Tag Archive: Finepix

Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-R: Is this not a work of art?

Panasonic DMC-TZ30 Compact Camera

Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-R: Is this not a work of art?

Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-R: Is this not a work of art?

I’m afraid my old TZ7 (which replaced my earlier TZ5 due to my clumsiness) has now had to be replaced with the new TZ30. The reason?  At some unknown moment, my usual dollard-ish clumsiness put a scratch on the lens…..  the whole recent trip to Australia is marred (to my eyes at least) by a fuzzy mark off-centre at 2 o’clock.

I wanted the red one as it’s a beautiful thing indeed.  In fact, I hunted to get one at a good price within a reasonable time-scale, but have settled for the black one for cost and because I can get it now!..  (The Panasonic DMC-TZ30EB-K).

Iggy Pop, October 25, 1977 at the State Theatr...

Gratuitous photo of Iggy Pop from October 25, 1977 at the State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s now on the way so watch this space for my opinions and results later!!.  I’m extremely hopeful due to the reviews I’ve read.

I’ve waited and have passed over the TZ20 and other incarnations due to unfavourable comments and lack of substantial change in their features.  Now, the TZ30 has tipped the balance for me.  The GPS feature introduced with the TZ10 hasn’t had much interest to me, but maybe this’ll change all that!

Specification Highlights for me are:

  • The 20x optical zoom (naturally) in a body that’s less obtrusive than my current TZ7.
  • Better ISO performance – reputed to be very good at low light down to ISO800.
  • Better burst mode shooting.  It’s supposed to be 10 fps whereas my TZ7 only does about three….  I have some stop-action movie ideas that I started with my old Fuji FinePix F30 that I’d like to continue and expand upon.  The F30 did reasonable frames per second whereas the TZ7 is just too slow for the effects I want.
  • Semi-automatic panorama shooting.  Much better than the old manual stitch mode….
  • Rapid autofocus (AF) – reputed to be 1/10 second.  Combine this with burst mode and nature and sport shots should be great with at least one being on the button.

The info on the Panasonic site is here, though what it doesn’t mention is that the TZ30 battery is also used in the TZ7, which is a bonus for me!  I even have a spare already!  WaHaY!

Specification Gotchas:

The only one I’ve spotted that directly affects my expectations is that in burst mode, the auto-focus is fixed once the burst starts, at 10fps.  However, to counter this the feature is more variable than I’m used to in that with burst mode set to 5fps autofocus and zoom work concurrently!  This definitely needs playing with!

My Standard Expectations:

  • Minimal blue/purple casts or fringing at high contrast edges.
  • Wonderful summer shots with vibrant colour.
  • Much better focus changing in video zooming.

My Quantum Leap Hopes:

  • The same or better sound quality that the F30 and TZ7 delivered.  Both produced full non-clipped audio sound at rock concerts!  The TZ7 does it in stereo.  (see my Iggy Pop video below, discussed in this post, Iggy at Hammersmith).
  • Much, much faster autofocus and burst shooting than I’m used to.  This includes the continuous autofocus & zoom at 5fps mentioned earlier.
  • Much better auto-focus on video zoom especially and pictures generally.  I’m hoping the intelligence of the thing has been re-jigged……    To explain…….

The tendency on my TZ7 is to focus on the near-field whether it’s bright or dark. Yet I want it to focus on what the human eye drifts to, i.e., bright objects.  On the TZ7 I’ve had to use human intervention to override the camera expectations….
The video below shows this.

For me the prime purpose of a compact camera is to get the best shot possible as fast as possible.

At the Stooges concert at Hammersmith below, I’d waited for ages and then suddenly the band came on and kicked off immediately! There was no time to prime the focus because I knew I’d miss some performance, so I had to make allowances for the camera deficiencies by pulling back zoom and trying to get autofocus on the bright areas by field drifting.
Ideally, I should have asked Mr Pop to restart his concert so that I could stop the video, auto-focussing on maximum zoom to distance and then restarting the video before he kicked off again.  ;-)  Obviously that wasn’t going to happen so I did the best I could without missing any of the performance of my historic bête noire idol.
As it was, my guess was right, even to continuing filming without a break, because against all rumours and knowledge that the Raw Power album was to be played in order, it wasn’t!              Search & Destroy immediately followed Raw Power.
 

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New Lumix TZ5 perhaps?

All good things come to an end and it’s time to move on from my Fuji FinePix F30 to something else…

Ricoh R10After seeing my mate Len’s Ricoh compact I was tempted by the new one, the R10.  However, most reviews I read were less than complimentary.

So fishing about I hit on the Panasonic Lumix TZ5 Panasonic Lumix TZ5 via a quick perusal through the Canon and Casio range.

TZ5 EISA award

TZ5 EISA award

The TZ5 certainly seems to do the business as far as my particular needs go – and it’s got a medal!

What I’ve found particulary good, is expressed in this YouTube review by cameralabs.com.

Around the 4m30s mark, Gordon the reviewer fires the thing up for a 1sec startup and then demonstrates the 10x optical zoom available from the Leica lens system.  Just phenomenal especially when stage 1 stabilisation is employed!  Unfortunately, several reviews mention the microphone being on the top of the camera so that it’s easily blocked with a finger   –  This following video is probably the reason for this as you can clearly hear motor noise!

The best zooming example is probably this one:

https://youtu.be/zfh8z_QBchw    …and all from a hand-held compact.

The crucially different thing to my current machine is that it zooms while recording!  Also, the level of zoom should allow me to peep over into some egrets’ near here that I want to catch in the act, so to speak, of breeding, without disturbing them.  Global warming means it not happened before…

Watch this space.  I haven’t decided yet.

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Express Park Winter Wonderland

Strangely post on January 13th, 2009
Posted in Art Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As the recent cold weather came to a close, I was fortunate to get a few unique pictures on my trusty Fuji F30 before the peculiar atmospheric conditions returned to normal!

[nggallery id=21]

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Orion Nebula on a Handheld Pocket Camera

Many moons ago, before Crawling Chaos, I had an interest in astronomy.  In those days, only professionals took photos of stars and it was hard, as you needed plates and plate holders stuck on the back of your telescope, and a dark room to develop pictures.  Telescope needed to be motor driven to track the Earth’s rotation etc etc.  Oh!   And you needed a telescope! :-?

Anyway.  These pictures I’ve just taken (about midnight) starting down on the canal and finishing back home as I realised I might get a good shot with the tripod.

Fuji FinePixThe camera is my trusty (repaired) Fuji F30, mostly set at 3 secs exposure on a mix of high ISO settings.  All the EXIF data is in the pictures which are resized to 800×600 here.

I particularly like the weird grass, half-iced-up so that it’s white from the frost and glistening from the still-liquid water droplets.  And yet black, unfrozen and hardly reflective close to the ground.

The long exposure combined with flash makes the surroundings un-earthly, which I like.

I also like the fact that I shot Orion on a 3 second hand-held point-and-shoot camera.  :-)   This was unheard of in my time at Ashington Grammar School

In the final tripod shots, the nebulosity around the sword handle in Orion’s Belt is clearly visible.  Absolutely amazing.

George is in shot, helping out.

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Bridgwater Carnival 2008

Amadeus Meets His Nemesis in the Land of Make-Believe

Photo Details

These were all taken on my recently repaired Fuji Finepix F30.  Everything was on auto and with virtually no flash used.  It’s a shame it doesn’t have variable zoom and aperture when in video mode.  I could have done with that.

Hopefully, you’ll get some of the mixture of boredom and surrealism that is Bridgwater Carnival.

Carnival Described

It’s been going for over 400 years in celebration of Guy Fawkes and his Roman Catholic chums being ritually castrated, disembowelled and then chopped up after failing in their plot to blow up parliament.  The terrible punishment seems to have worked, because even though the place is a viper’s nest of corruptive practices and intrique, no-one has really tried to blow up parliament since.

BridgwaterCarnival2008_009_Detail

Bridgwater Carnival 2008 009-Detail; I find this Strangely Disturbing...

The Carnival is now what may be termed a charitable competition, where the prize is a cup like the FA Cup say, and to get the prize you need to spend oodles of dosh to have any hope.  As the parade of over 100 entries winds it’s way through town, passers-by are “encouraged” to give money for charitable causes, usually local.  All the dosh is collected by a fleet of slowly moving converted carts and a small army of volunteers who scuttle about picking up falling coinage.  Some of them have bizarre funnel & pipe contraptions to collect from the back of the crowd.

The Carnival is now big – very big.  For years the visitor numbers have been well over 100k, people arrive from all over the country.  This is amazing for a pokey little place of ~30k or something.  There are basically two sets of townfolk – the Carnivalites and their supporters which include people who like Carnival – and those that can’t stand the Carnival or the people that do it.   :-(   Me.  I quite like it, but I’m a foreigner as I’ve only lived here for 19 years …   The only people who make any money are the charities, the hamburger folks and the geezers who flog flickery toys and deflat-o-matic balloons, some of which can be seen hovering teasingly over the town after a child has lost their grip.  For everyone else it’s a labour of love.

Bridgwater is not the only carnival, but it’s the biggest and the oldest.  It’s the one that all the teams want to win, although there is an overall prize for the Somerset Carnival “Season”.


Squibbing

BridgwaterCarnival2008_047

Squibbing

See Squibbing 2008 here.

The next day, the results are posted on the town hall door (see the photo I took).  People were getting quite worked up about them….   You’ll see that Nemesis by the Gremlins won.

I tell you, Harry Potter’s got nothing on this.

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