Saturday, March 7, 2020

Happy New Camera, 2020!

So -- where's the art? Is this a 3D art blog, or what? Yes it is ... or was ... and will be again; but first comes the new computer. And before that comes about $2,500 in "spare cash." It'll happen at the end of the year, and then -- yep, art. Now? No can do. The desktop that handles DAZ, Terragen. Bryce and all the rest is staggering. You can't do 3D art without a powerful computer! We'll get there, but we're not there yet, guys. Patience.

But what I could do was replace the old camera!

After a year or more of bemoaning the fact that my Fuji HS50 has almost completely given up the ghost, well ... it was time to get a new camera. I've been researching them, looking at reviews, trying to figure out where the "sweet spot" lay, between needing something good, not having unlimited dollars to invest, and also needing to buy something that was light to carry about. So --

All things taken into consideration, I wound up with the Lumix TZ90, from Panasonic ... at at $438, it was an absolutely amazing deal. Then, there's its Leica optics, and its bells and whistles --

Ahem! Suffice to say, I'm having a lot of fun. More fun than I've had with photography for well over a year, because I knew that most of the shots I wanted to get, the HS50 would spoil. (Almost everything had stopped working on it: light metering was off by a mile, and I'm sure its focusing system was way off too: you'd pull focus "here," with your chosen object right in the crosshairs, and it would focus about ten degrees of arc away. Not fun. Not fun at all.)

So, in the last year or so I haven't done very much with photography; and I've missed it. The hobby gives you a reason to get out there and hike around, go the extra "nine yards" in order to come back with superb pictures. What's the point, if the camera is only going to spoil them? So --

The biggest step was making the decision to set down a great wad of cash. With that decision out of the way, the next was to work out which camera to buy ... and you really are spoiled for choice these days, no matter your price bracket. I think I spent about ten hours, hunting down individual cameras, reading reviews, comparing features.

And it all came down to a choice between a Canon PowerShot, and the Lumix TZ90. They are comparable; but the Lumix does a great deal more. It has those Leica optics, and a 3" touch screen display, plus a 'finder ... which the PowerShot doesn't have. The decision turned out to be the right one for me...

...I know, I demand a lot of a camera. I've used Fuji for well over ten years now -- had four of them; but the last one was surprisingly fragile, and I was honestly shocked when it started to break down in just a couple of years. I think I noticed the first "hmmm" moments after the second year. This time around, I've made the promise to myself, to be ultra-careful with the new Lumix, and deliberately NOT take liberties with it. Don't knock it. Don't let it hit anything.

Sooo I've just got myself a spare battery plus charger (there's another hundred bucks!), and have also ordered a camera bag, which will fit the Lumix snugly, not let it move about, and damage itself...

With any luck the camera bag will arrive before Dave and I take off for the Limestone Coast at the end of this month. If not, I'll have to MacGyver something to protect the camera on the road. I'm looking forward enormously to the trip. We haven't been to Mount Gambier in eight years. Hoping to get good weather for this one ... the last trip (our second to the Grampians), we had rotten luck with the weather for most of the time. On that trip, the HS50 misbehaved so much, I ended up using the phone for almost everything -- and every image in that blog post I just linked to was done with the phone -- an UmiDigi something or other, with 14MP and a lot of bells and whistles. Okay, I was impressed with it. But I still need a proper, functioning camera...

My other hope is that my health picks up a bit before we leave. I'm basically going one day at a time right now, and while I know I need to see a doctor and find out what's wrong ... I also know what the tests are going to be like. I'm putting them off as long as possible, because I just don't want to go there. Not ready yet. I'll know when I am. So --

There you have it! Happy New Camera, 2020! This is going to be big fun ... in fact, the fun has already begun. Pictures here were taken at Belair NP, Punchbowl Lookout, and in the back garden right here at home. Monday, we went to Onkaparinga Wetlands, and although the sky was far from blue and the sun far from bright, I got lovely pictures, which you can see on another post, on my travel blog, right here!

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