digicams such as this can produce some nice results, but have their
limitations. Images get noisy above ISO100 with results varying between
models, there's so many it's hard to keep up. The other limitation is
autofocus, they really are only any good in bright light and hunt around
quite a bit if the contrast is poor, this in turn leads to shutter lag
during which time your bird may have flown.
They usually allow manual focus but it's ain't easy to use generally.
Long zoom digicams all have electronic viewfinders which while usable
aren't the nicest thing around, often a bit grainy, judging focus can be
an issue, the LCD screen gives a better view, except in bright light.
Speaking of screens, a swivelling LCD is a very handy feature. allowing
you to use a stance other than arms out to frame your shots, will be
helpful in holding it steady at lower shutter speeds, when the light is
low, sweet and warm
My daughter has an S3IS which I have used a bit, it's a nice little
digicam but suffers from the issues noted above. Takes some nice macro
images. Image stabilisation is very important with these long
equivalent focal lengths, you normally can't push the Shutter Speed
except in bright light due to being restricted to ISO 100 or 200 at most
to avoid noise. There are quite a few websites giving reviews on
digital cameras, such dpreview.com . I'm still using film myself,
replacing my big non-digital compatible 500mm f4.5 lens is beyond the
budget right now.
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