Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Birding Camera Recommendations

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 19:45   #1
HLG
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1
Birding Camera Recommendations

I'm new to birding and am looking for a budget digital camera. My current camera Panasonic ZS50 is on a tripod in my home that is about 40 feet away from the feeders in my backyard and am looking for recommendations on budget cameras that will be capable of full zoom to photograph without blurring of losing sharpness. Thanks for any help.
HLG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 11th July 2019, 21:39   #2
KC Foggin
Super Moderator
BF Supporter 2019
 
KC Foggin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Myrtle Beach SC "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places"
Posts: 255,965
Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like

I'm gonna move your thread to the camera section of the Forum and I'll subscribe you to the thread so you'll get notices when someone posts a suggestion
__________________
KC a/k/a common KC

Karma - What you send out
Comes right back at ya
KC Foggin is online now  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Friday 12th July 2019, 17:00   #3
marcsantacurz
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 626
Quote:
Originally Posted by HLG View Post
I'm new to birding and am looking for a budget digital camera. My current camera Panasonic ZS50 is on a tripod in my home that is about 40 feet away from the feeders in my backyard and am looking for recommendations on budget cameras that will be capable of full zoom to photograph without blurring of losing sharpness. Thanks for any help.
A 500mm lens will have about a 4* angle of view, horizontal, on full frame. At 40', that is about 2 x 40 x tan(4*/2) = 2.8' wide field of view. A 1000mm equivalent lens would be about 1.4' wide. 2000mm is about 0.7' wide. So, I imagine you want something in the range 1500mm - 2000mm (1' - 0.7' wide field of view at 40'). [EDIT: I was off on the trig calculation in the original post, this edit is correct.]

Here is another way to figure it out. Your ZS50 is 700mm equivalent. Take it off the tripod and walk it towards the bird feeder until you get the framing you want. Measure that distance to the bird feeder. Then multiply by the ratio (old : new). For example, if you walk to 15', you need 40/15 = 2.6x crop, so 700mm * 2.6 = 1,820mm equivalent zoom.

Those numbers are all ballpark-ish, as each camera/lens will have its own particular field of view. There's also some small-angle approximations happening (I did everything as linear scaling). But it should be good enough to estimate what you need.

Does that sound about right, you want about a 2x - 3x crop from what you have right now? If you take a current photo at 700mm and crop it 1/2 horizontal and vertical, that's a 2x crop, or crop it down to 1/3 of the horizontal and vertical for a 3x crop.

I think the Nikon P900 would be the budget thing going out to 2000mm. New, they are just under $500, but you can likely get a good used one in the $250 - $300 range. I think the P900 or the older Canon SX60 (1365mm for $150-$250 used) would be the ticket. You can find deals on them used or refurbished.

Some other options, all new prices: The Panasonic FZ80 (1200mm, $300), Canon SX70 (1365mm, $545), Sony DSC-HX400V (1200mm, $448). I think the 1200mm will be on the short size, but you can do a size estimate above.

Be sure to not use "digital zoom", which is basically just cropping the photo smaller than the sensor. Also, keep your window clean! Another trick is to put the end of the lens right up against the glass, maybe with a little black electrical tape around the edge to cushion it. This really reduces the internal reflections of stray light. Another option instead of electrical tape is a $6 rubber hood, like this one for the P900 (67mm filter threads): .

Usually, I would want to try them to see how the EVF viewfinder works, as I think that is very important with super zooms. But for your use on a tripod, I think LCD focusing would be fine, so the EVF quality probably is not such an issue.
__________________
https://tear.com

Last edited by marcsantacurz : Saturday 13th July 2019 at 02:26.
marcsantacurz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Camera traps: recommendations please Swissboy Trail Cams - Camera Traps - CCTV Systems 0 Monday 17th March 2014 19:43
Camera Recommendations thunda600 Tips For New Birders 13 Saturday 23rd June 2012 11:54
Camera recommendations, please. wilder Digiscoping cameras 2 Thursday 24th November 2011 08:43
Camera recommendations Yippeekiay Digiscoping cameras 6 Friday 9th October 2009 23:44
Camera backpack recommendations dogfish Cameras And Photography 2 Thursday 3rd July 2008 15:55

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.22631693 seconds with 15 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 19:42.