Testing the New Toy

I finally got round to getting a small “pocket” camera for situations where I don’t want to lug my SLR and lenses around with me.  After some research, I decided on a Panasonic Lumix TZ70.  There were a number of similar alternatives in terms of size and features, but the final deciding factor was that the Panasonic has the option of shooting in “raw” whereas the Canon, Sony and Nikon alternatives only have JPEG.

It’s “only” 12 megapixels, but that’s plenty for my use.  The zoom is quite impressive – the equivalent of 24-720mm in SLR terms, which is quite a bit more than the longest lens I have for my SLR.  There’s a fixed 3 inch screen on the back and it has an electronic viewfinder for those bright days when you can’t see the screen on the back very well.  It also shoots movies – that’s something I’ve not tried to date, but it might be interesting to experiment with.

So… today I took it out with me for the first time, to see how I got on with it.  The river embankment at Bedford is one of my favourite places to go with a camera as there’s usually a variety of things to photograph, from wildlife, landscapes, architecture and activities on the river.  Here are some of the results:


The “Butterfly Bridge” – one of the more interesting pieces of architecture in Bedford and something I’ve photographed many times over the years.


A squirrel in a tree – using the maximum zoom available.  I was quite pleased with this one as I’d never have got anywhere near as “close” with my SLR and 300mm lens.  I quickly learned that it was necessary to zoom out, find the subject on the screen and then zoom back in.  Finding the subject with the lens already on full zoom is pretty much impossible as the screen only shows such a small proportion of the view in front of you!


A wasps’ nest, high at the top of a tree – again on full zoom.  Another image that I wouldn’t have been able to get with my SLR and 300mm lens.


The Swan Hotel – nice building, shame about the boring sky!


The Embankment.  The lady in the red coat really was there!


“Me and my shadow” – a lamp on the wall of the Swan Hotel.


“In Training” on the river Ouse.  Not quite full zoom, but not far off of it!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results, although I think I need quite a bit more practice!  The Pansonic obviously won’t replace my SLR but it fits nicely in my pocket so it will allow me to take a camera with me on occasions where it wouldn’t be practical to take the larger camera.

All photos shot in raw and processed using Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop.


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