Cameras

Years ago, I enjoyed shooting with a Nikon SLR and later a Canon Rebel SLR, but then digital was invented.  It took me a little while to embrace the new technology but eventually I bought a little Kodak digital point and shoot camera.  As pixels and features improved, a few more point and shoot camera purchases were made.
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hummers

What’s in my bag …

Once we started traveling regularly, I never left the RV without my trusty Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19 either in my purse or pocket.  I loved that camera, but after much use and abuse, she was replaced with a Sony WX350 Camera .

UtahAs our travels continued and my interest in photography was renewed, I felt I was ready to step up. After extensive research and a little soul searching, I decided a ‘bridge‘ camera might be the perfect fit to take my photography to the next level.

During the summer of 2014, my dad surprised me with a gift… the gift of a  Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 (newer version=Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ300)

The lens capability of the FZ-200 (and that of the FZ300 )when compared to a DSLR camera is equivalent to 25-600mm.  This camera is lightweight and goes everywhere with me.  Most of the photos featured on this blog after July 2014 were taken with the Panasonic DMC – FZ200.

Thanks Dad.  It’s a great camera and a special gift that I’ll treasure. 

great blue heronMy most recent addition (added Sept. 2017) is a PANASONIC LUMIX DC-ZS70.

This is one power house of a camera that I’m loving. It’s not as small or lightweight as my little Sony, but it has a ton of features.Thus far, I’m super pleased with the photos I’ve taken with the DC-ZS70.

photo taken with Panasonic DC-ZS70

Photo taken with Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70  Set on Auto – F6  1/125  373mm

Shopping for a camera …

When shopping for a camera, my word of advance would be to ask yourself one question; “What do I intend to do with the photographs I take?” Example: Are you a hiker that likes to take photographs, or are you a photographer who hikes to locations? Do you intend to print your photographs or will your photos be posted primarily on social media? Once you figure out your intentions, you’ll figure out what kind of camera will work best for YOUR needs. And let’s face it, our needs and wants change along with our journey. The camera that’s perfect today, may not be perfect in two years…. speaking from experience 😉

Great Blue Heron Prescott Arizona

Several times over the past few years, I’ve almost pulled the trigger on a DSLR.  For months, I was torn between the Sony  a6000 Mirrorless  and the Canon Rebel SL1  .  (latest model – Canon Rebel SL2). When I had the opportunity to try out both, I finally leaned more toward the Canon because of price and lens availability.  I will say, most men probably won’t like the fit of the small Canon SL2 and I’d recommend looking at the Canon Rebel T6i DSLR.

After a heart to heart with myself, I realized I didn’t want to be bothered with the need to change lenses during my hikes. Plus, I rarely print photographs and primarily share my photos via social media. Thus, the Panasonic FZ-200 and DC-ZS70S are the perfect fit for MY needs. At least for today!

foggy morning

As you read this page please keep in mind, I consider myself a novice photographer, a hobbyist. Thus, these products are great for beginners and intermediate photographers and those posting their photos primarily on social media. If you intend to do a lot of print work, then investing in a camera with a larger sensor should definitely be considered. The Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Camera might be a serious contender for any professional. I know it’s on my ‘some day’ list. But then again, the PANASONIC LUMIX G85 Mirrorless Camera,  might fit my needs better. The micro four-thirds cameras offer a huge advantage when it comes to weight and price and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Camera accessories …

Air Show

The camera I use the least but enjoy having on hand is a Panasonic DMC-TS30

So when I’m out on the water boating or it’s raining, this is the one I go to. I also use the wrist float when I go paddle boarding or kayaking. 
inflatable kayaks

camera wrist strapChums Waterproof Camera Float


And then of course, I have a couple of tripods.  Although I’ll admit, I’m kind of a lazy photographer and don’t use a tripod as often as I should.
VANGUARD Espod Cx 203Ap Tripod with Ph-23 Pan Head

JOBY GorillaPod self-timer

And a case to keep me organized.

camera bagCanon 200DG Digital Camera Gadget Bag -Black

and to keep everything clean ….   Professional Cleaning Kit

bridge camerasI love using a polarizing filter for landscape photos when the sun is bright.  It’s a must at places like Arches National Park or photographing water. Tiffen 52mm Circular Polarizer

Neutral density filters are fun when it comes to slowing down the flow of water …. waterfalls, rapids, and such.  I’m still working on this technique. Tiffen 52mm Digital Neutral Density Filter KitJapanese Garden

Try before you buy

Snowy EgretSome camera stores let you rent or borrow equipment.  While in Denver during the summer of 2014, Mike’s Camera had a “Day at the Zoo“.  I had the opportunity to test several different cameras free of charge.

I brought my own media card and  tried out a few different cameras.  I would highly recommend doing this if given the opportunity.  This is how I figured out that I would not be happy with the size of the Canon EOS Rebel T6i   and was able to narrow down my search to the Sony a6000 Mirrorless or Canon EOS Rebel SL1 .  The smaller cameras fit my hand better and feel more comfortable. Plus they are lighter in weight which is a huge factor for me.

foggy morning

Photo editing …


Editing….. I used to use Google’s Picasa for most of the photographs posted on this blog prior to January 2017, but Picasa is no longer supported by Google. Therefore, I purchased Adobe Lightroom.  I was definitely intimidated by this software in the beginning, but once the learning curve was over, I  wish I would’ve switched sooner to
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 (updated versions are no longer available via a downloadable disk)

For more creativity, I added  Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 to my computer, but I’m still working on learning this platform 😵

There are a bunch of helpful books out there to assist in the learning of these programs, and of course, I’ve purchased those books as well. That doesn’t mean I’m proficient in using the software … sigh! I’ll keep working at it though.

Photoshop Elements 15 For Dummies

Happy shooting 😎

This page contains affiliate links, which means under certain circumstances if you click on a link and make a purchase, I might receive compensation. The price is the same to you. I only feature products I believe in, and by sharing, it is my hope you find the links useful, helpful, and informative. LiveLaughRV is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

meBirds

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31 thoughts on “Cameras

  1. I skimmed this post but will be back for more of a “lesson” 🙂 I have the Lumix FZ 300 and of course my trusty Galaxy Edge phone 🙂 I do have a little Canon digital for hikes, it just does not do well in the wind with zoom!

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  5. Ingrid,

    What pocket camera would your suggest today at under $300? We don’t mind buying last years technology if there is a better value. We have a DSLR. Although a cell phone camera is handy, I’m not satisfied with the cameras.

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    • Hi Mark, I do like the little Sony I have for its compact size (photo of me in red T-shirt, the Sony is on the little tripod) but I like Mona Liza’s Panasonic ZS50 even better because of the viewfinder. Both cameras are listed above under the hummingbird photo. She and I both shot with a Panasonic ZS19 and when ours both failed within weeks of one another, we went on a quest for a replacement. She and I both bought different models of a Canon and Nikon P&S and returned them. I finally settled on the Sony and she stuck with a Panasonic. I agree with you and rarely use my iPhone 5. Good luck 🙂

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  7. I too use Panasonic Lumix cameras, I find them really good with their performance. I still use it. I also use Canon DSLR. Sony never impressed me with their colors. Recently, one of my friend has bought one, and colors seems good. But I will never buy Sony! Even in mirrorless, Fuji and olympus are doing great job. While Sony claims to have a fastest one, but I think there are many other parameters. Thanks for writing your camera story!

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    • It took me 3 purchases before I decided to keep the little Sony. I loved my Panasonic DMC-ZS19 but couldn’t find a new one… all were refurbished. The Sony is really little and takes nice sharp images for being so compact.

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  9. Ingrid,
    I use the smaller point and shoot cameras almost exclusively now. I just got tired of lugging a large bodied camera and lens on long hikes. I’ve found that the newer ones with long optical zooms do a nice job.
    I had the underwater Lumix TS-20 you mentioned above (same color even). I used it on one trip to snorkel in the Caribbean and the darn thing malfunctioned. That was the last of the underwater cameras for me. I’m using a bit older Panasonic ZS-20 for everything on my blog for the past 1 1/2 years and love it. Good resolution and nice optical zoom.
    I do become envious of the new ZX-40 with the 30x optical zoom.

    Thanks for the write-up on the camera gear.

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    • The problem with those really long zooms is camera shake. Zoomed in you really need to use a tripod. The FZ200 I’ve been using gets me in like a 600 mm DSLR equivalent and I’m really enjoying it especially for wildlife 🙂

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  10. Hi Ingrid and Al, I have just begun my own journey to become a fulltimer. I’m excited for you as well. My blog is under construction, but I went ahead and posted anyway. It is exciting to think about this new lifestyle. I hope to get my rig this Fall or Winter. All the best to you! Pat rootsrambler.com

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    • I’m looking at a T3i….it seems to fit my hand and feels comfortable. When in doubt, leave in ‘auto’ lol.
      The burst feature is awesome when photographing wildlife. Have fun playing with that new camera. I look forward to you posting all your wonderful photographs 🙂

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  11. Ingrid,
    We have two Lumix cameras, best we’ve ever had. FZ28 was our dream camera after using Canon Sure Shots with many limitations. The FZ28 does it all for us. But it’s a little bulky, so we added another Lumix, more compact. But it’s bigger than we thought it would be. Luckily, our iPhone turned out to have a better-than-expected camera and we use it most. Awful in difficult lighting or wide-angle, or long zoom, the iPhone is adequate for 80 percent of what we want.

    Your photos are awesome!

    Jim and Debbie

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    • I have 3 Lumix cameras and love them. The one I hardly use is the waterproof/underwater one but it does come in handy when it’s raining or we kayak. I hate my android smart phone and wouldn’t think about using that for photos. Perhaps I’ll get an iPhone when my lovely contract comes up. Thanks for stopping by. Happy trails 🙂

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