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Thread: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

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    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    I have nikon D60 with 18-55mm kit lens and sigma 18-200mm lens.I want to start bird photography.I noticed that resolution of bird pic taken by telephoto end of sigma lens is not good at all.Will it be a better idea to buy canon powershot sx40 hs or equivalent from nikon(nikon p510 bridge)or i will invest in nikon 55-300mm lens.If there is any other option please suggest me.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    Quote Originally Posted by pinakibaidya View Post
    I have nikon D60 with 18-55mm kit lens and sigma 18-200mm lens.I want to start bird photography.I noticed that resolution of bird pic taken by telephoto end of sigma lens is not good at all.Will it be a better idea to buy canon powershot sx40 hs or equivalent from nikon(nikon p510 bridge)or i will invest in nikon 55-300mm lens.If there is any other option please suggest me.
    Hi pinakibaidya, (is that your first name?)

    It is a coincidence you are asking this question, I am thinking along very similar lines.

    However, I already have a lens that goes to 300mm - and it is not long enough!

    My choice would be between the Sigma 150-500mm, which gives an equivalent focal length of 750mm (on both our cameras), or the SX40HS, which goes to an equivalent of 840mm, or the Nikon P510, which goes to an equivalent of 1000mm (both are 24mm at the short end).

    Prices?
    In GB pounds on Amazon.co.uk tonight;
    Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM for Nikon Digital and Film SLR Cameras = 785.58
    Canon PowerShot SX40 HS Digital Camera - Black (12.1MP, Super Wide Angle, 35x Optical Zoom) 2.7 inch Vari-Angle LCD = 317.00
    Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens = 241.65
    Nikon Coolpix P510 (16MP, 42x Optical Zoom, 3 inch Vari-Angle LCD) = 321.99

    That probably answers both our questions, although the SX40HS doesn't shoot RAW, which I'd have liked.

    We have members with both, so there are people that can answer questions if need be.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd May 2012 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Added the Nikon P510

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    I have the Nikon D3100 with the Nikon 55-300mm lens. It will shoot up to 450mm Full Frame Equivalent (FFE) so for shooting birds or other wildlife it is prety decent as it includes Image Stabilization. To get a Nikon quality longer lens is wildly expensive so when I wanted to reach further out I opted to get the Canon SX40HS rather than a longer lens for the Nikon.

    The Canon does not natively shoot RAW but I understand that there are third party add-ons that can provide that capability. At 840mm (FFE) it has twice the reach of the 55-300 and as it is a second camera, I rarely mount the 55-300 any more unless I have the time to make the swap and I'm not trying to get a close up of anything that would require more than 450mm FFE. The IS on the Canon appears to be better than the IS on the Nikon 55-300 but the manual focus on the Canon is time consuming to adjust and difficult to get really accurate.

    I now normally carry both cameras on an Op-tech dual harness and can very quickly switch from the Nikon with the kit 18-55mm (27-82mm FFE) lens and the Canon 24-840 mm (FFE) lens as needed.

    This bird shot was done with the Canon at 727mm FFE Project 52 by Frank Miller, and Gator shot this one was done with the Nikon 55-300mm at 300mm (450mm FFE) NEVER Smile at a Crocodile!.

    Hope this helps!

    I just located one done on the Canon SX40HS at the full 840mm (FFE). This is a hand-held shot so it should give you some idea of the Image Stabilization. Mandarin
    Last edited by FrankMi; 21st May 2012 at 07:10 PM.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    While I am not someone who normally does a lot of bird photography, I've done a bit over the past few months and would agree with Dave; 300mm is simply not long enough. We did a trip to Namibia late last year and ended up shooting a lot of bird shots (in addition to larger animals). I was shooting a Nikon 80-400mm lens and my wife was using the Sigma 150-500mm that Dave mentioned. We were both using Nikon D90 cameras. The Nikon lens would not be a good fit for your camera as it does not have the internal focusing motor, but the Sigma would work for you.

    The superzoom / crossover camera will likely not be a good choice. A combination of shutter lag, slow automatic shutter speeds, mediocre viewfinders (most people shoot using the rear screen) slow lens and tracking issues at the long end of the zoom tend to be typical problems with this class of camera. I suspect you would find it frustrating to shoot birds with this camera. The darn things never sit still, and when they do, they are in trees that totally screw up your focus. The other thing that you will tend to require is exposure over-ride. Shots with a lot of sky in them tend to come out dark the bird itself will be a black blob. I find I have to compensate by 1 or 2 stops to get reasonable detail.

    These are some bird shots using the Sigma I took a couple of days ago.

    canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 21st May 2012 at 07:15 PM.

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    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    Just to stir things up how about the new Nikon P510 - it has a 42x optical zoom giving you 1000mm.

    Been playing with one at work and I have to say its astounding. I'm off for a couple of days but I'll post some pictures when I get back in.

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    pinakibaidya's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    Robin,it will be helpful if you upload a few bird pics.I have also seen Nikon P510 but i think it will be difficult to manage such long a zoom in nhandheld shots.What do you think?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    Thanks for updates, I have amended my post above to include the P510 which I hadn't researched before.
    Almost same price as SX40HS and a bit longer, still no RAW though.

    Being a Nikon DSLR user of 3 years, I'll probably now get the Nikon P510 because my experience with the S100's menus and DPP software is alien to someone so used to the way Nikon do things.

    Cheers,

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    AndyB1975's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    Funny I should read this thread. I have also been thinking exactly the same thing I hadn't even heard of the Nikon P510 until a friend directed me towards the link below on Flickr of a Sparrowhawk. I was quite impressed with the sharpness of the pictures and went to have a look at the EXIF. I then noticed the reference to a Nikon Coolpix P510 and went to check it out thinking it was a P&S.

    I can also say that 300mm is just not enough for Birds. You still need to be very close, even within a few metres you are still cropping.

    I am considering purchasing one as its a hell of a lot cheaper than a 1000mm lens!!

    These pictures may not be at 1000mm but are worth a look to see what it can do (apologies to the Mods if posting an external link is not allowed?)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5049721...n/photostream/

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: canon powershot sx40 hs or nikon 55-300mm for bird photography

    There's a review with sample pictures here; http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...sample_images/. It has several of tricky subjects and blown highlights at 1000mm and they can be viewed full size (4,608px 3,456px). I don't use the site often, so I have no feel for how 'real life based' their reviews are.

    Having looked at a few, and I am well used to 2009 DSLR, 2007 Bridge Cam and 2012 P&S pics at 100%, these look amazingly good. Better than if I had hand processed them, so either someone else has, or it is that good. They are so good I am finding it hard to believe they are just in camera jpg, but with increases in processing power, lens corrections applied on capture, etc. these days, maybe they are.

    I am weakening
    (in my resolve not to purchase anything)

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd May 2012 at 06:51 PM.

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