Superzoom Songbird Portraits

We know that many folks prefer bird photos which include their natural surroundings and environments in the composition, and we do love these kinds of shots too of course. But we often can’t resist also shooting extreme closeup portraits of our birds, which let us see their beauty in a way that just can’t be experienced with the unaided eye. Even with the extraordinary focal lengths offered by compact superzoom cameras, they can still focus at significantly shorter distances than DSLR telephoto lenses which have less reach, and the larger depth of field of the superzoom also often allows the whole bird to remain in focus even when shooting at very close range. Of course the image quality of our small cameras is usually better at close range as well, so we have a lot of incentives to shoot this way when we can.

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While we do shoot primarily songbirds and mostly in our own backyard, some may notice that a couple of the subjects in this slideshow are not really songbirds. You can see all of these and a variety of other wildlife at higher resolutions in our Smugmug Galleries:

Full-screen Slideshow

We hope that some of our readers will enjoy these images as much as we do.



2 thoughts on “Superzoom Songbird Portraits

    • Hi Jeffrey,thanks for your comment.

      The soft blurred background effect is a great benefit of long focal length lenses with short minimum focus distances. All our Canon superzoom cameras do this wonderfully well in closeup shots, turning almost any common backyard environment into a variety of quite lovely backdrops for our birds
      Using focal lengths at or near full-zoom and focusing on subjects at short distances results in very shallow DOF (depth of field). We nearly always shoot at the long-end of the lens, and focusing on the birds at less than 25ft nicely blurs both the background and any foreground elements in the frame as well.

      You can find further discussions of this and lots of other tips on Birding with Superzooms here:

      Hope this is helpful,


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