I got a new camera!!!

June 8, 2008 Jasmine
Tags: ,

Hooray!!!!I will be taking alot more pictures now.

I have an old digital cam we bought for $100.00 at Target a while back but that disappeared around x~mas and we have been stuck with my camera phone since then. It is okay here and there for food blog pics but I am always really disappointed when we go somewhere. I can take like max 40 pics.

So when we went to Vegas to see my brother in April, between 2 days we had to decide what to take and not. And when it came time for the huge family picture I knew my cam wouldn’t stand a chance! Good thing Johnny had a really good cam.

Then 2 weekends ago we went to the beach, and to visit with some good friends at their place and the kids played in the pool. I wanted to take more shots but I kept worrying we wouldn’t have enough and would run out for the beach etc.

Anyhow it is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4K 8.1MP Digital Camera with 10x Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black).

It was $270.00 and was on sale for $200.00 at Costco. AlreadyI am wowed! lol Well of course after using the cam phone anything could probably wow me. hahhahaha

But seriously, it is a great camera. I also love the fact it takes decent videos.

We also got a free 1 gb sd card. I need to get more.

What I also like is they have a “scene mode”.

Using scene mode enables you to take pictures with optimum settings (exposure, coloring, etc.) for give scenes.

Scene types:

Portrait, Soft Skin, Self Portrait, Scenery, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Food, Party, Candle light, Baby, Pet, Sunset, High Sens., Hi speed burst, Starry sky, fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo, underwater, multi aspect.

I just went to the amazon site right now to look at the reviews. (Joey looked yesterday before we bought it.)Check out this review…

Great Buy for Novice and Advanced photographers

This is a great little camera for both an advanced amateur (like me) looking for a second camera to carry everywhere you can’t take your DSLR or for a complete novice (like my wife) who is looking for a camera that is really easy to use yet takes good pictures.

IN SUMMARY
What makes this camera special is that you have a full 10X zoom in a very compact form factor with a real wide-angle lens at 28mm. Most other cameras offer a smaller zoom range (around 4x), provide a semi-wide-angle at about 35mm, or are much bulkier.

PICTURE QUALITY
In reality, most cameras today take pretty decent pictures. Most people really don’t need more than 2 megapixels, unless you are planning to either crop your photos or make very large prints. Therefore 8.1 megapixels are more than enough. My DSLR has 5 megapixels and I have never needed more.

The Leica lens is very high quality. The multiple built-in scene modes will make it easier to capture that sunset or use custom settings for that special picture. As with most cameras, it is always to have a photo editing program to adjust contrast (or levels if you are a bit more advanced), do some cropping and adjust sharpening.

As an advanced amateur (take a look at my Nikon DSL photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdada ) I found the quality of the pictures from the Lumix TZ4 to be excellent. AT the same time, my wife was able to use the Intelligent Auto mode to snap some pretty decent pictures. The flash does an especially good job – indoor people pictures had very nice tones and not blown out or underexposed like some other cameras.

VIDEO
With a 1Gb SD card I was able to capture a couple videos of my daughters dancing (to Hannah Montana, of course). The quality and resolution of the video is pretty amazing for a camera in this price range. You may want to use Windows Movie Maker (included with XP and Vista) to do some edits and make the video a smaller size suitable for emailing.

OTHER FEATURES
The camera feels very well built and solid. Face detection technology works incredibly well, ensuring your subjects are always in focus (as opposed to focusing to whatever is at the center of the picture). Image stabilization works . The LCD screen is very large and bright. Controls are easy to understand.

SUMMARY
I spent a long time looking at many cameras and playing with them. If you are an advanced photographer, this is not a camera to replace a DSLR, but a perfect companion to take to those places where you don’t want (or can’t) bring your big expensive camera. The TZ45 does not provide all the manual controls of other cameras, yet it allows enough settings for me (i.e. exposure compensation, ISO settings, etc.) .

For the average user, you can find a cheaper and a smaller camera for sure. But I doubt you will find a solid, pocket camera with a 10x zoom and a 28mm quality lens that produces such great photos with little effort. Definitely, the TZ4 is highly recommended.

UPDATE —
I uploaded a few photos fromt he Lumix to this Flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/LumixTZ4/ My other Flickr page has mostly photos taken with my Nikon D50.

Most photos I uploaded are straight from the camera. I found a simple sharpen command from any photo editing software will increase the quality of the pictures.

I have enjoyed the camera and am suprised for its great flash performance. It does an incredible job at balancing the background with a just-right flash.

Battery charge lasted for a couple hundred photos. Highly recommended.

Anyhow what kind of camera do you have and why do you like it?

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nic  |  June 8, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Sounds nice! We have a Canon Powershot, our second. Very user friendly.

  • 2. jasmine  |  June 9, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Hi Nic,

    It must be really good if you got it twice. 🙂

    I can’t wait to try the food setting on this one.

  • 3. ChrisDavis  |  June 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Congrats! The Panny TZ series are all great cameras. It does everything well and its performance for a smaller camera can’t be beat. You’ll be very pleased. Currently we’re using a couple of Canons: S2IS and A590IS. Before our a baby arrives, I’d like to invest in a DSLR camera kit with an external flash and a couple of different lenses. I’d really like to take higher quality indoor photos and capture moments more quickly.

  • 4. jasmine  |  June 14, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Hi Chris,

    That is so exciting preparing for the birth of the baby. I am very happy for you both. I love the fact this camera also has video mode. It has different settings where you can take more or less pictures/videos. Of course the higher the quality, the less you can take. We put it on the lowest setting, 10 fps and 2mm.

    As I get better with all this I will probably set it to that for long trips or day trips and switch it to higher quality if we are home and are just taking a few.

    I am looking forward to you getting your blog all set up.

    That guy who wrote that review has a Nikon dslr. Here is a link to his flickr picture page. WOW!!!

    Gdada flickr page

    Those photos have me thinking of maybe some day getting one as well. Of course I have no idea how much that cost. LOL His photos seem very high quality and professional. Maybe you are looking for something similiar?

  • 5. ChrisDavis  |  June 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I really like the Nikon D40, which is Nikon’s cheapest offering and the lowest priced DSLR readily available. Its priced anywhere from $450 online to $500+tax from a local store. There are “entry level” cameras from Canon, but they cost even more and feel like toys compared to the D40. This Nikon really feels like a quality piece of equipment. One knock on the D40: it’s “only” 6.1MP. But that is plenty for print sizes up to 12×18 or so. If you need larger prints or like to crop alot it may not be the best choice. The D40 compares best with the Nikon D80 (10.2MP, but twice the cost). The D80 will give you more room to work with, but has the same image processor as the D40. More megapixels w/ the same image processor gives you a noiser picture comparative to images from the 6.1MP D40 up to 12×18.

    That said, I’ve yet to find the perfect camera. Your Panasonic is close as it gets! Nice photo and video with a big zoom in one small package. We don’t have a video camera, so the TZ3,4,5 is looking better and better. The D40 should take great pictures, but even with it being light and compact for a DSLR, its still relatively bulky and not capable of capturing video. Another thing to consider with DSLRs: when you buy a particular camera, you’re buying into that brand’s “system”. Whether it be Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, etc. Any lenses, flashes, or other accessories will only work with that same brand of camera. There’s alot to consider with any camera purchase and I tend to over-think any purchase as it is! I guess the research is part of the fun for me. Also, I wish we had a Costco nearby. They’ve got a great return policy!

    I recommend this site by well-known photo enthusiast Ken Rockwell. I love it!:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

    As far as blogging goes, I’m about as interesting as a rock. :] I do have an exceptional wife and child on the way, so they would likely be the focus of my blog if I were to have one some day.

  • 6. jasmine  |  June 19, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Hey Chris,

    That is great you have done your homework on the cameras. I looked through that guys site the other day. I need to go back again. Lots of information. $450.00 – $500.00 wouldn’t be so bad some income tax check.

    Those pictures really make me want to go on a road trip. haha

    You are right, this camera is really great. I need to see about buying an extra battery and memory stick.

    The other day we went to the park and I think I had the settings on the highest quality. I believe it was 60 frames per second I didn’t realize it until we got home but it was also on the 16:9 ratio.

    Those shots were really amazing. I tried to upload them to photobucket and link them in my blog but with the 16:9 ratio they are too wide. So I uploaded them to my flickr.

    Park Slide show

    When we went to the beach I put the settings on the lowest so we could have the maximum amount of pictures/ video. They came out okay. I wasn’t as thrilled with them though. Also there was a lot of mist in the air. My sun glasses and camera kept getting fogged up.

    You can look at the pictures from the park and then the beach and see how much more crystal clear the park is. The beach photos are on the Huntington beach blog.

    I just need to get some extra memory sticks.

    Here is a link to one of the videos I took. It was VERY windy. That is our eldest Kassandra and youngest Katy, then there is C.J. and Karolina.

    Beach video

    I need to do some comparison photos/videos.

    Costco is great. We are usually there like twice a week. It is right next door to my dh’s work.

    On the electronics though you have only 3 months to return. Great return policy on everything else though.

    I would have to agree with you one the exceptional wife part. lol Your family would be a great thing to blog about. If you like your privacy you could always make it invite only. You could also share photos of places you go and share your love of photography.


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