The two sides of the wildlife & BIF and m4/3s argument

Started Dec 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Trevor Carpenter
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The two sides of the wildlife & BIF and m4/3s argument
Dec 18, 2012

I believe that the people who persist in telling us that m4/3s is completely useless for wildlife are missing a point completely. In most cases the people who say this are presumably downsizing i.e. They are used to a good DSLR with good glass. Having found that they can achieve much of what they do with their expensive and heavy kit with a m4/3s camera and invested accordingly, they now want to tell everybody why m4/3s falls so far short of their expectations as a wildlife platform. If you are one of these people your observations are correct and you are perfectly free to express your experiences to others who will benefit from your deep knowledge.

Now please look at it from the other end of the spectrum. I owned film DSLRs for twenty years but because of the cost limitations I was unable to use it for my primary interest of watching birds.

In 2004 I decided to enter the world of digital photography and immediately found that I could combine my photography and wildlife watching in a way that I had never been able to before.

I owned two Minolta bridge cameras and while it’s easy to see now that the IQ was pretty poor I was taking bird shots that far exceeded anything that I had been able to achieve previously. Frustration soon set in of course but I bought an FZ50 and changed my life. Photography became a passion. I bought a second FZ50 because I was reluctant to think that I could be without it. To my eyes the FZ50 took fantastic bird pictures. Not as good as some of the experts but I was doing this with a £300 camera. I had pictures published and admired. Inevitably I wanted to move on because as I learnt more I understood more about what I could be doing better. If Panny had produced an improved FZ50 with just a few key changes I would have bought it but it was time again to move on.

I bought an E520 followed by an E620, continued to take bird pictures that fell short of the professionals but once again made me happy. Compared with the FZ50, I had better NR handling, none of that FZ50 smearing and I could crop further than I could before with much less degradation.

The route forward wasn’t obvious to me. I have plenty of friends with cameras and lenses that I can’t lift and can only afford by mortgaging the family and that wasn’t the route for me. Compact system cameras kept threatening and it was the G5 that finally pushed me on. This has been a major step up from all my previous cameras including the DSLRs. For wildlife the big attraction has been the vast improvement in focusing speed and hanging on to focus. Yes this is the same plus that people moving in the opposite direction name as a negative. All in all I am pleased beyond expectation. I don’t need people to tell me that my efforts fall well short of the professionals, I know that. When I post, along with others in similar situations, it is to show other people what we are achieving and like most others to show why this is my best set up yet and offer them the information they may need if they want to follow a similar route. So for me, and all those people, the G5 and a 100-300 is a great solution which may not have the IQ of the pros but has lots of other advantages which help us get the shot we want. I know the doubters can’t see it but I bet that those of us on the way up are getting a lot more fun from our photography than those of you on the way down.

Why do I care? Because I believe m4/3s has a future but not if potential users are put off before they have a chance to see if it meets or exceeds their expectations

You can think and say what you like about this picture but it is better than anything I could achieve with my previous 6 digitals and 5 non digital cameras. You may well be able to do much better.

I should add that it looks much worse after going through the DPR process but that applies to every picture that is posted

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Olympus E-520 Olympus E-620 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5
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