REMEMBER! It is not easy to shoot hand-held at 1200mm (equiv) with any camera. Practice practice practice.
The SX50 is a wonderful naturalist's camera, for obvious reasons, and it is a popular choice among upgraders -- from point and shoots -- downgraders -- from SLRs.
I don't give all details, but I show you the features that you can find in the manual. I did pack a LOT of information into this video, so please use the pause button to try these things out on your own camera.
Here are the talking points in this video:
Carrying case / holster (00:59)
Custom settings dial positions C1 and C2 (1:50)
Set C1 for birds with the following options:
BIRDING SUMMARY: Use continuous shooting, shutter priority with JPEG, zoomed to 1200mm (equiv). Use the frame assist button and be ready to set the +/- EV and shutter speeds.
Use Tv for shutter speed priority (3:20)
Control shutter speed by turning dial (3:40)
Use continuous shooting (without AF) (4:13)
Shoot in JPEG for continuous shooting (4:30)
Use spot light metering / flexi zone auto focus box in middle. Also, how to focus/meter, then compose shot (5:00)
Note about not enough ambient light for a shot (5:35)
+/- EV Exposure compensation. Shooting dark birds on bright backgrounds (5:40)
Setting the right shutter speed for ambient light (6:42)
Setting the maximum ISO (I recommend 800) (7:09)
I quickly display all the other settings for C1 (7:30)
The MOST important feature:
Frame assist will help you find the bird in the frame. (8:20)
About megapixels, sensor size and low light performance (7:52)
Overview of Macro usage, on my C2 setting (9:25)
MACRO SUMMARY: Set the zoom to where it says 10cm, right before hitting 30cm, manual focus all the way out to 10cm, and focus bracketing. Save these to C2 and don't touch them when you take macro shots.
Focusing and composing tips. Keep macro subjects 10cm away to avoid distorted and shaded subject! (10:00)
Using Manual Focus (11:00)
Setting and about Focus Bracketing (11:50)
Setting the zoom correctly pt 2 (12:19)
Example photos (13:30)
Set quick settings feature to RAW / JPEG toggle (13:30)