I hope all’s well.
So the dry weather has prevailed and at home, we literally haven’t had a drop of rain for several weeks – it’s strange to see our local parks and commons, which are usually green, now a frazzled golden yellow with the smallest footstep driving a cloud of dust high into the air – our village green is more like the Serengeti than it’s usual lush verdant acres. Not spotted any lions or wildebeest yet! Still, I’m not complaining, but if only we knew that it would be this hot every year and then we could better prepare for it in so many ways.
I haven’t been out with my wildlife photography hat on recently, but I have been taking a lot of photos with my phone and I share many of them on my Twitter and Instagram accounts (@dalefranklinTV).
Last Monday, we celebrated Alex’s graduation from the University Of Birmingham, where she’s been studying for the past three years. We had a great time in Brum and I couldn’t have been prouder of my little girl; I’ve shared a couple of photos from the day. Whilst the selfie was taken on my daughter’s phone, I took the photo of Alex using my DSLR camera and a 24-70mm lens – this is the same camera I use to take my wildlife photos with, but I have to swap this lens for a 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens, which is both heavy and costly to buy. I also have three other lenses in my obviously necessary capacious heavy-duty pro backpack to try and cover all the shots.
Whilst these DSLR lens combinations provide some excellent sharp results and, for the most part, I’m very happy with my efforts (with digital photography quickly deleting the bad ones, it makes you feel like a better photographer!), for many of you, carrying all this heavy and costly equipment is not an attractive proposition and I must confess that I gave up on DSLR photography for a few years for this very reason – I was lured back into it because of my love of wildlife and in particular trying to master the Art of BIF (birds in flight) photography.
The truth is that for many, smartphones can take some excellent close-up photos, but very few smartphones offer a zoom function that doesn’t compromise the picture quality, and even if it has an optical zoom, it’s likely to be in the region of x2.
So, for many, the best compromise has been to buy a “Bridge” camera – literally a camera that “bridges” the gap between phones or compact cameras and DSLR cameras. They are far more convenient than DSLR set-ups, not having an interchangeable lens, and they offer far better optical zooms than a smart phone.
On Wednesday, Mat Trim and Charlie will launch a new TSV (Today’s Special Value) and, as luck would have it, it’s a stunning Bridge camera from Panasonic – the Lumix DC FZ82. I’ve no doubt that Mat will produce some mouth-watering photos from this highly accomplished camera, particularly as it boasts a whopping 60x optical zoom! It also has “intelligent zoom”, whereby software can create an effective digital zoom of up to 120x! That’s not all – the lens is also ultra wide, which is ideal for group shots at weddings and parties etc. In fact, it has an equivalent lens range of 20mm – 1200mm, all in one package! That’s something that I could only dream of with my DSLR.
It also takes crisp 4k Ultra High Definition video, so it’s a fantastic “all -rounder”. There are so many features to discuss that it’s probably better to watch the live presentations, or better still, get it home and try it out yourself, as it can be used by complete beginners or set-up for the more experienced snappers! I’ll be showcasing it with Mat at 4pm this Wednesday in Hi-Tech Toys and Electronics. Our buyers have negotiated a fantastic price and I’m hopeful for Easy Pay as well!
I thought I’d share a photo that I took (not on the Panasonic) that always makes me smile – it’s of a proud Roe Buck in a woodland glade – I took it about 3 years ago and it would not really have been possible without a good zoom or telephoto lens, unless perhaps I got up at the crack of dawn and sat for hours in camouflage! I most certainly couldn’t have shot it with my iPhone, brilliant though its camera is.
‘Til next time… stay cool and creative !