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Testing the New Camera

Tuesday April 1, 2014
St. George Island State Park
Eastpoint, Florida



My new camera came while we were out enjoying the pitcher plants on Monday so today I walk down to the Gulf for a little R&R and to test it out. 

I’m giving a test run to the Canon SX50.  Due to my budget, it was a choice between it and the Nikon 3200 with a 55-200 lens.   The canon won the first pass because I don’t want to carry either two lenses or two cameras.  The zoom on this is advertised as the world’s first 50X zoom (24-1200mm).  That’s hard to believe but if it works and there aren’t any other deal breakers, I’ll only have to carry one camera

I stop first at the ponds to see what sort of pictures I can get of the ducks on the other side.  This little grebe is out in the middle of this pond.  Definitely not bad.  All of my test pictures are un retouched.  They were also taken in bright sun, in the middle of the day on automatic setting.









I am particularly impressed with what the camera can do in the reeds at the far end of the pond where it is able to focus on this little green heron and even get the wing markings.




Across the road at this pond, on the far side is this little bufflehead.






I walk on down to the gulf shore. 

Nobody else in sight.  Just the way I like it.




Well the laughing gulls are here and making a racket off and on.








Ok that’s enough Arty, it’s time to go home.


Not a cloud in the sky but the wind is ruffling the pages of my book and it’s cool enough that I put on my sweatshirt.    These folks come out in bikini and swim trunks and lay in the sun.   Are they from the Yukon??   It’s 68 degrees and windy






I try some shots of the usual suspects.





I try serious zoom.   First I look down the beach at the public beach area which is about a half mile away.  I’m pretty surprised at how well it does at this distance.







Then I look up the beach to the other public beach area which is about a mile and half away.  Nothing I could use but still amazing that it will focus at all.






Back in the middle, my friend the Great Blue Heron comes to pose.  I guess he wants to be in the blog post.








He flies off so I try some shell shots.   They are more difficult to do with this camera.  The  macro feature will take some investigating.  At first use it isn’t very affective.





Other than the birds, this is the only action shot of the day.




The Great Blue comes back for a wade in the water.  The wind is picking up and it’s time for me to go back.







After the first day with the Canon SX 50 I am very impressed with its zoom.  Not so much with its macro.   I think I’ve lost my ability to do panorama shots with this camera which is a shame since I really enjoyed them.  I’ll also have to figure out how do sunrises and sunsets.  My previous camera had a lot of special settings for sunrise, sunset, fireworks, night shots, beach and tons of other things.  This one does not.   It may be more of a learning curve than I was imagining.  But I’ll have to get busy since I don’t want to keep it for more than a week unless I plan to keep it permanently.

So that’s about it folks.

I’m outta here!





  1. Nice photos.

    I have a Canon PowerShot SX260HS 20X optical zoom. I still haven't figured out the Macro setting. Seems when I switch to macro, the close up object gets blurry. Let me know if you figure anything out. Obviously I'm not getting that setting.

    You have to be real careful when the zoom lens retracts that no dust, dirt or sand retracts in with it. I've had this camera 1-1/2 years and I'm seeing the dust spots if I try to take a photo toward the sun. : (

  2. You got some good shots for your first time out with the new camera., especially the heron and the gulls.

  3. Bill has a Canon SX50 and LOVES it! You made a good choice. I'm so jealous of that great zoom. I look forward to seeing many more great pics!

  4. Great bird shots!!! Looks like a beautiful day at the beach..

  5. Love the feathers on the great blue. I don't understand any of the camera talk, and now I use my iPhone most of the time for photos.

  6. The SX50 is great ... it's my all around camera. You do have to be very, very steady at the high end of the zoom; and it has the shutter lag that is common to all non-SLR cameras, so birds in flight are a challenge. There is a stitch assist feature for panorama shots ... it's in the SCN setting on the top dial. I don't use macro a lot, but make sure you are not zooming when you use macro, as it will cause blurriness.

  7. Looks like you made an excellent choice with your new camera. I do look forward to many wonderful Test shots.

  8. So glad you got the canon. Your first shots look great! I haven't experimented with the macro at all. I use my iPhone for close ups.

  9. Sure looks good to me! I like it.

  10. We had a hard time deciding between the Canon SX50 and the Panasonic Lumix FZ200. We've been very happy with the Lumix but it doesn't have the zoom of the Canon. Graham Houghton does some instructional videos that are very informative. Here is a link for the Canon SX series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYpTaFoE6Fg
    Your photos look great so far!

  11. Looks like a winner. We look forward to lots of pics.

  12. We have a canon sx510, Dave loves it and it was in the right price range we had at the time. Your first pictures look good.

  13. Well, the photos looked great!! It appears that you have found your "Binocular" Camera;o)) Now you will be able to reach out and touch all the widllife;o)) Wish you much enjoyment and did I see that it does videos also?!?!!!!

  14. Wow, the camera takes impressive zoom shots! You did a lovely job of capturing the birds eyes :-)

  15. The Canon SX50 is also my favorite camera, even though I also have the DSLR, I use the SX50 99.9% of the time.

    Your initial pictures are very, very good. The colors are nice and bright and the subjects sharp. Great choice! I sure love mine.

  16. Looks like this camera does a great job. Photos are very clear and sharp even with the zoom. We can see that duck ruffle is little tail feathers in the water. I want to get a another camera before we head west with a better zoom. But I want to be able to carry it in my pocket. I looked your camera on line but couldn't get actual dimensions. Does you camera fit in your pocket?

    1. I couldn't find your email address anywhere on your profile or blog to reply back to you. The SX 50 is like a small SLR. It's nothing that would fit in your pocket. I'm surprised that the online photos don't show that. But I wanted you to know. I'd love to have a pocket camera but they stopped making them with a viewfinder and that's a deal breaker for me. I don't see how anyone can see anything in those LCD screens. It's like shooting in the dark for me.

  17. Sounds and looks like this camera is going to work for you,

  18. Wow. I am in awe of that zoom! I wonder how long it will be before they offer 50x on a smart phone??? :)

  19. These little cameras are quite amazing. I was impressed with the zoomed photos. One thing I really miss on my Canon is a viewfinder. It seems they are harder and harder to find on the small cameras.

  20. Great birdie shots. Looks like you will have great fun with your new toy.

  21. lookin' good. . .lookin' good. . .I'm sure there's just a simple setting to make the macro work perfectly. . .good luck!

  22. I think that little SX50 is on my list now. With Erin's recommendation and your experience, I will be excited to have a camera that I can pack around with ease and save the SLR for high end stuff. My SLR is getting pretty dusty and worn with all the hard use from this last trip.

  23. I'm very impressed with these zoom capabilities. Also wondering about the size and price so will have to Google. All cameras have a learning curve.

  24. I am so glad you got a new camera and are enjoying it so far! I loved the Great Blue Heron. And the Laughing Gulls...Arty! :)

  25. That is an impressive zoom! The birds in the reeds came put beautifully. I think sunrise/sunset will be the real test. It does amaze me people who can act like it's summer when it's not even 70 out with a breeze...some will do a lot for a tan. Nice egret and laughing gulls...that one really is throwing his head back...life is hilarious!

  26. I love this camera too. Don and Lillian Stokes write wonderful bird guides. I attended a lecture they gave at Ding Darling. She told us about some great tips. Check out her review for the camera at this link. You can also email her and she'll send you more tips specifically geared to using the camera for birding.


  27. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you're going to like this camera -- we sure like ours. I'm impressed with your initial photos, especially the great blue heron and the laughing gulls. Can't wait to see more photos!


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