My experience with exceptional cameras goes back to the Nikon F1 that I started using in 1969 when a college roommate and I headed off to Alaska.
Cameras have come a long way since then and some would argue that smartphone cameras are quickly on the way to replacing cameras.
Then there are those of us who believe the camera in your hand does matter if you are seeking to capture a memorable image. You can bombard me with all the advertisements that you want but you will not convince me that the photographs that we will remember twenty years from now will all come from smartphones. There will be some but there are times when having a real camera matters.
About sixteen months ago, I wrote an article, The Nikon Coolpix P500, My Favorite Beach Camera. In March of 2013, after fourteen months of stellar service, my Nikon Coolpix P500 moved into the status of backup camera.
I made the decision to switch cameras because I was missing a lot of shots. The Nikon Coolpix could not focus fast enough to catch many of the birds that I chase during the winter months. I tried switching to my Nikon D3100 but I could not afford a telephoto lens to match the 36X zoom power of the Coolpix. Even if I could have come up with the money, it would have weighted far too much for the type of hiking that I do.
I came very close to ordering a Nikon Coolpix P520 but after reading several reviews, I chose to go with a Canon SX50 HS. There were a couple of factors but the two most important ones were the speed of focusing and the ability to take raw images. The battery life is also much better with the Canon. On hikes of four to five miles, I often ran out of juice on my Coolpix
While I am still learning some of the features of the Canon, it has been a fairly easy transition. About the only time that I really feel the need for my DSLR is when I want to take ocean wave pictures.
The 50X zoom on the Canon is amazing and I find that the image stabilization is very good. The camera is light weight, turns on quickly, and has enough custom settings to please me. I have not tried the video extensively but I have a video camera which I am more likely to use for video anyway. One feature that I love on the Canon is the silent mode for the camera. While many of the large egrets that I photograph seemed to hear the sound of the shutter in my Nikon Coolpix, the Canon in silent mode goes unnoticed.
The Canon lacks the GPS capability of the Nikon P520 but I have found a very satisfactory substitute through using MyTracks on my Android phone. I am able to import to the GPX file into Lightroom and sync the GPS data with my photos. It is a simple and elegant solution which avoids waiting for a camera to acquire a GPS signal. The GIS data in this album of a hike at the Point on Emerald Isle came from MyTracks on my LG Spectrum photo. The photos are from my Canon Powershot SX50 HS.
Unless I have made a mistake and one of the images from another of my cameras slipped in, I believe all the pictures in this album were taken my Canon SX50 HS. The Canon also does an exceptional job on landscape pictures. I offer up this image of the Edenton, NC waterfront.
If you need a versatile camera that is light weight, quickly focuses, takes great pictures, and has an unbelievable zoom ability, take a close look at the Canon SX50 HS.
I have been a Nikon user for over forty years and this camera is one of the best that I have ever used. I paid only $389 for the camera. It is a fantastic camera for the money.
The camera was well worth the money and I think the shots that I got from it were welcome additions to our recent book, A Week at the Beach- The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide.