Reflex/Hybrid and hiking (macro, landscape) - Panasonic?

Ildan

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Hi folks,

I own a bridge FZ200 but i'm far to best satisfied by the image quality.
I'm looking for a reflex camera but most of the photo I take are in hiking.

What I like is:
Macro
Landscape
A camera that can have some collision with rocks when I have to climb. If it is weather sealed, it would be amazing..

From what I read, a macro lens would work for landscape too (I know It wont be perfect but I don't like to change lens when hiking, too much dust.

Is there a good deal for this or am I dreaming awake ? I wouldn't spend too much for this but I don't want to feel the need to change my camera after a year because I saved 200$..

Thank you :)

Ildan
 

bjornl

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For landscape you want a wide-angle lens.
For macro you want a long (tele) lens.
A camera is weather sealed only when used with a weather sealed lens. Those lenses tend to be more expensive.
A rugged camera body is also more expensive. The ones which can survive regular collisions with rocks is a very short list (very expensive).

The short version is: The larger your sensor, the better your image quality (other factors also come in to play).
Your FZ200 has a very small sensor.

You said you don't want to spend too much, and this rules out DSLRs (reflex) as they run around 500-1500 for the body and then the same for a lens or two.
For example, a Nikon d7500 + 16-80mm lens is $1750. This is not a "professional" camera. Just a very good hobby camera. This is an excellent value because the lens alone is 1100 and the body alone is 1150. It is weather sealed, and the lens is wide enough that you might not always have to bring your wide angle lens (which will cost another 500-1500).

Cheaper would be a Pentax. Only because Pentax weather seals their lower end bodies and some of their cheaper lenses. But you are still probably looking at over 1000.

Olympus makes some smaller bodies (popular with hikers who are unable to unwilling to carry the weight of a larger/better camera.). They have much smaller sensors than the Nikon, but much larger than the fz200. The body only of a weather sealed Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is $800. A quality lens (to match or almost match the nikons) is around $800. A basic lens is $350.00


A single body which is weather sealed and not horrible is the Sony rx10 series. They have a much smaller sensor than the Olympus but remain several times larger than the fz200. They do not have removable lenses. So you can't save up and get the perfect lens for something you love. But they have the best lens of any bridge camera. This will not come close to the DSLR. It is also the only weather sealed bridge camera (means it looks like a DSLR but is not). Cost is 800-1500 depending on how old a model you want.

I own several DSLRs. I was with Canon and I now shoot Nikon. I also own a DSLR like camera from Panasonic (gh3) and a bridge camera I use to make videos during football games (in the rain), a Sony rx10.
 

Ildan

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Thx a lot for the reply. Did not get notification, sorry for the delay.

I read that a macro lens could do good quality landscape photo. I understand it won't be wide angle but it s always possible to take 2 pictures and join them.. I prefer macro to be honest, landscape is great but when you hike, everybody has the same picture more or less ! So if I can take acceptable picture, it woud be fine.

What about the D5300 ? It seems a lot cheaper, lighter and not bad at all.. (ok, it s not sealed...)

thanks for the advices.




 

bjornl

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A macro lens can take nice sharp images. What makes for a good macro lens makes for a poor landscape lens. A macro lens needs to be as long as possible so that you get decent working distance between your subject and the front of the lens. It must be especially sharp and optimized for close focusing. A landscape lens needs to be as wide as possible. It does not need to be particularly sharp or optimized for close focus.
The Nikon d5300 is a consumer level camera. It has excellent image quality. It can use most Nikon lenses. The oldest lenses will be manual focus on this body as it does not have a built in screw drive focus motor (newer lenses don't need this). Even on those older lenses, it will still give you focus confirmation (green square when focus achieved). It has a single control wheel (which I find annoying) and it uses a lower cost viewfinder based on a penta-mirror rather than the d7500's penta-prisim. A penta-mirror is a little darker and not quite as sharp as a penta-prism, but you have to pay close attention to see the difference.
The Panasonic GX8 and GX85 are not hybrids. These are mirrorless cameras Meaning they use a tiny TV screen as the viewfinder. Some like this, some hate this, some don't care. They have a smaller sensor. These will split the difference in image quality between a DSLR and a bigh-end bridge camera (being closer to the DSLR than the bridge camera). They are smaller. Not generally much lighter. Some of their lenses are smaller due to the smaller sensor size. These are m4/3 cameras. They have a decent lens selection (generally good enough for most) but a DSLR system has several times as many lenses to select from. Also these other systems have better lighting, and other bits and pieces too. These are the same size and lens mount as the Olympus cameras I mentioned above.

 

bjornl

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That is a decent m4/3 macro lens. It is not a good landscape lens. The effective focal length of 120mm is not good for landscapes. Stitching like you mentioned before is not as simple as you think. The results are rarely better than awful.
A Macro lens is a special purpose lens, not a general use lens. There are many reasons for this. However I don't like wasting my time, so feel free to come to your own conclusions on it.
 

Ildan

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You are not wasting you time! Thank you for it :)
it's always better to have advices from real people.
Be sure It will be useful for many people wondering the same as I am.
 

bjornl

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Consider just buying any camera body that interests you. Then a quality kit lens. And neither a macro nor wide angle. Instead try for a kit lens which is modestly wide and has at least a little close focus ability.

An image for you to consider:

The whole image is what a full frame camera would capture with a given focal length. The red box is an aps-c. The innermost green box is a m4/3 camera.

Another thing you can derive from the above photo. What would the above scene look like at the equivalent of 24, 35 or 50mm. For APS-C this would take a 13, 20 or 25mm lens. With an APS-C it would take a 10, 15 or 25mm. Or put another way, a 60mm lens on a m4/3 (120mm equiv) would have very buildings in it.

There is a thing called focal length equivalence or crop factor. The full frame has a crop factor of 1 (it is the base). So a 20mm lens looks like a 20mm lens. APS-C has a crop factor of 1.5 (unless it is Canon, as they use slightly smaller sensors). So on a Nikon APS-C body, a 20mm lens looks like a 30mm one (20 x 1.5). Finally on a m4/3 a 20mm lens looks like a 40mm lens.

A landscape lens generally runs in the 15-35 range. Or aps-c 10-24 and m4/3 7-18mm

So a lens like I mentioned above for an APS-C DSLR, this would mean a lens which starts at 16mm. For a m4/3 this would mean a lens which starts 12mm. In the case of m4/3, for the same light gathering you will need at least a full-stop faster lens. The smaller lens lets in less light of course.
When you look at your images you're going to find that actual landscape images with any "pop" are going to be at the extreme wide end of these lenses.

Here is a focal length simulator to give you some idea.
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/simulator/

If you want landscapes to look good, you zoom with your feet and keep the lens wide.

These are expensive, and not recommendations, but just a comparative so you can go find what you want.
Of comparible quality would be a Nikon d7500 and a 16-80mm f/2.8-4 and a Olympus O-MD E-M1 mk2 with a 12-40mm f/2.8. The Nikon would have the edge in image quality by a little bit (better dynamic range, better over all light gathering, better ISO noise) There is a older "starting lens for Nikon, the 16-85 which would make the Nikon and Oly the nearly same image quality. This nikon lens can be had for much less money, especially if you get it used. The lens which matches this one optically is the Panasonic 12-60 f/2.8-4, but that lens is very expensive. So the downgrade lens for m4/3 12-60mm panasonic f/3.5-5.6 (or Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-5.6). Of the m4/3 downgrades the Panasonic is better but the Oly has better close focus.


 

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