Bird Watching (UK) - - Part One -

thou­sands of pounds. Com­pact cam­eras are small, light and rel­a­tively cheap, but in terms of abil­ity to keep up with fast-paced ac­tion and giv­ing you the ul­ti­mate in man­ual con­trol they are of­ten lack­ing. Bridge cam­eras are a half­way house be­tween com­pacts and DSLRS, with bet­ter han­dling and per­for­mance than the for­mer, but with­out some of the fea­tures of the lat­ter. Smaller than a DSLR, they of­ten have large op­ti­cal zoom lenses that are equiv­a­lent to a huge bag of lenses for a DSLR and of­fer an ex­cel­lent range for bird photography. DSLRS are the ul­ti­mate in terms of cus­tomis­able per­for­mance and im­age qual­ity. With great aut­o­fo­cus, dy­namic range and low light per­for­mance they are the pro­fes­sion­als’ choice. But you’ll need a host of lenses, too, which can be heavy and bulky. For the best per­for­mance and over­all im­age qual­ity, though, DSLRS are un­sur­passed. When choos­ing a DSLR you’ll be faced with a plethora of mod­els, rang­ing from £300-£5,000. Each have all the ba­sic fea­tures of man­ual con­trol, change­able lenses and so on, but of course with the in­crease in price you will see ad­di­tional ben­e­fits, such as bet­ter weather seal­ing, faster aut­o­fo­cus and sen­sors that of­fer bet­ter ISO per­for­mance for low light im­age pro­duc­tion. A few ad­di­tional ac­ces­sories are worth pick­ing up. Ex­tra bat­ter­ies and mem­ory cards are es­sen­tials, and a tri­pod is some­thing ev­ery pho­tog­ra­pher should in­vest in. A de­cent bag would also be high on my rec­om­mended list. A few to throw into the bag in­clude a see-through shower cap (per­fect rain cover) and a bin bag for keep­ing you out of the wet when sit­ting on the ground! The im­por­tance of ex­po­sure – and what can go wrong – is shown here in the his­togram Us­ing larger aper­tures such as f2.8 we can use very min­i­mal depth of field, ren­der­ing much of the im­age out of fo­cus, draw­ing the viewer to only see our in­tended sub­ject


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