The Boat and the Zoom

The more I use my Nikon Coolpix camera with 36x zoom, the more I learn.  I noticed yesterday that when I zoomed, there was a little bar that slide across the viewer and it wasn’t going all the way across.  So – I zoomed more and it got me even closer.

I tried it out on the river bend where a boat happened to be up against the shore to show the difference.  It is really hard to hold the camera steady at full zoom though.

May 18 Boat
May 18 Boat

This is what I thought was my max zoom.  When looking at the properties of the picture, it says focal length 230 mm, but then just below that it says 35 mm focal length 1296.  I don’t know what those mean, but 230 mm is just slightly more than the Sony’s 210 mm zoom.  The next picture was zoomed in as far as it could go.

May 18 Boat
May 18 Boat

I did not crop these pictures at all – they are only re-sized.  This picture says focal length is 576 mm and the 35 mm focal length is 3240.

I will have to study a bit more on this Nikon.  I remember that with my old Canon, it had 2 steps to zoom also.  The first zoom would stop at the end of the optical zoom and if you continued, you were using digital zoom.  Typically it was not as clear once you got into the digital zoom, so I did not use it and appreciated having it stop like that.  This picture is still pretty good if that is what it is doing here.

I was surprised at how close I got the Western Grebe yesterday and I am thinking that I must have gone the extra bit without realizing it and those pictures turned out fairly good considering that the bird was moving.  Its just a matter of either having a tripod or something else to put the camera on to keep it steady.  There are fence posts along the Red River that I can use.  In Africa, I will be using the car to steady most of my shots, but am also bringing a tripod.

The only critters that Chester and I saw were a pair of ducks – I think they are Mallards, but the movement combined with the distance make it hard to say.  I didn’t have full zoom on these guys and this picture is cropped.  Just for comparison, the numbers on the full picture (not this cropped version) are – focal length 144 mm and 35 mm focal length is 810.

May 18 Ducks
May 18 Ducks

So far on Africa today, we have seen Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, Baboon, Helmeted Guinea Fowl, Black Eagle, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Impala, Duiker and Nyala.  Click here to see all the pictures from May 19th.