Tag Archive: panorama

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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We Could Save £243,654,565 off the Civil Service!

Q. How?

A. Simple.

All people in the public sector (i.e. in the service of the government) to have a salary of no more than the prime minister

Gravy Train

Preamble

David Cameron is paid £142,500 by us, the taxpayer.  Tonight’s Panorama programme on the BBC reveals that thousands are paid more than the PM, notionally the most senior servant of the land.

Helpfully, the website includes a link to a 7 meg csv  spreadsheet of all salaries over £100k.  These were all obtained by public information requests, then collated.

My calculations from this spreadsheet reveal this information:

9187 = no. of persons with salary over the prime minister’s!

£1,552,802,065.00 = actual pay bill for the 9187 last year.

£1,309,147,500.00 = potential pay bill with the 9187 on the PM’s salary

£243,654,565.00 = potential money saved

In light of the current pressure on all public sector workers and following the scythe-like manner in which all union-negotiated contracts are being reneged upon by the government, I think they should be even-handed about this and put a salary ceiling of Cameron’s pay immediately on all civil servants, no matter how they are classed.  If the money comes from the taxpayer, they are servants of the state.  Period.

Then cut the existing salaries to that of the prime minister’s.

Q. Why should any public sector employee earn more than the prime minister?

Consequences

Of course, when the old excuse is rolled out about ensuring we get the best people for the job in the open market place, we now have a quick riposte!

If it’s alright for the highest position in the land, it should be alright for anyone, don’t you think?

I see some of the 9187 moving on and looking elsewhere.  But really – can the private sector swallow up that many state elite to give them the lifestyle that they’ve been used to?

Let’s give it a try and see, eh?  Let’s see how many move on and how many are willing to work for the prime minister’s salary?

Average Earnings 1990-2009

Average Earnings 1990-2009

In fact, I predict a consequence that top private sector pay will be driven down by the standard economics of supply and demand.  Too many elite applying for too few places means employers can pick and choose much as they do now.  Except it’ll be cheaper for them and thus profits will rise…

In fact, it can be argued that high public sector rewards for the elite is actually driving elite private sector pay upwards in the same way….?

Yes?  I mean, can the private sector swallow up 9187 managerial posts?

Where would the BBC governor general go?

Where would the armed forces chiefs of staff go?

etc etc.  Think about it.

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BBC Reports on Dubai Hell

At Last – some Proper Reporting from the BBC

In pictures: Dubai's 'slumdog' workers I actually thought that no-one did it any more – investigative journalism, that is!  Tonight’s show, Panorama: Slumdogs and Millionaires is on BBC One, Monday 6 April at 2030 BST and promises to reveal the hell that a combination of Arab religious kleptomancy and the sheer greed of (mainly British) companies brings to the construction and other workers who’ve made this faux paradise in the sand.

I’ll be watching.

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