FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
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DaveyB Contributing Member • Posts: 740
FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth
3

I've just come back from leading a birding trip to the Gambia for eight people.  I've been mulling for a while over whether to ditch my DSLR and take the FZ200.  I don't need ultimate quality, just need to be able to illustrate the trip report with some reasonable images and post some to my Facebook page.  I also don't have either the photographic skills or the pp'ing skills of many people on this site, as birding is the main focus - so, just jpegs, with often heavy crops, using izoom and often in harsh, contrasty light.  I know these won't stand up to any pixel peeping but I think I've found the best tool currently available for my personal needs!

A Whimbrel, one of the commonest wintering waders in the Gambia

An Osprey, again a common wintering bird

An immature African Fish Eagle

Grey Woodpecker on a mangrove stump

Blue-bellied Roller

Wire-tailed Swallow

Hooded Vulture

Pearl-spotted Owlet

Squacco Heron

Hamerkop

Little Bee-eater

Bronze-winged Courser - a good bird to find !!

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Cheers
David
LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

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Rodger1943
Rodger1943 Senior Member • Posts: 8,057
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Hi DaveyB, these are a great set of images. I can see why you are happy with the results. I hope to see more of these from you, either from this trip, or future trips and outings.

A few people on this forum have taken the FZ200 on safari and all have said that it was a great camera for their trips. I use it for birding all the time. A longer zoom would be nice, but izoom works pretty well.

Regards

Rodger

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Panasonic FZ200

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trevmar Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Rodger1943 wrote:

.. but izoom works pretty well.

Especially in RAW ...

DaveyB OP Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth
1

Thanks Rodger, yes I'm convinced by the FZ200 and am now taking more images with it than any camera I've owned, as I now carry it every time I go out.  Just hope Panny keep developing the concept of a fast, constant aperture, super-zoom and go for improving sensor quality rather than getting back in the megapixel race/ridiculously long zooms!

Cheers    David

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Cheers
David
LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

 DaveyB's gear list:DaveyB's gear list
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windmillgolfer
windmillgolfer Forum Pro • Posts: 12,108
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Case proven methinks Davey - super varied set.

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DaveyB OP Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Thanks Stuart, the Gambia offers more opportunity to get close to colourful birds than the UK does (and you don't have frozen fingers, either!).  I can only imagine what some of the people on this site could have done with the same opportunities.  One day I'll get into using RAW....

Cheers    David

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Cheers
David
LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

 DaveyB's gear list:DaveyB's gear list
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ANAYV Forum Pro • Posts: 12,679
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth
1

What a delightful set of bird images!

Good compositions and captures.

All enjoyable to view, and with names to the subjects!

You did really well, David, and so did the FZ200 

Keep up the good work.

ANAYV

kkardster
kkardster Senior Member • Posts: 6,894
Re: FZ vs longer
1

DaveyB wrote:

Thanks Rodger, yes I'm convinced by the FZ200 and am now taking more images with it than any camera I've owned, as I now carry it every time I go out.  Just hope Panny keep developing the concept of a fast, constant aperture, super-zoom and go for improving sensor quality rather than getting back in the megapixel race/ridiculously long zooms!

I'm hoping that with Panasonic having pushed the LZ-series to 35X/16MP that they will use that line to compete on reach and megapixels while keeping the FZ-line focused on being the fastest and brightest long zoom.

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Bruce
You learn something new every time you press the shutter

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Dale108
Dale108 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,280
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth
Me Tarzan
Me Tarzan Senior Member • Posts: 1,392
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

David, I think you did an excellent job. I think the results were a combination of a fine camera and your talents. I also think you're more gifted in this area than you assume.

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Say Cheese!
Frank

ysal
ysal Veteran Member • Posts: 8,711
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

These are wonderful images of a great variety of birds!  It seems like you had a great birding trip.  I like the Roller bird, and the little owl is sweet.  My iZoom images are never this nice.

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yuki

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Kurt W
Kurt W Regular Member • Posts: 492
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

wonderful set of images

Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 16,848
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Wonderful!

And if you'd tried it with a dSLR, you would still be changing lenses!

-Erik

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'He who hesitates is not only lost - he's miles from the next Exit.'
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Jerry045
Jerry045 Senior Member • Posts: 6,602
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

One certainly can't fault the FZ200. Those are excellent images. A fine job!! I think you should keep the camera!! I liked all of those. Thanks for sharing them David.

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Jerry

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DaveyB OP Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Thanks everyone for all the kind comments.  The FZ200 definitely suits the kind of mobile birding photography I do and when I look back on equivalent shots from past trips with my Nikon D80 and 70-300 mm, it's hard to see any difference.  As for the portability element, I came back without neck-ache!!

Cheers    David

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Cheers
David
LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

 DaveyB's gear list:DaveyB's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Nikon D80 +4 more
mistral2 Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Excellent shots!

Shows what the camera is capable of in good hands.

myssvictoria Veteran Member • Posts: 5,745
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Congratulations, David, these are terrific! LOVE the Blue-bellied Roller, what a beauty. Do post more if you have the time. Any future trips planned?

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DaveyB OP Contributing Member • Posts: 740
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Thanks for the nice feedback - the Rollers in the Gambia (all four of 'em) are definiteley among the world's most beautiful birds!  Future trips might include a return to Kenya and an exploration of Eastern Turkey.  Until then I'll try and post some more of my mundane local birds !!

Cheers     David

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Cheers
David
LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

 DaveyB's gear list:DaveyB's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Nikon D80 +4 more
Ruth Lipnick
Ruth Lipnick Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

LOVE these images.

Did you feel any need to zoom closer?

I just purchased the FZ200 for a fall safari and am practicing on birds but I'm not getting the zoom I want.. Rather than fool with izoom, I'd like to know what teleconverter is recommended for this camera. I just posted the question on a new thread.

Is there a downside to using the teleconverter?

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in_focus
in_focus Forum Pro • Posts: 18,674
Re: FZ200 as a birding camera - my moment of truth

Impressive series, David.. beautiful work, how long it took to assemble this fine collection? Remarkable creations, to my liking is the little owl the winner .. thank you for sharing ..

Best regards,

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Bruno

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