I'm a keen ornithologist and would like to capture what I see on camera but dont' want the exspense of buying a DSLR and the relevent tele lenses. I have more or less narrowed my search down to - Canon SX30is, Fujifilm HS10 or HS20, Nikon P500 or the Sony HX100V. The reason these cameras were shortlisted was for the optical range of their lenses.
I know I'm not going to get DSLR results from these small sensor cameras but one of them would probably be fine for my own personal use. But which one would best be suited for capturing moving birds..?
I really think that if you want to capture moving birds then SDLR is the only way to go
I have an SX30IS and I can honestly say I was expecting to be disappointed because of the many 'mixed' reviews on IQ, AF @ telephoto and image noise. However, having bitten the bullet (when considering all the camera's you've listed) I am very happy to say my expectations were exceeded. In decent light, and with some clever tinkering with the settings, you can get great shots (and video) at any length with nice, fast focusing and very passable IQ and sharpness. It takes a couple of days to figure out what works best in given situations but for birding, you can't go wrong with this camera; if you are only considering superzooms.
The FZ38 produces slightly better IQ at higher ISO, but the length is nowhere close - especially when you use the intelligent digital zoom on the SX30IS which goes to a whopping 140X! It sacrifices the wide-angle end but the reach and quality is worth the option - for video's too (which again, is of a very decent quality). For me, this beats any of the above in its class, including the soon to come out FZ48, which by all accounts is an FZ38 MkII, and doesn't improve on it's predecessors IQ.
The only camera in this class I was really thinking hard about was the Fujifilm S200EXR. It only has 14.3x optical zoom, no HD video, is rather large and heavy BUT, it has manual focus, RAW mode (SX30IS doesn't), very good ISO performance, is cheaper yet looks like a DSLR (and handles as nicely) but most importantly, has the best IQ of any bridge - by far. There's a trade-off to be had but for me, the zoom and overall decent quality of the SX30IS won me over in the end.
Last edited by ExaltedAsh; 26-07-11 at 05:31 PM.
Which Bridge !
Thanks for the info, I like you did hear about the good the bad and ugly about the Canon. But having looked at pictures that people have posted on Flickr. I think I might take the plunge and go for it.