Monday, January 7, 2013

Camera Review Part I

I promised a camera review, so you're going to get one. Not a complete review, but a review nonetheless. 

Saturday my wife, daughter, and I all hopped in my truck with our cameras to take some scenic pictures from around the area. My wife has a Cannon DSLR, my daughter has a Nikon Coolpix and I now have an Olympus TG-1, as stated in an earlier thread. What a fun family activity to do. We even turned it into a little family competition, to see who could get the best picture. The plan was to have my mother and father in law judge the pictures without knowing who took them. Well that didn't work out well because they just said that they were all nice pictures and that they couldn't choose. That's o.k, we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

 I got to mess with the settings a little bit, and take some really cool pictures. I unfortunately didn't get to take any underwater pictures this weekend like I wanted. The plan was to go fishing this weekend but something more important came up and it just didn't pan out. It'll happen though, probably this weekend. That's why I called this Part I, because I don't think I could give this camera a fair assessment without really doing what I bought it for and that's submerging under water to take some fish pics. 

Anyways, on to the review. 
Let start with the interface, or how to select the settings. I found this extremely easy to deal with. The buttons are large enough that you can navigate through the setting even with gloves on. Instead of going into menu's within menu's everything is right there on the display depending on which mode you select with the selection wheel. This made it very easy to manipulate the settings.  

The display is clear, bright, and large enough to see the small details that you would sometimes require while shooting. It's scratch resistant and I guess that it will take some time to determine how much of a beating the display will really be able to take.
Well this is really the meat and potatoes of the review. First, I'd like to say that I'm new at this whole photography thing, so what I say here might not really be worth anything at all, but here it is. This camera takes excellent images within it zoom range as you can see by the pictures below. And really that is the only thing that I can think of that you would want from this camera, that it doesn't have, to be able to zoom in further. Well unlike other cameras in it class, it achievable. You can actually add a lens to this camera, I haven't but you can, and I may someday.  
This gives this camera a true advantage above the rest. That, and the fact that this camera has the f/2.0 wide-angle lens that allow it to take excellent shots in low light levels. I guess that's really important for taking underwater photo's ( I will get to that in Part II of my review).  I haven't taken any real close up images yet but, I can't see where this is going to be a real issue, and I'll try to do that for the second part of the review also.

There are some really cool settings on this camera, and unlike other cameras I've used in the past they are not hard to find. There are all kinds of setting in this camera, and it would take me all day to go through them, but one of my favorite is the "Magic" setting. Within this setting you can apply all sorts of effects to the images you take, but you have to put it on those settings before you take the photo. All the images below are unedited, and all I did was change some settings in the camera. This might not be as appealing to you photography purest, but for me it's really cool, and I can't wait to get out there and use some of these on the stream. 
The extras this camera has are really cool, and I haven't even scratched the surface of this yet but I'll list a few. The camera has GPS, so you know where your photo's are taken. My I-phone has this and at first I thought it was a stupid idea, but you would be amazed at how quickly you forget where you took pictures at. It also has a feature that allows you to take a picture by just tapping the camera itself. I'm sure that will come in handy when taking group photos.
Overall, I love this camera. It's exactly what I would want from a camera and I'm sure that it's going to give me years of enjoyment. The problem with my other cameras is that I was always afraid to take them with me, be it camping, canoeing, fishing, ect. I'm always in the elements and we all know that that's not good for electronics. This camera gives me the freedom not to worry as much about dropping it, or getting it wet, and that's good because one of my projects for this year is to fill my basement and camp with pictures of my friends and I enjoying life. And man can I enjoy life with the best of them.


Beer Update:
I've been lagering a Prima Pils clone for well over a month now and I'm thinking that it should be ready sometime within the next week or so. So be prepared for a post on one of my favorite beers!!!!