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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Newbie just ordered a Canon SX50.... (1 Viewer)

mtar925

Well-known member
I took a bird walk with my local club this morning and realized I'd really like to try bird photography. Not with expectations of magazine-quality shots, but just to share what I'm seeing with family and friends. I got home and did a little reading, to see if a superzoom-type camera could deliver decent results and saw enough fine examples online to believe that it can. I narrowed my choices down to the Canon SX50, Nikon P600, Fuji S1 or Panasonic FZ70. They all have features I liked and things I probably won't like....what made me take the plunge was finding a refurbished SX50 direct from Canon USA with 1 year warranty for $230.

Did I do good?

Below are my thoughts on the various models, based on my quickie research....this review figured heavily in my decision, but it wasn't really written for birders so maybe weights the wrong factors:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/10/25/best-superzoom-2014-8-competitors-2.5-clear-winners
Since the refurb only has a 14 day return period and I might not get to test it thoroughly within that time, I'm still open to suggestions.

SX50 - popular with birders, good image quality, shoots RAW and offers good JPEGs. I want good JPEGs for quick sharing with friends and would like to have RAW to play with, too. Has a quick-zoom feature to help find your subject, which sounds handy.

Nikon P600 - longest zoom and great JPEG quality but no RAW. Not sure how important that is - I am only just starting to play with RAWs in my travel photography. Reportedly long delay when writing images to the SD card, as long as 30 seconds after shooting a burst....how important is that in a birding camera?

Fuji S1 - Great build quality and good optic. But max zoom is only actually ~1100mm. Shoots RAW but JPEGS out of the camera look over-processed and lacking fine detail (like feathers?). Would I see the difference between these JPEGs and, say, the Canon's when just sharing online? If the slightly shorter zoom and JPEG quality aren't really huge issues I like this camera, not least because it's weather resistant - I don't usually plan to go out in the rain but sometimes nature brings her surprises.

Panasonic FZ70 - I am a Panny loyalist, having shot their compact and m43 cameras for years, so had to include one of their models. And the menus on this camera would probably be most familiar - not a small thing for this old dog. But I don't think image quality quite matches the 3 leaders. Should I give it another look? It can be got cheaply, especially as a refurb.

Any thoughts?
 

mtar925

Well-known member
Should I have included the Fuji HS30EXR among my candidates? The one review I'd found by a birder said it was slow-focusing and had a balky zoom action, but now I'm reading comment here by birders who like it.
 

flossiepip

Well-known member
You probably mean the Fuji HS 50, had the HS 30 for a short time and loved it but it had shutter lag that killed it for birds! The canon SX50 is an amazing camera.
 

HantaYo

Well-known member
The SX50 is out dated and showing its age.

Nikon p600 - no raw but the deal breaker is the slow write speed of a photo burst. Nothing is more frustrating than missing a picture because the camera is locked writing photos. Otherwise it would be the go to camera.

The S1 would be my purchase if buying now. I would just make sure to shoot raw with it. Weather resistance is a strong plus.
 

mtar925

Well-known member
I think I would be really frustrated by the slow operation of the P600. The S1 is very interesting but since I have ordered the SX50 I will give it a try. Thanks for your comments!
 

Andrew

wibble wibble
You probably mean the Fuji HS 50, had the HS 30 for a short time and loved it but it had shutter lag that killed it for birds! The canon SX50 is an amazing camera.

How did you feel after moving from the HS30 to the HS50? I ask as I loved the HS10 but the HS30 isn't really making me happy. So, I am considering moving on to the HS50. I use it mostly for extreme macros with the Raynox lens as well as general holiday snaps.
 

flossiepip

Well-known member
Andrew, I already had the canon SX50 and only got the HS30 became it was on an amazing deal, other than macro it fell well short of the Canon when it came to bird shots!
 

Andrew

wibble wibble
Andrew, I already had the canon SX50 and only got the HS30 became it was on an amazing deal, other than macro it fell well short of the Canon when it came to bird shots!

I think I have got myself confused here by all the numbers and letters. I thought you had the Fuji HS50. :-O

Cheers,
Andrew.
 

Keith Dickinson

Well-known member
Opus Editor
I have the HS50 Andrew and find it okay, like the manual capability of it. There's a few pictures in my gallery pages taken with the HS50
 

Andrew

wibble wibble
I have the HS50 Andrew and find it okay, like the manual capability of it. There's a few pictures in my gallery pages taken with the HS50

Thanks Keith, your blog shows some images that illustrate it potential. I have enjoyed both the HS10 and HS30 but feel the need to move on to the HS50 especially when the prices are good now. I also enjoy the manual aspects of it as well as it all round performance. I use the Raynox DCR-250 on it a lot for extreme close ups of insects and am hoping the HS50 might perform better in that respect by giving me a better cropping ability.
 

Keith Dickinson

Well-known member
Opus Editor
Andrew - I started with the HS20 and moved to the HS50 a while ago - paid top dollar for it as it was fresh on the block. I really like what the camera does, there are so many options to play with. If using with full zoom then monopod or some form of support is needed unless you are the Hulk, it is almost impossible to hand hold at full zoom. I've never used the camera for macro stuff although it has a couple of macro settings, taken a couple of flower shots for my wife but nothing in the insect world.
 

Andrew

wibble wibble
Andrew - I started with the HS20 and moved to the HS50 a while ago - paid top dollar for it as it was fresh on the block. I really like what the camera does, there are so many options to play with. If using with full zoom then monopod or some form of support is needed unless you are the Hulk, it is almost impossible to hand hold at full zoom. I've never used the camera for macro stuff although it has a couple of macro settings, taken a couple of flower shots for my wife but nothing in the insect world.

Thanks Keith. I think I shall push on from the HS30 to the HS50.

(Time to let this thread return to the SX50)
 

mtar925

Well-known member
Thanks!

Thanks to all who commented! The SX50 arrived a few days ago in fine shape. Except for the brown cardboard box indicating it's a "refurb," it looks completely new and came with all the original accessories.

I've tried to attach a couple of shots from my very first session walking around with the camera, but run up against birdforum's max attachment size. I have the overall filesize down low enough but the pixel dimensions are too large. No matter as they are mediocre newbie photos - but good enough to encourage future effort. I think the little camera is going to deliver what I hoped for.

Thanks again!

Matt
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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