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Author Topic: light weight compliment to full frame system?  (Read 5685 times)
jnmoore
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« on: January 03, 2011, 01:16:39 AM »
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I'm facing my 65th birthday soon. The body gets slower even if the mind is willing.

I love my "lightweight" 5D Mark11 full frame and the nice L lenses I have. The IQ is great and suited the fine art landscape collage work I do. I'm hesitating about buying a bird/wildlife lens because the weight and cost is so high. This is a gap in my kit. On my hikes I normally carry a tripod as well so, although my gear isn't that heavy it seems to be getting heavier every year!

So...I'm not going to abandon my full frame system but am looking for a light weight system to use to complement my current system and for longer hikes and "bigger reach" with less expensive lens and smaller sensor. Video is nice but its a specialist game and I would not buy a camera just for this as I won't use it much.

So, what to get? The Panasonic GH2 seems great but is it too much video orientated? Olympus Pen? Or is Samsung the dark horse with the NX11? Will Canon come out soon with a micro system? Or just get the latest Rebel?

Comments appreciated.

John Moore
johnagon.com





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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 01:44:40 AM »
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Hi,

Congratulations!

Regarding camera choice you may consider adding an APS-C Canon body, that will add something like 1.6x to your reach, within existing equipment. The Canon 400/5.6L is supposedly a good lens with a reasonable price tag.

Regarding 4/3 there seems to be a small choice of really long lenses. Almost every lens ever made can be fitted to Micro 4/3 with adapters, but that may be less than convenient.

For birding you need a camera with a viewfinder (electronic or optical). So for 4/3 I'd consider Panasonic G2. They also have a 100-300 for a reasonable price.

Please understand, I'm not using any of this equipment. I just checked some price lists to get some ideas. Personally I use Sony Alpha with a Minolta 400/4.5 APO and a couple of extenders (1.4X and 2X) with full frame and APS-C.

Best regards
Erik




I'm facing my 65th birthday soon. The body gets slower even if the mind is willing.

I love my "lightweight" 5D Mark11 full frame and the nice L lenses I have. The IQ is great and suited the fine art landscape collage work I do. I'm hesitating about buying a bird/wildlife lens because the weight and cost is so high. This is a gap in my kit. On my hikes I normally carry a tripod as well so, although my gear isn't that heavy it seems to be getting heavier every year!

So...I'm not going to abandon my full frame system but am looking for a light weight system to use to complement my current system and for longer hikes and "bigger reach" with less expensive lens and smaller sensor. Video is nice but its a specialist game and I would not buy a camera just for this as I won't use it much.

So, what to get? The Panasonic GH2 seems great but is it too much video orientated? Olympus Pen? Or is Samsung the dark horse with the NX11? Will Canon come out soon with a micro system? Or just get the latest Rebel?

Comments appreciated.

John Moore
johnagon.com






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RFPhotography
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 07:01:49 AM »
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Hi,

For birding you need a camera with a viewfinder (electronic or optical).



Why?  What makes the viewfinder mandatory?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 08:19:10 AM »
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Hi,

With a long lens it's much easier to aim the camera with a viewfinder than with a display on the back. Aiming the camera is now way easy with a long lens. Additionally, a display on the back of the camera may be hard to see in sunlight. For these reasons I prefer a viewfinder, electronic or optical.

That said, when I have the camera on tripod I often use the display on the back.

I cannot really explain why it's easier to find a bird with a viewfinder than with a display on the back, but I guess that's because you are looking in the same direction as the lens.

Best regards
Erik


Why?  What makes the viewfinder mandatory?
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feppe
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 10:44:07 AM »
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I'm most familiar with Micro Four Thirds, a system I bought to replace my unwieldy APS-C kit for motorcycle and backpack travel. I'm so impressed with MFT IQ, lightness and lack of bulk that I'm selling the APS-C kit for travel and landscape, and planning on buying a used 5D (original) mostly for studio use as backup for MF and LF film.

I have Olympus E-PL1, which I chose over Panny's cameras mainly due to IBIS. I can fit the entire kit (body, 4 lenses, Gitzo 1541T tripod with ballhead, misc. stuff) in a standard carry-on and have room for 5 days of clothes, gym gear, personal hygiene, etc.!

Olympus is rumored to announce two new cameras in the coming months: an E-PL1 replacement at CES, and a "pro" level body later in the Spring.

Lens selection is ok with zooms, but (good) dedicated primes are very few. In general, Panny's glass has better IQ (go figure), while Oly's lenses are cheaper, smaller and lighter. One can use all kinds of adapters with varying success to mount anything from Four Thirds to Canon to Leica glass, although some of the lenses make the weight and bulk savings of MFT moot, of course. Voigtländer has started making highly regarded manual focus lenses in MFT mount as well.

There are brand new zoom lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus which reach up to 600mm (FF equivalent). You'll have to do your own research on the lens selection's suitability for birding as I don't use long teles at all.
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BarbaraArmstrong
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 08:06:13 PM »
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The GH2 is not too video-oriented.  It is a wonderful, lightweight stills camera.  Just ignore the little red button on the top unless and until you want to do something in video.  I bought it almost exclusively for stills photography.  I started with the GH1 for a transatlantic trip last summer, for the size, weight, and convenience, and enjoyed it so much, as well as the quality of the files, that I bought the GH2 soon after it came out.  I've actually enjoyed taking some 3-D shots with the stereo lens, as I have access to a Panasonic 3-D TV.  Shot pictures of the Californic coastline (not 3-D), and they were absolutely stunning on a 65-inch TV.  Earlier, I had not thought I would like an electronic viewfinder, but as soon as I tried the GH1 in the shop, I knew it would work for me; not as good as a nice optical viewfinder, but very usable.  Also, if you go into manual focus, as soon as you move the focus ring, the camera will zoom your view to 10-times for easy ability to precisely focus.  Then, with a detent on the shutter, it goes back to full view.  Because the sensor is smaller than APS-C, the files probably won't enlarge as much as with a larger camera, but if you're printing on 8-1/2 x 11 or 11  x 14, there is not problem at all.  This is the camera I pick up for travel or when I want something easy to carry.  It is almost unnoticeable on its strap on my shoulder.  Have fun.  --Barbara
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