Good choices for long reach telephoto..... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been mulling over how to pick a system for shooting distant wildlife. Think of elk on a distant ridge or tiny birds in a closer tree. Maybe some hawks or eagles too.

Video clips and photos are both important.

My current equipment is a Pansonic SDT750 (a sort of 3D capable version of the TM900), a Sony HX9V with decent travel zoom and Sony RX100. The RX100 has a bigger sensor, fits in my pocket, has very limited zoom and has become my favorite camera.

On the cheap end would be a supper zoom like a Canon SX50 or Pansonic FZ200.

What would more money buy?

Suggestions? Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks.

Bill
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 09:22 AM
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More money gets you mainly much better stills - a bigger sensor gives you lots of resolution and better dynamic range and color (compared with tiny sensors packed with pixels), and, most importantly, the option to shoot RAW. The P&S big zoom cameras do not have that. So, if you care about stills, you need to move up to a big-sensor camera system.

If you do not care so much about portability, the GH3 offers the best video. It's video is better than the EOS M (or all the Canon DSLRs), but its stills are slightly less good. The crop factor of the GH3 helps you with long shots (2X versus 1.6X) for the EOS M for the same focal length.

But, what I am not sure about is the quality of really big telephotos and big zooms for the MFT cameras like the GH3. For the Canon, they are the pro standard - they are superb (if you are willing to pay). And "glass" really matters for good pictures.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Popular on a photo forum is the "Big Sig" or "Bigma". It is 150-500 and comes in mounts for Nikon, Canon and others. I'm not sure if there is a mount for a GH3.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549255-REG/Sigma_737101_150_500mm_f_5_6_3_DG_OS.html

My guess is that it would fit the EOS-M and make at least a good stills combo. I don't see why it wouldn't get video clips if firmly mounted on a tripod.
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Popular on a photo forum is the "Big Sig" or "Bigma". It is 150-500 and comes in mounts for Nikon, Canon and others. I'm not sure if there is a mount for a GH3.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/549255-REG/Sigma_737101_150_500mm_f_5_6_3_DG_OS.html

My guess is that it would fit the EOS-M and make at least a good stills combo. I don't see why it wouldn't get video clips if firmly mounted on a tripod.

Good find. It would work perfectly (auto focus and exposure) on the EOS M. It has IS, so you might even be able to use it handheld for video as it does not appear to be too big and heavy(an 80-year old posting at B&H did say it was too heavy, however). It is very noisy, though, apparently (so you lock focus and exposure to avoid that). Ken Rockwell gives it a good review, and I tend to trust many of his reviews: http://www.kenrockwell.com/sigma/150-500mm.htm

It gives you 1.6X500mm on the long end (800mm) with a Canon APS-C sensor.

I may look into this lens (although for that money I could get the theoretically-better BM "Pocket" camera). smile.gif
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I had an on line chat with Bruce at B&H who said he has been shooting micro 4/3. He suggested two long lenses for a GH3:

Lumix G Vario 100-300mm

Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm

Both suggest the 35mm equivalent of 600mm
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Setting price and the 200mm equivalent difference, I wonder which would get the best video and photo images of a small bird a long way away.

The EOS-M and Sigma or the GH3 and the Lumix G Vario?

Both would be a bit different than the RX100! The GH3 and G Vario might have a better chance of making it into the carry on luggage.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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"......an 80-year old posting at B&H did say it was too heavy, however"
I'm not there yet, but a strong tripod might be a good idea. This is about slinging the gun over the shoulder and tromping through the woods to shoot. I was up on Mt. Rainier last week feeling anemic with my RX100 while my wife shot with her FZ150.


"I may look into this lens (although for that money I could get the theoretically-better "Pocket" camera)"
I am looking into it. My issue, besides not needing another camera, is portability.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 10:59 AM
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Sony HX300 - Basically a focal lenght of 1900mm. Good video for 8-bit. No RAW pictures. Cheap.

Canon SX50 - 1200mm zoom. Good video for 8-bit. It has RAW pictures. REALLY cheap.

GH3 + 100-300mm - Best 8-bit video. Expensive. 600mm zoom. I dont know if im wrong, but I think that in video mode you can use a crop trick to get a bigger focal lenght, just like in some canon DSLRs. Dont buy the Olympus lens becaus it has no OIS. Good RAW pictures.

EOS-M + sigma - Good video for 8-bit. 800mm zoom. Expensive. Best pictures of the bunch. Really slow focus. Since you will be using a 800mm slow lens, it will be hard to get good pictures.


It all depends on your budget and if you need better pictures or videos.
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post #9 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Still photo taken with Sigma 150-500 that I borrowed from another forum:

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post #10 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thedest View Post

Sony HX300 - Basically a focal lenght of 1900mm. Good video for 8-bit. No RAW pictures. Cheap.

Canon SX50 - 1200mm zoom. Good video for 8-bit. It has RAW pictures. REALLY cheap.

GH3 + 100-300mm - Best 8-bit video. Expensive. 600mm zoom. I dont know if im wrong, but I think that in video mode you can use a crop trick to get a bigger focal lenght, just like in some canon DSLRs. Dont buy the Olympus lens becaus it has no OIS. Good RAW pictures.

EOS-M + sigma - Good video for 8-bit. 800mm zoom. Expensive. Best pictures of the bunch. Really slow focus. Since you will be using a 800mm slow lens, it will be hard to get good pictures.
The SX50 is on my list. It is a cheap way to long zoom and RAW. It has lots of fans in a photo forum.

Thanks for pointing out the lack of OIS in the Olympus.

Slow autofocus may not matter. I think 600mm about requires a tripod and setup. Really long telephoto is not about quick shooting. My dream is more about hiking into the woods, finding a place to sit, set up the gear and wait for the prey!

The video clip is at some kind of zoo where it would not be hard to get pretty close. But thanks.

Disregarding price (I'm getting an unforseen bonus soon!), the best investment might be the GH3 because it would be more functional in various situations.

Another fun combination might be a Sony NEX 6 (it has a viewfinder) and the Sigma with Sony mount.
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Still photo taken with Sigma 150-500 that I borrowed from another forum:

@150 OR 500mm?

Which camera?

A m43 will never have the same amount of detail of an APS camera.

But the EOS wont be able to focus in those situations:



And the GH3 can be detailed if you resize it:

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I did some Sigma 150-500 searching on YouTube. I presume the shooter has the camera on a tripod. The shot of the pelican at about 35 seconds is what I'm hoping to be able to do. There is a different sort of bird at about 1:10. The camera is a Canon 5D III
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 12:25 PM
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Herons close up:

https://vimeo.com/69374010

And other birds:

https://vimeo.com/61129618
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 06:22 PM
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Unlike the GH3, with the little Olympus E-P5, E-M5 and E-M1 interchangeable lens cameras, you can shoot relatively steady hand held 300 mm (35mm equivalent) telephotos like this one because the bodies of all three cameras have 5-axis image stabilitzation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MOeOXFZ994
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thedest View Post


I'm a pilot. My eyes look like that when I'm landing a floatplane!
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post #16 of 18 Old 10-20-2013, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

Unlike the GH3, with the little Olympus E-P5, E-M5 and E-M1 interchangeable lens cameras, you can shoot relatively steady hand held 150 mm telephotos like this one because the bodies of all three cameras have 5-axis image stabilitzation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MOeOXFZ994

The Panasonic ZS40 has a 400mm zoom (35mm equivalent) and 5-axis stabilization. The Herons video above was shot with it, handheld.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-21-2013, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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The Panasonic ZS40 has a 400mm zoom (35mm equivalent) and 5-axis stabilization. The Herons video above was shot with it, handheld.
I didn't think the 40 was out yet.

I have to laugh here. I started the thread to find something to out gun my wife. I gave her a FZ150 with a telephoto extension lens. To go with it she bought a LX7 that she didn't like because of the way it fit in her purse. She replaced it with a ZS25, which is basically the same as what you took the Herons with. (It does not have the ZS30 connectivity and was quite cheap at Costco.)

She would be the one laughing if I bought a camera like hers to get better telephoto.

We both like shooting outdoors. Picture two old people standing at a "Wildlife View Area". What I need is something she doesn't have!
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post #18 of 18 Old 10-21-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I didn't think the 40 was out yet.

I have to laugh here. I started the thread to find something to out gun my wife. I gave her a FZ150 with a telephoto extension lens. To go with it she bought a LX7 that she didn't like because of the way it fit in her purse. She replaced it with a ZS25, which is basically the same as what you took the Herons with. (It does not have the ZS30 connectivity and was quite cheap at Costco.)

She would be the one laughing if I bought a camera like hers to get better telephoto.

We both like shooting outdoors. Picture two old people standing at a "Wildlife View Area". What I need is something she doesn't have!



It's prettier than hers.

Or, if you are insecure:

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