Do you want me to let you in on a little secret? You can take great photographs of birds without having to buy a DSLR! You also don’t need to carry a heavy telephoto lens around with you. The best part? It won’t cost you more than $500!
The camera I’m talking about is a superzoom or a bridge camera like the Canon SX50. These cameras are not quite DSLRs, but they are a cut above a regular point and shoot. They also definitely have some advantages that are worth considering.
For anyone getting started with bird photography, I think a superzoom camera is the way to go. They’re also a good option for people on a budget and for times you don’t want to carry the weight of a DSLR and telephoto lens.
I also think superzooms take great pictures. My Canon SX50 performs particularly well in full sunlight and I think some of my shots are comparable with those taken by DSLRs. The zoom is amazing! I take the majority of my pictures at full zoom, which is 50X or the equivalent of 1200mm (most DSLR users shoot bird photos with 400-600mm lenses!).
Using a Superzoom Camera for Bird Photography
If you want to know how to get the best results with a superzoom camera, read my article: Best Canon SX50 Settings for Bird Photography.
How Good are the Photos?
Here are some of the shots I’ve taken with the Canon SX50.
If my pictures don’t sell you, check out these Canon SX50 photographers and I guarantee you will be impressed!:
Where to Buy?
Unfortunately Canon discontinued the SX50, but you can buy refurbished and used ones on Amazon:
Here are other superzoom options worth considering:
1. Canon SX60
Canon now makes a SX60 with an even longer zoom (60x, versus 50x). Some people say it isn’t as good as the SX50, but others believe the longer zoom makes it worth the upgrade.
Click the photograph to follow the link.
Canon SX60 is also available in Canada.
2. Nikon COOLPIX P900
Nikon’s COOLPIX P900 is another interesting option with a whopping 83x zoom!
Nikon COOLPIX P900 is also available in Canada
3. Nikon B700
Nikon’s B700 has 60x zoom and the ability to shoot in RAW format (both the Canon SX50 and 60 also have the option to shoot RAW).
Nikon B700 is also available in Canada
4. Sony RX10 III
One of the complaints about superzoom cameras is they have smaller sensors than DSLRs. Sony’s answer to this is the RX10 III which boasts a 1 inch sensor (not as big as a DSLR’s, but bigger than other superzooms). This is definitely an interesting option to consider for better low light performance and image quality, but it’s going to cost you!
The Sony RX10 III is also available in Canada.
If you choose to purchase items from the links I provided, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This will go towards the cost of maintaining this website, which is greatly appreciated!
Prefer to buy a DSLR? Read my DSLR buying guide.