One of them was T. Edwards, at the beginning of the first Featured Comment. (And by the way I've added a lot more in the Featured Comments to that post, including a couple of entertaining videos you might not want to miss. One just demonstrates the reach of the earlier P900.) The other, Rick Baumhauer, wrote, "I sold off my big, long lens...for an RX-10 IV—it is, I think, the best birding camera ever created, since the noise performance of the Sony 1" sensor is pretty decent, it's ƒ/4 at 600mm equivalent, and has a fantastic AF system."
Ever since the days of George Lepp's original newsletter, I've been aware that I'm not a telephoto guy—despite being a lens nut in those days, I knew nothing of the lenses he regularly reviewed. (George is still going strong.) Rather comically I thought, I once had a Nikkor 180mm lens to review and I joked that nothing was far enough away to take a picture of with it—even the moon, which filled up too much of the frame with the 180mm. Obviously that was meant to be funny, not literally true. Lots of people do well with long teles, and not only George.
The only true all-purpose camera?
Birding, and bird photography, are subjects I know little about. But what Rick says sounds convincing—given that you have to balance three factors, 1.) telephoto reach, 2.) maximum aperture, and 3.) sensor size/IQ potential, 600mm-e at ƒ/4 on a 1" sensor does sound like a nice, and useful, balance. In the old film days, at least, according to the data of the magazines I worked for, less than 1% of photo enthusiasts owned a lens with a reach of 600mm or more (there was a bump at 500mm because of inexpensive catadioptric lenses).
Is it possible that the Swiss-Army-knife Sony RX10 Mark IV, despite its rather formidably high cost, is the closest we currently come to one all-purpose single camera? I mean, if you can do bird photography with the thing....
A recent test shot taken with the GX8 and the inexpensive Panasonic Lumix 45–150mm.
My paltry attempt at bird photography. Disclaimer: I am not a bird photographer. Typically, I was as much interested in the pattern of the pole and wires and the bird.
Anybody know what kind of birdie this is? I haven't the faintest foggiest clue.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Victor Huang: "That's an osprey. Yes, the RX10 IV is an amazing bird camera. I see plenty of guys welding their giant white Canon lenses for static birds, but for birds in flight, these same fellas would resort to the little Sony."
Pat Coddington: "It's an Osprey, or as they call them in Seattle, a Seahawk."
Wesley Hochachka: "The bird in the photograph is an Osprey, a type of hawk that specializes in eating fish that it catches from near the surface of bodies of water. The population of the species is expanding throughout the Finger Lakes. As a fun factoid, when they're flying, carrying a fish in their talons, Ospreys orient fish so that the fish are facing forward (to cut down on wind resistance?). Shamelessly putting in a plug for my employer, you can find more information about the birds at this URL."
Mike Connealy: "It's an osprey that has just captured a phone pole and is wondering what to do with it."