Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Bridging the camera gap

My 7 year old compact camera has been failing for a while and I've had my dSLR (both are Canons) for almost 5 years. The former is not going to survive our trip to the USA and the latter, though I love it, is so bulky and heavy and to get any decent zoom needs a bag full of accompanying lenses all of which adds up to a lot of weighty kit to carry around and far too much fiddling when travelling.

So, I've just drawn breath (it's not cheap) and bought myself a 'bridge' camera. For those not in the know (and I certainly wasn't until recently when I was talking to a camera enthusiast friend who had just bought one), these little cameras are technically pitched half way between the small compact cameras so many of us have that slip into handbag or pocket and the much more powerful and sophisticated dSLRs with their complicated gadgetry.

At least, I that is the thinking behind them.


But I find a lot has happened in camera technology since I was last looking. Now I have my 'bridge' - a Panasonic Lumix FZ200 - I find I own a quite extraordinary piece of technology - a great surprise to me. It is small enough to fit into the palm of my had (though a bit weightily, I admit), has an amazing Leica lens and enough technical gadgetry to keep the most avid of amateur photographers happy.


It has many features, in fact, that I don't have on my big Canon dSLR. With its megazoom lens (25 to 600mm) it's capable of wide angle and telephoto shots without changing the lens and much in-camera playing with images after they are taken.

I'm assured by my friend (who knows about these things), it will make an excellent, adaptable holiday camera and, I suspect, as I'm not anywhere near as expert in these matters as he is, it will probably satisfy most of my camera needs when I return.

I have played a little with the camera since it arrived last week and the photos I've taken seem wonderfully sharp and the colour good - but there is so much to learn and get used to.

Watch this space!


9 comments:

  1. Well, you will have no shortage of views to capture! Have fun.

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    1. We will, I'm sure and I may just be able to post occasionally via my husband's tablet. (mental not to self ... must buy one of those! They seem amazingly easy to use.)

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  2. Very interesting to hear about the 'bridge' camera....I too have a large and heavy Canon that I am not taking on hols with me because my small Panasonic with the Leica lens has such a great zoom, and fits in my purse. You know what they say, the best camera is the one you have with you!!! I'll have to explore the bridge option!! Thanks for the info. Look forward to your photos!!

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    1. So far so good ... It seems amazingly powerful for its size. Will post when I've mastered my husband's tablet ...

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  3. I predict that you will fall in love with this camera !
    I have an older version Panasonic Lumix (18Xzoom) and do not go anywhere without it ... I have had it about 4 years and I hope it never dies ! ... it is more camera than I actually need for my work.
    Have a great time with it !

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    1. I'm already hooked! It's an amazing bit of kit!

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  4. I'm very curious. My trusty Canon PowerShot G11 is on it's last legs. Your post has come at a good time as I'm researching cameras with an articulated viewfinder. Have to have one of those! I'd love to hear more about your new Lumix.

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    1. Hi Jennifer. I've just realised that my reply to you sent while I was in the US never appeared here. I also tried to send you an email but was unable to find your address. the strange thing was that my reply appeared in my own inbox as all my replies always do. I guess now that you've made your camera decision. In case you haven't, this is what I said ...
      I'm delighted with my Lumix. It is very easy to use and has almost all of the features on my much larger dSLR without its bulkiness and weight. It is fantastic for my current trip here in the USA and is coping really well with the bright light conditions I'm finding in the canyon country of Nevada.
      You asked specifically about viewfinders. It has an electronic viewfinder - which means that you see the same things through the viewfinder that you see on the screen at the back of the camera - vital in this bright light and it seems to be just as effective as the traditional viewfinder you get on an SLR camera. Hope this is helpful ... and good luck with your choice. Margaret
      PS I will also post this on your own blog so that I know you've received it.


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  5. Hi Jennifer. I'm delighted with my Lumix. It is very easy to use and has almost all of the features on my much larger dSLR without its bulkiness and weight. It is fantastic for my current trip here in the USA and is coping really well with the bright light conditions I'm finding in the canyon country of Nevada.
    You asked specifically about viewfinders. It has an electronic viewfinder - which means that you see the same things through the viewfinder that you see on the screen at the back of the camera - vital in this bright light and it seems to be just as effective as the traditional viewfinder you get on an SLR camera. Hope this is helpful ... and good luck with your choice. Margaret

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