Dueling D7000s Downtown

Reedy Falls 5

My friend Fred Graham (aka Photobug Fred) has the same camera I do – the Nikon D7000. Since buying mine last summer I really haven’t had a chance to get out and learn how to use it. This fall in general I haven’t had a chance to get out and shoot at all. So, when Fred suggested a downtown photowalk, I jumped at the chance.

It started out as a perfect fall day with interesting clouds and bright sunlight. Our plan was to meet at 3:00 at Falls Park to take advantage of the late afternoon sunlight. However, as the time approached the clouds started building. I wondered whether or not the good lighting would stay with us. When the time came, the clouds had broken into interesting patterns, and it looked like it would be a great shoot after all.

I me Fred by the fountains at the top of Falls Park. The fountains had been colored purple for some sort of cancer awareness something or other.

Purple Fountains Majesty

It looked like half of Greenville’s population had joined us. What’s more, it looked like most of those were similarly armed with cameras. And, it wasn’t just camera phones – there were quite a few high-end cameras out and about. After awhile I stopped counting. Fred and I wondered how may thousands of photographs had been taken in the park just this afternoon.

DSC_1855 Continue reading “Dueling D7000s Downtown”

Game Changing Cameras


As one might imagine, digital camera technology keeps getting better and better. Cameras are tinier than ever with even more features. Smartphones with editing apps are almost eliminating the need for point-and-shoot cameras. Even with all this, there are a couple of cameras to come on the market in the past couple of years that look like potential game changers – the Lytro camera and the GoPro Hero.

First, a note of disclaimer for my beloved wife – having just bought two fairly high-end cameras over the summer, I am NOT considering these for purchase. I just think they are worth mentioning here, and if someone I know does get one, all I ask is the opportunity to play with it for a few minutes.

Disclaimer out of the way, I’ll start with Lytro… Continue reading “Game Changing Cameras”

A New Camera Strategy

New Camera and Coffee

My new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 arrived yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to really put it through its paces, but so far I’m impressed with the few photos I have taken. The LX5 won out over a whole slew of contenders, and the decision to get it means a new strategy for my day-to-day photography.

The contenders included the following:

  • An exact replacement of my S70 in the form of a refurbished S70
  • An updated Coolpix, such as the S100
  • A different small camera, such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10
  • The Canon S100
  • and the one I bought, the Panasonic LX5

Continue reading “A New Camera Strategy”

Camera Dilemma

Tom with Camera

The camera gods have not been smiling upon me lately. On our recent excursion to Shoals Junction my trusty Nikon D50 DSLR’s mirror got locked in the UP position for several panic-filled minutes. The camera was already showing its age, and I’ve been putting away a bit of cash for a replacement, but the incident made me think that might come sooner rather than later.

Then my little Nikon S70 decided it was going to die on me. Well, not quite die, but give up the will to live. Every image is now fuzzy and the colors aren’t right. I tried tricking the auto-focus into working correctly, but with no luck. Even under optimum conditions the images were washed out and out of focus. I think it’s in worse shape than my D50.

That’s put me in a quandary as replacements are concerned. I know I’m going to replace the DSLR with another Nikon. I’ve got good lenses, so it makes sense just to replace the camera body when the time comes. I also like the control and flexibility a DSLR provides. But what about the little point and shoot? Continue reading “Camera Dilemma”

New Camera – Fujifilm Z33WP


I was not able to find the perfect point-n-shoot camera. However, I was able to find an adequate camera. After a bit of back and forth and research, I purchased a Fujifilm Z33 waterproof camera today.

It was a trick to balance feature set and price. I knew that I wanted something waterproof, but there were several possibilities. I started off looking at the Canon D10, which looked like it was going to be a great camera, but the cost was higher than I wanted to go. It also looked a bit clunky and bulky to me. On the opposite end was the Vivitar 6200W. It was certainly cheap enough, but that came at too high a cost in lost features – no optical zoom, AA batteries, only 6 mp, and a long list of other deficiencies. That narrowed it down to the Olympus waterproof series, the Panasonic waterproof cameras, and Fujifilm cameras rounding out the middle tiers.

I had two distinct criteria for this particular purchase. First, it had to be available locally. I have a paddling trip to Congaree National Park coming up this weekend, so I didn’t want to wait for an online order. I wanted instant gratification, and that ruled out the Panasonic cameras. Secondly, the price had to fall within a reasonable range of a couple of gift cards I had gotten for speaking and singing engagements. That ruled out the Canon and the upper end Olympus waterproofs. It finally came down to a battle between two cameras – the Z33 and the Olympus Stylus 550 waterproof camera. Continue reading “New Camera – Fujifilm Z33WP”

Working with the Flip Mino

Flip Mino

One of the perks of my job is that I get to try to try out lots of new tech toys. One of our curriculum coordinators had requested one of the little Flip Mino video cameras. She graciously let me give it a whirl before giving it back to her.

Even though this device (or some version of it) has been out for about a year now, I hadn’t gotten very excited about it. High-quality video cameras are now very reasonably priced, and now even point-n-shoot cameras come with a video mode. The question was – Is the Flip redundant? Would you be better off applying the cost of the Flip toward a better point-n-shoot? I really needed to find out because I’ve got several others requesting these, and needed to know how best to spend our equipment funds. Continue reading “Working with the Flip Mino”