A77 + 70-300G vs D7000 + 300 F4 AFS vs OMD + Pana 100-300, pro & cons for birding?

Started Oct 24, 2012 | Questions thread
mrxak
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Re: A77 + 70-300G vs D7000 + 300 F4 AFS vs OMD + Pana 100-300, pro & cons for birding?
In reply to jl_smith, Oct 26, 2012

jl_smith wrote:

Finally the OMD and Pany 100-300 - I currently own this setup. I love my OMD and the Pany is a decent lightweight, small-ish and cheap-ish "600mm equiv" lens. Avoid for birding unless size and weight are primary factors. Forget about tracking birds in flight, as it's going to be very difficult with this setup.

AF-C is a weakness with pretty much all mirrorless systems (except the Nikon V1/V2 system) and the OMD is no exception. Also, the Pany 100-300, while great up close, tends to lose a lot of "umph" when you start cropping into photos far away (and yes, even 600mm is too short a lot of times!)

It's a good casual setup for occasional birding (when they land) or hitting larger / slower birds in flight like egrets or gulls, etc, but it's not going to match the 300 AFS for sheer resolution.

The Pany 100-300 can also hunt on occasion and it's focusing is fairly slow, about as fast as the 70-300G.

I've been shooting with the 100-300 and I'll agree, it can be a little slow to focus on flying birds. But when they come to land, I absolutely love this lens.

As an example, here's a Red-breasted Nuthatch shot at 300mm.

25% scale photo, shot on the older GX1 sensor. At 100%, there is remarkable detail. On the OM-D, I imagine this picture would be even more amazing.

I'll also agree that 600mm equivalent is a bit short sometimes. But, the great thing about M43 is a 600mm equivalent is quite light so you won't get exhausted using it, even without a tripod as I've done here. I've not had this camera or this lens for very long, but it's been fantastic seeing the irises of birds' eyes, and all the little individual feathers, while still being far enough away that they're comfortable feeding. If you go with a larger format camera, 300mm isn't going to get you quite as close, and 600mm equivalent is going to be a lot heavier in the field.

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