Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cameras...Joys and Frustrations

Here are a few photographs taken with the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS that I so joyfully received last week.

The shot of the robin was taken through our tinted and none-too-clean patio door glass (unedited).
Black squirrel playing hide and seek with me (unedited).
Zoomed in a little closer on the shy guy (unedited)
Our Forsythia are blooming! (Unedited, except for cropping)
Eagles' Nest. Some zoom used.
A little more zoom shows the wrong end of an adult eagle in the nest.
A small portion of a heron rookery. This one has been brightened a little and cropped.
It was the wrong time of day for photographing the heron rookery. Most nests were occupied, but the lighting and distance made it very difficult to see the occupants. The nests are very far away. My former SX20 wouldn't have been able to show this much detail, even if the sun had been in the right position.
All in all, after only two days of shooting with my new camera, I was highly pleased with the quality of the photographs. But...and this is a big "but" for me...I found the viewfinder to be almost useless. On Sunday, a bald eagle was soaring overhead, well within reach of the SX50's capabilities; but I couldn't find it at all in the viewfinder. Frustrated, I handed the camera to Doug to see if he could do any better, but he had the same problem.
Since I'm a viewfinder kind of gal and since holding the camera against the face is almost a requirement at full zoom in order to reduce camera shake, I knew I'd find that limitation very frustrating in the long run. So, as much as it hurt me to return the camera, that's exactly what I did.
As you know, I'd already sold my SX20 to my friend, Pat. So I had to find another camera. I read reviews and considered different options and decided to play it safe and get another SX20. These are no longer available new, so I went to eBay, where I found what appears to be a gently used one for a decent price. It should be here by the end of the week.
When I told Pat about it, she said she would be glad to trade with me, returning my old camera to me and accepting the one I found on eBay in its place. Bless her heart.
So my SX20 is coming home. It has served me well in the past, and I expect it will continue to serve me well in the future...until Canon comes out with a new model that corrects the viewfinder issue. But, next time, I won't sell my SX20 until I've had time to try out the new one.


  1. oh, i'm so sorry about the viewfinder issue! these were awesome photos! hard to tell what a camera's gonna be like until you can actually hold it and use it.

    and pat's a good soul.

  2. Terrific photos... So sorry about the viewfinder problem... I guess it's too late to ask--but did you contact Canon to find out what else could have been done to fix the situation... Seems like there would have been an answer.....?????

    Well anyhow--glad you got your old camera back. Hope the eBay one works well for your friend...

    SO--things worked out for you!!!


  3. I am so sorry to hear the new camera didn't perform as you had hoped. The first review on Amazon complained about the very same thing. Such a shame. The zoom on this thing sounds amazing. 1200mm? Wow. Too bad. Your friend is very kind to return your original. I enjoyed the shots that you were able to get with the SX50.

  4. I don't know much about photography but to these untrained eyes you have some amazing shots here.

  5. Sorry to hear this.The view finder is not great,but I am sure with some practice you would have figured out how to use it.Either way, as long as you are happy with the camera you have,that's all that matters. Happy shooting.

  6. Theresa - You're very perceptive. Pat IS a good soul!

    Betsy - Many of the reviews of the SX50 mentioned the problem with the viewfinder. I should have listened. :) But it was fun taking these trial pictures with it.

    Gail - The zoom on the SX50 is awesome. Very impressive. Almost enough to make me keep the camera in spite of the viewfinder issue. But not quite. I agree that my friend is very kind to return my old camera. She said she could never stop thinking of it as "my" camera. Now she'll have her own. :)

    Stephen - You're very kind.

    Ruth - It was hard to send it back. But I know that new models will be coming out before long. Maybe there will be one among them for me.

  7. I'm sorry to hear about the problem you had with the viewfinder, but since I'm also a viewfinder shooter I can understand why you returned it. I'm glad you will be getting your old camera back thanks to your wonderful friend.

    1. The SX50 is an awesome camera, George. But I knew the viewfinder issue would spoil it for me. I’m sure Canon will come up with something better on a future model. Meanwhile, my SX20 will get the job done. And, yes, my friend is a good one.

  8. On some viewfinders they have an adjustment to focus, a small wheeel.It is hard to give up an old camera, but when you master the new ones they can make a world of difference.

    1. Steve - The SX50 does have the diopter wheel to adjust the viewfinder to your vision, but even with that it fell short of my SX20’s viewfinder (which also has the diopter). And, with the SX50, it seemed as if the diopter needed continual adjusting with zooming in and out. Apparently the difference is that my SX20 has a “TFT Optical” viewfinder, while the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder. My eye must be better suited to the optical one.

      I don’t know what you’re currently shooting with, but this is an awesome camera. You might get along fine with the viewfinder. Lots of others do.

  9. I was also wondering if it was a diopter issue but according to comments here - your and others, this sure sounds like an issue with the camera. I never use the display to shoot.. always the viewfinder so I know how important it is that it be right.

    Some of the stores around here will rent the newer cameras for a day or two - just so you can get an idea of how you like them before buying one. Reviews are always important to heed.

    Your photos did turn out well but if there's a known issue, that's not going to get better with use, so you made the right decision. Your friend Pat is a gem.

  10. Nice photos and the sharpness of that Forsythia is wonderful, Linda.

    I do try to read reviews on the Internet before I buy an electronic equipment but sometimes they are of no help because there are too many contradictory opinions. When we were buying the tablet for our son I told you about, we chose the tablet which we liked according to its characteristics and whose review was overwhelmingly positive. I guess you're right to say that next time it will be safer to wait with selling the old camera until the new one is tried and accepted.

    1. Thanks for the nice words about the photos, Petra.

      The reviews for the SX50 were nearly all very positive. Even most of the ones who didn't like the viewfinder seemed to appreciate the other qualities of the camera. But I'm pleased to have my old camera back.


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