I tried the camera immediately I had opened a box and fitted a memory card (the battery came ready charged). I stood outside and photographed the birds on the feeder and on the lawn, tried a few close-ups of flowers (another useful source of cut-aways for travel videos) and downloaded the results into Aperture on my Mac, did the quick fix adjustment and cropped to 16:9 format to simulate what I would get if they were added to a video.
Here are three of the shots:
|Bullfinch with sunflower seed. 1/125, f5.9, 180mm (1000 mm equiv), 400 ASA. Hand-held. Cropped to 2547x1431 pixels|
|Chaffinch. 1/250, f5.9, 180mm (1000 mm equiv), 800 ASA. Hand-held. Cropped to 3022x1698 pixels|
|Feral pigeons. 1/250, f4.9, 98mm (545 mm equiv), 160 ASA. Hand-held. Cropped to 3768x2118 pixels|
Pretty impressive - and just what I needed.
I cannot stress how important it is to have something that is light on long journeys in the tropics, and this certainly fills the bill. Of course, it will not replace by Nikon D700 and it is not meant to but so far it looks ideal for the job I wanted it for.
There was only one problem — my wife did not believe it could have been so cheap and so the Amazon invoice was dangled under her nose. The value is actually amazing. Based on retail price index, the price is the same as I paid in 1956 for a Braun Paxina 29 still camera. That was a 6x6 120 roll-film camera with a not very good f2.9 lens and an eight-speed shutter. That was it — no rangefinder, no meter, just three controls to operate (aperture, speed and focus) plus not forgetting to wind on. Based on the rise in wages compared to prices since then, I would only just been out of the box camera price range. I can forgive the plasticky feel of the P510 at its price.
I have now downloaded the manual and will report further.