Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

Started Oct 18, 2012 | Questions thread
Kokko New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Newbie Question : 1DX +Sigma 50-500mm okay for bird photography?

Some may hate me for what I'm going to say now.

The wife and I have now been birding heavily for the past 12 months - She is using what I call Godzilla, an old Sony H50 with a R1 extender (1.7x ) jammed onto and old H1 shroud. It gives her  640mm but with more light than you would have expected - the extenders munch less light. Because it is such a monster (100mm Diameter) it doesn't vignette too badly (lower than 6x zoom).  She is in trouble in the bush. I have been reasonably happy  with my  Sony HX100V, but I am always difficult to please. Her combination does not have the low light ability that my HX100 delivers. It is old technology.

A month ago I decided to help the wife ( and myself  ) and splashed out on two 60D's and for measure two 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii lenses with two 2x iii extenders. As well as all the extras like 10-16 EF-s and batteries and cards. This gives us  640mm which is 160mm short of the 800mm of the Sony.

On ISO 100 and in good light the Sony gets a better image un-cropped than what the Canon can deliver at a crop to the same size.  This was very disappointing.  The Sony has f/5.6 at 800mm  - getting that in Canon glass is going to cost me a lot more than what i have already spent. What I discovered is that you cannot compare a 800mm to a 640mm and expect the 640mm to come out winning. No matter what the cost or quality.

If you have a reasonable sensor like the HX100V has and the light is reasonable (like all cameras need) the extra legs that the new generation super zooms have make sense if you are chasing small birds at long distances.

The DSLR has nicer focusing (spot), nicer viewfinder, bigger battery capacity,  faster shot to shot but it cannot take a better picture of a small bird far away with a shorter lens.

If you want the same versatility as the bridge camera - macro, sweep panorama, GPS, 800mm/f5.6 down to 28mm/f2.8 it is going to cost you $7000+

If you are going to need two cameras it will cost you twice that.

Heed my words.

 Kokko's gear list:Kokko's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II +8 more
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