Sunday 13 October 2013

Canon SX50 HS Test Shots/ Brydon Lagoon

Sunday Oct 13 2013 Brydon Lagoon, Langley B.C.
A number of readers of this blog have asked me to post a few images from the Canon SX50 HS Super Zoom camera. Today I spent an hour at Langley City's Brydon Lagoon to give it a test. All my previous shots had been casual snapshots while using my 'proper' gear.
The following images were shot as jpegs, edited in Lightroom, cropped in Photoshop and that is about all. There is some sharpening but not very much.
Of course, not everyone wants or can drag around huge lenses, tripods and this little camera makes a perfect choice for those people as well as for those on limited budgets.
The camera has an 24mm-1200mm range with built in stabilzer. With care it allows handheld photography at great distances. It wouldn't be my first choice for fast moving subjects like sports but with practice the camera could become a useful extension to your birding experience.
The best method to get the sharpest image possible each time is to gently squeeze the camera with your hands, place one hand underneath the body of the camera, place your elbows to the side of the rib cage, take a breath and squeeze the shutter. This applies to all types of photography not just birds.
Rather than go into all the camera specifications I will include a link to the Canon website at the end of this blog. I paid $399 for mine and they seem to be on sale at the moment which may mean Canon have a new model coming out soon, but of that I'm not certain.

The scene at 24mm. There are three Song sparrows on the fence and in the bushes. They are just specks so I phissed them to come out into the open . From the same position I zoomed to 1200mm and caught this curious songster (below) on the left of the fence.  It can be hard to find the bird if you zoom in too quickly so zoom halfway looking all the time for movement. The camera is being handheld, as the use of a tripod would have slowed down focusing. For birding, a monopod with an inexpensive ball and head tripod head would be my other choice especially on duller days.  For most other applications like scenics and macro I would set the camera to the lowest ISO 100 and use a tripod. For snapshots the imge stabilization works 95% of the time.  For birds I would shoot at 320 ISO.

Song Sparrow. Shutter speed 1/640 at F7.1. ISO or film speed 320. The camera was extended to 1200mm. I managed 5 in focus shots and one shot where the bird was exiting the scene.

A few more shots from my hour long walk

Great Blue Heron Brydon Lagoon
Northern Shoveler (Brydon Lagoon)
Mallard and Reflection. (Brydon Lagoon)
Even though this bird is moving quite fast toward me the camera kept up with 50% of the shots. 
Handheld at 1200mm

White-crowned Sparrow.
Photographed from 75 feet away, this shot shows how much of a camera the SX50 is and that is high praise from a Nikonian.

The caveat is that this camera won't ever displace a DSLR but does an excellent job of capturing almost everything you'll ever come across including birds, one of the most challenging subjects of all. Any comments much appreciated.

Link: Canon SX50 HS

Good Birding

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