Backyard Birding with the SX50

Started Dec 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
kenn threed
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Re: Backyard Birding with the SX50
In reply to Spenno, Feb 7, 2013

Spenno wrote:

Thanks for your post Kenn - great photos. I've recently set up feeders in front of our house (we have a stream and trees 30-40 yards out front, and feeders between the house and there (at about 15-20 yards)) and we've already had some interesting visitors. I suppose you'd have to class me as a very novice, very amateur, but very keen and enthusiastic backyard birder!

We've been trying to take some photos from the front window, but our few-years-old Panasonic DMC-FZ38 (18x zoom) just isn't cutting it. It seems to me that the Canon SX50 is a very natural choice as a replacement, assuming you don't want to spend thousands on DSLRs and lenses. The bigger the zoom the better, assuming it still manages to take a decent photo (which your photos suggest it does!), and assuming you don't want to shoot in low light or birds in flight?

Hi Spenno and thanks for your comment,

Sounds like you've got a good start on your backyard birding, and a pretty good understanding about how to proceed. Caring for the birds by offering a welcoming habitat with (natural and/or provided) sources of water, cover, and food, is key to attracting them to within the reach of your lens. But photographing wild birds certainly does require reach.

The SX50 offers the longest focal length currently available in a superzoom, and it can indeed capture excellent images when shot to its strengths. But cameras like your FZ35 can also do quite well in good light (base ISO) and when you can get a bit closer.
Shooting from (preferably not thru) a window at 15-20 yards will be doable with the SX50, but please note that the images in the opening post of this thread were all shot from 20 feet or less.

You can see some SX50 samples taken at 15-20 yards away in this recent post:
Birds in Trees
...and many more in our Birds in Trees Slideshow
And btw, shooting birds in flight while certainly not a "strength" of these small superzoom cameras, is possible with practice and perseverance. You can find some pretty decent samples posted in several of the DPR compact camera forums if you search.  
Here's one from our SX30 taken with 840mm at @30yards away:

Red Tailed Hawk

Hope this is helpful, and happy birding.
Kenn

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Kenn & Temple - Backyard Birders in St.Louis, MO USA
http://kenn3d.smugmug.com
http://kenn3d.wordpress.com [Backyard Birding with Kenn & Temple]

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