Affordable wild life camera combination.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
jwBobby458 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Affordable wild life camera combination.

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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PhotonBeam Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

I am not sure what is ideal for you, but I use Olympus for bird/wildlife photography. I find it to be a very enjoyable system to use.

Using United States prices, you could probably pick up an Olympus EM1 mkii and 100-400mm lens for your budget (or the 300mm pro if you are ok buying used and do not need zoom). You could also add a 1.4x teleconveter for extra reach. The combo would give you a similar field of view to 200-800mm on full frame (and up to 1,120mm with the teleconveter).

I use the 300mm pro and find it to be a competent setup.

Of course, there are also a number of other great options out there (DSLRs may be ideal if you want the best image quality to price ratio...at the expense of a larger and heavier kit). Bridge cameras are not a bad option if size matters.

Happy shopping!

 PhotonBeam's gear list:PhotonBeam's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II
OP jwBobby458 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.
1

Wow, three lovely images with great detail and colour rendition. Another option to consider. Thank you.

Norm Neely Senior Member • Posts: 2,550
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

jwBobby458 wrote:

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a

A good choice. Bridge cameras can be a lot of fun

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/buying-guide-best-enthusiast-long-zoom-cameras

consideration,wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies

A poster took this picture of a dragonfly a few years ago with his Olympus SP-550 UZ

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/22647523

I love my Olympus SP-550 UZ

Some sequential dog pictures I took with it. Also scroll down to the picture with the U-Haul truck, check out the 4 posts in the picture. Now check the picture right above it the 4 posts can hardly be seen as that is not zoomed out like the U-Haul picture

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/1932952

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Norm

 Norm Neely's gear list:Norm Neely's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 995 Olympus SP-550 UZ Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS 5DS R
(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

PhotonBeam wrote:

I am not sure what is ideal for you, but I use Olympus for bird/wildlife photography. I find it to be a very enjoyable system to use.

Using United States prices, you could probably pick up an Olympus EM1 mkii and 100-400mm lens for your budget (or the 300mm pro if you are ok buying used and do not need zoom). You could also add a 1.4x teleconveter for extra reach. The combo would give you a similar field of view to 200-800mm on full frame (and up to 1,120mm with the teleconveter).

I use the 300mm pro and find it to be a competent setup.

Of course, there are also a number of other great options out there (DSLRs may be ideal if you want the best image quality to price ratio...at the expense of a larger and heavier kit). Bridge cameras are not a bad option if size matters.

Happy shopping!

I found the EM10iv which uses the same sensor to be nice improvement over the RX10.   Its the lenses that really help.

PhotonBeam Regular Member • Posts: 106
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

R Rivers wrote:

PhotonBeam wrote:

I am not sure what is ideal for you, but I use Olympus for bird/wildlife photography. I find it to be a very enjoyable system to use.

Using United States prices, you could probably pick up an Olympus EM1 mkii and 100-400mm lens for your budget (or the 300mm pro if you are ok buying used and do not need zoom). You could also add a 1.4x teleconveter for extra reach. The combo would give you a similar field of view to 200-800mm on full frame (and up to 1,120mm with the teleconveter).

I use the 300mm pro and find it to be a competent setup.

Of course, there are also a number of other great options out there (DSLRs may be ideal if you want the best image quality to price ratio...at the expense of a larger and heavier kit). Bridge cameras are not a bad option if size matters.

Happy shopping!

I found the EM10iv which uses the same sensor to be nice improvement over the RX10. Its the lenses that really help.

Yes, good lenses help, but even cheap lenses can work. Below are a couple from the $60 Olympus 40-150 f4-5.6 that I used before going on a spending spee (I mean... investing in good glass πŸ˜‚).

I find that paying attention to the light is more important than gear. And, of course, some minor edits in post production can help bring out the best in any camera.

These were all taken with the EM5 mkii, which has the older 16 megapixel sensor. I find the camera to be quite nice, but it's poor CAF performance can make capturing birds in flight a challenge (I have gotten close). I have been casually looking around for a used Olympus EM1 mkii (or mkiii) to solve this issue, but I am in no rush πŸ˜ƒ.

 PhotonBeam's gear list:PhotonBeam's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II
(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

PhotonBeam wrote:

R Rivers wrote:

PhotonBeam wrote:

I am not sure what is ideal for you, but I use Olympus for bird/wildlife photography. I find it to be a very enjoyable system to use.

Using United States prices, you could probably pick up an Olympus EM1 mkii and 100-400mm lens for your budget (or the 300mm pro if you are ok buying used and do not need zoom). You could also add a 1.4x teleconveter for extra reach. The combo would give you a similar field of view to 200-800mm on full frame (and up to 1,120mm with the teleconveter).

I use the 300mm pro and find it to be a competent setup.

Of course, there are also a number of other great options out there (DSLRs may be ideal if you want the best image quality to price ratio...at the expense of a larger and heavier kit). Bridge cameras are not a bad option if size matters.

Happy shopping!

I found the EM10iv which uses the same sensor to be nice improvement over the RX10. Its the lenses that really help.

Yes, good lenses help, but even cheap lenses can work. Below are a couple from the $60 Olympus 40-150 f4-5.6 that I used before going on a spending spee (I mean... investing in good glass πŸ˜‚).

I find that paying attention to the light is more important than gear. And, of course, some minor edits in post production can help bring out the best in any camera.

These were all taken with the EM5 mkii, which has the older 16 megapixel sensor. I find the camera to be quite nice, but it's poor CAF performance can make capturing birds in flight a challenge (I have gotten close). I have been casually looking around for a used Olympus EM1 mkii (or mkiii) to solve this issue, but I am in no rush πŸ˜ƒ.

I saw a video review showing how good the 40-150mm lens is.  And while it costs more the the 14-150 is even better as you get near 150mm.   I plan on getting that lens to give it a try.  I hope the review is right.

LASR Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

jwBobby458 wrote:

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

On a FF sensor you probably can go up to 6400 ISO with acceptable image quality and on an APS-C sensor up to ISO 2200.

Will you be photographing owls at the end of the day? Will you need 300 f2.8? In May/June maybe not.

The Sony 70-350 has good minimum focusing distance so should be good for dragonflies but is 350 f6.3 so equivalent to a 525 f9.5 in FF, which may be limiting if you need 1/1000 - 1/2000 and want to stay below ISO 2200. For birds often 500 or 600 (in FF) is needed, or even more, so there is no easy solution for birds in flight.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,758
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

LASR wrote:

jwBobby458 wrote:

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

On a FF sensor you probably can go up to 6400 ISO with acceptable image quality and on an APS-C sensor up to ISO 2200.

FF is app. about 1EV better, so if you feel ISO 6400 is the limit, on apsc would be roughly 3200. I have set max ISO 6400 on my A6400, which is still acceptable for me. Good RAW software can help a lot for even higher ISO.

Will you be photographing owls at the end of the day? Will you need 300 f2.8? In May/June maybe not.

The Sony 70-350 has good minimum focusing distance so should be good for dragonflies but is 350 f6.3 so equivalent to a 525 f9.5 in FF, which may be limiting if you need 1/1000 - 1/2000 and want to stay below ISO 2200.

It's true only for background separation comparison, so you statement is not valid, f6.3 is f6.3 on both FF and apsc, no shutter speed difference there

For birds often 500 or 600 (in FF) is needed, or even more, so there is no easy solution for birds in flight.

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS +1 more
LASR Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

Martin_99 wrote:

LASR wrote:

jwBobby458 wrote:

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

On a FF sensor you probably can go up to 6400 ISO with acceptable image quality and on an APS-C sensor up to ISO 2200.

FF is app. about 1EV better, so if you feel ISO 6400 is the limit, on apsc would be roughly 3200. I have set max ISO 6400 on my A6400, which is still acceptable for me. Good RAW software can help a lot for even higher ISO.

Around 1.5 EV, not my opinion, just looking at measurements.

Will you be photographing owls at the end of the day? Will you need 300 f2.8? In May/June maybe not.

The Sony 70-350 has good minimum focusing distance so should be good for dragonflies but is 350 f6.3 so equivalent to a 525 f9.5 in FF, which may be limiting if you need 1/1000 - 1/2000 and want to stay below ISO 2200.

It's true only for background separation comparison, so you statement is not valid, f6.3 is f6.3 on both FF and apsc, no shutter speed difference there

Not true. The f-number is a ratio, for the same light the entrance pupil must be the same. E.g 2200 ISO, 100mm f4 in APS-C or 6400 ISO 150mm f6 in FF with the same shutter speed and pixel count will produce the same results.

For birds often 500 or 600 (in FF) is needed, or even more, so there is no easy solution for birds in flight.

Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,758
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

LASR wrote:

Martin_99 wrote:

LASR wrote:

jwBobby458 wrote:

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

On a FF sensor you probably can go up to 6400 ISO with acceptable image quality and on an APS-C sensor up to ISO 2200.

FF is app. about 1EV better, so if you feel ISO 6400 is the limit, on apsc would be roughly 3200. I have set max ISO 6400 on my A6400, which is still acceptable for me. Good RAW software can help a lot for even higher ISO.

Around 1.5 EV, not my opinion, just looking at measurements.

Will you be photographing owls at the end of the day? Will you need 300 f2.8? In May/June maybe not.

The Sony 70-350 has good minimum focusing distance so should be good for dragonflies but is 350 f6.3 so equivalent to a 525 f9.5 in FF, which may be limiting if you need 1/1000 - 1/2000 and want to stay below ISO 2200.

It's true only for background separation comparison, so you statement is not valid, f6.3 is f6.3 on both FF and apsc, no shutter speed difference there

Not true. The f-number is a ratio, for the same light the entrance pupil must be the same. E.g 2200 ISO, 100mm f4 in APS-C or 6400 ISO 150mm f6 in FF with the same shutter speed and pixel count will produce the same results.

You wrote, that f6.3 can be limiting for higher shutter speeds on apsc. So I responded, that there is no difference. If you manually set f6.3 and 1/1000ss, your both FF and apsc cameras will set the same ISO in autoISO mode. Yes, apsc will be slightly noisier and less background blur, but hardly a serious limitation. Wildlife is due to better reach commonly shot on smaller formats m4/3 (2× crop) or 1"(2.7 crop), so really not a problem on bigger apsc.

For birds often 500 or 600 (in FF) is needed, or even more, so there is no easy solution for birds in flight.

 Martin_99's gear list:Martin_99's gear list
Sony a6400 Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS +1 more
evetsf Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

jwBobby458 wrote:

Wow, three lovely images with great detail and colour rendition. Another option to consider. Thank yyou.

Since you're already using a Panasonic camera, keep in mind that they also offer Micro Four Thirds kit. Depending on how you want to distribute your budget, look at either the G90/95 or G9 body, 12-60 or 14-140ii "standard" zoom, and 100-300ii or 100-400 lens for your desired long reach.

Staying within the Panasonic ecosystem will make for an easier transition to your new gear, as the user interface and menu systems will be closer to what you already have.

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Steve
- The Hierarchy Approves -
All rights reserved for any images in my Gallery or included in a message. Specific exceptions may be granted upon request.

 evetsf's gear list:evetsf's gear list
Fujifilm X-S1 Panasonic FZ2500 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +3 more
NikonNature Veteran Member • Posts: 4,493
Re: Affordable wild life camera combination.

jwBobby458 wrote:

Yes, I know this type of question has been asked many times before. So, a thousand apologies for that. But, post-covid, as I am wanting to get walking again, and would also like to plan in an owl photography trip to Finland next year I have been looking into options for an affordable (for me) wildlife set up that would cater for dragonflies to owls and to birds in flight (feathered and metal). I am not averse to buying used kit.

I have long been a fan of bridge cameras and like the Sony RX10iv as a consideration, and an obvious upgrade from the Panasonic FZ200 I currently use for most photography that I do. Two mirrorless options would be the Fuji X-S10 plus new 70-300 lens or Sony A6400 plus 70-350 lens. I would love the 100-400 lens but cost and size would probably be factors that would prevent their purchase. Maximum budget £2000/$2800/e2320.

I would appreciate any thoughts and experiences on my possible choices, or alternative options not considered. Thank you for reading this. Stay safe and well. John

Just make sure you understand 'full frame equivalent' when comparing focal lengths. I believe your FZ200 had a full frame equivalent zoom range of 25-600mm. A 70-300mm on a APC-S sensor camera (like the Sony A6400) would be about 105-450mm. That's a little short for birds. There are some nice shots posted in the replies, but several are larger animals in a zoo setting, so they don't IMO represent typical shooting scenarios.

Also, consider the size you are willing to carry. For the budget you gave, you could get a D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2.  That would be an excellent combo, but might be bigger than you are looking for. A Z50 with that same Tamron lens might be more manageable. These are Nikon options just because that's what I'm most familiar with. There are similar options from Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc. I just don't know enough about them.

 NikonNature's gear list:NikonNature's gear list
Nikon D610 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD +1 more
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