Pushing all the buttons

I’ve written several entries on the cameras I didn’t buy, including the reasons why they were considered and why they were rejected. These missives were not to tell other people they should buy what I would and especially not to tell them what to buy; they were to give some insight into critical evaluation of cameras vis-à-vis your photographic style, from a guy who has owned literally hundreds of cameras.

Most recently I turned down a Canon 6D (body only for $640+) because when all was said and done the only real advantage (for me) was 2MP more. It wasn’t what I needed. A friend of mine has a Canon T7 he really likes, and I looked at a discounted edition of that. Basically the only pluses it offered over my T100 were 6MP more (you’ve read my MP rants I’m sure) and an adjustable diopter eyepiece. Well there’s no way that little control could compensate for my eyesight; if it could it would be a miracle dial.

So why am I looking at all? At first it was just to see if there was something I could add to the arsenal to expand my répertoire. Then it was to alleviate boredom brought on by the ensuing severe cold snap (a ‘high’ of -30°C is not conducive to doing anything; not only do cameras freeze at such temperatures, so do photographers). Finally there was the ailing favourite Kodak V1003.

I had tried to buy a backup/replacement for it before, and was disappointed with the Nikon W100 I got. I looked carefully at several other choices, hemmed and hawed, and bought nothing. Now the situation has gone critical: the last picture I took with the cheapest camera in my arsenal had to be augmented via the ‘equalize’ function in GIMP, even though taken in daylight. It didn’t want to start then either, and had trouble closing down. The reluctant operation causes me to try and coax yet another picture from it every time, and the noises it makes when it deigns to operate are worrisome. Then I recharged the battery, found it only went up to 75% and immediately dropped back to 50% when turned on. I carefully cleaned off the lens and mechanisms, and … saw no improvement whatsoever.

So there I was again looking at, say, a Canon Elph 150 that I couldn’t find in this country and realizing I’d have to settle for a Elph 180. I certainly wasn’t going to be buying a nice Fuji with their beautiful retro-rangefinder styling! (Over $1000 in Canada for any version.) Then I realized I had been looking at the DSLR @ over $600 and could afford to expand my search parameters a little. Okay, a lot.

Low and behold I came across a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 on sale. Not a big sale, but every little bit helps. Especially after taxes and not having to import it with all those extra fees. Really it was less than half what the Canon 6D body was.

Screenshot from 2020-01-11 12:18:04
Panasonic ad image

I’ve read good things about the Panasonic Lumix cameras. This one has some very nice specifications for a ‘point-and-shoot’ camera: 18MP sensor (same as my Canon T100 DSLR), 30X Leica optical zoom (about half the range of my Nikon P610), fairly sensible control layout, and miracle of miracles an eye-level finder! Rather than wait for this deal to disappear like so many others have, I pushed the buttons and ordered it.

Now I have to say that several of the user reviews of this camera were negative. But the complaints all seem to be people not understanding how to use it. They very much read like people who do not comprehend the more complex aspects of photography, i.e. people who can about handle shooting with their smartphone on a sunny day. It may be egotistical of me, but I expect I can figure out how to use the thing even without looking at the supposedly incomprehensible manual. After all, I’ve had a lot of practice at that.

If it turns out to not be any good, I will be really upset.

Hey, maybe I should have bought this instead:

Screenshot from 2020-01-11 08:29:18

I’m sure that’s bound to be a great camera! 😀

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