Need advice about getting a big one (telezoom that is !)

Wolf

Veteran
So I'm looking to get a big one (a zoom that is) in the near future for my nature hikes and bird shooting.
What would you do in my case ?
Below you can see my current options

I've cancelled out the micro 4/3 options as it would cost too much for what it is (a GH2 + 100-300 panasonic would set me back for 1300 euro, although i would have 600mm reach)

Then there's the fuji XS1, with the same sensor as the X10, and a reach that extends over 600mm. (however, how good is the quality above 450- 500mm in daylight ?)
The advantage is that it's built like a DSLR , has manual zoom, 1.44 m viewfinder, can do macro and serve as all around camera too
the cheapest price is around 650 euro

Then there's the third option
A Nikon D3100 (420 euro body) or a D5100 (560 euro body) with 55-300mm lens (around 230 euro)
thus a total of 650 or 790 euro depending on what body i'd get ...
I prefer the D3100 body lay out (buttons) and form in general, but the D5100 sensor an screen is quite a bit better.

With the crop factor in mind i'd get a reach of about 450mm if i'm correct.

The other big advantage is that I can extend this camera in the future with maybe some great nikkor primes (35mm, 40mm macro, 50mm portrait lens, ...)
 

winginkris

Veteran
I'm interested in this as well. I don't want to go back to a dslr again as I've sold all my gear off to buy the x100 and possibly the xpro1. Trying to keep things simple, but I do miss the reach. I like the idea of the xs1, but I'm not seeing a lot of enthusiasm over it. I kind of think at the price they're asking($799.00us) that it should offer a little better image quality than I've seen so far. Maybe someone can post some pics?
 

Wolf

Veteran
I'm interested in this as well. I don't want to go back to a dslr again as I've sold all my gear off to buy the x100 and possibly the xpro1. Trying to keep things simple, but I do miss the reach. I like the idea of the xs1, but I'm not seeing a lot of enthusiasm over it. I kind of think at the price they're asking($799.00us) that it should offer a little better image quality than I've seen so far. Maybe someone can post some pics?

On the XS1 group flickr page there are quite some photos.

and the professional reviews are quite positive (check photographyblog and others).

Maybe i'll order one from amazon and give it a short spin.
If i don't like it, i can return it...

The thing i'm most worried about is the small sensor (though 2x size of any other bridge camera), but a lot smaller then a DSLR
so i think once you start shooting things at quite a distance (during daylight) things might turn out very grainy :-(

I know for this budget i'm not gonna get the best dslr telephoto lens, but the 55-300 paired with a d3100 will most likely give better results (though you lose some reach)
and the nikon combo might weigh a bit less and cost a bit less...
 

winginkris

Veteran
The sensor is also my biggest concern with the xs1. I'm spoiled by the image quality with the x100 and feel I might be taking a step backward with the xs1, although the Flicker pics looked pretty good, some of the moon shots were excellent, thanks for steering me over there. I'm more interested in reach with this kind of camera so the xs1 might be overkill as the wide end would not get used much. I wish there was something similar with a reach of something like 300-600 and maybe a little bigger sensor. I might look at the hs20 just for fun as it can be had for less than $300.00(us).
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Nic
The body of the XS-1 is larger than a small DSLR like the D3100, although the D3100 won't match the full telephoto reach of the XS-1 without a lot of money and a kilogram or two of lens.
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
I've seen some REMARKABLE photos from the XS-1 and some very average ones. If small is important to you, I'd recommend an older micro 4/3 body with the Panasonic 100-300. I've been very pleased with the shots I've gotten with my old G1 and that big honker lens. Buying an old used body can really get you in the door cheap....should be well under the XS-1
 

Wolf

Veteran
I've seen some REMARKABLE photos from the XS-1 and some very average ones. If small is important to you, I'd recommend an older micro 4/3 body with the Panasonic 100-300. I've been very pleased with the shots I've gotten with my old G1 and that big honker lens. Buying an old used body can really get you in the door cheap....should be well under the XS-1

i've got an epl2 body
BUT

i think the 100-300 will be a bit heavy to balance on the epl2
also i'd need to buy the vf2 viewfinder

so the total cost would still be around 800 euro (more then d3100 with the 55-300)
could i still use a telezoom extender on the nikon 55-300 ?

I agree about the XS1 photos, some look great, some look like a "bag of grain"
I do love the X10 and it's sensor (same as xs1) , but that camera only has a tiny zoom
 

Wolf

Veteran
for the cost of the Olympus viewfinder you can find an old G1 body (and it has a viewfinder)

But then again you'll lose quite a lot on sensor size compared to the D3100
and i prefer a new D3100 body for 420 euro instead of a second hand G1 body for maybe 250 euro...
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Location
Dallas, TX
Real Name
Lili
Wolf you do not mention concern over the wide angle end.
If that is not a concern I might suggest one of the older Olympus, 4/3 DSLR
The 70-300 is great lens and an older body like a e510 or so will not set you back much
4549146957_28af3c5bc7_b.jpg

that is what I used here
 

Wolf

Veteran
sounds like you've made up your mind......the Nikon it is.

it seems like the most logic option

i had the 45-200mm lens and wasn't that happy bout it (panasonic micro 4/3 lens thus)

i have been looking at that olympus lens too
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
If you are going to get a Nikon DSLR the 70mm 300mm VR is very good

70-300mm AF-S VR Lens Review by Thom Hogan

I have had mine a few years and really enjoy using it - in reasonable light you should not have a problem using it "hand held" at f8 and 300mm

To date 95% of my "bird" shots have been taken with it - and most are crops - some of them are here
 

winginkris

Veteran
If you are going to get a Nikon DSLR the 70mm 300mm VR is very good

70-300mm AF-S VR Lens Review by Thom Hogan

I have had mine a few years and really enjoy using it - in reasonable light you should not have a problem using it "hand held" at f8 and 300mm

To date 95% of my "bird" shots have been taken with it - and most are crops - some of them are here

I agree. I had this lens as well, and for the money it was great! I bought a refurbished one for around $350.00(us) from Adorama.
View attachment 50997
DSC_3422 - Version 2 by Winginkris, on Flickr
 

Wolf

Veteran
yea the 70-300 is better then the 55-300 from what I read.
But can you still extend it with an extender or tubes to get a bigger reach ?
 

BillN

Hall of Famer
Location
S W France
Real Name
Bill
yea the 70-300 is better then the 55-300 from what I read.
But can you still extend it with an extender or tubes to get a bigger reach ?

no not really

If you want to use a TC you would want to look at "primes" - i.e. the Nikon 300mm f4 AF is the only "affordable" one for sane people unless you want to look at used MF Nikkors

TC - after x1.4, (i.e. x1.7 and x2 - depending on light conditions you start to loose the AF ability and also (maybe) IQ) - you seem to be OK with x1.4

But 300mm on a DX Nikon = 450mm anyway and you can crop - ............ after that it begins to get into the $4,000 plus for say a 400mm AF upwards
 

Wolf

Veteran
Maybe a silly thought of me, but what about a Pentax K01 with the 55-300 mm ?
it has the same sensor as a DSLR but it's compact and supports all pentax lenses

sadly enough no viewfinder
 

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