… or indeed the camera I’d originally intended to get. Oh dear me no.
Y’see, ever since totally trashing my last point’n’shoot, a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6 (the sad tale’s here if you’re really interested), I’ve been promising myself a replacement. (Nowt wrong with the dSLRs of course… just that sometimes they’re not quite right for the job.)
First choice was a G9, or G10, or G something or other… one of them from the Canon stable anyway.
All well and good, and such is still on my wish list. But I also quite fancied one of them there “bridge” or “ultrazoom” cameras or whatever the hell they’re called cos it’d be absolutely ideal for a coupla little projects I’ve had in mind.
So first choice along those lines was an offering from Olympus. Can’t remember the model number at the mo’ but its their latest apparently… with something stupid like a 28x optical zoom wouldya believe!
Fancied it cos a Flickr chum of mine has one and I’ve been really impressed with the pics he’s pulled off from it. (Nothing to do with the skill of the guy behind the camera of course. Oh no. Couldn’t be anything to do with that.)
However, for various reasons that didn’t materialise.
And what I’ve ended up with instead is this ’ere Lumix FZ38 from Panasonic.
Not a totally mindless acquisition however cos I’d done some review reading about the little beastie beforehand (most notably this one)… and (more significantly perhaps) I acquired it at substantially less than the normal retail price. Quite substantially in fact.
Not that such a mercenary consideration would have influenced my decision in the slightest of course. Ahem.
Anyway, its a brand new toy for me so I’m still messing around with it… seeing what it can do sorta thing. Or, more to the point, what I can do with it. Or, more accurately perhaps, can’t.
Plus it has all the features that were on my “must have” list…
Ultrazoom (of course!)… 18x optical in fact. Not as “ultra” as some, but good enough for what I have in mind.
Viewfinder (albeit electronic) with diopter adjustment (absolutely essential far as I’m concerned).
Various useful modes in addition to those crappy “scene modes”… Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, Manual, etc.
And it’ll shoot in RAW… though its some weird format with a .rw2 extension that my version of Lightroom won’t read. Oh pooh. Dammit. Shoulda checked compatability with LR out first. (Though I have a bit of a suspicion that the latest version of LR… 2 point something or other… will read the files.)
Still, a minor detail (relatively) cos the cam comes with a version of Silkypix Developer Studio that seems quite reasonable… once I manage to sus out how the bloody thing works! Prob’ly just end up shooting JPEGs all the time (cos to be honest the quality isn’t quite what I’ve become used to, though fine for web usage. Which is what I’d intended anyway. Er… noise and detail resolution seem to be the main issues at the mo’).
The only real gripe so far (excluding the noise and detail res cos such things are only to be expected really at this sort of level) is the fact that its powered by one of those stupid lithium ion batteries (or whatever they’re called) rather than a set of AAs. And why the hell don’t manufacturers/vendors supply a spare battery in with their kit?
It’d be so damn useful (save having to go hunting for one soon as new kit arrives, and it would ensure that users would have a backup battery of the right spec rather than one of the cheapie lookalikes that could do all sorts of harm… according to the user manuals at least) and I for one certainly wouldn’t object to the few extra quid that might be involved.
However, here it is; me new toy…
Oh… and it’ll also shoot video. As if I cared about that. If I’d wanted to shoot video I’d have got a bloody videocam wouldn’t I?
Er… I think I did in fact. Oops.