Unpredictable and fast-moving subjects (Airshows, BIF, etc.) - Mirrorless... FZ200 ...or other?

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Unpredictable and fast-moving subjects (Airshows, BIF, etc.) - Mirrorless... FZ200 ...or other?
Jun 16, 2013

In the review on this page


I came across the passage

“In general Mirrorless cameras cannot track moving subjects (specifically those moving towards or away from you) as well as DSLRs, if at all, and so are far less well suited to sports or other action photography. For the average target user of systems like this the most obvious consequence of the slow low-light focus and inability to keep up with movement comes when shooting even moderately active children indoors in anything but perfect light.”

Two of the subjects I’m most interested in photographing are airshows and BIF (birds in flight). I currently own a Panasonic Lumx DMC-FZ35 but am looking at an upgrade in the near future. Thus far I’ve had my focus directed toward the FZ200, and I’ve been quite impressed with the majority of reviews I’m been reading. I definitely like the constant f/2.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range, and I’m thinking that alone ought to help with picture quality at high zooms (considering my slightly unsteady hands). However, I really wish the sensor size was a little larger than it is. I’ve also been reading good things about phase-detection auto-focus.

I’m aware that a replacement for the FZ200 is likely due out in another month or so, but from what I’ve been reading in other discussions, the new model seems unlikely to have the improvements I’m looking for. It sounds that’d most likely require an increase in size of the overall camera body (which is one of the main reasons – size/weight/bulk – I’ve been reluctant to graduate to the world of SLRs).

So then I got to doing some research into mirrorless cameras, since their sensors are, in general, somewhat larger. However, it was then that I came upon that review article I linked to above, which seemed to say that mirrorless cameras really don’t perform that well for the purposes I have in mind. Does anybody either refute or back that up? I’m wondering whether that means I should permanently close the door on mirrorless cameras and go with the FZ200 (or its successor), or if I should really look into a small SLR or some other model which I haven’t even considered yet.

Again, airshows and BIF are the two most common scenarios under which I’d like my camera to perform at its best. Thus I’m definitely intrigued by the FZ200’s purported fast auto-focus and fast burst mode.

If anyone has any supporting or contrary opinions to anything I’ve mentioned, or any other advice on what direction to go, they’d be most welcome. Thanks!

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