I borrowed my wife’s new Canon SX50 camera Sunday morning and went to Two Rivers Park. I’ve thought for a long time that if someone would come out with a super zoom “prosumer” camera that could store in RAW format instead of JPEG, that could be a great camera. When I learned that Canon had done just that, I talked Angie into selling her older Sony DSLR for this and giving it a try. She wasn’t hard to convince.
Her Alpha 200 was good in it’s day but was about 5 camera generations old now. It was a 10MP APS-C format camera whereas this new Canon is a 12MP micro Two Thirds format camera. If you don’t know the terminology, everything else being the same a larger format chip should create better images than a smaller one because more light falls on it. However, 5 years is a lot of technology change and I figured we would gain a lot more than we lost in simple chip size. I was right.
I have a 400mm zoom on my own Alpha 350. Due to the chip size, that is considered a 600mm equivalent (to the same lens on a full size 35mm chip). The zoom on the SX50 is equivalent to a 1200mm, twice as much. Wow! I’ve been window shopping for a longer zoom for a while but they are too pricey for my bank account. I hoped that this camera would enable me to take those long shots that I can’t now.
Back to the new camera. It is much lighter than the DSLR, especially with the big zoom attached. It auto-focuses really well and better than my A350. The cycle time between shots seems a bit long but I might be able to address that with a faster SD card. The SX50 can’t do a bulb setting like the A350 but I hardly ever do that. It has extreme zoom, support for RAW, image stabilization, good autofocus, and good color. And I’ve barely opened the user guide.
You may soon see my own DSLR on Ebay.
Click on the pictures below and see how well they scale. Oddly enough I really like the starling (you don’t hear that often) I thought he turned out really sharp for a small bird a long way off.