In the low light conditions you are talking about, you should consider a Canon
stills camera with video. If you're flush, the Canon 5D Mark II. I use the
Canon 550D, which is amazing and retails at probably <$1000 now. If you want
close-up, it's a cropped sensor, so it works well with any existing zoom lens
to get medium-distances. If you're talking about birds displaying in the tops
of trees, it might be worth considering using it with something like a
Swarovksi scope and UCA adaptor. This doesn't perform so well in low-light but
is still very good.
Here are a few examples (note, these are quite heavily compressed):
This video of Golden Bowerbird was shot in the bottom of a VERY dark forest.
The conditions were montane forest just post-dawn and it was raining (you can
hear this on the video). It's about the worse conditions possible. An ex BBC
Nat Hist Unit cameraman I know uses the same gear and raves about how good it
is in low light conditions.
This video uses the Swarovski and UCA adaptor. It's at a distance of about 30m
and was in full sunlight.
This video is of Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo and was taken below the canopy. It
was about mid-morning but overcast. So it was just bright enough.
There's more information about the digiscoping setup here:
Hope this helps and good luck. Let us know what the results are.
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> Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 08:53:33 +0100
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Using video recorders for birds
> Hi Birding-Aussers,
> Just wanted to see if anyone out there can offer any thoughts.
> We are planning a visit to PNG in the future and felt that in order to
> properly record the activities of all those Birds of Paradise which we would
> hopefully see, then some kind of moving image would be more effective than
> Peter, my other half, is quite taken with the idea. He is an experienced bird
> photographer but has never dabbled with "movies" before. It seems that modern
> camcorders (e.g. Panasonic TM900) have really decent zooms and can produce
> good quality material in low light - both essential conditions of bird
> Have any of you tried it?? Was it successful?? Any tip and hints??
> Rosemary Royle, Wales, UK
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