Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I finally took the plunge after many months of vassilation and bought myself a new camera which is a Panasonic DMC-FZ50 and I am currently alternating between feeling like I have bought a lemon and feeling like it takes fantastic pictures.

I thought I would be clever and use a high quality test photo of which I have a high quality photo print and take a photo of this with the new camera and compare this with the original. Very bad move, left me quite depressed as the photo is quite unlike the original and it doesn't seem to matter how much I tinker around with it in UFRaw or RAWStudio I just can't get it right and the focus is awful, the noise is awful. Really just very disappointing. Then I took a photo of my cat, the male one with no balls in both a figurative and a literal sense.

It doesn't show up in such a low resolution shot but the camera actually handled the shot reasonably well. The eyes were about as sharp as I could reasonably expect and there is nice detail everywhere and the blue cushion really is about the right shade so now I have one good and one really poor experience.

This camera has introduced me to a whole new sub-culture within the photographic world. The world of RAW which only serves to strength the maxim that if you need an acronym to describe it - watch out. One of the reasons I am and have been keen on digital photography is that I don't have to waste time with developing and printing. You should just point the camera, shoot, print - that should be it. I have been sadly misinformed - there is indeed a digital equivalent of developing a photograph which is what RAW is all about. That and sounding really sophisticated and pretentious of course. The other thing RAW is really good at is taking up unbelievable amounts of disk space - by the time you have the original (20Mb), the thumbnail (2Mb) and at least one or possibly two GIMP images at 20Mb each one is looking at between 50 and 100Mb per photograph. Suddenly my 120GB hard drive and 500GB backup drive aren't looking so big anymore.

Very unsure of what to do about the camera at the moment so I'm going to have to shoot for a while and see how it goes, I doubt if I could return it to the shop in any case.

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