Hi Bill - according to the spec sheet
, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, your SDT750 has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 35 to 420mm.
The $1298 RX10
's maximum zoom is 200mm (35mm equivalent), so it would seem to be disqualified for your use case.
There are some great Canon EF mount telephoto lenses for the $226 EOS M body
(with a $60 adapter
), but to get to the amount of magnification you want with a decent lens, you'll have to spend a lot of money and carry a two foot long lens
That boils the choice down to the BMPCC
and the GH3
, in my view. Here are some pros and cons.Best Image Quality
Interestingly, the maximum zoom range of the SDT750 is almost exactly equivalent to the 420mm you would get from $995 BMPCC
's 3x crop and a $698 14-140mm Panasonic lens
To get higher telephoto magnification, you would want something like the $484.95 (as of this post) Panasonic 100-300mm
. This lens would give you an equivalent max zoom of 900mm - which should create some really high quality birding video.
There are three downsides to this approach, though.
The first is the challenge of getting the shot with this camera. The poor autofocus (which I've found to be exceptionally bad with Panasonic lenses) will mean that you'll have to use manual focus to capture fast moving birds.
Also, the dim LCD could make capturing birds problematic in bright lighting conditions. A $15 LCD shade
should fix it (I have one on order), but you may not want to deal with the hassle.
The third challenge is that this is not a water-resistant camera. It is solidly constructed, but I'm not sure how robust it is, and am not inclined to take mine out in the rain.
All of that said, this camera produces darned good image quality for the price, especially with CinemaDNG RAW.
Here is some manually focused telephoto video at 300mm from Chris Schiller
on Vimeo (Tamron 60-300mm lens, Canon FD mount) with the BMPCC shooting ProRes (see the squirrel at 0:13 and 1:50):
Best Zoom Range
With the $998 (as of this post) GH3
, a Panasonic 100-300mm
lens, and a 2x crop, you would have a 35mm equivalent maximum zoom of 600mm and darned good 50mbps Quicktime compressed image quality.
But, by selecting Extended Tele Converter (ETC) mode, you get an extra 2.7x crop for a 35mm equivalent maximum zoom of 1620mm (!)
ETC is not "digital zoom" - it is a near-lossless sensor crop.
Here is what the GH3
can do, combined with the 100-300
from Don DesJardin
For ease of use, maximum telephoto range and splash-proofing, I would get the GH3
If you want the highest image quality and don't mind a little more work (and the risk of losing some shots while racking your focus), the BMPCC
is the right choice.
Hope that's helpful!