What camera do I need to make this a lot better? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 67 Old 11-14-2013, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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https://vimeo.com/79459073

Please Ignore the lighthouse in this 20 second video. Concentrate on the bird. I shot it with a Panasonic SDT750, a TM900 clone. It was damp and foggy with not very good light.

I want a camera that will do better by at least a factor of two or three. Weather resistant is good. More telephoto seems obvious.

Currently discussed, and popular, on this forum now are the RX10, EOS-M, GH3, GX7 and BMPCC.

I care less about 1", 4/3 or APS-C sensors than I do about getting the shot.

What camera and lens should I buy? $1500 is (maybe) the limit!

Thanks.

Bill
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post #2 of 67 Old 11-14-2013, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

https://vimeo.com/79459073

Please Ignore the lighthouse in this 20 second video. Concentrate on the bird. I shot it with a Panasonic SDT750, a TM900 clone. It was damp and foggy with not very good light.

I want a camera that will do better by at least a factor of two or three. Weather resistant is good. More telephoto seems obvious.

Currently discussed, and popular, on this forum now are the RX10, EOS-M, GH3, GX7 and BMPCC.

I care less about 1", 4/3 or APS-C sensors than I do about getting the shot.

What camera and lens should I buy? $1500 is (maybe) the limit!

Thanks.

Bill

You do need a long zoom lens, and one with OIS. And ideally one that has a wide aperture. What camera you put it on actually doesn't matter much, although sensor size (crop factor) affects the reach. Fast, long zoom lenses with OIS costs thousands, with weather-proofing adding even more. Just look at the lens selection from Canon, for example; the prices are astonishing. The 200mm lens on the RX10 is certainly not ideal for getting distant water fowl shots, although I have found I can get pretty close - my herons video: https://vimeo.com/69374010, with 460mm lens.

The Panasonic ZS200 with extender (1100mm at f4) may be the best you can do (and it is good) and not re-mortgage the condo.
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post #3 of 67 Old 11-14-2013, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

The Panasonic ZS200 with extender (1100mm at f4) may be the best you can do (and it is good) and not re-mortgage the condo.
I'm still trying to get access to my wife's FZ150 with the extender I bought her. So far, no dice.
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post #4 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 06:15 AM
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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 on Vimeo:


Bottom Line

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!

Bill
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post #5 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank your help Bill. You put in some time to find that for me! I've not paid attention to "35 mm equivalents" calculations across sensor sizes. I was getting myself confused.

"your SDT750 has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 35 to 420mm." I thought I was good at looking up facts. I couldn't find that one. It helps a lot with this decision.

On another forum there is a retired mechanic that moved to Montana to shoot wildlife. He uses a two foot lens made by Sigma that goes to 500 mm on big Nikons. I don't think he knowshe has a video button. My interest in an EOS-M is related to being able to put big lenses on it like that.

The RX10 continues to be a temptation. But, with what you've written, wildlife shooting would not be on my frequent activity list.

The BMPCC does not lure me much at all.

The GH3 seems to be where I'm headed. I promised myself "never again" when I got rid of two bodies and 8 lenses in my film days. At least a M43 and a couple lenses would be smaller and lighter.

Bill S
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post #6 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 07:11 AM
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The GH2 or GH3 in ETC mode with a telephoto lens should work great for that.





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post #7 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help Jogiba!

At Vimeo it said the first one of the (feathered) birds was shot using a 400mm Canon with an off brand adapter from eBay. I think it is one of those "2 foot" lenses I want to avoid.

The second one of the (aluminium) birds seems to be a mix of lenses, including the Panasonic 100-300 mentioned above. .

The third one of the (plastic) birds credits using the 100-300 G Vario.

All nice examples that suggest I should get on with getting a new camera!
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post #8 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 10:03 AM
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Bill, one other thing to consider is the real video resolution. The TM900 (@60fps) produces images that have among the highest resolution available -- in line with the highest-end camcorders. If you search out video lines of resolution, I think you'll find the TM900 scores higher than the GH3. Sorry for opening up this can of worms...

--Alan
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post #9 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

https://vimeo.com/79459073


I want a camera that will do better by at least a factor of two or three. Weather resistant is good. More telephoto seems obvious.

When you say better, what do you need to be better? More vivid colors? Less "hazy" look? Better resolution? More reach?

You camera may be old, but its still high end tech
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post #10 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 03:49 PM
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i briefly had a panasonic hdc-v520 and you would be able to zoom all the way into the birds eyeball. it has 60p and really good stabilization. i think the video quality would be fine for viewing on vimeo
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post #11 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 03:58 PM
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His camera is far superior to the V520.
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post #12 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 06:50 PM
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His camera is far superior to the V520.

really? are you sure?
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post #13 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

When you say better, what do you need to be better? More vivid colors? Less "hazy" look? Better resolution? More reach?

You camera may be old, but its still high end tech
I'm looking for more "reach" and still get "clarity". No, those are not technical words!
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post #14 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24 dB per octave View Post

Bill, one other thing to consider is the real video resolution. The TM900 (@60fps) produces images that have among the highest resolution available -- in line with the highest-end camcorders. If you search out video lines of resolution, I think you'll find the TM900 scores higher than the GH3. Sorry for opening up this can of worms...

--Alan
But I think I can put a better lens on the GH3. No?
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post #15 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 09:39 PM
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I believe that even with the best glass, the TM900 will show higher resolution. Note that I'm not saying the TM900 is better in all situations -- for example you can get wider angle or more telephoto reach with the GH3 if you choose the right glass. The GH3 may also perform better in terms of dynamic range. There are a number of reasons the GH3 might be a better camera for your purpose, but I was just trying to point out in terms of real viewable resolution, the TM900 is hard to beat.
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post #16 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 09:46 PM
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I'd get an Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm power zoom which also has a macro mode for $919
http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet/reconditioned-cameras/e-m5-with-m-zuiko-digital-ed-12-50mm-ez-silver-body-black-lens-reconditioned.html

And I'd get an Olympus 75-300mm super telephoto for $549:
http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/pen-omd/super-telephoto.html?icn=topnav&ici=lensesnav_pen-omd-telephoto

Then you'd be able to shoot relatively steady hand held footage even in full zoom, plus enjoy bright, vivid, crisply sharp looking footage instead of darkened, bland and fuzzy looking Panasonic camcorder footage,

Here's some hand held 150mm telephoto footage I shot with my E-M5 on a windy day https://vimeo.com/79540323

Here is some hand held footage with the 12-50mm power zoom in macro mode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QczdsLXtQA
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post #17 of 67 Old 11-15-2013, 11:14 PM
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550D GH2 FZ150 XA10,None can come close to the HF-G30 i have now for wildlife.https://vimeo.com/77386399
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post #18 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 02:46 AM
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Olympus cameras are usually overshapened (and have lower resolutions) - and that will give you an artificial looking image - and I think that you dont want a new camcorder, since that the one you have is better than most recent camcorders.

I think that when you say that you want more clarity you actually want more contrast and vivid colors, since your camera already have a great resolution. A great resolution can disappear if you dont apply some ammount of color, contrast and sharpness. Its like the ProRes from the BMPCC. It has a really high resolution, but if you dont grade it well, it looks like a low resolution cr**.

And well, every time a new camera hits the market, the GH3 is our standard camera to make comparison and tell how good it is. I know that you like small cameras, so you should think about the GH3 or the GX7. The GX7 has basically the same performance of the GH3, its smaller, has a tiltable EVF and may be one of the sexiest cameras in the market. It looks REALLY good. So you can buy the 100-300 lens to give you more reach, and you can also buy a pancake lens for other situations. So when not shooting wildlife you will have a really small setup!

Thats a sexy little thing! A GH3 that looks better and can almost fit your pocket.


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post #19 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 03:08 AM
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One more important thing to know, since you are looking for clarity.

There is a big difference between REAL resolution and PERCEIVED resolution.

Your camera has a great resolution, but maybe most guys cant see that, because camcorders dont cook the images very well. They usually lack saturation, contrast and sharpening.

In the other side we have cameras like the Olympus cameras, that have really bad resolutions but overcook the images, adding A LOT of saturation and sharpening. That result can fool most people into thinking that their video is awesome, but for me they just look artificial and digital.

In my opinion, the best of both worlds can be found on those Panasonics. They have a camcorder REAL resolution but they still cook the image very well. Its not overdone like the Olympus and not underdone like my sony NEX. So the end result is: great resolution, nice cooking and organic look.
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post #20 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

I'd get an Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm power zoom which also has a macro mode for $919
http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/outlet/reconditioned-cameras/e-m5-with-m-zuiko-digital-ed-12-50mm-ez-silver-body-black-lens-reconditioned.html

And I'd get an Olympus 75-300mm super telephoto for $549:
http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/pen-omd/super-telephoto.html?icn=topnav&ici=lensesnav_pen-omd-telephoto

Then you'd be able to shoot relatively steady hand held footage even in full zoom, plus enjoy bright, vivid, crisply sharp looking footage instead of darkened, bland and fuzzy looking Panasonic camcorder footage,

Here's some hand held 150mm telephoto footage I shot with my E-M5 on a windy day https://vimeo.com/79540323

Here is some hand held footage with the 12-50mm power zoom in macro mode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QczdsLXtQA

Thanks. Your camera and lens suggestions go on my list. I like the butterflies!
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post #21 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

550D GH2 FZ150 XA10,None can come close to the HF-G30 i have now for wildlife.https://vimeo.com/77386399

Nice deer shots! I looked it up and found your camera has a 35mm equivalent of 27mm to 576mm! Impressive!

Thanks for the suggestion.

Bill
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post #22 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thedest View Post


I think that when you say that you want more clarity you actually want more contrast and vivid colors, since your camera already have a great resolution.

And well, every time a new camera hits the market, the GH3 is our standard camera to make comparison and tell how good it is. I know that you like small cameras, so you should think about the GH3 or the GX7. The GX7 has basically the same performance of the GH3, its smaller, has a tiltable EVF and may be one of the sexiest cameras in the market. It looks REALLY good. So you can buy the 100-300 lens to give you more reach, and you can also buy a pancake lens for other situations. So when not shooting wildlife you will have a really small setup!

Thats a sexy little thing! A GH3 that looks better and can almost fit your pocket.

Clarity is a bad, non tech term. But, when I see it I like it. For me it comes from a combination of light, color, contrast, focus and rock steady.

As of this morning, the shortest list is the GX7 and GH3. I've downloaded both manuals and have some reading to do.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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post #23 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Nice deer shots! I looked it up and found your camera has a 35mm equivalent of 27mm to 576mm! Impressive!

Thanks for the suggestion.

Bill

No problem,i shot some footage by a river today so this is a quick edit. https://vimeo.com/79576600
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post #24 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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No problem,i shot some footage by a river today so this is a quick edit. https://vimeo.com/79576600

Back to you with my otter shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDjtubLmyPAsmile.gif
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post #25 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking I was getting close at a "wildlife" system for the Pacific Northwest, where it rains. I narrowed it down to the GH3 or GX7. The GH3 is "weather and dust resistant" as long as you use the right lenses. The GX7 is apparently not "weather and dust resistant". Worse, the long lens of choice is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm which is not weather resistant. The GH3 manual says that use of any non weather resistant lenses it will compromise the weather resistance of the the camera itself.

I'm starting to see what Sony is up to with the $1300 RX10, which is weather resistant. A GH3 with a weather resistant Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm is priced at about $1900. If I add the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm, that is not weather resistant, I'm at about $2400.

A weather resistant long zoom under $2K may be a dream!

I'm tempted to try a Raynox Tele Adapter. It says "The accessory lens attaches to a 62mm filter/lens accessory camera mount". And at B&H it says the RX10 filter thread is 62mm! (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1009156-REG/sony_dscrx10_b_cyber_shot_dsc_rx10_digital_camera.html
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post #26 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 05:53 PM
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I've never used a teleconverter, but people say that when it magnifies your focal length too much, you start losing image quality. If im not mistaken, they say you should never go over 1.4x or something like that.
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post #27 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I've never used a teleconverter, but people say that when it magnifies your focal length too much, you start losing image quality. If im not mistaken, they say you should never go over 1.4x or something like that.
I had one when I had a 35mm film Nikon. Mine was 2x, if I remember right. The only problem was the aperture was also cut in half.
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post #28 of 67 Old 11-16-2013, 11:05 PM
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Back to you with my otter shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDjtubLmyPAsmile.gif

Nice but getting close to wild river otters feeding on the bank here is not easy.They are rarely seen.
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post #29 of 67 Old 11-17-2013, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

I was thinking I was getting close at a "wildlife" system for the Pacific Northwest, where it rains. I narrowed it down to the GH3 or GX7. The GH3 is "weather and dust resistant" as long as you use the right lenses. The GX7 is apparently not "weather and dust resistant". Worse, the long lens of choice is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm which is not weather resistant. The GH3 manual says that use of any non weather resistant lenses it will compromise the weather resistance of the the camera itself.

I'm starting to see what Sony is up to with the $1300 RX10, which is weather resistant. A GH3 with a weather resistant Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm is priced at about $1900. If I add the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm, that is not weather resistant, I'm at about $2400.

A weather resistant long zoom under $2K may be a dream!

I'm tempted to try a Raynox Tele Adapter. It says "The accessory lens attaches to a 62mm filter/lens accessory camera mount". And at B&H it says the RX10 filter thread is 62mm! (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1009156-REG/sony_dscrx10_b_cyber_shot_dsc_rx10_digital_camera.html

Hi Bill - is there a reason the Panasonic 35-100mm is not on your list? (besides cost, of course - the least expensive one I could find was this one for $1032 from HK frown.gif)

This lens is weather-resistant and gives you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 540mm - 2.7 times the max focal length of the RX10 - without the negative impact on image quality and light sensitivity you are likely to get with a telephoto "adapter".

Here is what this lens can do (please watch at 1080p):





Cheers,

Bill
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post #30 of 67 Old 11-17-2013, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunerww View Post

Hi Bill - is there a reason the Panasonic 35-100mm is not on your list? (besides cost, of course - the least expensive one I could find was this one for $1032 from HK frown.gif)

This lens is weather-resistant and gives you a 35mm equivalent focal length of 540mm.

Cheers,

Bill
Bill,

Please help me again with the math. How do we get to 540 from 100? I get the equivalent of doubleing the 35-100 to 70-200 equivalent for M43. But I don't get the 200 to 540 part. I do have a copy of the manual, and probably need to read more of it! It is a complicated camera.

That would be a great lens, but the point of this project is is putting together long telephoto kit on a hobbyist's buget. The Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 G Vario Aspherical MEGA OIS Lens would do it, but as I wrote, it compromises the weather proof feature of the camera.

What is starting to go wrong is the headache of interchangeable lens cameras. Getting the body and a multipurpose lens is only step one. Steps two through five with the second long lens, a pancake travel lens, extra battery, external charger, case for it all, etc make the project pretty expensive and there is all that gear to haul around.

My wife's grocery budget may not stretch!

Bill S
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