Camera advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Photography Pad' started by Kana, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Kana

    Kana New Member

    Aug 15, 2019

    I'm hoping someone can help me with the predicament I am in. For starters I'm not massively into photography so I'm not too savvy with photography acronyms and camera specs. I mainly use my camera for bird ID rather than for artistic purposes, especially when I'm abroad as it's easier to have a photo to ID than just a memory.

    Now the issue...

    A few years ago I managed to acquire an old Olympus e400 DSLR, with a Sigma 50-500mm lens, and have had some pretty decent results. The drawbacks being the setup is quite heavy and I'm not the most careful, and now the camera is giving up (blue line through photos & saying card cover open intermittently when its not!).

    After a friends advice, (not into bird photography) today I went and bought a Panasonic FZ1000 bridge camera, took it out this evening and was not too happy with the results, the zoom wasn't sufficient, and had much better results with my old setup. Although it was better not having a massive lens hanging around my neck for hours. So it's going back tomorrow.

    With $500 to spend what's best idea?

    a) Compact/bridge camera with a massive zoom.

    b) Try to find a decent old/second-hand Olympus 4/3 camera (I have read they are no longer manufactured). Also was the E400 a decent spec camera for a 4/3 lens?

    c) Quit photography and stick to bino's and memory.

    d) Buy a new micro 4/3 camera and an adapter thing to take the sigma lens, if that's possible, which I think it might be.

    e) None of the above, but one of your suggestions.

    Any help would be great.

  2. BevG

    BevG If I can't remember it, it didn't happen

    Dec 26, 2015
    A DSLR camera is always going to give a better quality than a point and shoot. Here is what I would do:
    1) Research adapters for the lens you already have. Start with Sigma and see what is available.
    2) Consider the camera options based on the above search. You might be able to get an earlier model number for a whole lot less than the current model number. I know that is true with Nikon. You might also consider getting just the camera body to save money.
    3) Get a cross-body camera strap to save your neck.

    Sorry I don't have any more advice. I don't have experience with the 4/3 cameras or the mirror-less ones.
  3. Tree City

    Tree City Get a stepladder, I'm busy

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hmm. IDK Olympus cameras so I can't speak to that, but my initial thought for you would be mirrorless cameras because they're (1) nice and (2) they're usually more quiet so shouldn't spook the birds. Problem is, they're more than $500.

    Are there any camera stores near you, where you could compare models? I've never bird-watched, so I don't feel comfortable giving you models to try because I could be way off. :backing Or maybe your camera could be fixed? That may be less money and it could give you time to figure out a new setup.
  4. bcgal00

    bcgal00 Feeling lazy with my coffee and book

    Nov 18, 2010
    Nothing beats my DSLR for quality but I am very happy with my fuji mirrorless which I use when I don't want the weight or size of my DSLR. I know Sony has a good one too. Maybe secondhand would get you within your budget price. I would only recommend the newer mirrorless though b/c the newer ones have greatly improved over the earlier models. That with a zoom would probably suffice for your needs. Do you have any friends nearby with mirrorless cameras so you can check them out? Check youtube for people's reviews on cameras too.
  5. navaja77

    navaja77 Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2012
    First off, that Sigma 50-500 is worth keeping so I would find a camera that can fit that lens. It is the most affordable lens you can buy for bird photography as the fixed zoom lens (e.g. 600mm) are alot more expensive. I used to have the Sigma 150-500 lens and miss it alot. But I had to sell it to fund my Nikon DSLR and 70-200 lens which fits my needs better.

    There are many used Olympus DSLR that you can find at Adorama, KEH and B&H. They are reputable companies that sell used cameras.

    You could also buy the mirrorless Olympus cameras. They have adaptors to fit your 4/3 lens onto the micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras.

    I also second the cross body strap for your camera and lens combo. Since the 50-500 is a heavy lens, you could consider buying a monopod to support the weight when you take photos.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  6. Amson

    Amson Yoo-hoo!

    Sep 30, 2010
    I'd agree with navaja77 above. Keep the lens and see if you can find a camera that fits the lens. I do a lot of bird photography and my large lens is my basic lens. I am used to carrying it around but the cross body strap sounds useful. I'll have to check it out too.
  7. bellbird

    bellbird Pollywog

    Oct 10, 2010
    You have great advice but I had to giggle when I read c) - I don't think any of us would ever consider c)
    Nope, not an option!

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