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Field trips 2.0

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Airdale

I've been very happy with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300. Max zoom is 24X but it maintains the maximum f2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. It's allowed me to get a number of photos that would have been missed using my old Canon S20IS with 20X zoom that dropped to f5.6 at maximum telephoto. It is far faster to turn on and focus than even the Canon EOS T3i DSLR that I used to have. Here are a couple of recent elk photos. The first was taken on 11/18/18 of a critter that had been in our back yard when we went out the front door to do a bit of landscaping. He ran across the neighbor's back yard then angled up hill to the county park across the road. Distance is between 230 and 260 yards from my driveway and the photo was handheld at maximum zoom. 

 

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The next shot was on Christmas morning taken from my bedroom window with the elk grazing in the yard at about 80 yards. It was also at maximum zoom with elbows braced on the window sill. ISO was 200 for each photo.

 

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This camera will shoot up to ten frames per second and will shoot 4K video and can also shoot raw files. Cost was $499 and currently down to $399 on Amazon.

 

I'll add a cautionary note; when shooting most any digital camera on a tripod most all manufacturers recommend turning off the anti-shake/auto-stabilization feature. I also always keep a UV filter on, it cuts haze on distant shots but mostly protects the front lens element from damage without the hassle of lens caps.

 

 

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PBeaton

MIB

Have ya seen their P1000 ? 125x optical, 3000mm instead of your 2000mm, also shoots RAW...crazy !

Pat... 

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Belpherion

There are no magic bullets in photography.  It's always a compromise between capability and convenience and budget.  Making the choice between the options can be difficult.  If it is too expensive, you can't buy it.  If it is too cumbersome, you won't carry it.  If you don't carry it, you can't use it.  The rest is lost opportunity.  Charcoal and paper are better than a stick and dirt.  A cell phone is better than charcoal and paper.  A P&S is better than a cell phone and on it goes through every aspect of gear selection.  No matter what you have, learn all the capabilities and practice using them.  It's a learning curve and it can be a pain to learn something that you aren't passionate about doing, but the dividends are worth it.  Numbers and specs are nice to have if you understand what they really mean and how they affect the final capture, but most people have a budget that dictates their choices.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Figure out what you want to achieve, figure out what your budget is, research what is available within that budget that has the capabilities to help you achieve your goal, save up, then buy it.  If you don't already have a camera, then your first camera will be 100% better than what you had.  From that point on, it's a constant learning curve.  The second camera you buy will be better than the first, the third will be better than the second and so on.   

 

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Catmandoo
BFF Donor
4 hours ago, Airdale said:

I've been very happy with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300. Max zoom is 24X but it maintains the maximum f2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. It's allowed me to get a number of photos that would have been missed using my old Canon S20IS with 20X zoom that dropped to f5.6 at maximum telephoto. It is far faster to turn on and focus than even the Canon EOS T3i DSLR that I used to have. Here are a couple of recent elk photos. The first was taken on 11/18/18 of a critter that had been in our back yard when we went out the front door to do a bit of landscaping. He ran across the neighbor's back yard then angled up hill to the county park across the road. Distance is between 230 and 260 yards from my driveway and the photo was handheld at maximum zoom. 

 

Very few people have elk in their backyard. Do you put out mineral licks?

That camera looks interesting. The sensor is small, about 6.16mm X 4.62mm. The crop factor is 5.62. The lens is 4.44mm-----106.7mm. Calculating to a 35mm equivalent lens it becomes  25mm---600mm.  Does the EXIF metadata show focal length and aperture value?

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Bigjeepman

Nice elk pictures, we don’t have elk, but we have Whitetail deer.  I could take pictures daily.  

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MIB
9 hours ago, PBeaton said:

MIB

Have ya seen their P1000 ? 125x optical, 3000mm instead of your 2000mm, also shoots RAW...crazy !

Pat... 

 

I hadn't.  Wow, that's a beast.   

 

 

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Airdale
10 hours ago, Catmandoo said:

Very few people have elk in their backyard. Do you put out mineral licks?

That camera looks interesting. The sensor is small, about 6.16mm X 4.62mm. The crop factor is 5.62. The lens is 4.44mm-----106.7mm. Calculating to a 35mm equivalent lens it becomes  25mm---600mm.  Does the EXIF metadata show focal length and aperture value?

 

We live at 4,400 feet in the Elkhorn Mountains about five miles SSE of Helena, Montana, where my wife and I grew up, and the mountain range is aptly named. We have two acres and a small creek and a tiny apple tree that looks half dead yet never fails to produce about four dozen small fruit annually. We don't put out any attractants other than an occasional bit of fruit or veggies that have passed their prime. Besides Elk there are lots of white tail and mule deer as well as black bear, lion, bobcat, fox and the normal small critters. Officially no grizzly, wolf or sasquatch though something large and powerful played pat-a-cake on our and our nearest neighbor's house late at night in the summer of '09 before running off fast over broken ground on two legs in the dark (we don't have street lights).

 

The FZ300 does provide full EXIF data. Here's a bit of my photo background. I first became interested in photography in 9th grade, starting with an Argus C-3 that set me back $5 at a second hand store in 1965. Bought my first SLR, a Kowa SE in about '67, built a darkroom in the folk's basement, did Senior portraits for a few friends and had a weekly photo basics column in the school newspaper. Enlisted in the Navy in '69 and picked up a Canon F1 and extra lenses in Singapore. It's been a great hobby ever since, and after getting a Canon S2IS  in '05 I've been hooked on digital. There's a bin in my man cave with an SLR, lenses, a couple of rangefinder and one point and shoot 35mm as well as a couple of flash units, and a case in the office with a Graflex Speed Graphic view/press camera and a couple of 120 roll film backs. Haven't exposed a frame of film in 14 years. In 2010 I went to the Canon S20-IS and in '12 added the T3i though still used the S20 90% of the time. I'm somewhat mobility challenged by arthritis so having the wide zoom range trumps a larger sensor for my purposes. I wanted a new camera before our 40th Anniversary Maui vacation in August of '17 and did a lot of research. I had about settled on the P900 when I came across a review of the Panasonic. The deciding factor was the lens maintaining max aperture throughout the zoom range and the Leica optics (Leica cameras are ridiculously over priced IMHO, but there is no question of their quality). The FZ300 allows me to make good prints up to the the limit of my Canon PIXMA PRO-100 (13 X 19) and has a number of unique features and programmable options. One of my favorites is having dual zoom controls, the usual around the shutter release and another on the left side of the lens base that allows a traditional hold with my left hand under the lens and thumb on the zoom switch while keeping my right index finger on the shutter button. I appreciate the low noise level compared to the DSLR and the lack of viewfinder blackout, especially in burst shooting with wildlife. I may eventually get a mirrorless, but for now this camera fills my needs.

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Catmandoo
BFF Donor

^^^^ Did you keep the F1 and FD lenses?  Still have the flash from the Graflex Speed Graphic so you can make a Star Wars light saber thingy?

You have tons of negatives and slides and therefore memories. I hope that you are printing photo books from your digital media.

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James33
On 1/6/2019 at 2:46 PM, MIB said:

^^^^ That's why I went with the Nikon P900 .. 83x optical magnification.    The stabilization software is pretty decent.   It is a bit bulky but nothing like a DSLR.

 

MIB

Yep - that was the camera (or the newer P1000 model) I was going to recommend to those who don't have the money or want to carry around heavy DSLRs and super-telephoto lenses. It's pretty amazing zoom wise, but no idea how well it'd work in deep shadows or times when there may not be enough light.  Cameras struggle to focus when there isn't enough light and in order to get a proper exposure these type of cameras usually pump up the ISO which introduces a lot of noise with such a small sensor.  Still, I'd say it's about the best compromise for long reach, weight, and for sure, cost.  Now you just need to have bigfoot walk across an open field nice and slow at noon.  ;-)

 

Edited by James33
added camera model

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gigantor

Spent the weekend at Lost River, West Virginia. We got 10" of snow. There is an abandoned farm nearby.

 

 

IMG_20190114_094811003.jpg

 

 

This is the cabin we stayed at.

 

 

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ETA: a few more pics

 

IMG_20190114_093622198_HDR.jpg

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norseman
BFF Donor

I like the chinked cabin!

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Twist

That’s a vacation right there!   I’ll pass all day on beaches or big cities,  give me remote country any day!

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wiiawiwb

Sweet place to stay G. I'd love to live there year round!!

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gigantor
35 minutes ago, wiiawiwb said:

Sweet place to stay G. I'd love to live there year round!! 

 

It was great!  I wouldn't want to be the guy who takes the trash out and brings in the firewood though. I left a good tip...

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MindSquatch

Went back last Friday to the area where I'd came across numerous tracks and a large Sasquatch behind a pine tree which I did a retake photo which shows nothing there this time. I'd discovered where it was standing several feet behind the tree where there is a drop off and why it's legs aren't seen except the upper portion. I estimated it to be at least eight feet tall and about four feet wide at the shoulders. The Sasquatch is looking directly at me. When I was back there on Friday with similar lighting, I didn't come across any tracks this time after the area received some snow. I did hike up that creek which goes quite a ways back in with numerous frozen waterfalls. What I did learn out of this, is that these Bigfoot's stand guard at the entrances of these side canyons that flow into the main creeks or rivers. This is the second Bigfoot I've captured on photo and the other one I'd captured on video back in December 2016, each one is at the entrance of a side canyon with both of them on the right side of the creeks just up above hiding in the trees. Here's the original photos from 12-31-18 and the retake from 01-11-19 , plus a few photos up the side canyon. The 5th photo down is where it was standing hiding it's lower legs. The scratch mark was just a couple of feet away in front of where it was standing, looks to be fresh and interesting. The track is one of many from 12-31-18.

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Edited by MindSquatch
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