Up to speed

August 11, 2009

Welcome to the Digital Diversity blog.

Here you will find thoughts, opinions and tutorials on photography and Photoshop.

But first lets get up to speed.

I have been a graphic designer since about 2002. In this time i have learnt many things about photo manipulation, page layout, design, websites, animation and many other areas of design. However, what i always loved the most was just playing around in Photoshop. Colour correcting an image, getting rid of unwanted elements, making my own montages and scenes and generally just using stock imagery to create things.

Then in early 2009 i wondered why i never really tried just taking my own stock photography. Surely it would be easier to find the images i need, if i could just take them myself.  With this in mind, I blew the dust off my Ixus 75 compact digicam and started to play around. What I discovered was that there was so much more to taking a photo than I originally thought. Photography is like that though. Its one of those things we all think is easy as we have our little digicams stuck on auto and take perfectly nice pictures at parties. But then you try and take some pictures that really need something extra and you just don’t know whats going wrong. So i started to read. I read and read and read until I actually understood what I needed to do. I learned about getting correct exposure by using aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I learned about composition, I learned about HDR, macro, long exposure, high speed and many other kinds of photography.

Needless to say i discovered there is a lot more to this than just pointing and shooting.

What i needed was a camera that wasn’t to expensive but would allow me to learn. So i looked at what sort of cameras were out there. Basically i had a choice of 3 kinds. compacts, superzooms and DSLR’s.

Well i already had a compact and i wanted more…. much more. A DSLR was a bit to much for me. Sure you can buy a basic entry level DSLR for £300-£400 but they come with a poor quality lens and to get any decent results you need to start investing a lot of money into them. So what i needed was a superzoom. After looking at reviews for what felt like an eternity i decided on the Panasonic Lumix fz-28. Its a superzoom camera with full manual control, shutter speeds up to 1/2000 and as slow as 60 seconds and a huge zoom range of 27mm – 486mm – (35mm equivalent) 18X zoom.

When it arrived i was a very happy chap indeed. I went straight out and snapped a few pictures of the pigeons in my street just to try it out. I was very impressed with the quality jump from my Ixus and the zoom gave me the ability to take the shots i hadn’t been able to before.

Since then i have learned more and more. I have also added many extra bits of kit to my camera bag as well. These include a large tri-pod as well as a mini tripod, a macro lens and a teleconverter lens to give even more zoom. I also have a few filters.

Total cost of this was about £450. This is a pretty amazing price for what I have. Compare that to a DSLR with the same abilities and your looking at a lot more money. However there are sacrifices to be made when you purchase a superzoom camera.

I will go into these in more detail at some point but for now here is a basic list of pros and cons.

Pro’s
– Cheap
– Portable
– Good quality fixed lens (in most cases)

Cons
– Slower lens (cant reach as fast shutter speeds as DSLR’s)
– Low light photography (serious noise issues with hi ISO’s)
– Less diversity as you have one fixed lens and a few converter options. DSLR’s have a huge range of lens types fit for many situations.

That’s a fairly basic list there but its enough to get an idea.

A superzoom such as the one i purchased it great for learning and can still produce some amazing images.

Here are some more examples of what i created within the first couple of months of learning. I will save some of my favourite pictures i have taken for posts more suitable to them.

Thats it for now. My next post will be about the Raynox 250 macro lens and the Olympus TCON-17 teleconverter and how they work with the fz-28.

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5 Responses to “Up to speed”

  1. christina said

    Great , i will look at this and hopefully learn lots , i don`t use photoshop i find it to hard , i like microsoft digital image suite and infranview, photoscape , just downloaded Picaso don`t know what i thnk of it yet .
    I use only Proshow Gold for slideshows.

  2. Gerry said

    Hi,
    I am impressed with the quality of the photographs already on here… I have the FZ28, and am on flickr group as skodadriver… Looking forward to reading more of your very informative style of writing.
    Good Luck

    Gerry

  3. Alsay said

    nice article
    will be waiting for the review on Raynox 250 and Tcon 17, i have a Raynox 250 on order and hope getting a tcon17 in the future.

  4. Cwiddie said

    I like this….alot. I cant wait for the tutorials on taking and manipulating photographs…. at this moment in time I need both areas of tutorials alot!
    Great Blog should be a great site.

  5. […] post:  Up to speed var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, […]

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