The Lumix GF, GH and now GX series are great cameras. My friend switched from a compact point-and-shoot to GF-1, then upgraded to GH-2 in less than a year. AF is fast for a mirrorless camera. It could still be challenging to get shots of birds in flight at low altitude. But that kind of shots is also challenging for a DSLR with a fast AF lens.
My friend uses a wide angle pancake lens and the 14-140mm lens most of the time.
Be careful where you purchase the camera in Hong Kong. There are some dishonest camera shops. I would check what is written or printed on the invoice, then open the box in the store before you leave. My dad and his friends used to be a camera equipment distributor in Hong Kong. They told me stories that some stores would give customers, particularly tourists, a camera item that was different from what customers paid for. For example, an invoice could just state a lens of 70-300mm without stating which brand. A customer could have paid for a Nikon 70-300mm lens, but in the bag was a Sigma 70-300mm lens. This customer returned to the store to argue later but the invoice clearly didn't state that it was a Nikon lens.
Last edited by yeeeha; Apr 19th, 2012 at 02:57 AM.
Reason: Additional comment
With the right lens (45-175 at a minimum, ideally 100-300) the GX would be adequate for birding, but I think you would also find yourself wanting the accessory viewfinder. For what it is that's a big-ticket item that, based on Panasonic's track record, is all too likely to be orphaned sooner than later.
The G3 has the very same sensor as the GX1, and a built-in viewfinder, for less money (most of the time). The GH2 is starting to pop up for great prices, as it's nearing the end of the line, and it has an even better sensor.
I love the GF1 and GX1 form factor too, but honestly the G- and GH-series bodies are way more versatile.
Birds generally are not moving - but I do need fast focus.
I'm unsure of your use of "speed" in this context.
I need good light gathering as I sometimes shoot in low light ( rain forest ) and good AF as I'm pissed at the really awful function on the current smaller Pannie.
In the case of the smaller one - it seems to focus fine in video mode but flat out sucks on foreground objects
Lost not a few photo ops due to that hunting about and subsequent blurred main object.
there is also a 4 month old Panasonic gf3 at $350 available.
The conclusion here is interesting on the review as a step up from what I have
Of course rumors of the release of a GF-series camera always raise the hopes of GF1 users for an enthusiast-targeted rangefinder-styled successor. At even a cursory glance it is evident that the GF3 is not that camera; instead its features, design and price place it squarely in the sights of those looking to upgrade from a compact camera. The GF3 offers these users significantly higher image quality, access to advanced shooting options and a selection of high quality lenses, all in a package sized to be welcoming rather than intimidating.
The design and layout of the GF3 more closely resembles that of a compact camera than any other G-series model. As such, it is a very simple camera to operate. Basic exposure settings can be easily accessed and the customizable Q.Menu greatly reduces the need to hunt through menu trees. The camera's touchscreen interface features intuitive onscreen buttons that offer a fast, efficient way of operating the camera.
Selling last bit of my micro four thirds professional lens, I have a panasonic 100-300mm lumix telephoto lens. This is the best long zoom lens made for m4/3 system. Provides 200-600mm equivalent reach, perfect for any outdoor adventures. This lens is much more suited for wildlife and birds than the panasonic 45-200mm.
It is brand new, including box, hood, pouch (all original content). I bought this awhile ago, but I just upgraded to ASP-C
is this the level of lens I need???
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Last edited by MacDoc; Apr 21st, 2012 at 12:23 AM.
You don't *need* that level of lens, but it will help.
But I wouldn't put that lens on one of the tiny bodies. Yes it will work, but it will be tough to compose and shoot comfortably unless you use a tripod.
Between the G2 and GF3, IMHO you would be slightly better off with the G2. Same sensor and better ergonomics, features and controls -- at the cost of slower AF and overall responsiveness (shot-to-shot time etc.).
IMHO your best bang-for-buck basic birding kit in this system would be the G3 + 45-200. Better AF and general responsiveness, and the newer sensor will give you more room to boost ISO, which is the crucial variable for successfully shooting handheld with a long, slow zoom in anything less than sunlight.
You know it's about light gathering... there are no bright zooms yet and they will be expensive when they arrive, so the best thing you can do for yourself right now is to go for a camera with a relatively new sensor.