Camera decisions

I guess there comes that time when I have to make up my mind about something which needs to be done. The past couple of years deciding whether or not to jettison my bridge camera has been on and off. The yoyo effect surfaces every now and then. The main reason is how much I carry in my main backpack. Not that I mind carrying it between locations, I don't. Time is always taken to stop, remove it and give my back a rest. Now, the whole scenario has surfaced again, with a vengeance.

When I purchased the TZ70, it was because a few reviews gave it 4+ stars. Many of the reviews were simply babbling on what Panasonic had given them to say or they copied others. A while back I bought a TZ60 (at full price), it was total rubbish. I got the camera via Amazon and so was able to get a refund quickly. Here in the UK getting refunds is supposed to be law but often you will not get one. Anything digital is considered throw-away and quite a few dealers will refuse to refund your money, you're stuck with the thing.

My little one takes very good shots and I will keep that for lightweight runs, if I decide to use it instead of my smartphone. The bridge camera has a larger and therefore better Leica spec lens, which I can use filters with (a polarizing filter is on it all the time), it too takes great photographs and is quite light but takes up a lot of room in my backpack. The TZ70 is new and has taken quite a bit of getting used to—but I'm getting there.

Regarding the new one

At first I didn't like it. I'd forgotten about the TZ60 and had I realized this was one of the same (TZ) series, I would not have bought it. But I have and am stuck with it, but I did get it for half price (200 UKP). A lot of test runs have been made. One thing I like, besides the zoom, is the view finder which comes on automatically when I put my eye to it—nice touch Panasonic.
A TZ70 shot: about 78X zoom, in Sports Mode at 640 X 480 with the usual processing in Photoshop.

The FZ18 could get this, but it would not be as close up. The TZ70 gives me 30X zoom at 12 MP, at 3 MP I can get up to 117X zoom. This bird was a long ways off and I cropped it for the final. Sports mode was used to capture the motion and it has come out fine.

The Decision—Is the TZ70 worth it?

It's almost like Panasonic is trying to make their cameras be like an iPhone. There's too much stuff done for the user in such a way that it ends up working against you. It's like they've lost the plot in regards to cameras.

Panasonic cameras have this thing called Intelligent Auto (IA). Use it and all kinds of processes are gone through before the picture is finally taken. What results is a muted, smoothing out effect, almost like a blur. The FZ18 has it and it's okay, but the TZ70's is totally useless.

It's only a bit heavier than the old FX10. I was concerned about the mechanized bit on the front of the lens. It's too vulnerable to damage. I found an old 35mm Pentax lens cover, in a used camera store several miles away, that fits it perfectly. Now it is a lot safer when in my pocket.
I can one hand this. The TZ60 I couldn't.

It is good for wildlife and I don't have to stop and get a bulky, bridge camera from the backpack when out, just reach in my pocket.

Many of the modes are very slow, but I don't normally use them. Scenery doesn't matter because that's infinite focus and virtually instant. Sports grabs the instant, holds it for the shot—just press the button and it's there. I can also set it for bursts and that gives me a faster selection of shots to choose from.

What I will not do

Take my photo's in RAW. I ran a test saving the image RAW (SW2) and hi-res JPEG. A pixel level check of the colors showed hardly any difference. Maybe 2 or 3. Each image had 256 shades of each color, so 104 (RAW) and 102 (JPEG) is so little difference that RAW is a total waste of time.

To add insult to injury, I have to get a special progam to convert to either TIF or PNG before I can do any image work on my laptop or tablet. Who needs all that hassle when the images are virtually identical once resized or cropped. I think it's probably one of these, "I'm the 'expert' and you have to obey me" things. No I don't!

Will I keep it?

Yes. Like all new cameras it does take time to adjust. The big downside is charging the thing. I have to do that only with the camera itself, which renders it unusable until charged.
No zoom

Both these were taken at 640 X 480 in Scenery Mode. In Photoshop, I moved the images a bit for layout purposes, cropped and did my usual processing. They have turned out fine. So 3MP or .3MP both work (be nice if it also had 2 and 1MP). I'll keep trying the camera, but will not bother about any of the other settings on it (wish I could delete them all). If I use 640 size, I get a fair amount of images from a fully charged battery.
About 100 zoom

If I ever need a new camera again though, it won't be a Panasonic. I'll just save up my money and buy a genuine Leica. No, I am not going to become a birdwatcher.
May 17, 2019

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