Frankly I'm surprised I lasted this long, with just about every birder I know moving to a DSLR set up and producing the most amazing photography.
The final straw came when the prices of some entry-level DSLRs began to fall below the level I originally paid for my first pocket camera or my current Panasonic superzoom!
So I cracked, and took the plunge with a Pentax K100d, a kit lens and a Tamron 70-300mm lens virtually thrown in. And it is amazing - fast, flexible, sharp and really easy to use after my long apprenticeship with the Panasonic.
I haven't really bought it for birding - I may well carry on using the Panasonic for that, with it's longer lens reach, light weight, compact size and lower value! If I do start birding with the Pentax then sadly I'll need a lens which costs nearly twice as much as the camera itself did, but really I bought it to meet my growing interest in photography in all its varied forms, whether it be portraits, landscapes, macros, street shots or anything else I can turn my hand to.
So having said all of that, where did I take it first? Draycote Reservoir of course! So here are a couple of photos, presented with the following riders. First, the lens is in no way a good lens for bird photography - too short, a bit too soft, and just too cheap (why does life seem to always work like that?!). Second, I've had the camera all of 48 hours and will only get better with it. And third, it was early evening and the light was OK, but not great.
So that's enough of the excuses. The first two shots (a Common Tern and a Black-headed Gull)show what a DSLR can do that a superzoom can't - flight shots. I think I achieved one usable flight shot in two years with the FZ20 - these were taken with no preparation or planning, just raise the camera and shoot. The third is my best bird of the evening, one of two juvenile Wheatears.