Wildlife Photography - the Best Panasonic Cameras and Lenses

Our Wildlife Day 2018 event, held at our Burgess Hill store, was a great day showcasing all of the latest kit you need for taking the best wildlife photos. We spoke to Carol from Panasonic to see what kit she would recommend for wildlife photographers.

Bald Eagle, taken on a Panasonic Lumix G9 with 100-400mm Leica lens
Bald Eagle, taken on a Panasonic Lumix G9 with 100-400mm Leica lens 

Wildlife Photography - micro four thirds for portability

Taking great photos of wildlife means that you can find yourself in all sorts of situations and environments, so you cannot always afford to lumber heavy kit around with you. The Panasonic range offers some incredible focal length and aperture combinations in surprisingly small packages.

The micro 4/3 (four thirds) system has a more compact sensor size, which helps reduce size and weight in 2 main ways:
  1. The camera body is physically smaller due to the smaller sensor
  2. 2x sensor crop factor  
As Carol explains in the video below, this means that the lenses are significantly smaller than full-frame systems - so the Panasonic 200mm f/2.8  is actually the 35mm equivalent to a 400mm f/2.8 and weighs just 1245g. For context, the Canon equivalent weighs 2840g and the Nikon 3800g.

There are significant differences in the price too, although in fairness there are good reasons for this. But the point remains - if you want lightweight options for wildlife photography, then the 4/3 system has some clear advantages.

Best Panasonic cameras for wildlife photography

Here are some options to suit all tastes that can be used for wildlife photography:

Panasonic Lumix G Series

The Panasonic Lumix G Series is the micro 4/3 series that was launched in collaboration with Olympus in 2008 (the lens mounts are compatible between brands). The Lumix G9 is the current jewel in the crown (see below) - find out more about the Panasonic Lumix G series.

Panasonic Lumix G9

  • Compact and weatherproof magnesium alloy body
  • 6.5 stops of in-body image stabilisation for stable handheld shooting
  • Up to an incredible 60fps – perfect for wildlife photography and fast moving objects

Bird of prey snapped using the Panasonic Lumix G9
Bird of prey snapped using the Panasonic Lumix G9

New - the Panasonic Lumix S Series

Panasonic announced at Photokina 2018 the arrival of their new S Series, a full-frame mirrorless system.

With a 47MP camera body (the Lumix S1R) and a 24MP body (Lumix S1) announced, they will be using L Mount lenses. This news took the industry by storm, seeing a unique collaboration between Panasonic, Leica and Sigma. The end result will mean a range of lenses available to suit different needs and budgets.

Available from early 2019, you can find some additional information on the S Series here.

Panasonic Fz2000 

  • All in one bridge camera - no extra lenses required
  • 24-480mm f/2.8-4.5 inbuilt zoom lens
  • Fantastic 4K video quality

  • Compact camera with a large zoom 
  • 15x optical zoom with image stabilsation
  • Perfect for holidays and occasions when you want a camera that can fit in your pocket
Park Cameras Blog | Panasonic Lumix | Best Cameras for Wildlife Photos
Some of the Panasonic Lumix family

Best Panasonic lenses for wildlife photography

Panasonic have teamed up with the legendary Leica on these lenses. The micro four thirds system has a 2x magnification factor (equivalent to 35mm focal ranges) due to their unique sensor size.

Panasonic Leica 50-200mm lens

Equivalent to 100-400mm focal range with a bright aperture of f/2.8-4
Clarity of image – famous Leica quality with Nano Surface Coating to reduce flare
Can be used with a 2x adapter and still be used handheld

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm lens  

Equivalent to a 200-800mm lens
Extremely popular with birdwatchers due to its range and aperture, it is also primed for 4k video

We realise it's not always just about the fancy camera equipment (honest!) - we've compiled a blog on 11 essential accessories for wildlife photography - you may be surprised by what you find in there!

Thanks to Carol Hartfree for the images.


Anonymous said...

The PannyLeica 100-400mm lens is a great wildlife and Airshow lens and partners very well with the Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk II. However, the real star for wildlife and birding is pairing the Oly camera with the Oly 300mm F4 Pro lens. It's not far short of a perfect combination

Ashley Luke Laurence said...

We tried the 300mm f/4 and agree it is lovely - the lead image of the bald eagle on our wildlife day blog was taken with that exact combo!

See it here: https://blog.parkcameras.com/2018/04/park-cameras-wildlife-day-2018.html

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