MFT for birding?

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I've currently got Canon Eos R with 70-200 IS L and Sigma 150-600mm.
Unfortunately while I find the 70-200 perfectly managable for hand held shots the 150-600 is way too heavy for me (I mostly use that with tripod and gimbal head).

So I'm looking for a combination which has both the reach and light weight.
MFT seems the way to go but I'm not sure how it could cope with the often high ISOs needed in the UK for the restricted aperatures and high shutter speeds needed.

The Panasonic 100-300 and 100-400 seems ideal at equivalent to 600mm and 800mm max reach.
Body wise I prefer the Panasonic G9 or GH5 due to their 3.68M EVF vs the 2.36M EVF in the Olympus models and as far as I've read the listed Panasonic lenses perform better with the later Panasonic bodies. However the autofocus is better in the Olympus E-1mkii and mkiii but you don't get the benefit of combined in body IS and in lens IS if using the Panasonic lenses.

@snerkler if I remember correctly you used to use Olympus before switching to Sony A9. Any advice you can give?
 
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snerkler

Member
I've currently got Canon Eos R with 70-200 IS L and Sigma 150-600mm.
Unfortunately while I find the 70-200 perfectly managable for hand held shots the 150-600 is way too heavy for me (I mostly use that with tripod and gimbal head).

So I'm looking for a combination which has both the reach and light weight.
MFT seems the way to go but I'm not sure how it could cope with the often high ISOs needed in the UK for the restricted aperatures and high shutter speeds needed.

The Panasonic 100-300 and 100-400 seems ideal at equivalent to 600mm and 800mm max reach.
Body wise I prefer the Panasonic G9 or GH5 due to their 3.68M EVF vs the 2.36M EVF in the Olympus models and as far as I've read the listed Panasonic lenses perform better with the later Panasonic bodies. However the autofocus is better in the Olympus E-1mkii and mkiii but you don't get the benefit of combined in body IS and in lens IS if using the Panasonic lenses.

@snerkler if I remember correctly you used to use Olympus before switching to Sony A9. Any advice you can give?
I did indeed have the Olympus EM1-II which I paired with the Panny Leica 100-400mm for wildlife for the same reason that you mention, i.e the 150-600mm being too heavy. The only reason that I got rid of the Olympus was that I wanted to just have one system, and I thought having the Sony A7RIV and then cropping the 100-400mm lens would be roughly the same as using MFT. Part of me regrets the decision as, although the Sony 100-400mm has unbelievable IQ and is lighter than the 150-600mm lenses it is noticeably heavier than the Panny 100-400mm. I knew it was heavier, but I didn't expect it to be that noticeable tbh.

Bear in mind I didn't do much in the way of BIF, but for what I used it for the AF with the EM1-II and Panny 100-400mm was more than good enough. IQ is more than good enough, however clearly it struggles more at high ISO. That being said, with a bit of fiddling with NR I did get a few useable shots at ISO 6400.

Some of my wildlife shots with the MFT combo

1. Background blur enhanced in PS
P2230300-Edit2 by TDG-77, on Flickr

2.
P7145007-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr

3.
P7145550-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr

4. ISO 3200, background blur enhanced in PS
P2231008-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr

5.
P2271819-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr


I also used it for motorsport
6.
P8248468-Edit-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr

7.
P7073404-Edit by TDG-77, on Flickr

8.
P7073523-Edit-2 by TDG-77, on Flickr
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
I can't offer much on BIF or Panasonic but I am a M43 shooter with Oly bodies and a Panasonic lens :)
I read the e-group forums and the Panasonic and Olympus owners threads at Talk Photography.
They're full of BIF enthusiasts - Olympus particularly seem a little obsessed with nature as a genre and BIF in particular. The Panasonic thread is quieter but that might not be related.

The most prolific poster at TP traded Panasonic and Olympus bodies and lenses but has expressed a strong preference for the Olympus EVF over the Panasonic and for the Olympus equivalent of the Panasonic you're thinking of.
I won't go into this any more than to suggest you take a look at those places before you commit one way or the other.

Olympus used to do a thing called Test and Wow which was a 24hr free test drive service.
I don't know if COVID has shut that down but it would be worth looking into.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I did indeed have the Olympus EM1-II which I paired with the Panny Leica 100-400mm for wildlife for the same reason that you mention, i.e the 150-600mm being too heavy. The only reason that I got rid of the Olympus was that I wanted to just have one system, and I thought having the Sony A7RIV and then cropping the 100-400mm lens would be roughly the same as using MFT. Part of me regrets the decision as, although the Sony 100-400mm has unbelievable IQ and is lighter than the 150-600mm lenses it is noticeably heavier than the Panny 100-400mm. I knew it was heavier, but I didn't expect it to be that noticeable tbh.

Bear in mind I didn't do much in the way of BIF, but for what I used it for the AF with the EM1-II and Panny 100-400mm was more than good enough. IQ is more than good enough, however clearly it struggles more at high ISO. That being said, with a bit of fiddling with NR I did get a few useable shots at ISO 6400.

Some of my wildlife shots with the MFT combo
Thanks for that and some nice looking shots there.
Another benefit with MFT I expect is that the depth of field isn't as razor thin as with a DSLR. At 200mm+ full frame and 3-5m distance (birds outside my window waiting to get to feed) it's so thin that it's the head or the tail in focus but not both. Even at 20-30m distance DOF still seems just a few inches.

What would you say was highest practical ISO to get good results in the usual UK cloudy conditions?
Your Robin ones at 1250 and 3200 look fine noise wise but one or both or them look to be in sunny conditions. How much denoise did you do with these?

I'd also thought of using sensor resolution as a solution to the problem with a A7RIV and 100-400 but that extra 400 or so grams lens weight over the Panasonic may be too much as well.
 

snerkler

Member
Thanks for that and some nice looking shots there.
Another benefit with MFT I expect is that the depth of field isn't as razor thin as with a DSLR. At 200mm+ full frame and 3-5m distance (birds outside my window waiting to get to feed) it's so thin that it's the head or the tail in focus but not both. Even at 20-30m distance DOF still seems just a few inches.

What would you say was highest practical ISO to get good results in the usual UK cloudy conditions?
Your Robin ones at 1250 and 3200 look fine noise wise but one or both or them look to be in sunny conditions. How much denoise did you do with these?

I'd also thought of using sensor resolution as a solution to the problem with a A7RIV and 100-400 but that extra 400 or so grams lens weight over the Panasonic may be too much as well.
With regards to ISO this will be user preference. There's some that won't go above ISO 800 on FF let alone m4/3. As mentioned above I've got the odd useable image at ISO6400 with some NR (can't remember how much off the top of my head), but generally I'd stick to no more than 3200. With newer software like Topaz denoise AI you might be tempted to shoot at higher ISO.

I wasn't expecting to notice the 400g difference so much, but it is definitely noticeable imo. There is also the option of the Sigma 100-400mm for FE mount now though which splits the difference at only being 150g heavier than the Panasonic 100-400mm so that could be a consideration?
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I can't offer much on BIF or Panasonic but I am a M43 shooter with Oly bodies and a Panasonic lens :)
I read the e-group forums and the Panasonic and Olympus owners threads at Talk Photography.
They're full of BIF enthusiasts - Olympus particularly seem a little obsessed with nature as a genre and BIF in particular. The Panasonic thread is quieter but that might not be related.

The most prolific poster at TP traded Panasonic and Olympus bodies and lenses but has expressed a strong preference for the Olympus EVF over the Panasonic and for the Olympus equivalent of the Panasonic you're thinking of.
I won't go into this any more than to suggest you take a look at those places before you commit one way or the other.

Olympus used to do a thing called Test and Wow which was a 24hr free test drive service.
I don't know if COVID has shut that down but it would be worth looking into.
Thanks
Covid has done for Test and Wow which is currently suspended. Which is odd as Canon are running one at the moment. Presumably Canon bodies and lenses have been scientifically proven to have anti viral properties....:smashin:

My needs are not so much for BIF (a heavy lens and Canon autofocus meant I never really got into it due to poor results) but more small birds at the 3-30m distance.

Olympus EM1-II or a Panasonic G9 bodies plus the Panasonic 100-400 would come it at around £2100 (slightly less if getting the lens from panamoz). Having looked at Talk I noticed the Sony RX10 IV superzoom 24-600mm equivalent at £1499. So yet something else to look at sample image wise.
 

snerkler

Member
Thanks
Covid has done for Test and Wow which is currently suspended. Which is odd as Canon are running one at the moment. Presumably Canon bodies and lenses have been scientifically proven to have anti viral properties....:smashin:

My needs are not so much for BIF (a heavy lens and Canon autofocus meant I never really got into it due to poor results) but more small birds at the 3-30m distance.

Olympus EM1-II or a Panasonic G9 bodies plus the Panasonic 100-400 would come it at around £2100 (slightly less if getting the lens from panamoz). Having looked at Talk I noticed the Sony RX10 IV superzoom 24-600mm equivalent at £1499. So yet something else to look at sample image wise.
The RX10 is an option, but you're getting even smaller in sensor size and therefore going to struggle even more with noise. It does have the advantage of being f4 so just over a stop brighter than the Panasonic 100-400mm but I'm not sure that's enough to compensate.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
With regards to ISO this will be user preference. There's some that won't go above ISO 800 on FF let alone m4/3. As mentioned above I've got the odd useable image at ISO6400 with some NR (can't remember how much off the top of my head), but generally I'd stick to no more than 3200. With newer software like Topaz denoise AI you might be tempted to shoot at higher ISO.

I wasn't expecting to notice the 400g difference so much, but it is definitely noticeable imo. There is also the option of the Sigma 100-400mm for FE mount now though which splits the difference at only being 150g heavier than the Panasonic 100-400mm so that could be a consideration?
Thanks
On a cloudy day anything over 800 ISO on my EOS R I'd consider rubbish, 1250 to 1600 ISO tops if sunny.

The Sigma 100-400 is also available in Canon EF so could be a cheap possibility (the Canon 100-400 has gone to silly money now even at Panamoz). I'll do some comparison tests with my 70-200 and the Sigma at 400mm but I don't expect that extra 200mm to be of much benefit. LIghtroom shows that the 150-600 is mostly used at 500-600mm.
The RX10 is an option, but you're getting even smaller in sensor size and therefore going to struggle even more with noise. It does have the advantage of being f4 so just over a stop brighter than the Panasonic 100-400mm but I'm not sure that's enough to compensate.
Sample shots look OK at up to 800 or so (sunny day).
I'm starting to think what I need is a golf caddy who can carry around the camera, lenses and tripod, set it up for me and all I need to do is stroll over and press the shutter. Or one of these so I can sit in the comfy garden chair and control it all with my phone...:smashin:

67cddbf532de457108d55c244753ace6.jpg


And that gets rid of the need for a big lens by moving the photographer right up close into the heart of the action :cool:

promolons61.jpg
 

snerkler

Member
Thanks
On a cloudy day anything over 800 ISO on my EOS R I'd consider rubbish, 1250 to 1600 ISO tops if sunny.

The Sigma 100-400 is also available in Canon EF so could be a cheap possibility (the Canon 100-400 has gone to silly money now even at Panamoz). I'll do some comparison tests with my 70-200 and the Sigma at 400mm but I don't expect that extra 200mm to be of much benefit. LIghtroom shows that the 150-600 is mostly used at 500-600mm.

Sample shots look OK at up to 800 or so (sunny day).
I'm starting to think what I need is a golf caddy who can carry around the camera, lenses and tripod, set it up for me and all I need to do is stroll over and press the shutter. Or one of these so I can sit in the comfy garden chair and control it all with my phone...:smashin:

View attachment 1475232

And that gets rid of the need for a big lens by moving the photographer right up close into the heart of the action :cool:

View attachment 1475240
I need one of the buggies, preferably with a 600mm f4 attached to it :laugh:

The difference between 200mm and 400mm is quite a lot imo, it's at longer focal lengths you don't see as much change, ie 500 to 600mm for example.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I need one of the buggies, preferably with a 600mm f4 attached to it :laugh:

The difference between 200mm and 400mm is quite a lot imo, it's at longer focal lengths you don't see as much change, ie 500 to 600mm for example.
That would need one of these.
By the state of the grass in that lawn it looks like it also cuts the grass at the same time...:thumbsup:

polaris-galeria-4.jpg
 

snerkler

Member
Using the Nikon lens simulator here's 200mm, 400mm and 600mm

Screenshot 2021-03-12 at 16.32.06.png

Screenshot 2021-03-12 at 16.32.21.png

Screenshot 2021-03-12 at 16.32.39.png
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
The difference between 200mm and 400mm is quite a lot imo, it's at longer focal lengths you don't see as much change, ie 500 to 600mm for example.
I was meaning I wouldn't be happy with 400mm when I'm wanting more reach than 600mm. Taken from the same distance (around 15m) in my garden of much smaller objects using a tripod.

Which from that point of view also means I wouldn't be gaining much from the Sony RX10 IV apart of course from the appreciably lighter weight (1.1kg vs 1.6kg of EM1/100-400 combo vs 2.62kg of the Eos R/150-600). As the EOS R/70-200 pairing is 1.45kg I can't believe how a mere 1.17kg can feel so much heavier :(

600v400.jpg
 
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snerkler

Member
I was meaning I wouldn't be happy with 400mm when I'm wanting more reach than 600mm. Taken from the same distance (around 15m) in my garden of much smaller objects using a tripod.

Which from that point of view also means I wouldn't be gaining much from the Sony RX10 IV apart of course from the appreciably lighter weight (1.1kg vs 1.6kg of EM1/100-400 combo vs 2.62kg of the Eos R/150-600). As the EOS R/70-200 pairing is 1.45kg I can't believe how a mere 1.17kg can feel so much heavier :(

View attachment 1475289
It is surprising isn’t it, as I said I’ve found a noticeable difference just in the 400g between the Panny 100-400mm and Sony 100-400mm.

I’ve recently bought a 1.4xTC for the times I need the reach, there’s a negligible/no difference in sharpness. The only downside is the loss of light.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
It is surprising isn’t it, as I said I’ve found a noticeable difference just in the 400g between the Panny 100-400mm and Sony 100-400mm.

I’ve recently bought a 1.4xTC for the times I need the reach, there’s a negligible/no difference in sharpness. The only downside is the loss of light.
More weight though, not a huge amount, but still more weight.

I wonder why the likes of this aren't still made as the weight is displaced onto the shoulders.
Although thinking about it you'd likely end up now with a visit by armed police.

full.jpg
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
This is the Flickr photostream of the prolific Olympus birder I mentioned who posts as blackfox (or something similar).
IIRC he uses an AI denoising app too - it's not my subject but the results speak for themselves.
EM1ii and Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 seems to be his preferred set up at the moment
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
This is the Flickr photostream of the prolific Olympus birder I mentioned who posts as blackfox (or something similar).
IIRC he uses an AI denoising app too - it's not my subject but the results speak for themselves.
EM1ii and Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 seems to be his preferred set up at the moment
Thanks, useful in the picture tells a thousand words kinda way. Although have to be careful to check as some were taken on Panasonic or Canon setups. It does though put the Olympus 100-400 also in my sights. So far I'm getting that the Panny lens works best on a Panny body, Olympus not so sure but may be best on an Olympus body.

Ideally I'd like to hold all the bodies but nearest Jessops is 200 miles and the likes of Currys don't show them as being stock items but something they order in.

Panasonic cashback doesn't end until end of march which would give some time to work out which body to go for (Olympus or Panasonic) which may then determine the lens choice. I do though like the control setup of the Panasonic GH5 and it is an acknowledged king for 4K video (although the crown may be slipping/have already slipped with all the newcomers jostling for its throne).
 

snerkler

Member
This is the Flickr photostream of the prolific Olympus birder I mentioned who posts as blackfox (or something similar).
IIRC he uses an AI denoising app too - it's not my subject but the results speak for themselves.
EM1ii and Olympus 100-400mm f5-6.3 seems to be his preferred set up at the moment
Some are great but on many the processing puts me off as the blur in photoshop is far too obvious and not done particularly well imo,
 

snerkler

Member
If you want to see what Olympus gear (and good knowledge of processing) is capable of then look no further than this guy, truly epic imo.

 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
In my opinion it depends on what sort of brding you want to do. I've not used my camera for about 3 years now but I did used to do a lot of wildlife stuff.

I always used my Canon 100-400L lens coupled with my 7D mark 2 camera. With this camera, this gives the crop factor 'extra reach' and it has served me well. This lens is light enough to carry when walking through the woods and gives decent shutter speeds at the long reach end.

BUT whenever I've gone to RSPB places and sat in the hides I've found it to be far too short for most situations. If you intend to do a lot of photographing birds at these places you need a much longer lens.

I've often wonder about the MFT lens specifications, are the quoted appertures the same as the same apperture numbers on a full frame camera? I'm sure I saw someone saying on a video a couple of years ago that these quoted appertures need to be converted to full frame but it might have been someone spouting crap!
 

snerkler

Member
In my opinion it depends on what sort of brding you want to do. I've not used my camera for about 3 years now but I did used to do a lot of wildlife stuff.

I always used my Canon 100-400L lens coupled with my 7D mark 2 camera. With this camera, this gives the crop factor 'extra reach' and it has served me well. This lens is light enough to carry when walking through the woods and gives decent shutter speeds at the long reach end.

BUT whenever I've gone to RSPB places and sat in the hides I've found it to be far too short for most situations. If you intend to do a lot of photographing birds at these places you need a much longer lens.

I've often wonder about the MFT lens specifications, are the quoted appertures the same as the same apperture numbers on a full frame camera? I'm sure I saw someone saying on a video a couple of years ago that these quoted appertures need to be converted to full frame but it might have been someone spouting crap!
Apertures are correct, i.e. if it says f5.6 it’s an f5.6 regardless of format, and so it will let the same amount of light in and exposure will be the same (give or take). Where the confusion comes is in because of the crop factor. If you use a 400mm lens on m4/3 people say this is the same as an 800mm lens but it’s not, it still has the characteristics of a 400mm and the depth of field that comes with it. However, because the EFFECTIVE reach is 800mm it mans the camera to subject distance will be greater (assuming the same framing) and therefore depth of field will be greater.

I hope this makes sense?
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
In my opinion it depends on what sort of brding you want to do. I've not used my camera for about 3 years now but I did used to do a lot of wildlife stuff.

I always used my Canon 100-400L lens coupled with my 7D mark 2 camera. With this camera, this gives the crop factor 'extra reach' and it has served me well. This lens is light enough to carry when walking through the woods and gives decent shutter speeds at the long reach end.

BUT whenever I've gone to RSPB places and sat in the hides I've found it to be far too short for most situations. If you intend to do a lot of photographing birds at these places you need a much longer lens.

I've often wonder about the MFT lens specifications, are the quoted appertures the same as the same apperture numbers on a full frame camera? I'm sure I saw someone saying on a video a couple of years ago that these quoted appertures need to be converted to full frame but it might have been someone spouting crap!
Lightness is in the arms of the carrier. That lens with a 7D2 weighs in at 2290g (mk1 lens) or 2550g (mk 2 lens). The latter is not much less than the 2.62kg of my eos r/sigma 150-600. I'm looking for something more like the 1.5kg of my eos r/70-200mm combination but with the reach of the 150-600mm.

I've now seen a video at ephotozine comparing the Panasonic GH5 and EM1-MKII and the conclusion was for sports/wildlife the Olympus had the edge. Cheapest GH5 is £1050 after cashback. I've just noticed that HDEW are selling EM1-MKII bodies for £599. @snerkler is that a bargain too big to be missed?

Only problem is no one has the Olympus 100-400 in stock although I suppose by the time the Olympus body made it to me from China they might be available. Otherwise I'd have a body with nothing to test it with during the limited returns period. Has anyone used any cheap Canon EF to MFT adaptors?
 

snerkler

Member
Lightness is in the arms of the carrier. That lens with a 7D2 weighs in at 2290g (mk1 lens) or 2550g (mk 2 lens). The latter is not much less than the 2.62kg of my eos r/sigma 150-600. I'm looking for something more like the 1.5kg of my eos r/70-200mm combination but with the reach of the 150-600mm.

I've now seen a video at ephotozine comparing the Panasonic GH5 and EM1-MKII and the conclusion was for sports/wildlife the Olympus had the edge. Cheapest GH5 is £1050 after cashback. I've just noticed that HDEW are selling EM1-MKII bodies for £599. @snerkler is that a bargain too big to be missed?

Only problem is no one has the Olympus 100-400 in stock although I suppose by the time the Olympus body made it to me from China they might be available. Otherwise I'd have a body with nothing to test it with during the limited returns period. Has anyone used any cheap Canon EF to MFT adaptors?
That’s a great price and a hell of a lot of camera for the money IMO. I assume you know HDEW are grey?

Is there a reason you’d go for the Olly 100-400mm? It’s just that it’s heavier and bigger than the Panny.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
That’s a great price and a hell of a lot of camera for the money IMO. I assume you know HDEW are grey?
Yes to their greyness although they seem to get good reviews (same as Panamoz). I got my EOS R off Panamoz but their prices for Olympus and Panasonic are similar to or more than UK retail (due to current Panasonic cashback).

HDEW also has the MKIII at £1200. From what I've read the later body is better but I doubt it's better enough to justify the doubling in price. Main thing seems to be improved autofocus and the processor from the M1X. But did you find your MKII lacking in the autofocus dept?
Is there a reason you’d go for the Olly 100-400mm? It’s just that it’s heavier and bigger than the Panny.
135g is not the end of the world in extra weight. The EM1-MKII body makes up for that as it's 151g lighter than the GH5 or 84g lighter than the G9. So with Olympus an overall lens and body combination lighter than the GH5 or just 51g heavier than the Panasonic lens and G9 body.
EM1+Olly: 1694g vs EM1+Panny:1559g
G9+panny: 1643g

Comments I've seen mention a stiffish zoom ring on the Lumix lens, how was your one?

I've seen review placing it ahead of the Panasonic Olympus 100-400mm vs Panasonic 100-400mm – The complete comparison
Choose the Olympus 100-400mm if:
  • you want better sharpness at the fastest apertures
  • you want better optical stabilisation when using an Olympus body
  • you want to use the teleconverters to get extra reach
Choose the Panasonic 100-400mm if:
  • you want a more compact lens
  • you want better stabilisation for video when using a Panasonic camera compatible with Dual IS
Also, but I may be wrong, it has 1.4x and 2x teleconverters available while I can't see one for the panasonic. And while a bit heavier it's also £100 cheaper at UK retail outlets at £1099 vs the Panasonic £1199

If I went with a Panasonic body I'd get the Panasonic lens as there seems to be a synergistic benefit. Same with the Olympus lens on an Olympus body

Prices £1698 for MK2+Olly lens vs £2099 G9+panny lens or £2249 GH5+Panny lens vs £2299 MK3+Olly lens. An alternative option is to get some finger joint replacements as it's the arthritis in these which means I can't hand hold heavy lenses any more :(

Sadly the claimed Bill Gates nanobots I'd get with my covid jab failed to materialise and I'd been banking on them to give me the extra strength needed in my arms for the heavy FF lenses. :)

Movie-Review-Bloodshot.jpg
 
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HMHB

Distinguished Member
Sorry didn’t realise you were struggling with your hands and holding heavy stuff. I was looking at the Panasonic range a while ago and I nearly bought the G9. As it turned out, I wasn’t doing any photography at all so decided to stick with what I’ve got. For me, the G9 was the better option as I’m not really bothered about video and the GH5 seemed more geared to video stuff.

I watched a lot of stuff on YouTube and found David Thorpe to be very knowledgeable on all things MFT - have you seen his videos? He reviews a lot of MFT gear :)
 

snerkler

Member
Yes to their greyness although they seem to get good reviews (same as Panamoz). I got my EOS R off Panamoz but their prices for Olympus and Panasonic are similar to or more than UK retail (due to current Panasonic cashback).

HDEW also has the MKIII at £1200. From what I've read the later body is better but I doubt it's better enough to justify the doubling in price. Main thing seems to be improved autofocus and the processor from the M1X. But did you find your MKII lacking in the autofocus dept?

135g is not the end of the world in extra weight. The EM1-MKII body makes up for that as it's 151g lighter than the GH5 or 84g lighter than the G9. So with Olympus an overall lens and body combination lighter than the GH5 or just 51g heavier than the Panasonic lens and G9 body.
EM1+Olly: 1694g vs EM1+Panny:1559g
G9+panny: 1643g

Comments I've seen mention a stiffish zoom ring on the Lumix lens, how was your one?

I've seen review placing it ahead of the Panasonic Olympus 100-400mm vs Panasonic 100-400mm – The complete comparison
Choose the Olympus 100-400mm if:
  • you want better sharpness at the fastest apertures
  • you want better optical stabilisation when using an Olympus body
  • you want to use the teleconverters to get extra reach
Choose the Panasonic 100-400mm if:
  • you want a more compact lens
  • you want better stabilisation for video when using a Panasonic camera compatible with Dual IS
Also, but I may be wrong, it has 1.4x and 2x teleconverters available while I can't see one for the panasonic. And while a bit heavier it's also £100 cheaper at UK retail outlets at £1099 vs the Panasonic £1199

If I went with a Panasonic body I'd get the Panasonic lens as there seems to be a synergistic benefit. Same with the Olympus lens on an Olympus body

Prices £1698 for MK2+Olly lens vs £2099 G9+panny lens or £2249 GH5+Panny lens vs £2299 MK3+Olly lens. An alternative option is to get some finger joint replacements as it's the arthritis in these which means I can't hand hold heavy lenses any more :(

Sadly the claimed Bill Gates nanobots I'd get with my covid jab failed to materialise and I'd been banking on them to give me the extra strength needed in my arms for the heavy FF lenses. :)

View attachment 1476273
Sorry to hear about your arthritis, I can completely sympathise as I suffer from fibromyalgia hence my search for lighter gear.

I can't see the Mark III being worth over double the cost no, the EM1-II is really rather good. I have used the EM1-X quite a bit and in the real world I didn't really notice a great difference in terms of AF speed and accuracy. I'm sure if you did specific tests you'd probably see something, but for every day use not so much.

With regards to the Panny stiffness mine wasn't too bad at all, it's just not as 'smooth' as the Olympus pro range of lenses (the 300mm f4 is a rather nice lens). With the Panny there is a zoom "lock" which makes the zoom stiffer but can still be turned, I wonder how many people realise this when I see all the complaints of the Panny having a stiff zoom.

I was hoping the Bill Gates microchip would be a secret cure for fibromyalgia but sadly no, although I have my second jab in 2 weeks so there's still hope :laugh:
 

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