Friday, July 4, 2014

New Camera

I have been getting tired of lugging my Nikon D-200 DSLR around with me and as a consequence, I have been leaving it at home or in the RV and missing many photo opportunities in our travels. I have been watching for a higher quality "Point & Shoot" type camera for a while now. My Blogger friend Contessa recently purchased a new Canon that she was happy with. I researched it extensively and read all the reviews on it.

The reviews were good but pointed out the camera lacked one thing I wanted and that was a High Dynamic Range setting that helps when there are competing tonal ares in a photo, such as shade and sunlit areas. The HDR takes three photos at different settings and combines the results to make one photo with more acceptable highlights and shadows. It sounds complicated and it is but when all you have to do is push a button, it is easy. The Lumix also has an EVF or Electronic Viewfinder so you do not hsave to rely on the LCD screen to shoot, something I find very unnatural.

The other complaints were poor battery life and a WIFI system that did not actually do very much. The Canon was $379 locally. One of the reviews said it was a great camera but if you were really looking for something a little better to try the Panasonic Lumix ZS40. I switched my studying to this camera and discovered it was made by Panasonic but under license from Leica, the famous German camera company. The lenses were designed by and manufactured under the supervision of Leica and that pretty much sold me. I have had "Leica Envy" ever since I first got interested in serious photography in grade 9.

London Drugs here in Campbell River had the camera but at $478, the full suggested retail price. London Drugs has a price matching policy so I found the camera on sale for $449 at Kerrisdale Cameras in Vancouver, printed the page and took it down to London Drugs. They sold it to me at the lower price. Of course I had to buy a memory card for it. I also ordered a spare battery and a small belt loop case from eBay. I am set to go.

I have been busy reading the instructions and experimenting with it for the last two days. It takes great photos and has a very nice macro setting. The flash is tiny and thankfully, is not a pop-up and can be turned completely off in software. The flash has a range of six meters. On the other hand, the camera has a 30X optical zoom lens but even with the Leica based optical stabilization will require a tripod at the extreme end!

It has one feature I will use. It links directly with my Android Tablet and allows me to use the tablet as a remote control. On the tablet I can see what the camera sees, make many adjustments to the camera, operate the zoom and trip the shutter. This will be great to use beside the bird feeder!

Here is a demo of the remote shutter. I set the camera on the stair railing and used the tablet to take the photo. I did not use High Dynamic Range or it would have balanced the shadows in the room with the outside sunshine.

I have to learn to navigate the complicated menu. Right now, by the time I set up for the shot I want, the sun will be down.


  1. Good for you Ihave a Sony that I really care just click and i shall be expecting some great deer photos..I hope you are getting up at 5am to watch canadian tennis history!!!!les

  2. Now that looks like an excellent camera, love the remote feature.

  3. Wow that is a lot of camera. I think you will have a lot of fun with it being as you have the time and patience to play with all the gadgets. It's way more that a point & shoot. I really just use mine as a point and shoot although it can be used manually but I don't have the time to learn nor do I want to. By the way I adjust my lighting in my iPhoto program. As to the battery issue with the Canon, it's only when you use the video which I don't. Looking forward to seeing some fab photos on this blog. Have fun with it.

  4. Nice camera.....and considering we are due for a replacement (bad scratch on the lens of our Nikon) I will check out the Lumix.

  5. Great choice on your new camera, Croft. I'm sure you'll get a lot of years enjoyment out of that beauty as well as terrific photos.

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement following the loss of our beloved pup Molly. Your thoughts are much appreciated by both Paulette and myself.

  6. I think you made a great choice Croft. It sounds like the camera will give you many years of service, Isn't technology wonderful? Being able to use your tablet as a remote, what a handy feature!

    1. I am just waiting for a nice day to set it up on the fence beside the bird feeder!