Friday, February 24, 2012

Make New Friends...

...but keep the old. One is silver and the other's blue?

After many years of devoted service through frat parties, birthdays, backpacking through Europe, and general abuse I decided to retire my Canon point and shoot.  I knew this day would come sooner or later so I had been looking around at different options.  Ever since I blew through a single use underwater camera in Jamaica, I've been coveting an underwater camera or housing so I wouldn't be limited to multiples of 24 pictures per snorkel outing.

Three generations of cameras
On the hand, I would love to upgrade to a dSLR.  Ever since I was little I've been intrigued by cameras and photos.  My dad worked for Kodak and my mom is a Christmas card picture perfectionist so I was bound to either love or hate photography.  I was almost done with high school by the time I reluctantly gave up on my childhood fantasy of being a national geographic/sports photographer.  By that time I had a film SLR camera and was learning to use it pretty well by the time I left for university.  However, I thought the better decision was to leave the SLR at home and away from the dorms.  Now, living safely away from campus and supposedly more mature, my trusty film camera is outdated and oddly constraining after shooting digital point and shoots with adjustable ISO and the like.  Unfortunately, dSLRs and even dSLR-bridge cameras are a bit of a stretch on my budget right now.  I also want to make sure I know if I want to take the intermediate step in a dSLR-bridge or take the plunge into dSLR world with all of its lenses and romance.

New Camera!
In the end, I went with the Panasonic DMC-TS3, one of the newer ruggized point and shoots.  The two major components that drew me to this camera were the 40ft waterproof rating and the color.  To be fair, I did scour Amazon, dpreviews, B & H photography, Best Buy and others for reviews on the camera before I made my final decision but those are the two characteristics that really stuck.  I also like that I can play with the shutter speed and have more ISO options than my Canon.  My gripe against the camera is its performance in low light.  Or rather complete lack of performance in low light.  I'm still hoping that I can figure out some magically combinations of setting to make them tolerable but for now I'm switching back and forth between the Panasonic and the canon depending on the situation.  

I would still like to level up in camera's before I start doing some serious traveling but I have something to tie me over for now.  I'm trying to figure out a way to experiment with both a dSLR and a dSLR-bridge camera before I make a decision.  
Anyone want to help me with some consumer research?

Some sample pictures from the Panasonic:
Patch Collection through a pinhole

Winter landscape

The details can get a little fuzzy

Artsy Underwater bubble shot (major reason for purchase)

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