New Year, New Camera

  

Category:  Other

By:  dig  •  4 weeks ago  •  33 comments

New Year, New Camera

I've been getting interested in photography lately, so I decided to move up a step from regular old point and shoots to a new superzoom bridge camera. It's a Panasonic Lumix FZ80, with a 60x optical zoom and a digital zoom that doubles it to 120x. Not top of the line or anything, but not bottom of the barrel either. I'm hoping it'll be a good learning tool for me.

I especially love the Wi-Fi remote function that allows me to control it wirelessly from a tablet, so I can set it up on a tripod and take really long zoom shots without having to touch the shutter button and possibly move or shake the camera. I can't wait to try that when it gets warmer outside.

The only thing that bothers me about it so far is that it has these optical image stabilizer motors inside that run constantly and add background noise to videos. I can turn them off if I use a tripod and won't require stabilization, though, so I suppose it's only a minor annoyance.

Anyway, I've been playing around with it for the past few days and thought I'd share a few shots, even though I'm still just learning how to use it.

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This setting adds a starburst effect to points of light:

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Zooming in on ornaments while sitting on the couch:

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Zooming in on mantle decorations from across the room:

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Polly wondering what the heck I'm doing:

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Zooming in on birds through a dining room window. Nice and warm that way. :)

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The Moon from last weekend:

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Moon zoom test video:

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Zooming in on deer from maybe 120 ft. away:

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Test video of them walking across the back yard:

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Zooming through a window again, after a light snow a few days ago. The fuzzy thing at the bottom is part of the window (oops):

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Out in the woods after the light snow:

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Zoom test in the woods:

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And these few are from today, after an ice storm last night:

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Fun stuff. Thanks for dropping by. :)


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Dig
Junior Guide
1  author  Dig    4 weeks ago

Pandemic therapy.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
2  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

Your shots of the moon are great - so much detail.  And I love the starburst effect - gives your tree a dreamlike quality.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
2.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    4 weeks ago

It also has a time lapse function. I can't wait to try it on things like sunsets and storm clouds.

Actually, this thing has too many functions (LOL). I downloaded the user manual to a tablet and it's like 300 pages long.

It's some seriously good fun, though.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

Hey Dig,

Welcome to the Panasonic Lumix club.  I have a DMC-ZS60 with a Leica lens - I wanted a Leica lens because I once used a Leica M2 that I borrowed to take colour slide photos with on a trip to Spain and Morocco more than half a century ago that I was able to project onto a five foot screen and they were the sharpest, clearest images even blown up that much than I have ever taken in my life.  Does yours have a Leica lens?.  Yours is an SLR but I like using a camera I can put in my pocket, however it has tons of features I don't use anyway and a 30X optical zoom but I never use the digital zoom because it reduces the sharpness, and 30X serves me well enough.  Here is MY moon shot using 30X.  You have to be very careful the camera is VERY steady when taking long shots like that. 

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I don't have rear window access to wildlife and birds like you do, but I've posted a lot of my photos on NT over the years.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
3.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3    4 weeks ago
Welcome to the Panasonic Lumix club.

Awesome, thanks.

Does yours have a Leica lens?

I could be wrong about this, but I think I read that all Lumix cameras use Leica lenses. Not positive, though.

You have to be very careful the camera is VERY steady when taking long shots like that.

So I've noticed. I'm going to be using a tripod for long zooms later on when it warms up. I want to see if I can get some decent long exposure shots of the Milky Way, and maybe the Andromeda Galaxy, too. Things like that.

I haven't tried it yet, but with the right settings this thing's absolute maximum zoom (optical+digital) is supposed to be the equivalent of a 9782mm focal length. I'll probably need to keep it really still to get anything decent out of that. 

And hey, there's this site that tells you when the International Space Station transits the Moon from any location you give it. I want to shoot a 4K video of a really good transit. I'm supposed to have an opportunity for a lower quality one on the morning of the 7th, but it might be too cold for me to try. I'm definitely going to try for one when it warms up, though. Also of Jupiter and Saturn when they're in opposition near the end of the summer.

Nice moon shot, by the way.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     4 weeks ago

Great photos Dig. Be sure to start posting your photos in the ''Creative Arts'' group on Thursday and Friday. 

Or actually, you can post your own article there any time.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @4    4 weeks ago

Sometimes members even look at the articles on Creative Arts group that are NOT the Thursday/Friday article, if the person who posts them is lucky, let alone the comment wall.

 
 
 
MalamuteMan
Freshman Participates
5  MalamuteMan    4 weeks ago

Several years ago I purchased a Panasonic ZS60 (an older version of the camera you just got)... I can't find the article I wrote about it, but after much searching I did find a couple of images. You made a great choice with that camera!!! I thought you might find these interesting because they illustrate the phenomenal zoom capabilities...

The first two are shots of Arthur's Seat (a prominent hill in Edinburough). These two shots are taken from the exact same location about 30 seconds apart (first with no zoom, the second with full 30:1). The last image is a lucky closeup shot taken at about half the zoom.

Arthur's Seat (no zoom)

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Aruthur's Seat (60:1 zoom, showing close up of hill in preceding image)

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Lucky shot of Bee on Rose...

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Okay... just a couple more to illustrate the power of these Panasonic cameras...

First a close shot of a duck...

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Then zooming in on the ducks eye... The photographer is seen as a visible reflection in the duck's eye...

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Okay... this is the last one... I promise... All the previous shots are vintage 2016... The next one is from a trip we took to New Zealand earlier this year (early March)... before we had to dash home due to Covid...

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Dig
Junior Guide
5.1  author  Dig  replied to  MalamuteMan @5    4 weeks ago

Cool shots Mal, especially the bird's eye reflection. Love that one.

Looks like you and Buzz have the same camera. Do the optical image stabilization motors in it add noise to videos like they do on mine? You can hear them in the videos I posted. Kind of a low rumbling sound in the background.

 
 
 
MalamuteMan
Freshman Participates
5.1.1  MalamuteMan  replied to  Dig @5.1    4 weeks ago

Thanks Dig!

I haven't used the video feature, so I don't know what impact the image stabilization motors may have. My biggest beef with this camera is that it has too many features... I keep touching something that puts me into a mode that I don't want... then it takes me a half hour to figure out how to get back to a simple setting... :o}   

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
5.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  MalamuteMan @5.1.1    4 weeks ago

LOL. I know what you mean. A few days ago I accidentally turned bracketing on and didn't know it. It kept taking bursts of 7 images with different light levels. I made sure burst mode was off and it still kept doing it. For a while I thought the camera might be defective, until I noticed the little symbol on the screen. Finally got it turned off. 

About the stabilization motors, even if you don't shoot video you can hear them if the camera is turned on and you hold it up to your ear. Ever notice it making a low sound, even when you aren't operating the zoom? I'm just curious if my model is the only one that does that.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @5.1.2    3 weeks ago

I still haven't taken a video with mine, and I've never heard any noise from the camera either.  And yes, Mal and I both have the same camera, but yours in not a new version of ours because ours are pocket sized cameras while yours is a Single Lens Reflex, which is bulkier.

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Mal is right there are so many functions and settings that it can give you a headache.  It even includes editing functions, like cropping your photos, and post focusing for AFTER you take the photo.  Just above that square lens cover you can see the word LEICA.  The reason I wanted this particular camera, besides its having a Leica lens, is because it's one of the very few pocket size cameras that has a "through the lens" viwfinder besides the usual screen on the back.  I wanted that in case on a very sunny day the screen washes out, but as it turns out the screen is quite bright even in bright sunshne. 

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
5.1.4  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.3    3 weeks ago
but yours in not a new version of ours because ours are pocket sized cameras while yours is a Single Lens Reflex, which is bulkier.

Yeah, I suppose mine is the newer version of the FZ70, and the FZ100 if the even newer version of this one.

It's SLR styled, but I'm not sure if it really is one. I keep seeing it called a bridge camera, bridging the space between point-and-shoots and DSLRs. It might be one, though. I'm kind of new to all this lingo.

After reading around a bit I don't think it has a Leica lens, but it has a boatload of functions, including the ones you mentioned.

It has a viewfinder eyepiece, but I don't think it's through-the-lens. I think it's just the image from the touch screen projected up through the eyepiece.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.5  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @5.1.4    3 weeks ago
"It has a viewfinder eyepiece, but I don't think it's through-the-lens. I think it's just the image from the touch screen projected up through the eyepiece."

I thought that all SLRs have eyepieces as well as screen backs.  I never thought of that. I just assumed it was the same as SLRs were back in pre-digital days, i.e. using mirrors.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
5.1.6  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.5    3 weeks ago

It still works so you can see what your doing when it's too bright for the viewscreen. I actually used it today trying to get an airplane in frame. It worked much better than trying to find it with the viewscreen. I didn't have the settings right for a good zoom, though. This was the best I could get:

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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  MalamuteMan @5    3 weeks ago

Pretty fantastic photography, Mal.  Nice to see a third member of the Panasonic Lumix club, and you and I use the exact same camera.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
6  author  Dig    4 weeks ago

Here's a few more shots and a short video from earlier today. There's a fine misty snow coming down and I didn't want to get the camera wet, so I zoomed these through windows from inside. 

I maxed out the resolution, but they're still not crisp and vibrant like I want. Maybe it's because of the zoom, or the windows, or the fine mist, or all of the above. I probably need to do some research and learn more about manual settings, too.

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Short video of the deer trying to eat a little of what's left of a frozen feet block...

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
6.1  author  Dig  replied to  Dig @6    4 weeks ago

Frozen feed block, not feet. Haha.

Sheesh. We have an hour to edit now and I still missed that.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @6    3 weeks ago

Nice shots.  Cardinals sure stand out against snow.  Got any blue jays?

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
6.2.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.2    3 weeks ago
Got any blue jays?

They disappeared when the snow and ice blew in, but these are from last week:

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No blue jays from today, but I did practice getting better zoom clarity:

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The leaf and bird shots were hand-held at the full 4800mm equivalent zoom, and 18MP.

The shot of the sky wasn't zoomed, and was just to see how well those wispy clouds would show up.

It was warmer today and most of the snow and ice melted, but I still managed to freeze my fingers to the bone playing around with this camera. It's addictive.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.2.2  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @6.2.1    3 weeks ago

I'm still trying to take great photos.  Although I have no right to judge others, I think your photos are pretty good already.  Seems your skills are not limited to gardening.  By the way, I asked about Blue Jays because I was a season's ticket holder for years to watch them play.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
6.2.3  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6.2.2    3 weeks ago

Thanks, Buzz. I hope to get good enough to take some really awesome shots one of these days. Hopefully by spring, when everything comes back to life. I'm looking forward to trying some close-in macro shots, too. A really close and clear shot of a ladybug on a dewy leaf would be fun. Stuff like that.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
7  author  Dig    3 weeks ago

Just went outside to look for a Quadrantid meteor or two and saw this instead. Had to grab the camera.

The moon was rising behind some trees on the horizon...

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A little higher, above the trees, still with that just-risen color...

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An attempt at crater detail. I was going for Tycho, but it doesn't show up very well. In this shot it's about half-way down and to the right of Mare Nubium (the Sea of Clouds). The relief along the top is decent for a hand-held shot, I suppose...

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While I was out there I thought I'd try a few stars. Here's Orion's belt...

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And here's Betelgeuse, which still isn't back to it's normal brightness, but hasn't blown up yet either...

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A tripod probably would have made things more stable and clear, but I was cold and in a hurry. :)

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
7.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @7    3 weeks ago

Very good.  You will notice that when you took the photo of the moon through the trees, the focus automatically goes to the closest or most prominently closest item, which was the branches.  You would have had to go to manual mode set at infinity to focus on the moon in a shot encumbered by the branches.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
7.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @7.1    3 weeks ago

Hmm. I haven't noticed infinity in the manual mode settings. I'll have to look into that. Thanks, Buzz.

Still learning.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
7.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  Dig @7.1.1    3 weeks ago

After checking, I don't think this camera can do an infinity focus. I can manually set the aperture and ISO to adjust the depth of field, but I haven't figured out how to get a really long focus area yet. Something like the distant scenery preset (which seems to have a broad focus for landscapes) might be about the best I can do at the moment.

There is a manual focus function, but it doesn't adjust the depth of the focus, just where it is in the image.

Settings make my head hurt. 

Do you know if post focus mode allows you to focus more than one thing in the same image? I might be able to do it that way. Then again, maybe not if the things are overlapped.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
7.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Dig @7.1.2    3 weeks ago

Just set the manual focus setting to the longest extreme you can.  As for asking me about settings like post focus, I have absolutely no idea.  Notwithstanding the camera has about five thousand different settings identified by symbols that I have no idea what they represent, I still take my photos on full automatic.  

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
8  shona1    3 weeks ago

Anoon dig.. love the first photo of the moon and trees....very eye catching.

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
8.1  author  Dig  replied to  shona1 @8    3 weeks ago

Hi Shona. Good to see you. Enjoying the summer?

 
 
 
shona1
Freshman Participates
8.1.1  shona1  replied to  Dig @8.1    3 weeks ago

It has been a tad cool so far so that is a bit disappointing...love the photos of the birds and deer..and especially the snow. Always looks so inviting...

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
8.1.2  author  Dig  replied to  shona1 @8.1.1    3 weeks ago

Yeah, wintry weather around the holidays can be kind of fun, but I couldn't handle some of the weather other people get. It's almost never as bad here as it is farther north. Some of that stuff is downright brutal, and not inviting at all. :)

 
 
 
evilgenius
Junior Participates
10  evilgenius    3 weeks ago

Nice work, Dig! Good to see you having some fun with a new camera. I haven't gotten out at all this winter season except to walk the dog at night. 

 
 
 
Dig
Junior Guide
10.1  author  Dig  replied to  evilgenius @10    3 weeks ago

Thanks! I sure am having fun with this thing. 

 
 
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