GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L

Started Feb 7, 2013 | Questions
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
Feb 7, 2013

I currently have a GH3 with 100/300 as my carry about birding camera... I also have a Canon 7D with 500 F4 (way to heavy to carry about but superb combo)... I am debating whether to get a GH3 body to upgrade because the GH1 is too slow to focus, only 3 fps burst.. and 12 MP... Should I do that or spend the same amount of money on a Canon 100-400 F4.5 L lens to go with the 7D I already have....

I am really stumped here.. I know the 7D combo will be good but its a lot bigger and heavier that the Lumix combo.. I am very unsure whether the GH3 will do what I want in the field as a still camera or is it too biased to video... But I love the lightness and ease of use of the GH1/100-300..

UGH!!!..... Help please

ANSWER:
Canon EOS 7D Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
amtberg
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,439
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

AJWales wrote:

I currently have a GH! with 100/300 as my carry about birding camera... I also have a Canon 7D with 500 F4 (way to heavy to carry about but superb combo)... I am debating whether to get a GH3 body to upgrade because the GH1 is too slow to focus, only 3 fps burst.. and 12 MP... Should I do that or spend the same amount of money on a Canon 100-400 F4.5 L lens to go with the 7D I already have....

I am really stumped here.. I know the 7D combo will be good but its a lot bigger and heavier that the Lumix combo.. I am very unsure whether the GH3 will do what I want in the field as a still camera or is it too biased to video... But I love the lightness and ease of use of the GH1/100-300..

UGH!!!..... Help please

First, the Canon setup isn't just a bit bigger ... it's a LOT bigger!



That said, the 100-400 is significantly better than the 100-300, and the combination is certainly better for BIF shooting.  But if you don't have it with you, it's worthless....

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Pedagydusz
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,420Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to amtberg, Feb 7, 2013

Yes, but the collapsed EF 100-400 is quite portable. It is quite easy to carry, in collapsed form a 7D + 100-400. Remember that the GH-3 will need a bag as well (it is definitely not pocketable), and you can get a lesser lens for the 7D (though I would advise that move).

On the other hand, the GH-3 has 16 MP, and the reach of 300 mm with that sensor is not so different from the reach of 400 mm on a APS-C sensor.

-- hide signature --
 Pedagydusz's gear list:Pedagydusz's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Adobe Photoshop CS6
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
guybie
Contributing MemberPosts: 710Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

I had the same problem when i bought (finally) the GH3.

I experienced the GH2 with 100-300 was not good enough for BIF.

Concidering all aspects (of course weight..) and hoping the GH3 would be better for it, i decided not to go for the combo you have.

After 2 months i can say that there is indeed a substantial improvement, but not on the level of the 7D (two of my birding friends have it, so i know what i'm talking about).

Hopefully panasonic will give us a 300mm (or 400), with the same quality as the X-lenses.

After all, i still would go for the GH3..

 guybie's gear list:guybie's gear list
Olympus XZ-2 iHS Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
njlarsen
Regular MemberPosts: 261
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

AJWales wrote:

I currently have a GH! with 100/300 as my carry about birding camera... I also have a Canon 7D with 500 F4 (way to heavy to carry about but superb combo)... I am debating whether to get a GH3 body to upgrade because the GH1 is too slow to focus, only 3 fps burst.. and 12 MP... Should I do that or spend the same amount of money on a Canon 100-400 F4.5 L lens to go with the 7D I already have....

I am really stumped here.. I know the 7D combo will be good but its a lot bigger and heavier that the Lumix combo.. I am very unsure whether the GH3 will do what I want in the field as a still camera or is it too biased to video... But I love the lightness and ease of use of the GH1/100-300..

UGH!!!..... Help please

I think only you can really say for sure. Did you see the review of GH3/100-300 used for safari by a pro? http://www.naturalexposures.com/corkboard/testing-panasonics-newest-micro-four-thirds-camera-the-gh3/

That should be able to tell you a fair bit about the capability of the GH3, even though his demands regarding artifacts and high iso might be different than yours.

I have personally chosen the GH2 and 100-300 (bought the camera when it came out) and never looked back, even a basic canon with a 28-300 (?) lens feels heavy compared to my camera with two lenses.

Niels

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SHood
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,129Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

I have gone through the same thinking before I bought the G1 and 100-300 and then again when I considered upgrading to the GH2 that is used only for birding. I looked at all solutions like the 100-400L you mention and even the Sony 70-400. I was willing to carry some more weight if it meant better IQ.

When looking at the photos I take, BIF was not an area that I spent much time doing. Most of my time was spent shooting smaller birds when perched. So my priorities were good sensor, fast S-AF, good Optical and faster FPS. There is also the OVF vs EVF which can sway you one way or the other.

Optically the m43 lenses at 300mm are slightly better than the Canon 100-400 based on all the online reviews I have seen. This may surprise some people but remember that the 100-400 lens came out 15 years ago before digital. The Sony 70-400 is probably the best zoom out there right now, especially when wide open.

When it comes to the sensor, RAW output is what is needed for birding especially when cropping. m43 has now matched if not slightly exceeded Canon APS-C sensors but is still 2/3 stop behind Sony APS-C. The best birding body for Sony is the Alpha series but you loose 1/2 stop of light due to the transluscent mirror, cancelling out most of its advantage over m43. In order to take advantage of Sony's sharper 70-400mm, the 24mp sensor would seem to be a good solution, but the per pixel noise is noticeably worse than the latest m43 sensors. Sony also seems to be using a heavier AA filter which affects pixel level detail. Details is very important with birding due to the heavy crops required.

Continuous AF is an area where PDAF is still well behind. If you need fast continuous AF you should be looking at the 7D. Sony would be a good 2nd choice. For me continuous AF is not that important.

So in the end I stayed with m43 and upgraded to the lighter weight of the GH3 and 100-300. For pure IQ the Canon and Sony solutions would not bring me the noticeable improvement in IQ needed to consider adding weight and the GH3 has given me the speed/buffer/battery improvements I was looking for. But I am not tied to any system so if canon improves their sensor and lens or Sony improves their sensor/body then I will likely switch. Of course if Panasonic comes out with a 300-400 prime then I will upgrade again.

 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to njlarsen, Feb 7, 2013

I did read the safari gh3 article,,.. and was somewhat alarmed by the problem with the evf and burst shoting... that is a really scary problem which does put me off alot...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to amtberg, Feb 7, 2013

thanks for the picture for comparison.. yes it is bigger but thrid of the weight of the 7D and 500 F4... I've got one of those Blackrapid straps to hang the system from.... rather than a bag so would be willing to have the extra weight...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to SHood, Feb 7, 2013

thanks for the reply.. its an epic tome...

DO you see the issue with burst mode and buffering interupting the EVF..??? using the GH3
Following moving subjects is an absolute must for me... and shooting burst..

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SHood
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,129Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

AJWales wrote:

thanks for the reply.. its an epic tome...

DO you see the issue with burst mode and buffering interupting the EVF..??? using the GH3
Following moving subjects is an absolute must for me... and shooting burst..

It looks like BIF is important to you.  I would say the 7D is a better solution.  Even better I would recommend waiting until this fall when the 7D replacement will likely come.  Current rumors suggest a replacement for the 100-400 is coming this year too.

 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to SHood, Feb 7, 2013

cheers mate.. already got the 7D back.. got an opportunity for a second hand mint 100-400 lens this weekend if i'm quick

so i think that might be the solution

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RogerMexico
Contributing MemberPosts: 855Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

I have not yet bought a mFT system (but plan to shortly) I did shoot with the Canon 7D and the 100-400, both have been sold in my decision to go much lighter. I actually sold the 100-400 some time ago because of two things 1) I never liked the push/pull lens and 2) for BIF photography the 400mm f5.6 was easier to handhold and was a good deal sharper. Of course I gave up a lot, but the 70-200mm f4 made up for a big chunk of that. The really hard part (and the one that I have really struggled with) is just saying goodbye to the DSLR concept. I am sure many on this site faced a similar dilemma and felt the same amount of angst. One of the reasons I have been visiting here is to learn about the mFT systems, before making a purchase. Though, I am pretty sure that I will go with the OM-D. From what I've seen posted here and on various other photo sites, demonstrates that the IQ of the mFT is excellent. And, it appears that there is a lens for just about everyone's preference. Will I miss the DSLR? Probably at times, but at my age size and weight are more important, particularly when I travel Good luck on whichever route you take.

 RogerMexico's gear list:RogerMexico's gear list
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SHood
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,129Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to RogerMexico, Feb 7, 2013

RogerMexico wrote:

I have not yet bought a mFT system (but plan to shortly) I did shoot with the Canon 7D and the 100-400, both have been sold in my decision to go much lighter. I actually sold the 100-400 some time ago because of two things 1) I never liked the push/pull lens and 2) for BIF photography the 400mm f5.6 was easier to handhold and was a good deal sharper. Of course I gave up a lot, but the 70-200mm f4 made up for a big chunk of that. The really hard part (and the one that I have really struggled with) is just saying goodbye to the DSLR concept. I am sure many on this site faced a similar dilemma and felt the same amount of angst. One of the reasons I have been visiting here is to learn about the mFT systems, before making a purchase. Though, I am pretty sure that I will go with the OM-D. From what I've seen posted here and on various other photo sites, demonstrates that the IQ of the mFT is excellent. And, it appears that there is a lens for just about everyone's preference. Will I miss the DSLR? Probably at times, but at my age size and weight are more important, particularly when I travel Good luck on whichever route you take.

The 400mm f5.6 also has faster AF than the 100-400 so a much better BIF lens.  And missing OIS on the 400mm is not that important due to the shutter speeds required for BIF.

 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nzmacro
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,818Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 7, 2013

If you want high IQ and fast PDAF, then what you have now is the way to go. Canon have made a fortune out of the 7D and 100-400 for bird shooters and rightly so. Personally I use 500mm far more.

I attack it a slightly different way and theres not many it suits. I use the MF Canon FD's on the NEX but also used them on the Panny G2. I was hoping the GH3 was getting focus peaking and I doubt now it will, otherwise I would have got one.

If bird shooting and especially BIF's is your calling with fast PDAF AF lenses, you already own one of the best solutions IMO with the 500mm F/4L I use the older Manual focusing FD 500 F/4.5L and its used 90% of the time hand held. You won't find a sharper lens, although the 400 2.8L or the 300 F2.8L along with the 800 F/5.6L are also exceptional.

Weight is all relative and comes down to weight vs IQ. I do carry the 500mm all the time.

If you are willing to compromise, then the GH3 with the 100-300 is the way to go at the moment. The 2x crop is handy and the specs look great on that camera along with a decent size for longer lenses when the time comes.

All the best and good luck.

Danny.

-- hide signature --
selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
AJWales
Regular MemberPosts: 112
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to nzmacro, Feb 7, 2013

thanks for that... but how do you manage to hand hold the 500F4...??? I'm a big bloke 200lb 6ft.. and do not find it comfortable on a 5 mile hiike having that combo slung over my shoulder...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nzmacro
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,818Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 8, 2013

AJWales wrote:

thanks for that... but how do you manage to hand hold the 500F4...??? I'm a big bloke 200lb 6ft.. and do not find it comfortable on a 5 mile hiike having that combo slung over my shoulder...

The Canon FD 500 F/4.5L weighs in at under 2.5Kg. The MDF, Melamine and ply sheets I carry all day at work makes 2.5Kg seem very light let alone the finished units.

Just got back from a 6 hr shoot using the 500, the 800 stayed in the car. Hand held at 1/3200 -1/4000 , ISO 200, lens wide open. Manual focus of course. Good BIF's today as well along the shore line. Cormorants, Lapwings, Herons, hey if you get a chance to get to NZ, let me know.

All the best.

Danny.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SHood
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,129Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to AJWales, Feb 8, 2013

AJWales wrote:

cheers mate.. already got the 7D back.. got an opportunity for a second hand mint 100-400 lens this weekend if i'm quick

so i think that might be the solution

You'll also want to get the micro-focus adjusted to match the lens with your 7D.  The 7D only allows one adjustment per lens so have it adjusted at the focal length you will use the most.  Hopefully the rest of the focal range won't be far off.

This is one of the reasons I am hesitant going back to PDAF, as CDAF doesn't require focus adjustments.  I am also used to all the advantages of an EVF.

 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SHood
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,129Gear list
Like?
New Nikon 80-400 coming this week
In reply to AJWales, Mar 4, 2013

Look like the new 80-400 combined the D7100 might be a good option for birding depending on the final price of the lens. I would guess around $2200-2400, just above the new Sony lens.

http://nikonrumors.com/2013/03/04/nikon-announcement-this-week-2.aspx/

I'll stick with my GH3 and 100-300 for this season but will be watching reviews and personal experiences closely. Canon will also need to respond soon. Could be a good year for birding solutions, no need to rush in yet.

 SHood's gear list:SHood's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Aleo Veuliah
Forum ProPosts: 14,487Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to amtberg, Mar 4, 2013

amtberg wrote:

AJWales wrote:

I currently have a GH! with 100/300 as my carry about birding camera... I also have a Canon 7D with 500 F4 (way to heavy to carry about but superb combo)... I am debating whether to get a GH3 body to upgrade because the GH1 is too slow to focus, only 3 fps burst.. and 12 MP... Should I do that or spend the same amount of money on a Canon 100-400 F4.5 L lens to go with the 7D I already have....

I am really stumped here.. I know the 7D combo will be good but its a lot bigger and heavier that the Lumix combo.. I am very unsure whether the GH3 will do what I want in the field as a still camera or is it too biased to video... But I love the lightness and ease of use of the GH1/100-300..

UGH!!!..... Help please

First, the Canon setup isn't just a bit bigger ... it's a LOT bigger!



That said, the 100-400 is significantly better than the 100-300, and the combination is certainly better for BIF shooting. But if you don't have it with you, it's worthless....

Indeed, I wonder how much better is the Canon lens, the Panasonic Lumix is already fine. Id I had to choose I will go for the Micro 4/3 option.


-- hide signature --

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.
If plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters, keep calm.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.
Aleo Photo Site

 Aleo Veuliah's gear list:Aleo Veuliah's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Aleo Veuliah
Forum ProPosts: 14,487Gear list
Like?
Re: GH3 & 100/300 or Canon 7D 100-400L
In reply to SHood, Mar 4, 2013

SHood wrote:

I have gone through the same thinking before I bought the G1 and 100-300 and then again when I considered upgrading to the GH2 that is used only for birding. I looked at all solutions like the 100-400L you mention and even the Sony 70-400. I was willing to carry some more weight if it meant better IQ.

When looking at the photos I take, BIF was not an area that I spent much time doing. Most of my time was spent shooting smaller birds when perched. So my priorities were good sensor, fast S-AF, good Optical and faster FPS. There is also the OVF vs EVF which can sway you one way or the other.

Optically the m43 lenses at 300mm are slightly better than the Canon 100-400 based on all the online reviews I have seen. This may surprise some people but remember that the 100-400 lens came out 15 years ago before digital. The Sony 70-400 is probably the best zoom out there right now, especially when wide open.

True. Well pointed.

When it comes to the sensor, RAW output is what is needed for birding especially when cropping. m43 has now matched if not slightly exceeded Canon APS-C sensors but is still 2/3 stop behind Sony APS-C. The best birding body for Sony is the Alpha series but you loose 1/2 stop of light due to the transluscent mirror, cancelling out most of its advantage over m43. In order to take advantage of Sony's sharper 70-400mm, the 24mp sensor would seem to be a good solution, but the per pixel noise is noticeably worse than the latest m43 sensors. Sony also seems to be using a heavier AA filter which affects pixel level detail. Details is very important with birding due to the heavy crops required.

Continuous AF is an area where PDAF is still well behind. If you need fast continuous AF you should be looking at the 7D. Sony would be a good 2nd choice. For me continuous AF is not that important.

So in the end I stayed with m43 and upgraded to the lighter weight of the GH3 and 100-300. For pure IQ the Canon and Sony solutions would not bring me the noticeable improvement in IQ needed to consider adding weight and the GH3 has given me the speed/buffer/battery improvements I was looking for. But I am not tied to any system so if canon improves their sensor and lens or Sony improves their sensor/body then I will likely switch. Of course if Panasonic comes out with a 300-400 prime then I will upgrade again.

-- hide signature --

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.
If plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters, keep calm.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.
Aleo Photo Site

 Aleo Veuliah's gear list:Aleo Veuliah's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads