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Upgrading from Bridge Camera to M43 (2 Viewers)

Just came upon this thread. While I now use an OM-1, I previously had an EM-1 Mk2 & Mk3 used with both the 300mm f4 PRO and (for a while) the Oly 100-400 and regularly took them out in the rain without worrying about (or having) any problems. Last year we spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica including a few days in cloud forest with several hours of light/medium/heavy rain (albeit with the OM-1) and again no problems. Just my experience of course but reassured me that there is some truth in the claims of good weatherproofing.

I don't know where you are in terms of post processing software but most products allow a free trial period so worth trying some out and seeing which (if any) you feel most comfortable with. Most products seem to work remarkably well these days and are particularly useful for allowing you to use much higher ISO settings than used to be the case - which is particularly handy for bird photography when you want to try to keep shutter speeds on the fast side.

For fun I downloaded your Black Phoebe & ran it through DxO Photolab 5 and ON1 (the 2 products I currently use). Results below - DxO followed by ON1. Not sure how much compression there is loading to Bird Forum!

Chris
 

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Just came upon this thread. While I now use an OM-1, I previously had an EM-1 Mk2 & Mk3 used with both the 300mm f4 PRO and (for a while) the Oly 100-400 and regularly took them out in the rain without worrying about (or having) any problems. Last year we spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica including a few days in cloud forest with several hours of light/medium/heavy rain (albeit with the OM-1) and again no problems. Just my experience of course but reassured me that there is some truth in the claims of good weatherproofing.

I don't know where you are in terms of post processing software but most products allow a free trial period so worth trying some out and seeing which (if any) you feel most comfortable with. Most products seem to work remarkably well these days and are particularly useful for allowing you to use much higher ISO settings than used to be the case - which is particularly handy for bird photography when you want to try to keep shutter speeds on the fast side.

For fun I downloaded your Black Phoebe & ran it through DxO Photolab 5 and ON1 (the 2 products I currently use). Results below - DxO followed by ON1. Not sure how much compression there is loading to Bird Forum!

Chris
CB, thanks for the info and the image processing. Both images look great. It's good to know that there are options out there. When the time comes, I'll head into bad weather with more confidence.
 
Time for an update.

There are a couple of things I miss about the bridge camera. First, the weight, or lack thereof. My bridge camera weighed 1 lb., while my micro 4/3 setup weighs almost 4 lbs. I have gotten used to the extra weight, but if I ever go back to a bridge camera, I'll be so glad for the weight. Also, I really dislike changing lenses. The fear of dropping a lens, or getting dust in my camera basically means my 100-400 mm lens is on 99% of the time. I've started taking landscape photos at 100 mm just to avoid changing lenses. It was nice to have all those capabilities in one lens on the bridge.

I have also gotten better at processing images, and I am not afraid of indirect lighting and overcast days. I would have never attempted this backlit image of an egret with my bridge camera; I would have just walked around to its lit side. The question begs to be asked: would I have gotten similar results with my bridge camera? Perhaps it was my lack of experience instead of the bridge camera's capabilities, but having a camera with a larger sensor made me think I could pull off a shot like this.
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This shot of the golden-crowned sparrow I took on a completely overcast day at ISO5000, which allowed me to use 1/800 shutter speed. That is 3-2/3 stops over ISO400, which means I would have used 1/50 on my bridge camera, with a higher likelihood for motion blur.
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I think this shot with the battling raptors would not have been possible using my old bridge camera. The sun was about to set, and the combatants were far away. The image was taken at ISO6400, and the extra megapixels (20 vs. 12) allowed me to crop heavily. The autofocus was able to pick out the birds from the background (thanks to the white kite, I bet), which probably would have been missed by my bridge camera.
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This image shows the limits of my M43 camera. It was a rainy day, At ISO6400, I could use 1/640 shutter speed, not quite enough to freeze the water or the cormorant. I had such a nice view of the takeoff, and the bird gave me ample warning it was about to take flight. I captured the entire takeoff and this was the only sharp shot, which is actually soft.
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It made me ask, what could I have done better? Prop myself against a tree? Use a faster shutter and underexpose? One change I made after this was to go from Auto-IS to panning mode (vertical axis IS only). It is too early to tell if this is an improvement, but I am certainly not getting worse results. One thing about my Olympus E-M1 mark II is that it is a professional grade camera, and there are 4x more settings compared to my bridge camera. I am still learning how to get the best results.
 
Great post! Regarding the last image, this is one where the OM1 or the G9-ii might have been better at focusing on the bird. With those newer cameras I would likely allow an even higher ISO because of the newer sensor.
At least if I had one of those cameras :p
Niels
 
View attachment 1537435

Today I tested the weather proofing of my camera and lens. It was a light drizzle when I set out, but it became light rain. I called my sister, who is a pro photographer. I told her I was walking in the rain with my camera, and she warned me not to push my luck. Even though my E-M1 ii and Zuiko 100-400 are weather sealed, unnecessary exposure to rain seems like asking for trouble. For the rest of the walk, I shielded my camera as best I could.

The camera/lens performed as usual and don't seem to show any ill effects. I managed to snap this shot of a mallard with raindrops beading on its back. I can see the appeal of inclement weather photography, because you are treated to opportunities unique to these conditions. I was hoping to see a frog or snake in the water, but not this time. I shot this photo at 1/40, which does not yield many keepers. Next time I will probably shield my camera with a poncho until it is time to take a photo. It seems more prudent this way. Needless to say, I would never have tried this with my unsealed bridge camera.
I am still having fun with my used bridge camera that I bought for $200. I like it because if it gets wet and ruined, not that big of a deal.
Because it is relatively inexpensive, it is with me on my hikes, canoe trips. cross-country skiing, etc. Eventually I will upgrade as you did,
but for now I'm still learning and having fun.
greenhead.png
 
I am still having fun with my used bridge camera that I bought for $200. I like it because if it gets wet and ruined, not that big of a deal.
Because it is relatively inexpensive, it is with me on my hikes, canoe trips. cross-country skiing, etc. Eventually I will upgrade as you did,
but for now I'm still learning and having fun.
View attachment 1572293
That is great! The main thing is to keep shooting photos 😊
 
Time for an update.

There are a couple of things I miss about the bridge camera. First, the weight, or lack thereof. My bridge camera weighed 1 lb., while my micro 4/3 setup weighs almost 4 lbs. I have gotten used to the extra weight, but if I ever go back to a bridge camera, I'll be so glad for the weight. Also, I really dislike changing lenses. The fear of dropping a lens, or getting dust in my camera basically means my 100-400 mm lens is on 99% of the time. I've started taking landscape photos at 100 mm just to avoid changing lenses. It was nice to have all those capabilities in one lens on the bridge.

I have also gotten better at processing images, and I am not afraid of indirect lighting and overcast days. I would have never attempted this backlit image of an egret with my bridge camera; I would have just walked around to its lit side. The question begs to be asked: would I have gotten similar results with my bridge camera? Perhaps it was my lack of experience instead of the bridge camera's capabilities, but having a camera with a larger sensor made me think I could pull off a shot like this.
full


This shot of the golden-crowned sparrow I took on a completely overcast day at ISO5000, which allowed me to use 1/800 shutter speed. That is 3-2/3 stops over ISO400, which means I would have used 1/50 on my bridge camera, with a higher likelihood for motion blur.
full


I think this shot with the battling raptors would not have been possible using my old bridge camera. The sun was about to set, and the combatants were far away. The image was taken at ISO6400, and the extra megapixels (20 vs. 12) allowed me to crop heavily. The autofocus was able to pick out the birds from the background (thanks to the white kite, I bet), which probably would have been missed by my bridge camera.
full


This image shows the limits of my M43 camera. It was a rainy day, At ISO6400, I could use 1/640 shutter speed, not quite enough to freeze the water or the cormorant. I had such a nice view of the takeoff, and the bird gave me ample warning it was about to take flight. I captured the entire takeoff and this was the only sharp shot, which is actually soft.
full

It made me ask, what could I have done better? Prop myself against a tree? Use a faster shutter and underexpose? One change I made after this was to go from Auto-IS to panning mode (vertical axis IS only). It is too early to tell if this is an improvement, but I am certainly not getting worse results. One thing about my Olympus E-M1 mark II is that it is a professional grade camera, and there are 4x more settings compared to my bridge camera. I am still learning how to get the best results.
I'm still having fun learning from my mistakes with my used bridge camera.
This was from this morning's hike...forgot to up the shutter speed before the Canvasbacks took off.
DSCF0072.JPG
 

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