Driving myself nuts . . . camera advice needed

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I could use a wee bit of advice. Currently I own the Fz150, FZ200 & G12. I like to photograph the sky (sunrises, sunsets, clouds, and occasionally the stars) and wildlife.

    I'm poking around for a new camera. I'd like better low light capabilities for photographing the stars, more color depth for the sunrises and sunsets, and more reach for the wildlife and, of course, really good autofocus is useful for the wildlife. (and maybe I can't get everything I want in one package)

    Anyhow, here are the candidates:

    - A6000, really good sensor, really great autofocus, but no lenses with great reach

    - FZ1000, better sensor than what I have, good autofocus (I think) reach comparable to what I have.

    - Nikon 1 V3 with kitzoom and 70-3000cx, better sensor (?), outstanding reach, good autofocus

    - Olympus OMD-X with kitzoom and 100-300, better sensor, comparable reach to my present camera, autofocus (?)

    - Panasonic GX7 with kitzoom and 100-300, better sensor, comparable reach, autofocus (?)

    So let's pretend I'm your very best pal; what would you recommend? Or perhaps something else?

    Cheers, Jock
     
  2. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    I would advise the GX7 combo, but would also advise the GH3 or 4 as the handling may be better when using the 100-300
     
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  3. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    If you are photographing the stars, Jock, I would not forget the tripod and head

    somehow I seem to need four main tripods and 4 different heads ……. the latest being a Gitzo CF "Mountaineer" which is just great

    ……Oh and a remote or two
     
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  4. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    I'm reading some great comments about the FZ1000, but it's hard to recommend it given the price tag and the fact that it is still very new.

    The Nikon 1 seems to be an easy choice for wildlife. The m4/3s options better for clouds/night sky I would think.

    What's your budget? What FL do you need for sky/sunset shots? I'd be tempted to go with an X100 or GR or Coolpix A + the Nikon 1 kit, maybe even swap the V1 or V2 for the 3 if it gets too pricey.
     
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  5. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Rank importance: Reach beyond what you have, good autofocus, low light capabilites (tripod usually used for night sky scenes), color depth (much can be handled in post processing), then proceed?
     
  6. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I usually shoot sky/sunset shots at 25 (Fz200) or 28 (G12).

    I could handle the cost of the Nikon 1 V3 with the long lens, but my Scottish thrift genes would prefer to spend less.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  7. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Be aware that the 100-300's relatively slow aperture cancels out most or perhaps even all of the advantage that the m43 sensor gains you over the FZ1000's 1" sensor (provided you use max aperture on both, which may not always be desirable). Same goes for the kit lenses insofar as they're slower than f/2.8. These lenses are about as quick as the kit / tele lenses you mentioned for the Nikon 1 system, so the m43 should still enjoy an advantage over the Nikon 1 system due to its larger sensor size.

    The A6000 with 18-200 lens would get you 300mm equivalent with pretty good croppability. At wide angle the sensor size should be enough to outdo the FZ1000; at tele, it's about equal.
    I'm no great fan of changing lenses and the 18-200 is a big chunk of kit in and of itself, so my choice would be the FZ1000; given your specific requirements (including good AF at tele ranges), I'm not really aware of any camera short of a big burly DSLR / lens combo that'd outshine the FZ1000. If the 1-2 stops higher ISO that the slower lens on the Nikon 1 system would force you to use doesn't bother you, it's a fine system for wildlife photography, but at those sensor sizes, 1-2 stops is still a significant amount, especially around the golden hour / twilight, when many animals are most active.
     
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  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don't what the V3 does that the V1 doesn't do......more megapickles which will help with crops, but for the price difference, I could never justify it. The used market is positively chocked with great deals on v1 kits right now. I would recommend buying one to try out. If you are happy with the IQ from the two kit lenses (which get you half the way there), then you can decide if you want to spend that last extra $1,000 for that amazing 70-300. I thought the results were comparable to a m43 kit (maybe a small step down in IQ), and definitely a step up over the smaller sensors of the super zooms...... whether or not you'll appreciate the difference enough to justify the expense is hard to calculate.

    Another option (and one that I think makes a lot of sense) is realizing that there is no magic bullet for ultimate IQ AND reach without great expense and (excluding the Nikon 1 series and that $1,000 lens) and great weight. Maybe just buy that wee Sony with the kit zoom and enjoy APS-C Land for awhile. Once you see the latitude in those juicy files, you may lose your mind. But keep in mind your love of wildlife photography and need to zooooooooom. So a small 2 camera kit. The Panny would be your dedicated "long lens" and the SOny could be for wide to normal with ultimate IQ and greater bit depth and all that other mumbo jumbo (I just say the pics look better).
     
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  9. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    You're right; prioritizing would be helpful. Thinking . . .

    Cheers, Jock
     
  10. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Pardon me, I thought the FZ1000 had a constant f/2.8 zoom, but it's 2/8-4. So the a6000 with 18-200 should outshine it also at full tele, and the m43 options should be about equal, except their zoom reach is longer. The FZ1000 should still win it over the Nikon 1 in terms of aperture and thus sensor performance (but not in terms of reach ofcourse).
     
  11. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Luke,

    Hmmmm . . . . split the mission profile between two cameras . . . not a bad idea. Heck, I could buy the FZ1000 and the A6000 both for less than the Nikon 1 v3 with the big lens.

    As Arte Johnson used to say, "Verrrrry interesting."

    Cheers, Jock
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    and then of course, you'd also have a couple cameras to sell (or become a hoarder)
     
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  13. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Don't worry; I'll leave an aisle in my stacks and bales of hoarded cameras so I can get out and buy more.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  14. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Laugh at your own peril. The last house call I made to look at a massive record collection was in a storage locker. The woman who owned the storage building was selling off the books and records for the deceased renter to pay off the owed fees. He had a heart attack and called 911.....when the medics arrived, it took them 45 minutes of frantic moving of boxes to be able to get into the house with the gurney. When they finally got him out ANOTHER 45 minutes later, he had expired.

    The moral of the story is that if you're gonna hoard and leave aisles between the boxes, check with the EMTs first to find out how wide the aisles need to be. Because we're all gonna go one day.
     
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