Some notes about browsers.
Most newer browser versions are now color managed and display reasonably accurate colors. There is some variation between browsers as well as on different monitors.
There are a few people whose writings and doings have been a regular source of information and help to me in my own writing and doing over the last few years. Here are some of them. Each name is a link to their pages.
Jim 'Bogfoot' Johnson
Slater Museum of Natural History (Dennis Paulson)
Photos and Musings
The SX50 finds it's place in the bag of tools
There are always trade-offs! Using the SX50 is no exception. It has, because of it's small sensor, a lot of depth of field. The photo on the left is of a very small damselfly, about 1.3 inch long. Using the SX50 I was able to get the entire fly in focus, front to back. The photo on the right is 2.5 inch dragonfly and illustrates the problem associated with the larger sensor in a DSLR camera, the shallower depth of focus. While the head and thorax are sharp, the focus becomes blurred towards the tail.
The ideal would be to have a sharp focus on the subject and a blurred background that would not distract. Failing to achieve that, a sharp subject is the primary goal, easier to do with the SX50.
Here are some reasons why:
- The sensor size, as I mentioned. The larger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field. Something to do with physics, I guess.
- The larger the sensor, the larger the camera and necessary lens. Larger is heavier and harder to hold steady.
- Close focus: I'm not sure of the reasons but longer telephoto lenses have longer short focus distances. A standard 600mm lens for a 35mm camera has a minimum focus of around 12 feet. The 300mm ,like mine, has a minimum of 6.6 feet, with or without the 2X extender I use. The SX50 with the lens at full telephoto will focus at 4.2 feet.
- Telephoto length; the SX50 has a max length of 215mm which will put an image on the sensor equivalent to a 1200mm lens on a 35mm sensor. My 300mm lens and 2x extender on my 7D camera body are equivalent to 960mm on a 35mm. So, the SX50 will actually put more subject in the frame at full telephoto than any hand-holdable larger combination.
- ISO, speed, and aperture work together and here is some interesting things about how they did in the two photos above; The SX50 is set to adjust these automatically and used ISO 80, F6.5 aperture and 1/400 sec. speed. The other was set at ISO 400, f5.6 and 1/640 speed. The SX50, then, was essentially faster even though it was in a shadier spot than the other. I don't know why.
The Saga of the Sharp-shinned Hawk and the SX50
First of all, let me add a note about a use for a good point and shoot that I didn't cover in the musing on 1/18/2013. Since having someone break in and steal an expensive camera and lens from my living room, I have kept such equipment locked up when not in use. This makes it hard to get photos of things that are unplanned happenings. Enter the SX50, a camera producing acceptable photos and still inexpensive enough to leave on the window sill. Yesterday, it proved the point, and it's worth.
While sitting in the living room, I heard a large 'BANG!' on the dining room window behind me. I quickly got up and looked out to see a juvenile SSHA spread out on the ground below and the cat cautiously approaching. I opened the window and warned the cat away. (we've been through that before,the cat and I) I hurried outside and, as the wife coaxed the cat into the house, I was able to see the bird was starting to recover. I called to her and she handed the SX50 out the window to me.
I took off the lens cap, turned it on and, having it set to 'P' for point, I took a photo. Then, the hawk not quite having gotten it's bearings yet, I turned the articulated screen up, held the camera at ground level about 4' from it and took several shots. The ones here are the last two before it flew away into the nearby fir trees.
I have reformatted these two into 4/5 from 4/3 but otherwise they are the full frame vertically. If I had been able to use the best equipment there is, I couldn't have a clearer picture to post on the web, nor a clearer print up to the size I can print at home. In addition, while one of my bigger cameras has an articulated screen, the size of the bigger lens/camera combination would not have allowed for the ground level shot in the time I had to work with. A blurred background would be nice, something that is not easily or often obtainable with a point and shoot, but .............
As for the hawk, hopefully he learned something about hunting small birds feeding near dwellings. The cat has learned previously how rude and uncontrollable her servant can get when upset and exercises prudence when she thinks I am near. Otherwise, I try to be obedient to her wishes. The little birds recognized the double threat early and all escaped unscathed.
I have posted the 8 shot series in the Photo Galleries
My first visit to the Palouse country of eastern Washington was in June of 2007. After seeing the area from the elevated viewpoints on Steptoe Butte, I decided to return and build a collection of photos from each month of the year. I did return in July of 2008, September and November of 2009, August of 2010 and October of 2011. Since the November trip in 2009, I have been trying to get the conditions needed for a successful winter trip.
Those conditions would have to include snow on the ground, mostly clear and sunny sky, the road up the side of the butte being passable and driving conditions from my home,300 miles away, to be reasonable. Finally, this last Sunday on January 20, 2013, it all came together. On Saturday I packed the car and left home about 3:00 o'clock the next morning. The mountain pass was clear of snow but the rest of the trip was through fog, sometimes dense and freezing. Fortunately, I encountered no icy spots and arrived in the Palouse country about 8:15 where I drove out of the fog and into the sunrise. I took my first photo of of the day at that spot.
Stopping often to take photos, it took me another hour to reach the base of the butte. There was packed snow on the road at the entrance so I installed the tire chains there and continued to the viewpoint about 1/4 of the way up. The sun was still low enough for some nice shadows and even though I missed the warm sunrise, at temperatures in the teens, I was able to get some interesting photos for my series. My original intent was to return near sundown for the late evening light but the drive down the hill was not one I wished to do after dark.
This photo is of the town of Steptoe, about three crow miles away. Some more photos can be seen in the Winter Palouse Gallery.
Canon SX50-A Keeper
In 2004 I was looking for a light weight camera that would be usable for when I didn't want to have a DSLR setup along. I tried a Canon Powershot G5 with a telescope and without. Didn't work! I believe it was the next year I tried an Olympus C-60Z, it didn't work either. In 2006, I gave up on the telescope and tried a Panasonic DMC-FZ50 superzoom with a teleconverter attachment. It came close but didn't work for me. After that, I just gave up for a while and except for one brief try with a telescope again just carried my big camera and lens wherever I thought I might use them.
Then in 2010 I decided I just didn't want to continue struggling with the large lens and sold it and decided to try a mirrorless setup, the Panasonic GH2. It was a good camera with many positive features but for me it didn't work. It was too large for a small camera and too slow for serious work. So I sold everything and started over with DSLR and lighter weight lens combinations that were new on the market. This has proven to be a very good move and serves the purpose for my serious photography very well.
However I still wanted a light-weight 'casual' camera. I tried a Nikon Coolpix S9100 and it didn't work. Then this last month I read a report about the Canon SX50 that sounded like it had what I needed and the reviewer was one whose judgement has proven good in the past. So, one more time, I took the leap and bought it. IT WORKS!!
I won't bother giving the reasons I have used this photo here but there are several things about it that speak to the ability of this camera. Some more photos can be seen in the SX50 Gallery.