I'm considering buying one of compact superzooms, like Canon Powershot SX50 or Fuji X-S1. However, I have doubts if such big zoom are really useful when taking pictures of plants or animals.
On my old camera, Canon Photoshot A530 with 4x zoom, I practically never use maximal zoom. There's no use of it, because with 4x zoom, any vibrations are also magnified that time and getting stable picture even with tripod is problematic. Also, the animals move, the leaves move, and those movements are also magnified. I could't get with it sharp picture of even small-moving animals like ducks or branches on mild wind, when using such zoom.
Of course, newer cameras offer much better shutter speeds, but using the fastest shutters requires really big amount of light coming, and it's harder with big zooms. Also, by zoom over 20x, I suppose the vibrations caused by pressing shutter button, even if camera is mounted on tripod, would be a big issue.
My question is, is such big zoom practically useful when taking shots of living objects, or it's just a feature that won't be very usable?