New Camera Coming

Some of my obsessive fans out there in Internetland may have noticed that the “Recent Photos” sidebar hasn’t been showing anything…well, recent. This has mostly been due to the perfect storm of hardware failures: both my trusty, dusty iMac, where iPhoto lived, and our long-suffering, often-dropped Canon A75 recently shuffled off this mortal coil.

Half of those obstacles should soon be a thing of the past, as I put in an order for a new camera last night. My self-imposed rules for the hunt: 1. I must be able to get it for less than $200 after tax, title, and license 2. It must do as much of the wacky stuff I wanted to try but couldn’t convince the A75 to do as possible.

After a good deal of futzing around on Amazon and the excellent Steve’s Digicams, I finally settled on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7K, which I got for a grand total of $188. Stuff I liked about it:

  • 6x optical zoom with optical image stabilization. Should be excellent for taking clear shots, even from a distance.
  • 7 megapixel for ridiculous enlargements or decent crops.
  • A shutter-priority shooting mode with shutter speeds of up to 60 seconds. Should be great for taking pictures of the stars at night (which are big and bright here in the heart of Texas) and for Light Painting, which I’ve been keen to try.
  • Automatic exposure bracketing for doing High Dynamic Range photography. With the A75, I had to adjust the exposure manually, which always meant the images were slightly out of alignment from my jostling.
  • 16×9 30FPS video capture means I may be able to get away with just carrying this when I’m doing vacation photography, rather than hauling both a still and a video camera around.

I’m quite looking forward to trying out the new camera. I’ll post a follow-up once I’ve had a chance to play with it a fair bit.