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November 10, 2009

Boring Post About Cameras

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I'm back from California where, among other things, I gave my new digital camera a workout.

As a result, you are hereby warned that what follows is one of those excruciatingly boring posts combining hobbyist navel-gazing and nerdy number references. If cameras don't interest you, please bail out before it's too late and you're sucked into The Quicksand of Geek.

[Pause to the sound of scurrying computer mice]

My old camera, a Nikon Coolpix S5, took good photos within the limits of its capabilities, but those capabilities proved to be annoyingly limited. Indoor, non-flash photos were usually blurred and the optical telephoto was on the order of 3X.

For a while I was most interested in being able to get decent non-flash pictures and focused on cameras that did well on that task. Then I got to thinking that I used telephoto a lot more, so that had to weigh more heavily.

With a budget limit of $400 dollars I finally bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1. Its lens capability in classical SLR terms is a zoom from 25 to 200mm. This approximates the range I had available (by switching lenses) on the Nikon F cameras I used a lot when in the Far East during my army days. All that capability fitting in a pocked contrasted to all the camera and lens cases dangling from my neck when I was traipsing through Tokyo: amazing progress!


Self-portrait at Santa Barbara Biltmore

This is a non-flash photo taken at the Four Seasons Biltmore hotel in Montecito in the Santa Barbara area. The lighting conditions were pretty contrasty and the focus zone was indefinite, but the camera did a fairly decent job, considereing.

I am pleased with it.



posted by Donald at November 10, 2009


You can't go wrong with that Lumix line of cameras. Those Leica lenses on them are phenomenal.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on November 10, 2009 4:49 PM

Was just about to say ... doesn't the Lumix use Leica lenses?

When I worked in the commercial photography industry, a couple of photo editors I knew owned the Lumix on the advice of some pro photographers.

Good buy!

Posted by: Steve-O on November 11, 2009 9:34 AM

I've never cared for the feel of a point and shoot camera. Although the price makes a lot more sense, I still prefer having my hands on an SLR body.

I've been using a Canon Digital Rebel for years, and it's been great. One drawback... it also fails in low light situations.

I hate flash and will not use it. Flash washes out color, especially human flesh tones.

I'm hoping to upgrade to the Canon EOS 50D soon. Depends on the money flow. It's pretty damned expensive... $1,200 if you buy the kit from Costco. And, I've got to admit that carrying around an SLR is a pain in the ass compared to sticking a point and shoot in your pocket.

I've gotten six years of use out of my Digital Rebel. I hope that my lenses will transfer to the EOS 50D.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 11, 2009 10:19 AM

Glad to hear of another satisfied Panasonic Lumix customer. I've been using Lumix for about five years, initially attracted by a wider-angle lens than the other digitals offered. I'm now on my second, a G-1, which has a very large flip-out screen that's proven very useful.

Posted by: Sowell Disciple on November 11, 2009 5:55 PM

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