SX50HS at 1800mm handheld

Started Oct 24, 2012 | Discussions
Stephen Ingraham
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SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
Oct 24, 2012

For those asking about the quality of zoom at the long end for birds...well..I have not happened on any cooperative birds yet, but here is a chipmunk which might stand in.

Remember this is with the 1.5x digital tel-converter, so expect some artifacts when viewed 1 to 1.

1.5x DTC for 1800mm equivalent field of view

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

I should have said, I used the framing assist button to kick in optimized IS while framing, then half pressed for focus, and shot...just as it says in the manual.

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Momotarou
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

I have not had much success getting the IS to really help me. Is it better to use with the EVF?

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Momotarou, Oct 24, 2012

Momotarou wrote:

I have not had much success getting the IS to really help me. Is it better to use with the EVF?

I never, ever, use a long zoom setting or the DTCs with the LCD panel. You need the camera against your face to get a stable shot. Think about it. Our eyes are in our head, which means we have A LOT of practice keeping our heads relatively still. It is almost impossible, on the other hand, to keep our hands still. Therefore make the camera a part of your head, not your hands.

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VisionLight
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

For those asking about the quality of zoom at the long end for birds...well..I have not happened on any cooperative birds yet, but here is a chipmunk which might stand in.

Remember this is with the 1.5x digital tel-converter, so expect some artifacts when viewed 1 to 1.

1.5x DTC for 1800mm equivalent field of view

Stephen,

I'm still on the fence regards the SX50. But yours and others' posts here are certainly keeping my interest up. Just as a matter of comparison for those interested, I have a similar image taken with my SX40 with the 2.0x DTC for a similar 1680mm equivalent field of view. Thought it may be helpful to some to include it in your thread, so I hope you don't mind.

Handheld uncropped SX40 2.0x DTC for 1680mm equivalent field of view

I agree with your statement about EVF vs LCD for these long focal lengths. I find looking through the EVF while my spread elbows rest firmly on my chest like a tripod is the easiest position to hold the camera steady. That's actually my preferred shooting position for the vast majority of images at all focal lengths, but very effective at the long end.

Vision

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Condor
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

Nice shot, thanks for sharing,

For those of us that we are asking for full zoom shots, very distant subjects is the need we really want to cover. You know, when that bird or squirrel looks like a baseball on the distance.

About that you used the framing buttons, did you kept the Lock (super IS, to call it some way) button pressed before half pressing the shutter?

Thanks in advance if you could really take some distant wildlife sample handheld (those that you normally have to strongly crop to get your final image, as we birders and wildlife observers always do).

Ed

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Condor, Oct 24, 2012

Condor wrote:

Nice shot, thanks for sharing,

For those of us that we are asking for full zoom shots, very distant subjects is the need we really want to cover. You know, when that bird or squirrel looks like a baseball on the distance.

About that you used the framing buttons, did you kept the Lock (super IS, to call it some way) button pressed before half pressing the shutter?

Thanks in advance if you could really take some distant wildlife sample handheld (those that you normally have to strongly crop to get your final image, as we birders and wildlife observers always do).

Ed

Hi Ed,

I kept the framing assist button down while half pressing the shutter for focus. I am not certain that is the way to do it best. I am still experimenting as the instructions are not really clear.

As to distant wildlife...most of the time I don't even attempt distant wildlife. I know that if there is more than 100-200 feet of air between me and what I am photographing, all bets are off. You might get a reasonable (but not really sharp) image of a moose at greater distances...but the moving air between you and you subject rapidly becomes the limiting factor. It does not matter how long your zoom is, how sharp your lens is, or how many pixels you have. Distance kills quality.

My attraction to the 1200mm zoom on the SX50HS is that it allows me to photograph subjects at 1x that I used to photograph at 1.5x DTC on the 40HS, and at 1.5x for subjects that used to require 2x.

But since you asked, here is a shot at a greater distance. This was closer to 100 yards than 100 feet, and at 1.5x DTC for 1800mm equivalent field of view. The wind was blowing so hard I had to put the chin strap on my Tilly hat. Also this was taken before I knew about the framing assist button.

1.5x DTC from maybe 200 feet.

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to VisionLight, Oct 24, 2012

Thanks for posting the comparison shot...though mine is in full sun which gives an advantage with the small sensors.

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Condor
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

Condor wrote:

Nice shot, thanks for sharing,

For those of us that we are asking for full zoom shots, very distant subjects is the need we really want to cover. You know, when that bird or squirrel looks like a baseball on the distance.

About that you used the framing buttons, did you kept the Lock (super IS, to call it some way) button pressed before half pressing the shutter?

Thanks in advance if you could really take some distant wildlife sample handheld (those that you normally have to strongly crop to get your final image, as we birders and wildlife observers always do).

Ed

Hi Ed,

I kept the framing assist button down while half pressing the shutter for focus. I am not certain that is the way to do it best. I am still experimenting as the instructions are not really clear.

As to distant wildlife...most of the time I don't even attempt distant wildlife. I know that if there is more than 100-200 feet of air between me and what I am photographing, all bets are off. You might get a reasonable (but not really sharp) image of a moose at greater distances...but the moving air between you and you subject rapidly becomes the limiting factor. It does not matter how long your zoom is, how sharp your lens is, or how many pixels you have. Distance kills quality.

My attraction to the 1200mm zoom on the SX50HS is that it allows me to photograph subjects at 1x that I used to photograph at 1.5x DTC on the 40HS, and at 1.5x for subjects that used to require 2x.

But since you asked, here is a shot at a greater distance. This was closer to 100 yards than 100 feet, and at 1.5x DTC for 1800mm equivalent field of view. The wind was blowing so hard I had to put the chin strap on my Tilly hat. Also this was taken before I knew about the framing assist button.

1.5x DTC from maybe 200 feet.

What an excellent example of what I asked for.  Thanks so much.  I know that the purist will get stuck in CA, contrast, etc. etc. ... but for wildlife registering and ID... this camera really works.   We are talking about 60 meters away... Did you use center spot focusing, I mean the smallest centered focus square  the camera allows?

But it provides me details to start ID

By the way, that air distortion problem is partially solved taking photos wiht the first sunlight of the morning (which is better also because the sun gets from one side and not from above), when the air hasn't been heated that much.  Remember that we can clearly see the moon at night, and it is more than 200 feet away.

Ed

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Ken53
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

Nice results Stephen with the TC.

I’m waiting to see your newer blog posts, after some of your exciting travels with the new SX50. (-:

FWIW… My very rough estimate is when in the 30-50 foot range from the subject, the SX50 gives me about a 10 foot advantage over the SX40.  I have no test to prove this, but just a determined series of observations. (-:

Ken

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Monicakm
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 24, 2012

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

Momotarou wrote:

I have not had much success getting the IS to really help me. Is it better to use with the EVF?

I never, ever, use a long zoom setting or the DTCs with the LCD panel. You need the camera against your face to get a stable shot. Think about it. Our eyes are in our head, which means we have A LOT of practice keeping our heads relatively still. It is almost impossible, on the other hand, to keep our hands still. Therefore make the camera a part of your head, not your hands.

Amen!  I could never had a camera without a viewfinder.  Chipmunk looks super!  How large of a print do you think  you could do, with pp, and still have it look good? (I know "good" is relative).

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Monica/Canon S3

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Monicakm, Oct 24, 2012

Monicakm wrote:

Stephen Ingraham wrote:

Momotarou wrote:

I have not had much success getting the IS to really help me. Is it better to use with the EVF?

I never, ever, use a long zoom setting or the DTCs with the LCD panel. You need the camera against your face to get a stable shot. Think about it. Our eyes are in our head, which means we have A LOT of practice keeping our heads relatively still. It is almost impossible, on the other hand, to keep our hands still. Therefore make the camera a part of your head, not your hands.

Amen! I could never had a camera without a viewfinder. Chipmunk looks super! How large of a print do you think you could do, with pp, and still have it look good? (I know "good" is relative).

-- hide signature --

Monica/Canon S3

I have printed 8.5x11 from this kind of a file without it showing much artifact at all. Larger than that would require special treatment. As in some noise reduction, and allegoric up-sizing, then printing. You might squeeze out an 11x14 on a standard 240dpi printer.

Of course at the extreme, I have printed, with the above trickery, from SX40HS files at 1680mm (2x digital tel-converter) to vertical banner size where the print was 5 feet tall. And it looked good.

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FishyPix
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Oct 26, 2012

Hey guys - Im going to really embarrass myself here.... what the heck is a Digital Teleconverter 1.5x ?? Is that an object or a trick of the camera ?

Sorry to ask such an ignorant question.

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Steen Bay
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to FishyPix, Oct 26, 2012

FishyPix wrote:

Hey guys - Im going to really embarrass myself here.... what the heck is a Digital Teleconverter 1.5x ?? Is that an object or a trick of the camera ?

It's the same as Digital Zoom, an in-camera cropping (and upsampling back to 12mp).

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Stephen Ingraham
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Steen Bay, Oct 26, 2012

Steen Bay wrote:

FishyPix wrote:

Hey guys - Im going to really embarrass myself here.... what the heck is a Digital Teleconverter 1.5x ?? Is that an object or a trick of the camera ?

It's the same as Digital Zoom, an in-camera cropping (and upsampling back to 12mp).

It is not quite the same as digital zoom as 1) there is extra image stabilization and additional processing that does not happen with standard digital zoom, and 2) it is available anywhere in the zoom range. I use it at the 24mm end when I am doing macro, to give me the scale of a 36mm macro (24x1.5) and a more comfortable working distance.

You turn it on using the Digital Zoom control, or, I set it as the short cut button (in which case I turn Digital Zoom off in the menus so I don't start shooting at 64x by accident.)

This is a macro using the digital zoom.

24mm macro plus 1.5x digital tel-converter for 36mm macro.

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cdmazoff
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Re: SX50HS at 1800mm handheld
In reply to Stephen Ingraham, Dec 12, 2012

Stephen.. what a great shot.. Thank you.. BTW: what bird is it?

I just got an SX50HS to try out for a month.. I have an SX10IS... I love birding.. but not sitting in a blind.. I'm a casual birder so a long zoom is what I want.. But it's tricky hey?  I just discovered the teleconverter setting and I find it easier not to get lost than using the full zoom..Anyways: I'm glad I found this forum.. I'm too old to press one button, and then half hold another button while the birds are moving and I'm trying to stay still!!!  It takes some getting used to!!

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