I love photography and cameras. I have owned a series of compacts since they first started making them and digital SLRs since they became affordable. I have upgraded when much better options became available on the compact side and stopped buying new SLRs on my third with the eos 450. Not an amazing camera in today's terms but small and light. My compact canon s100 takes such good pictures I rarely use the slr unless its for long shots with a cheap 70-300mm zoom for fast focus (red arrows). I'm not into pixel peeping, raw processing and I rarely print a picture but I have longed dreamed of a full frame sensor and a 400mm or 500mm L series prime with extender for photographing kingfishers. Now to the sx50. Sounds too good to be true. 1200mm and the reviews say the picture quality is amazing. There must be a catch. I bought one to try it, not because I needed a camera. I can always sell on eBay and cut my losses if I don't get on with it. Won't be selling this one soon. The zoom is easily useable at 1200mm possibly due to the 4.5 stop image stabilisation built in. Of course it can't compete with its SLR cousins but for the money, this camera is amazing. It's a toy and a half with this much zoom. After finally getting shots I'd always hoped for of kingfishers, I have since enjoyed just playing and using the long reach to view and capture anything when out walking. I saw on the web that this camera is creating a stir amongst astronomy enthusiasts. So I downloaded a night sky app, worked out where Saturn was and snapped away. First results were a little sketchy but you can clearly see saturn and its rings. Needed a tripod for this and will try again when I get another clear night. Incredible! Macro shots can be taken down to 0cm. Not really my thing but I'm sure I will have to experiment here soon. There is a host of functions and modes that are pretty standard on bridge cameras these days but to be honest, you can achieve most of what this camera is capable of in auto mode. I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants a long zoom. Whether its bird photography or anything else. This is pretty much a photographers dream plaything for less than the price of a mid range slr lens. It's capable of seriously good shots. Not professional quality but way beyond anything we could have dreamed of even 5 year ago. I can't wait to see what comes next but for now I'm very happy with this camera.