That's the short version, here's the full question!I'd like to be able to identify wintering/migrant wildfowl/waders that might be 200-500m away. The 20x Kowa TS-502 that I have is great, but doesn't quite cut it at that sort of range.I was on the point of either buying something like the Svbony SV406P ED (£370) or an RSPB Harrier 80mm ED (£499). However, I stumbled upon this article…https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/features/a-guide-to-birding-with-long-lenses… where there are some very experience birders talking about not using bins/scopes *at all* any more, but just bridge/superzoom cameras made by the likes of Nikon, Canon and, particularly, Panasonic Lumix – not for taking pictures, necessarily, but just for, well, birdwatching!The cost comparisin is very favourable: there are lots of perfectly ok looking s/h bridge cameras for sale online at under £200, even new I could get a Lumix FZ330 for under £400.Thoughts? What is it really like peering at distant birds through a camera viewfinder instead of a scope?(For clarity: I'm not particularly interested in actually taking photos, and, yes, I do have a good tripod :)
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
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Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to Clare:
That's interesting Clare but do you not find it hard to scan an area for birds using just a camera as the field of view must be a lot less and in bright light I find it difficult to see the back screen when someone is showing me something, that may be just my eyesight though
I'll echo Whistling Joe's reply, with a bridge camera your biggest issue will be battery life. Yes, you can take spare batteries, I do with my DSLR, and these days, they're not that big or heavy and often will fit in a pocket. BUT: if you do carry spare batteries make sure nothing can touch the contacts, because they can go BANG in a very spectacular and painful way!
I use a small perfectly sized plastic box that I found online for my battery
Clare mentions the bonus of using the LCD screen to show others if there's a conversation around a particular bird of that photo, I do that very often with my DSLR.
I can't say I've ever used my previous bridge cameras as a scope, though I do sometimes use my DSLR as a scope, it doesn't require power to view, and focusing is purely manual, but my preference is to use dedicated optics for a search and to view, then the camera to take the photo.
A lot will depend on your personal preferences and what you really want to do, many birders will use a scope, they are clearer and allow you to view clearer detail, though I don't see many birders using scopes and a camera.
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