks, Florian
Possibility: Fujifilm X-T5 (around 1800 € or less with cashback) and Fujinon XF 150-600 (1800 to 1850 €).
I have the X-T4 with that lens and quite happy with this setup.
Werner
 

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