I’ve spent a fair amount of time documenting beautiful sunrise and sunsets, but only occasionally have taken time out to capture the moon. Yet with the long lens of the P510, things have changed a bit and it is quite possible to get a clear capture of this celestial marvel even handheld at night. Yet, just as the fully risen sun is somewhat predictable and familiar, so too is the moon, to an extent. Zooming in fully, more details become apparent and significant features emerge on a surface which we habitually see illuminated by the reflected sun. You realise that it is in fact a barren rock, yet one with landmarks that we don’t usually see. Perhaps more beautiful, though, is the various colours of the ‘moon rise’ and her relationship with things closer to home. Welcome to my Moonography.
Note- as with other recent posts, these were all taken with my Nikon P510, which is about as good as it gets in a fixed-lens camera for this. I used manual exposure settings, as otherwise the moon is too bright and often used manual zoom set on infinity.
Posted by Starfires on January 27, 2013
As part of my user report with this remarkable camera, I can share some observations about how it handles for my primary intended use- birding. Firstly, let’s get out of the way that you won’t get the same quality with this camera as with a DSLR, let alone a M4/3 or even Nikon 1 camera. It just isn’t possible, due to the sensor size, even if it is better than such sensors used to be. For serious uses, I’d rather have a DSLR setup. Yet, so often that isn’t possible and even if it were, I currently have no DSLR lens even nearly in this range.
Yet for what it is, it is remarkable. I have been able to get up close and personal with a variety of birds, large and small. I can see them feed, rest, interact, as never before. There is something very inspiring about seeing these creatures, free to fly about, so graceful and beautiful, as if I was right next to them. Leaving aside the photographs for a minute, it can be exhilarating to see them defy gravity in a way we can only do with machines. Even as a spotting scope with added camera features, it is well worth the price of admission. The beautifully hi-res, tilting LCD is a joy to use and whilst the resolution is truly pitiful, just having the EVF helps no end for framing and holding the camera steady.
I have started to capture evocative images that previously would have eluded me. The feeling is of entering an exotic world, one which humans are usually denied entry. To be able to get a reasonably high quality capture (especially at ISO 100, which I try to lock it to) is such a reward. Now follows a few of my captures- see for yourself if they stand out or the quality just isn’t there… something I used to worry about, but no longer consider a deal-breaker. The only thing I would add here, however, is that the AF is no-where near adequate for BIF (birds in flight) photography. It just can’t track the focus fast enough, though it does have a tracking mode that might be useful in some situations. We are talking still birds here, which still (pardon the pun) makes a lot of evocative nature shots possible.
Heron in the Snow
Moody Heron in the Snow
Coming to Land
Chubby Winter Bird
Waiting to Strike
Lunch is served
Posted by Starfires on January 25, 2013
Michael Reichmann on the Canon SX50HS
In this user report of the Canon Sx50HS, Michael gives us an enlightening glance at the uses of an ultrazoom, despite the small sensor. Put simply, it opens up the ability to take photos that otherwise would have been impossible, or at least improbable. The best lens is the one you have with you and do you fancy fitting any other 1,000mm type one in your day bag?
Reading this what got me looking into them, though as more of a Nikon man, I went for their P510, for the sharper results, at the expense of the Canon’s rich features (see my own review earlier for more on that). It’s not the first time he has put me onto a new camera. I previously bought another bridge camera, the Canon G9 based on his recommendations and it was my steady back-up camera and at times short trip camera for some years. Along with it’s adapters, it covered a wide range and in fact was often my ‘long’ lens alongside something wider. My P510 is the ‘replacement’, though due to it’s larger sensor and much more conservative zoom range (35-210mm), the G9 probably has better IQ at the end of the day. But if you don’t get the shot, what good is IQ anyway? I also tend to prefer Nikon’s colours, though that is more of a personal preference, if a very deep and essential one.
I sense Bridge cameras like these are making great strides forwards, for me (like him) to the point where they are already usable and likable, at least alongside other compact system cameras and DSLRs. Please do read his review, as he says it all, with a wealth of experience, better than I ever could.
Posted by Starfires on January 23, 2013