Birding with the Nikon P510 and Canon SX50 – Part 2

In this article we’ll share some overall impressions from our experiences using the Canon SX50 to photograph our birds.

The SX50 HS is the latest in the Canon line of superzooms, and shares many features in common with their previous model SX40 HS. It uses the same 12mp CMOS sensor and Digic 5 processor as its predecessor, but the internal processing routines are somewhat different… adding new scene mode options, adjustable NR, and more flexible ISO controls. It also offers RAW output (the first model in Canon’s superzoom line to do so), and there have been some modifications to the menus, button placements, and body styling.

The most significant change however is a new 24-1200mm zoom lens, which provides the longest reach of any superzoom currently available. This new lens is excellently sharp throughout its range, and incorporates the most effective image stabilization we have ever used. With decent light and good technique it is surprisingly easy to take crisp full-reach shots hand-held. As might be expected, the speed of the lens is reduced at the long end (f6.5), but the IS still allows excellent captures at surprisingly slow shutter speeds. And shooting at 1200mm optical puts more “pixels on the bird”, which allows the capture of significantly better detail on distant shots.

A few other welcomed improvements over the previous Canon models include faster auto-focusing, a slightly larger (magnified) EVF, and a higher-resolution LCD… but it should be noted that the specifications of all these features are still bested in various competitive models from other manufacturers.

As I stated in the previous Part 1 article, we use our cameras almost exclusively for photographing our birds. And of course many will have different preferences and criteria for selecting a camera for their own use. The SX50 HS is allowing us to capture more detail at greater distances than any other camera we’ve tried to-date. For us, that makes it a winner.

You can see lots of sample images in our SX50 Gallery:

And some may also enjoy reading our SX50-related forum posts at:

Digital Photography Review

Photography on the Net

We hope this is helpful, and good shooting all.

Kenn

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