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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:05 am 
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Hi folks,

I came across this interesting shootout from TheCameraStoreTV guys yesterday. The video concentrates on AF performance but see if you get the same reaction as I did when seeing a D4s in the hand after a selection of CSCs! :shock:

Quite apart from the AF argument, for really shallow depth of field it's still difficult to match the combination of large entrance pupil lenses and full-frame sensors so if that's your thing then CSCs may not be for you, yet. But there is a wider selection of extreme glass available than there used to be so things are improving. But in terms of IQ for general purpose shooting I think the latest CSCs are plenty good enough. Here's my current screensaver - link - as an example (E-M1 + 12-40mm f/2.8, 31mm [35mm equivalent: 62mm], f/4, 1/250th). I don't claim it to be the most artistic shot in the world but the level of detail is more than good enough for my needs (there's even more on the full-sized original) and image noise and dynamic range just weren't issues as I processed the raw image. And this from a camera and lens which fit in a couple of large-ish (!) pockets. :D

Just my two-penny worth for those considering buying a new camera. Other cameras and camera sizes are available! :P

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 4:14 pm 
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Saw this posted elsewhere. Like most, I thought this was better than expected for the mirrorless side although I haven't exactly been keeping up with the news. The conditions weren't exactly demanding with short lenses, big slow moving subjects in outdoor light. Personally I'd like to see a BIF group test of 300mm+ zoom on APS-C, which is hard since I don't think Fuji make one currently, and I'm not sure if Sony do either. The video presenter's comment on blackout period was also a concern for me. Questions were also raised on what would happen if the light was poorer? If something was clearly better, I'd switch in a moment. I don't doubt one day it may get as good as a DSLR, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Hi popo,

Seems a long time since we last chatted! Good point about BIF: always a challenge and one where maybe a D4s class camera is best if funds permit although I'd be interested to hear what the GH4 is like for this type of photography as it seems to be leading the CSC pack at the moment so far as CAF is concerned. Fortunately the fastest things I tend to photograph are wavy branches... :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Even current DSLR with BIF or bird photography in general is not an easy thing. It also depend a lot on the glass that you have. Mirrorless camera are just not there yet but there are getting closer and closer every year. The CameraStoreTV guy is right. At one point, mirrorless is going to take over.

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http://www.astronomyphotography.com


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 11:45 am 
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For people like Bob, that time has already come. For me, I still don't see myself making a major shift in say 5 years. Maybe 10 is more realistic. Mirrorless catching DSLR in itself isn't enough, it has to pass it in some way for me to say it is a good time to change. And DSLRs may not stand still either. I wouldn't rule out dual-system running before then of course, if there are other areas it is sufficiently stronger in. This reminds me, I need to resell my X100 while it is still worth something, since I don't use it enough...

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 2:06 pm 
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I am keeping my Mark III but I enjoy my A7R for landscaping type work. It has an higher picture quality and focus peaking is a blessing. I can use TSE-24mm II and the Metabone Mark III adapter with ease. My shot are always in perfect focus.

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Canon T2i (550D)- Tamron 17-50 F2.8 Non-VC, Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4.5-F5.6
http://www.astronomyphotography.com


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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 3:14 pm 
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My DSLR is still my primary BIF tool, but I replaced my NEX-5N with an A6000 hoping it would finally open up being able to use AF-C and tracking modes for some regular BIF use. And indeed, the combo has lived up to the promise - it's shockingly good at BIF, keeping up with no problem, even with smaller, faster birds. The limitation is as mentioned, the lenses - the longest e-mount lens I can get is a 210mm F6.3, or the 200mm F4 that was used in the test. I go with the 55-210mm F6.3 lens for one primary reason - I can attach a 1.7x teleextender to the end of it which gets me out to 357mm optically, for a more decent 535mm equivalent reach. With that combo, it's afocal in design so no light loss from the extender, and autofocus and stabilization in the lens still work exactly the same...and it stays small and lightweight at under 3Lbs total, which is less than 1/2 of my DSLR birding rig, and a good foot shorter!

Some BIF samples from the A6000 I shot this past weekend - I'm a bit more limited in bird selection going into summer, as we've lost our winter visitors and raptor activity is a bit low, so it's mostly egrets, herons, ibis, and the occasional martins and grackles...but these were all shot in AF-C continuous focus mode, set to 6fps burst, using wide focus area (the camera prioritizes the subject closest to the camera, so it even picks up birds against cluttered backgrounds, which was not always the case with the CDAF of the NEX-5N), in shutter priority with auto ISO set to 100-6400 range...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I mean these to just exemplify what the new class of mirrorless cams can do with regards to continuous focus and tracking...they're quite surprising and a definite big step up from previous mirrorless. For BIF shooters, they're a match for pretty much any entry-DSLR...and in some ways maybe even a touch better for the focus system itself - in ability to cover more of the frame with cross-type PDAF sensors or specialized CDAF systems in the case of the Panasonic, and in ability to track focus with very fast movement even straight at the camera while firing continuous bursts...in my camera's case, up to 11fps. The lenses are still the area that's lacking - and DSLRs still have that advantage - I can use myriad lenses that are both much longer reach and much faster apertures for my DSLR that just aren't available on pretty much any of the mirrorless cams. And while most of these can use adapters, some that even autofocus quickly, with some of their sister mounts, these would precluse use of these advanced focus systems which in some ways would defeat the purpose.

What it has done is made my mirrorless system a much more worthy and equal replacement for my DSLR - I can bring it along as a second body to cover a shorter focal range when I'm shooting a long prime on the DSLR, and still be able to shoot action and motion, or I can bring it in place of the DSLR when it's hot and sticky out and I just don't want to lug the weight around, and know I can still use AF-C mode and still get continuous focus tracking on fast moving subjects. While I shot BIFs on my NEX-5N previously, it was only the occasional shot, using AF-S, and cycling the focus myself...now with the new gen cameras, I just switch over to AF-C, wide focus, or center focus with lock-on AF mode, and let the focus system track while I keep it in frame, just like the DSLR.

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Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:38 am 
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Thanks Justin, exactly the sort of info I was hoping to see :) I think it has been mentioned before, I was half considering a "travel camera" package for those occasional overseas trips, so this might be the solution. In the past, mirrorless was no better (at tracking) than compact superzooms, so I just went for the even smaller superzoom instead. This does now add an extra layer of value. I think I will still wait for them to bring out a native 300mm class zoom though.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:28 am 
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Some beautiful BIF examples. 8)

As popo inferred I made the transition from full-frame (5D Mk II) to CSC (currently an E-M1 with an E-M5 as backup) some time ago. The reason can be summed up quite neatly:

      5D2......E-M1

To get the best out of the higher pixel density of the E-M1 requires not scrimping when it comes to lens choices and maybe the same applies for continuous AF speed but that's not something I've researched. The only danger I can foresee in getting a CSC as a travel camera is that the DSLR will be in danger of getting very dusty. :P

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 12:08 pm 
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To be precise, what I look for in a niche use travel camera is different to what I look for in one system to rule them all! I can't argue that the likes of the E-M1 aren't smaller/lighter than a roughly comparable DSLR setup, but they're still not smaller/lighter enough to seal the deal.

I keep thinking the Nikon 1 system might be the one best able to provide that due to its smaller sensor, but they're not there yet. Price aside, I do wonder what the V3 + native 70-300mm lens combo is like!

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:44 pm 
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I have a real blind spot when it comes to the Nikon 1 but as I've never even held one that's probably my problem. But I do know that you can miniaturise the body all you like but the same can't be said of the glass. If you want to collect a certain number of photons then entrance pupil diameter is king and the same can be said for shallow depth of field. On a side note, it might be interesting if the reviewers compared the Nikon 1 v3 with the Cyber-shot RX100 III as they have the same sized sensor. Of course the RX100 III lens (equivalent to 24-70mm with an f1.8-2.8 focal ratio) isn't interchangeable but the Sony body plus lens is smaller than the Nikon with no lens.

Fortunately I need neither. I'm off to a dog show tomorrow and a Lowepro Rezo TLZ 20 bag, quite a small toploader, hung from my belt is plenty big enough to house my E-M1 fitted with a Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5-5.6 (28mm to 300mm ff equiv) and a belt slung Lowepro lens case holds my ED 12-40mm f/2.8 for those shots where ultimate sharpness is needed more than reach. Weight and size aren't issues though I admit I'll have difficulty using the camera when I have one hand on the lead of an Irish Wolfhound. Not mine, I hasten to add: I'm going along as helper and general dogsbody! :lol:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 6:12 pm 
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I agree that, if you apply strict equivalence, then generally lenses can't get much smaller.

Of course, this is one big area of friction. For example, a 35-100 f/2.8 lens on MFT is often compared to a 70-200 f/2.8 lens on full frame. Some either deliberately or through negligence will claim they are strictly equivalent. No. At the end of the day, it often boils down to the 70-200 f/5.6 equivalent lens is adequate for the user, then it doesn't matter what equivalence is to something they don't have.

That's where I go with the Nikon 1. If I am willing to sacrifice shallow(er) depth of field and light collection, I get my primary needs (longer focal lengths with AF) at good enough quality. In theory, mirrorless cameras don't have the aperture limitation for phase AF, so lenses could be made with significantly smaller apertures to get the size down even keeping bigger sensors.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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