18 May 2016

Travelling light


My battered old 100-400 MK1 is so full of dust and also suffering from various other ailments that it has been sent off to the Canon service centre for an insurance quote...........

The 500 f4 is too heavy and too attention drawing to carry around town. So today I walked around near my flat with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS...........hmmmm.............


Only a few common birds, migration has peaked. I did try and get shots of the Oriental Reed Warblers which set up territory along the local river.............



And Red Cheeked Starlings are common in summer too.


I wasn't really sure how to use the camera, finding the bird in the EVF was a bit of a challenge and the AF was a bit hit and miss. I bought the camera a couple of years ago but haven't used it as much as i'd anticipated.

Obviously the IQ on such a camera falls well short of a DSLR but on small web sized images it doesn't look so bad............and of course it is much much lighter to carry around. Still it is miles better than the budget digiscoping rig I used when I started dabbling in bird photography over 10 years ago. Back then I would have been delighted with these images.

Other birds around included Black Faced and Chestnut Eared Bunting, Hawfinch but not much else. Last week the only migrant was a lone Asian Brown Flycatcher.............

10 comments:

  1. Very nice nice pics, Stu. I remember your first pics on birdforum. You've really grown since then, but also cameras have come a long way too.

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    1. Hi Russell, I remember those birdforum days too, I think I got more serious about it when I bought my secondhand 100-400L in late 2007 and since then i've spent so much money on my hobby I've shocked even myself.

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  2. I must admit I wouldn't dream of using a semi-compact camera for birds. But those pictures are really good, especially the starling as it shows lots of contrasting colours to good effect and is very sharp.

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    1. I was only using it out of necessity but the shots are slightly better than 'record shots'. I wouldn't trust it on any fast moving targets or in anything other than excellent light though.

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  3. Now you are getting smart! Don't have to lug around heavy equipment and keep fiddling with lenses. I am sure that the day is not too far off when these "bridge" cameras will rival some of the expensive equipment you guys invest in.

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    1. Not sure about that David but bridge cameras are obviously very useful in some situations and are more than enough for many (most?) folk who aren't as anally retentive about photography as the likes of me.

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    2. It's interesting. We went birding and then had breakfast with friends of our this morning. The woman of the couple is an avid photographer and has a bunch of equipment...camera bodies, lenses....but she has a brand new Canon SX60HS and is enthralled with it. She says that she felt total freedom this morning, not having to lug around heavy equipment and a bag full of lenses. It's the only camera she brought with her this morning. She says she may have a bunch of stuff for sale soon!
      .

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    3. I usually only carry about 1 body/lens but it's a DSLR/500 f4 and it weighs about 6 or 7 times more than the SX50HS. The DSLR/100-400 weighs much less than the 500 f4 of course and is my 'walkabout' choice and the IQ is clearly better than any compact............but again still at a weight cost. The compacts make it much easier to move around and also to carry other stuff (like binoculars or scope, both of which I never carry around these days).

      If you're primarily a birder first and just want a decent record shot of your sighting the compacts are great.

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  4. There always seems to be trade-off between weight and IQ ! The Red/Chestnut-cheeked Starlings are rareish passage migrants here - great birds.

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    1. Thanks John, wish we could get some of your Starling species turning up over here............

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