Sunday, September 16, 2012

Second Impressions of my new Canon Powershot SX40 Camera

Kingfisher at College Lake
Click for full sized picture

Yesterday we took our Australian friend for a walk round the College Lake Nature reserve, near Tring, and I took my camera with me for what could be considered a normal day out and the "routine" pictures were all very satisfactory - but didn't need such a powerful camera.

However as we approached Castle Hide we jocularly suggested that Janet should visit the hide as this time she might be lucky and see a kingfisher. Much to our delight there was one fishing about 40 m away and I took a whole series of pictures of it at maximum optical zoom (x33) plus maximum digital zoom (x4) and have then cropped the pictures (equivalent to another x3 zoom).

The only difficulty was that I didn't have a tripod with me so I used the jamb of the hide opening, plus my left hand, to provide a firm base from which to aim the camera. For amateur wild life snapshots, taken for fun, for display on a computer rather than very high definition prints,  these results taken at the extreme zoom are good enough for me, and I am delighted with the result.

Red Kite at College Lake
However I had problems trying to photograph a red kite at College Lake which were due to a combination of extreme inexperience and the limited eye level viewfinder. Even when the bird was flying above the sky line I could not spot it in the view finder as a dot over the top of the trees, when with a good single lens reflex I would have easily been able to do so. (Of course a single lens reflex with a suitable zoom would have been very much heavier and difficult to control). The kite suddenly swept closer, and not having time to decide what to do I shot blind at full optical zoom and consider myself extremely lucky to get this rather blurred shot (full frame shown, resolution reduced with slight image enhancement).

If you don't know College Lake visit Geograph  for some pictures I took earlier on less powerful Powershot models. You may also like to see my first impressions of the SX40 camera.

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