Birding - FZ60 or FZ47 or FZ150 ?

Started Nov 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
danielsonkin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,711
Re: Birding - FZ60 or FZ47 or FZ150 ?

I don't consider myself an expert birder by any means, but I do like to photograph birds.  My equipment these days is the FZ50 (with tcon), ZS15 (with clearviewer) and LX5 (with EVF1).  I have taken, what I think, are good bird shots with each.  The camera I use the most, is the FZ.  In fact, if it doesn't rain again next weekend, I am going out on a docent led bird hike at our local bird sanctuary.  I will take the FZ and ZS and probably use both.

Serious birders do use DSLRs with great lenses and tripods.  And when I am around them, I often feel very amateurish with my P&S cameras.  But I do the best I can and I am generally happy with the results.

But you are on a budget so it sounds like you are wondering about those three cameras in particular.  I have handled the 47 and 150; and compared to my FZ50 they are very fast and therefore will help you a lot in capturing birds.  Bird in flight shots are the most difficult, even for people with DSLRs.  But they are possible with these cameras, you just need to learn how to learn how to track moving objects and anticipate their movements.

About 80-85% of the bird shots I take are birds that resting or eating; but unless they are dead, that doesn't mean that they pose for pictures.  Many are fast moving creatures, and so you need to be fast thinking and anticipate their next move.  For example, I took a shot with my LX5 of two gulls changing spots on a pole this week. I just waited for the one to replace the other and I got a very nice shot of one coming in for a landing and the other taking off.

I shot some geese and ducks flying low over the water in Lake Tahoe this summer.  We have been going there for over 30 years and we see them do it all the time.  So I watch out and wait, and usually my patience is rewarded.  What we don't have in these p&s cameras, that DSRL owners have (besides the larger sensors) is the speed of taking multiple shots.  My daughter owns a Canon 50D and I am amazed at how quickly it works.  Sure, we have this burst speed option on our cameras, but it not the same; especially if you are shooting raw.  But we can learn to compensate for technology by using our most complex piece of equipment - the brain.

If you can try out these cameras you will have a much better feel for which one is right for you.  I have to say, that I have been very impressed with the images I've seen with the FZ150 on this forum. It's probably not the ideal camera for birding, but it is very good, and I assume you'll use it for other subject too and be very satisfied with it.

Good luck in your decision.  Let us know what you decide.  And don't forget to come back and post some photos.


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