I sold off my Canon gear earlier this year because I had too much money tied up in it and I was getting tired of lugging that 400mm prime lens around. I went through Spring migration with only my Lumix ZS20 and frankly, I was birding with only field glasses for the most part. But I got to wanting a better rig so I began looking at the super-zoom bridge cameras that everyone offers now. Finally settled on the FZ200. The above grackle was taken hand-held at full zoom (600mm equivalent) @ 1/125 sec. and does not look too bad. The camera has some decent anti-shake and the lens is f2.8 Leica glass. I miss the instant AF on the Canon, but you can’t have everything. The camera itself is super light weight and wide angle is 20mm. Been using “intelligent auto” for regular daylight exposures with happy results. As has been pointed out everywhere, this camera likes to clip highlights.

I got this Solitary Sandpiper (my first!) with the little pocket ZS20 which has some zoom to it, but hard to live with this IQ.

Here’s the FZ200 on close-up:

I did a lot in post on the background, cleaning up distracting things and adding vignette, overall sharpened too.

So I went from $2,300 rig to $400 rig and that will just have to do.

Some evidence of the highlight clipping here, not especially bothersome in this case. This shot came out pretty washy and I pushed a lot of weight into the midtones and shadow end.

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