Tag Archive: Hammersmith

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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Iggy at Hammersmith

I’ve been (and still am!) busy over the last few months moving house and otherwise making a new life for myself.  Despite this, I did find time to go a see an event that I never thought would happen

– James Williamson & Iggy Pop playing on stage together-

  • for the first time in 30 years
  • since Williamson got hepatitis, simultaneously cured himself of drugs, got fed up with musical rejection and went to pursue a carreer in electronics.
  • Iggy plodded on.
Iggy Pop by Alistair Campbell

The World's Forgotten Boy

I never rejected the music.  It’s always been there at top.  A talisman for me, if you like.  I even got a friend to paint a picture for me which has hung proudly in my house!  Ha Ha.

Anyway, this is the first two tracks (Raw Power immediately followed by Search & Destroy) of the show on the 3rd May, 2010.  And it was loud – really, very loud.  It was like a pure homage for many people there.

It was recorded on my Panasonic Lumix TZ7 which performed very well sonically (i.e. no distortion despite the extreme loudness) and fairly well visually….

The trouble with the video was that I didn’t have time to “prime” the autofocus at it’s maximum zoom to the range of the stage.  Instead, the band shot on stage with no warning and then the autofocus kept getting fooled by all the hands in the air, etc.  Add to that the fact that I nearly got knocked over when “Search & Destroy” kicks off…..

Still, it’s still pretty good, and excellent in HD on full screen played through decent speakers or headphones!  Ab-so-fucking-loot-ly!

Strange Wistful Yearning

When the band finally left the stage, Iggy was last to leave and then popped out for a minute to thank everyone for being there.  I swear that he was almost in tears with the realisation, perhaps, that the end of this life was near and that he’d finally “made it” into some sort of acceptance.

…or something like that.  It’s hard to describe, but it certainly wasn’t a normal cheerio that I’ve seen before.

Dirt

More like the end of all the “Dirt” in his life.  I saw The Ig do this at the Newcastle Mayfair around about 1979 and it was one of the finest things I’ve ever seen – the tears were streaming down my face.

But at the end of that show, Iggy just finished like an old pro.  The end on the 3rd May was different, very much so.

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Neil Young, godfather of grunge

This the best version, studio or live, of one of my favourite tunes (even though it’s a bit long). It’s also the best sounding version on YouTube as well, so I must apologise for pointing to it, but it saves me hunting it down all the time.

The breathtaking simplicity of the track is the key. Four slow chord changes in the verse and four similar in the break is all it is. Add in some words which sound as though anyone could write them and you’re away! One youtube poster said if punk hadn’t happened then this’d be the best song since 1956, and I think I agree. For most of the song the melody just hangs on and everything just manages to stay together. If you try and play along then you’ll see this – the pace of the song changes relentlessly, sometimes almost appearing to stop and at other times seeming to race away. It doesn’t really do this, of course – it only appears that way. But the guys really do float around the beat quite a bit as the pace changes, sometimes in mid-stanza. That, with it’s simplicity, is the true genius of it I think.

The video is of a performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1976 apparently. I guess he was one of the “dinosaurs” that punk was trying to displace, but this single performance of his song remains as a true example of the punk/grunge vision and Neil Young’s (continuing) views on personal freedom and responsibility, war, peace and power broadly echo all that was best about the punk era. I think that he just got lumped into the rock bands of the era – Led Zeppelin etc. When you realise that Spinal Tap was based on Led Zep and somehow these people were supposed to be heroes, then you can see the point. They were awful and self-centred vacuous people. To see Jimmy Page smugly poncing around again recently just brought it back to me how awful they were, and the music papers that worshipped them as well. Now I have to put up with all the chat about riffs etc from would-be Pages at work now.

Another simple song he did was “Heart of Gold” – and it too is a cracker. Legend has it that when Bob Dylan heard it, he thought it was one of his, and when he realised it wasn’t he just went and sat outside Neil Young’s house for a weekend – staring at it.

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