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Well not so good as I originally thought. I am having problems with close-ups of birds.

Recently I have spent a couple of afternoons in the Forest of Dean at the Nags Head RSPB reserve. I have been trying to get some decent shots of Pied Flycatchers and they are mediocre.

It could be my fault, and I would appreciate suggestions. I have tried with the Lumix Automatic settings (for idiots) and I have also tried with shutter priority so that I could use speeds of around 400th second to eliminate movement by the birds or me, I have also tried with the camera on a tripod and with it jammed up against something solid.

Here are some of the results, first of all a Mandarin duck which I photographed at about X40 and it was about 10M away from me. At first sight it looks OK but then I cropped it and it starts to look a bit ‘soft’ and then if you get in much closer, you can see that it is not as sharp as it could be.Nags Head7

Now we have the cropped photo. This is still acceptable?Nags Head8

And now we zoom in and it lacks definition.Nags Head9

May be I am being a bit picky here but now have a look at the  photos of the Pied Flycatcher.Nags Head10

This is what most of my photos looked like, it was taken at X60, or 1200mm and the distance was about 20M away, in good light. Here are two photos, the first is the original and the second is the same photo but cropped by about 50%.Nags Head2

Hmm its OK, a bit dark but that is not the problem its how sharp it is. Here is the same photo cropped.Nags Head3

Well that is not so good now here are another pair, first the original.Nags Head4

As is often the case the twigs are obscuring the bird somewhat. but here is the cropped version where it looks quite fuzzy.Nags Head5

So these were the best I achieved and many more have been deleted so I am not over impressed. They were at X60 so possibly at the optical limit the camera is just not so good.

Finally to finish off here are two other photos one is a close up of a flower (Bugle) which I think is quite good.Nags Head1

Finally a general landscape shot (entrance to Nags Head reserve) which again is, I also think quite good.Nags Head6

So all in all its a good camera for the price but at max optical zoom it struggles.   Over to you for your comments.