Can Lumix Shoot Sports and Wildlife?
Found your website and really, really enjoy it. Thank you! Okay so I am a Canon user and my photography has evolved from nature landscapes to more and more sports and wildlife photography. I have a 6D and it works wonderfully for landscape work. Later I purchased the Tamron 150-600mm lens to facilitate sports and wildlife work. I would call the combination adequate. Image quality is excellent, but autofocus and fps is just okay, buffer is sometimes limiting and the lens is BIG. At your typical sports event, there are folks who I suspect think I’m compensating by carrying such a big lens (haha). I’m tempted by the GX8 as a second camera with the Panasonic 100-400mm. That would be quite an investment, but I would sell the Tamron to help defray the cost. Sounds like FPS, buffer, telephoto reach would all in line. I’m wondering if the continuous autofocus would work ok, performance under low light (Northwest here, lots of gray days), and if I would be disappointed by noise under high ISO (I am always shooting at 1/800th of a second or faster). My main alternative I’m considering is to by a used Canon 7D. This option would be much cheaper, and I think solve most my fps and autofocus issues. But since I would still be using the Tamron, it would not do anything to lighten the weight of my bag!
Thanks for listening,
This is a tough call. Unfortunately I have no experience with the Canon 6D, although I do know it’s a full frame sensor. Full frame sensors are always going to give you a better image at higher ISO’s which is typically what you would be shooting at sporting events. The Canon 7D is a different story. Based on my limited experience with the Canon 7D, I feel either the Lumix GX8 or GH4 with the new Leica 100-400mm zoom would compete with the 7D very well. The Lumix Micro Four Thirds sensors are very close— and in some situations better—than many APS-C size sensors which is what the Canon 7D has. AF-C (Continues AF) is superb on the both the GH4 and GX8. That said, I’ve never tried the Canon 7D in fast moving situations. I wished I could be more help but I’m not going to tell you things I’m not knowledgeable about.
In short, the new Lumix MFT cameras have many benefits, but there are a few areas they still need some work. One is high ISO, and although the AF-C is excellent, Nikon’s flagship D4 is still better than any of the Lumix bodies I shoot. Not by much, but it is better. I predict the next upgrade of the pro level Lumix will catch Nikon and Canon and possibly surpass them in AF-C.
Hope this helps. Something you might want to try is renting the Lumix system before you buy. If you do, make sure you read my blog post titled: Birds in Flight Settings for Lumix Cameras and set all the menu items I suggest. These settings are good for all action photography with Lumix bodies.