Our plan was to head west towards the Okefenokee Swamp and Stephen Foster State Park.
However in passing through Valdosta, we decided we needed to pick up a few items at Sam’s Club. I also wanted to check out a couple camera’s I’ve been researching. I really need a new camera and have pretty much narrowed my choice down to the Panaxonic Lumix Fz35,
Or to the Canon Power shot SX20 is
I had read the specs and both seemed to fit my needs, but I just wanted to get my hands on them.
Unfortunately, we could not find any place that carried the Panasonic. I had read some good reviews on both of these cameras. The main thing that put it ahead of the Canon was that it weighed a few ounces less. I know that doesn't seem like much, but I always carry mine when I'm hiking or kayaking and the lighter the better.
These cameras are both digital, but not SLR cameras, and do not have removable lenses. The digital SLR cameras will take better pictures, but they weigh a lot more and then you are always having to change the lens. With the Canon or the Panasonic, you never need to change your lens and you always have the correct lens for whatever you might see. You can go from macro to zoom. You can take a picture of a bug on a leaf, or a bird in a tree a long distance away. One day I might get a digital SLR, but not now. I still like my lightweight ultra zoom camera.
Here is a photo without the zoom as a good example of how powerful these zoom lenses are.
And here is the same tree zoomed in to see the flowers. I was standing in the same place, but just zoomed in to capture this flower. Of course they will be a little granier than with a SLR camera, but for my needs, it's okay with me.
The camera I have now, (Olympus C-750 UZ) has a super duty ultra zoom lens which gets me close to my subjects (usually wildlife) and is very light weight. I love it, but I've just about worn it out. It has taken many, many thousands of pictures for me, but I'm starting to have some problems with it and I don't think it's worth repairing. The new ones have better zoom lenses. Olympus still makes their Ultra Zoom lens digital cameras, but their new one doesn't have an optical viewfinder and that is a must for me. I never use the LCD monitor. I can compose my photos much better through the optical viewfinder which has an adjustment to help with my worsening vision. Another reason I prefer the optical viewfinder is because of glare issues with the LCD screens.
The Canon camera has a lens with a focal length equivalent of 28-560 mm.
The Panasonic has a lens with a focal length equivalent of 27-486 mm.
So the Panasonic has a little wider close up lens, the Canon has a much longer zoom. Most of my photos require a heavy duty zoom, so I think the Canon will probably be my best choice.
One thing I need, but didn't know what it was called, is "exposure compensation" My Olympus had this feature, and I find I use it a lot. If you're looking through the viewfinder and see that it's a little too light/bright, you can adjust the exposure compensation while you're composing the picture. I finally discovered what this is called and the Canon has it as well.
Anyway, after spending some time shopping in Valdosta and searching for the Panasonic camera, we headed towards the swamp about 1pm. We didn't get to spend too much time there, but it was enjoyable. I have some pictures and will post them on another blog. Stephen Foster State Park has a nice campground and we sure wished we had the motor home with us, so we could have just stayed.
I didn't buy a new camera yet, and yesterday was more of a fact finding mission, but I hope to have one before we head to Florida for the winter. I told Al, we need more stuff to sell at the garage sales! I need money!!!
Today, we should finally get our new Droid X phone. The darn thing has been sitting around in Tallahassee for days now. It's time to get it delivered!