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Newbie question about Sony HX400 (1 Viewer)

Sancho

Well-known member
I know absolutely nothing about photography, but my son has taken a big interest and recommends I get the Sony HX400 because it has a 50x optical zoom. Do any BF photographers use it for birding?
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
There are multiple options for big zoom bridge cameras from Canon, Panasonic and Nikon as well as Sony.
The pack leader is the Nikon P1000, with a 125x zoom. several others offer 65x.
They all use a small 1/2.3" sensor, so they need plenty of light and good stabilization to give good images.
Here in the US, the Sony is available for about $350 US, about a third the price of the P1000. The earlier P900 with 83x zoom is priced around $525.
Issues to consider are the quality of the stabilization and of the viewfinder and LCD screen, plus the speed of the zoom. It is frustrating to try to get a shot while the camera is gradually waking and getting ready.
Note there are other cameras with bigger 1" sensors such as the Sony RX10 IV, 'only' 25x zoom but a much more robust camera.
Arriving at a choice is a thicket which makes binocular selection seem a kindergarten play. Perhaps best to stay uninvolved and let your son decide for himself. Hopefully it is his money and his learning experience.
 
Last edited:

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I think one additional difference is use of the AF in birding situations. Sometimes that means getting a very small focus area so the bird can be found among a lot of branches where a lot of Auto-settings will choose the nearest branch and be done with it. Unfortunately I know of only two ways to find out if a camera works for that: practical use or asking others which of several cameras work best.

Niels
 

Sancho

Well-known member
Thank you both very much! Yes, I was afraid the choice would become complicated....I deliberately avoided pbhotography for twenty years because I thought an extra hobby would cause me brain overload. I never could have predicted that my son, now 17, would take an interest! Mostly he wants to photograph stars and insects...an odd combination! No doubt he will end up with multiple cameras. He seems to be leaning towards a Panasonic Lumix FZ 2000,_he has been down the rabbit hole of 'research' for some months (unbeknownst to me), and when he talks to me about cameras, he might as well be incanting Sanskrit backwards!;)
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Thank you both very much! Yes, I was afraid the choice would become complicated....I deliberately avoided pbhotography for twenty years because I thought an extra hobby would cause me brain overload. I never could have predicted that my son, now 17, would take an interest! Mostly he wants to photograph stars and insects...an odd combination! No doubt he will end up with multiple cameras. He seems to be leaning towards a Panasonic Lumix FZ 2000,_he has been down the rabbit hole of 'research' for some months (unbeknownst to me), and when he talks to me about cameras, he might as well be incanting Sanskrit backwards!;)

There are lots of reviews of these bridge cameras such as this one:
https://www.ephotozine.com/article/top-15-best-ultra-zoom-bridge-digital-cameras-2020-16928

That should give your son lots of food for thought, although he's probably already seen it.
The FZ2000 is included, as are versions of the Sony RX10, which has a better lens offering a bit more zoom along with 3cm close focus, and is weather sealed, something that may be important. Also more expensive of course.

Insect photography is wonderfully frustrating, they are so beautiful and so damn agile. Oodles of patience is a very helpful trait for this pursuit.
 

Sancho

Well-known member
Sincerest thanks, etudiant. Best wishes to you and yours. Look after yourself in beautiful New York in these challenging times. I'm glad my son can distract himself looking skywards and earthwards, at stars and insects. A lot of the in-between is troubling.
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
Sincerest thanks, etudiant. Best wishes to you and yours. Look after yourself in beautiful New York in these challenging times. I'm glad my son can distract himself looking skywards and earthwards, at stars and insects. A lot of the in-between is troubling.

Sancho, for us retirees, NYC is not that troubling as yet.
We know that us Manhattanites are living on a land based Diamond Princess x 1000 analogue, but so far so good.
The power is on, the water is on, garbage is still collected, the grocery stores and the Central Park are open.
Admittedly, the museums, arts facilities and restaurants are closed, as are the bars, but the liquor stores are still accessible via internet orders, so the essentials are still there.
 

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