I'm in the process of making the long trek from Kenya back to San Francisco. With a 5 hour layover in Zurich it seemed like a good time to give my thoughts on using m4/3 gear on safari (where photography was the primary purpose of the trip).
I took about 10,000 exposures. Before you gasp, there are reasons....first it was a 15 day trip and we did game drives every day morning and afternoon. Second as I will go into more detail shooting with very long focal lengths and slowish lenses I took multiple shots for everything to make sure I had choices and to increase the probability of really sharp images.
What I took with me:
G3 x 2
14, 20, 9-18, 14-140, 100-300, Oly 4/3 14-54 f28-3.5
What I used:
I NEVER changed lenses the entire trip!
The GH2 had the 100-300 and the G3 had the 14-54
That was it, two bodies, two lenses and the XZ1 for some random snaps.
Of the 10,000 exposures over 9,000 were made with the GH2 and the 100-300
99% of the shots were handheld. With the extending zoom of the 100-300 using it on a beanbag was problematic. I had an Apex beanbag with the ability to put on a ball head but again there was no comfortable shooting position. I thought I would use touch focus and touch shoot a lot. I didn't use it at all. MUCH better stability bracing my elbows on the roof hatch and using the viewfinder.
I shot a decent number of shots using ETC and getting a small jpeg. This worked out better for distant subjects as I found that I could get good crisp well exposed jpegs that were better than severely cropped raw files.
What I really could have used is about 2 more stops either ISO or lens speed and I could have cut down my shot count and it would have made shooting much easier. As m4/3 develops I would like to see them make a faster 200mm or 300mm prime and a teleconverter. The long lens should have a tripod foot for use on a Wimberly. While this might not strike people as part of a compact system, I do think for wildlife shooters it would be a great setup and isn't a setup made for everyone.
I have a ton more to process and will be making many more blog entries on my site over the coming days and weeks here are a few shots quickly edited on my laptop. More are posted here:
For the birders - we had an amazing guide who is phenomenal with birds. We spotted and shot over 100 varieties, so look for a special bird gallery (from a complete non birder!)