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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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 .
As 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. ♥
My 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.
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 😉
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!
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 …
The camera I use the least but enjoy having on hand is a Panasonic DMC-TS30
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
And a case to keep me organized.
and to keep everything clean …. Professional Cleaning Kit
I 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 Kit
Try before you buy
Some 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.
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.
Happy shooting 😎
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