Stimulus recieved and returned

Finally, we received our stimulus check from the government. It took forever too! All because we let them credit our whopping $28 Federal return to Daddy-Os quarterly payments. Apparently, that threw us into the dreaded paper check category.

I was particularly anxious to get our money because I’ve had my eye on a new camera. My digital point and click does just fine. But when I realized there was a point and click with a 10x optical zoom for very little money… Well, I just wasn’t nearly as satisfied with it as I had been.

I feel pretty good about helping to stimulate the economy while also stimulating my creative energy. So I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4. It’s an 8.1 megapixel digital with 10x optical zoom. It does so many other things that I haven’t even begun to figure it out yet.

The 10x zoom rocks!!! I wish I’d had it during B’s baseball season this year. It would have made all the difference in my still shots, I think.

I’ll cover the negatives first because I don’t have that many and because I want to get them out of the way so I can put the real focus where it belongs.

Something that was not made mention of in the review linked to above is the mic for the video mode. It is placed in a ridiculous position. It is right on the top upper left-hand corner of the camera – you know, that spot where you put your finger when you’re taking a picture.

Also, I have to admit I have had the same problem that they mention here repeatedly.

Perhaps the biggest performance mark against the TZ4, however, was its unpredictably terrible AF performance at the telephoto end of the zoom. When zoomed in beyond the mid-point, especially, the Lumix’s screen would often lock up for several seconds while attempting to

focus (when pre-focusing, for instance). When it finally “unlocked” – three seconds or more was not uncommon – the TZ4 would then focus and fire reasonably quickly, but the issue made tracking moving subjects at the long end of the zoom nearly impossible.

But here are the positives:

I was really far away from this tubby little guy. Love, love, LOVE the 10x zoom.

This is Morro Rock from 1st Street in Los Osos. It was such a hazy day I could barely see the Rock.

The following pictures are of the Morro Bay Estuary at sunset. I had my camera set to “warm” colors. I’d actually forgotten about that part and for the life of me can’t figure out how to undo it. Where did I put that User’s Manual anyway? I’m going to give you the Straight Out Of The Camera (SOOT) shot, then some

cropped versions. I’ve been experimenting with how cropping can change a picture.

Original (above)

A

B

C

D

See what I mean? Look at what a simple change in crop does. Which do you prefer?

Here’s another.

A

B

C

Please feel free to leave feedback. That is my whole purpose in this site.

Stella

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