M4/3 for birding

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
faunagraphy Contributing Member • Posts: 677
Re: M4/3 for birding

trvlfool wrote:

I am in violation of most opinions by having an undersized OM-D M5iii paired with the 100-400 and 1.4 converter. I decided to upgrade my glass now with the option to upgrade the camera later. The weight of the lens absolutely overwhelms the camera, but the total weight is somewhat less than if I had an M1 attached. This photo was at 1120mm, handheld, in JPEG. Granted, it's only from about 25 feet away.

You should get the optional grip (or a 'dumb' grip) for your E-M5iii. I have an E-M5 and almost never use it without a battery grip - it's so much comfortable to hold that way, even with a tiny lens on it. It's a real pity that the Mark iii does not have a battery attachment for its grip. Big mistake IMO.

Ontarian: As nice as the E-M5 (or E-M10) series are - in my experience, burst rate is the most important attribute on a body for bird photography - more so than even AF. I get more keepers with my E-M1ii than with my Nikon D500 because its burst rate is nearly 2x (18fps vs 10 fps) or up to 60 fps in S-AF / ProCap-H mode. This matters a great deal because birds can be so fast - it lets you catch just the right expression, wing position etc.

This is why I wouldn't particularly care about PDAF in your position. Since weight is so important to you, and the Panasonic 100-400 is the only high-quality lens in that weight class (Olympus 100-400 is a bit too heavy), having Dual-IS with a Panasonic body will give you far more keepers, especially in bad weather or poor light.

DFD will be inferior for challenging BIF scenarios, but how many of them are there? For birds in trees, waterbirds, flying raptors, flying ducks etc. it will be just fine. And none of the Olympus cameras (which I love) have impressive EVFs.

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Formerly known as 'anupamkatkar'.

 faunagraphy's gear list:faunagraphy's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PL6 Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD +23 more
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