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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ditching that Extra Weight

Yep, I'm losing weight. No, not my waistline. I am scaling back on my camera.  Way back in the stone age of digital cameras, I got that handy camcorder for my trip to Attu, Alaska in 2000. It as a Sony camcorder that shot videos and as a side trick could take 2 pixel photos. Two pixel, can you imagine how low resolution 2 pixel photos are? Look, here's one now.
2 pixels worth of Gray-tailed Tattler, Attu, 2000
After the camcorder days, I eventually moved onto real digital point and shoot cameras but they stopped at, say, 70 mm so were scenery cameras. Finally I moved to Digital SLR cameras with changeble lens. My 'big' lens were 100-400mm. I laugh because lugging that massive camera around other people would ogle the long lens in what I always called 'large lens envy'. Camera and lens weigh in at around 7.2 bulky lbs. Ever since those telephoto capable 2 pix cam shots, I've been waiting for something with higher resolution, similar great telephoto power and as close to zero weight as possible. For the most part, those cameras have arrived.
Nikon A-900: a temporary answer to prayers

I have two. There's my wee Nikon A-900 I used on recent trips. It has great photo resolution, telephoto range to die for:  24 mm to 480 mm, and farther for digital (not true) telephoto. It is my mighty might and I'd have stuck with it but for its fatal flaw - no eye viewfinder, only a digital screen at the rear. Great unless, you know, the sun is shining. Also no way you can follow the flight of birds or racing mammals. Therefore it handicaps someone like me who does a lot a wildlife photography. Below is a goose shot with the Nikon A-900. Damn. That's some great resolution, but still...

Greylag Goose, Iceland 2017
Panasonic Lumix FZ300
Round two of searching for my perfect light weight, telephoto awesome camera is this, a Panasonic Lumix FZ300. It has pretty much everything the Nikon has, a digital screen, but has a viewfinder as well. It even bests the tiny Nikon having optical telephoto up to 600 mm. Yeah. Awesome. But, if you don't mind a little graininess, it can get digital telephoto up to 1200 mm. For my eyeballs it doesn't quite match the resolution of the Nikon, but I'm going to have to take them both out & take identical pix on both, then check their photos in a side by side comparison.

Here's some pix taken with the new Lumix.

Female American Kestrel with 'edible meat balloon' in its talons
The lumix has lots of cool features. The best is being able to set the focus for center screen auto focusing quickly when I'm catching a bird in flight. The big birdie below is my most recent 'in flight' shot. 
Dark Phase Red-tailed Hawk shot at 235mm
With this new, lighter weight camera I hope to continue getting reasonable wildlife shots, though the sharpness/resolution will undoubtedly suffer a bit. I'm hoping wee digital cameras will in resolution grow sharper even as I grow duller over time. 

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