22 October 2010

Ten Thousand Shots

In the last fourteen months I have taken more than 10,000 photographs. I love taking photos because it allows me to share the beauty of the world with my friends and family. As we all know, it is very difficult to really capture the world in such a format. I am satisfied if I can even show you 1% of what we see.

I have yet to talk about some of the items that we are travelling with. To start it off, let's begin with . . .

The Camera I Have
To take all of these photos, I have used my trusty Panasonic TS1, which is waterproof, crushproof, dustproof, freezeproof, sneezeproof, chocolateproof and dannyproof. I sometimes like to brag about the invincibility of my camera by "accidentally" dropping it in front of unsuspecting acquaintances. While I get a kick out of that, Kristin chides me that I don't need to prove the camera's durability, and that someday I might actually break it. This is my third waterproof camera and I have not broken one yet . . .

Panasonic Lumix TS1 
12MP Digital Camera with 4.6x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD

I have had this camera in my front right pant's pocket literally every day that I leave the house. I bought this camera for five main reasons, in addition to being indestructible:
  • Wide-angle lens, to get those shots that are too big for normal lenses
  • Long battery life
  • SD card (not XD or memory stick, to which some other manufacturers are still clinging)
  • HD movie capability
  • Excellent reviews for the relative quality of photos
Oddly, the newer, better model of this camera is cheaper than the old one that I have. 

The Camera I Want
I am very satisfied with my camera for what it is. However, there are times when I really wish for a better camera (and a tripod). Short of buying a super expensive and cumbersome DSLR with various lenses and such, I have found a new breed of cameras that is bridging the gap between simple point-and-shoot and professional DSLRs. These newest generation of "super-zooms" have a really good set of features, take great photos, and are not prohibitively expensive. 

If I could get a new camera, these three would be at the top of my list:

Canon SX30 
  • 35x wide-angle lens (24-840mm)
  • 2.7" pivoting LCD screen
  • now has rechargeable Li-on battery
  • $419

Panasonic Lumix FZ40
  • 24x wide angle lens (25-600mm)
  • 3.0" stationary LCD screen
  • longer battery life
  • $325

Panasonic Lumix FZ100
  • 24x wide-angle lense (25-600mm)
  • 3.0" pivoting LCD screen
  • 1080i HD movies with digital stereo recording
  • CMOS sensor
  • $402
All the cameras have: manual controls, 14 MP, HD movie capability, rechargeable Li-on battery, and image stabilization. The previous models of these same cameras have consistently gotten rave reviews and these all have improved since then.

The SX30 has the best zoom, the FZ100 is the lightest and cheapest, and the FZ100 has the best sensor and movie recording. They are all great and would be a big improvement in capabilities, as compared to my current camera.

I am not going to buy the camera now, but maybe when we get to western Europe.Until then, I'm sticking with my trusty tank of a camera. Nothing beats the simplicity of my current setup.

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