Friday, September 29, 2006

Camera Love!

I've had a few people ask how I'm liking my new camera (a Panasonic DMC-FZ7, for anyone who missed the post about me buying it). So far I like it very much! I'm still going through a bit of a learning curve with it and there's lots it can do I haven't even started to explore, but it's easy enough to use in program mode to pretty much just jump right in and start taking photos. I love the macro function. I've been able to get some shots from just an inch or two away when the camera is in macro mode. (One of those macro photos is the one I posted yesterday and you'll no doubt be seeing more in the coming weeks.) And I love the zoom. Having a 12x optical zoom is a huge difference from my little point 'n' shoot Olympus camera. Case in point: my hound dog mix, Mac, is notoriously hard to photograph. He was abused and abandoned before he came to live with us and is still pretty skittish and disinclined to trust people, although his social skills have improved tremendously in the past few years. So you can figure that getting a close-up photo of him just pretty much doesn't happen. You point a camera his way and he may not know what it is, but he knows it means someone with something in their hands is focusing attention on him and in MacWorld, that's a Bad Thing, so he runs to someplace he feels safe. But in the short time I've had this camera, I've already been able to get some decent shots of him by using the zoom. Check out this one taken from about 20 - 30 ft. away (all of these are clickable if you want to see them larger): The photo above is completely unedited other than compressing the size down to something I could use for the web. But I haven't cropped or color-corrected or any of that. That first shot is already more of a close-up than I could've gotten with my old camera, but since this one is higher resolution, I can crop the shot and get even closer: Or even closer yet: That's about as close as I can go with this photo without it getting too pixelated to use, but hey, I think that's pretty good for something taken with the zoom! With my other camera, the only way to get a photo of him that fills the frame like that would be to take it from about 2 ft. away and it simply would never happen. I'm really looking forward to seeing what else I can capture with this baby. My only quibbles so far would be that I'm not entirely happy with the noise levels and color saturation in the photos when taken with certain settings, but I'd be willing to bet that's more to do with things I'm doing wrong than with the camera. Eventually I'll learn the tricks! For today's DAT, here's another photo of Mac taken from a distance, but this one's been altered: "Mac: Paintified" (also clickable) I may be scarce online over the next couple of days, but I'll be paying some catch-up visits early next week. (I may or may not be posting stuff here the next two days - depends on if I have 'net access or not. Fingers crossed.)

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