Canon SX50HS v Nikon P510 v Sony DSC-HX200v

To: "'ELIZABETH SHAW'" <>, "'Bob Dawson'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: Canon SX50HS v Nikon P510 v Sony DSC-HX200v
From: "David A. Theriaque" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2013 14:22:42 -0400
Thanks for the excellent post -- looking for a new camera and your insights
are a great help!!


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 8:36 AM
To: Bob Dawson; Birding Aus
Subject: Canon SX50HS v Nikon P510 v Sony DSC-HX200v

Hi Bob and all other birding related photographers. As I teach photography, 
mainly to birders, I'm quite often asked what to buy.

Whilst I'm not familiar with the cameras you mention, I'll hopefully make 
the choice a bit easier if you are serious about a super zoom camera.

As they are trying to cover huge zoom ranges something has to be 
compromised, or else DSLR's and big heavy hugely expensive lenses would be 
on the scrapheap instantly.

So what's the compromise? Usually auto focus performance (usually very 
sluggish and they tend to hunt around a bit) and their ability to work at 
high quality at either end of the focal range, IE. full wide or full 
telephoto. Also check the frame rate FPS Frames Per Second, usually way 
behind their bigger brothers.

Don't ever use the digital zoom on these cameras either if you want a good 
image, as it pixilates very quickly and so diminishes quality. Much better 
to crop the image afterwards if you want it bigger/closer!

As for what brand to buy IE. the Nikon/Canon dilemma, well it's Holdens & 
Fords, they each have their place in the market, but in my experience the 
Canon gear is tougher and will take knocks that will leave others dead.

Now more megapixels doesn't always equate to a better image. The most 
important factor is the output file size, the bigger the output file size 
the better the quality normally for a given amount of megapixels. So work 
out the ratio of megapixels to kb's. This will give a good idea of image 

But the only real test is to take them in hand shoot a few frames and do 
some trial prints. Now here is where buying from a store rather than on the 
internet comes into its own. Go to a shop that stocks all your desired 
choices, take them outside, yes they will let you do this, if they don't 
keep trying until you find one that will (but most serious camera shops will

bend over backwards to get your business), check the focus performance and 
the zoom capabilities on a given subject at a fixed point and then pay for 
some prints (although a good store will oblige you with a few freebies). Let

this determine your purchase rather than gobbledegook performance figures 
and endless acronyms. If you like the way it handles and performs, and fits 
your budget and more importantly has ergonomics that suit you, buy it.

One last thing, if you wear glasses make sure it has a dioptre adjustment to

allow for the strength of your prescription glasses, most important.

But if you are really serious about birding photography, go for a DSLR and a

prime lens for the ultimate sharpness. My pick and what I use, even though I

have a Canon EOS 5D mkiii, is Canons EOS 7D, at 8 frames per second it's 
pretty hard to beat at the price point, very reliable and tough as nails, 
mines been dropped heaps of times. Combine this with a Canon EF 300mm f4L 
lens and you've got a quality combo, need more reach add an extender either 
a 1.4X or a 2X, remember though with the 1.4X converter you have centre 
point focusing only and with the 2X manual focus only.

Hope this helps Bob, any more Questions drop me a line at 
 , Happy Birding from Happy Snappin' Darren J 
Callesen (Elizabeth Shaw's partner in Birding & Photography, life and LOL 

PS no matter what you buy, invest in some lesson to ensure you get the best 
out of your camera, I usually recommend 10% of the purchase price as a 
starting point!

-----Original Message----- 
From: Bob Dawson
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 12:47 AM
To: birding-aus
Subject: Canon SX50HS v Nikon P510 v Sony DSC-HX200v

Hi All

I am buying a camera, mainly for birding and have settled on these three 
which seem to fit the bill and are all around the same price. I have gone 
through the B-A archives and read all the comments on them but I am still 
not sure what to get and would like to ask some specific questions of those 
of you out there with experience on these cameras and/or subjects. I hope 
some of you will send me some comments that can help me decide. (Are there 
others I should consider? I have also considered and discarded Panasonic 
DMC-FZ200, Olympus SP-820UZ, Fuji HS50EXR)

In regards optical zoom and megapixels, the Canon has the highest zoom at 
50x and the lowest megapixels at 12.1, the Sony is the other way around. 30x

zoom and 18.2 megapixels. The Nikon is in between both with 42x and 16mp.

Is it better to go for the higher zoom (Canon), or higher megapixels (Sony),

or take the middle road with the Nikon? Am I right in thinking that the 
higher megapixels will mean that I will get a much better quality of pic 
which I can then blow up with less picture quality loss and so make up for 
the lower zoom? But is this going to give a better result than the higher 
zoom in the first place?

I have read that the Nikon can be difficult to focus at distance. Does 
anyone know whether the Canon and/or the Sony are better at this or have 
problems also?

Thanks in advance for any help given.



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