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Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I picked up a new Point & Shoot camera to take Kayaking since I’m too chicken to take my DSLR with me. I meant to go Kayaking yesterday, but it was windy there, and the water was a bit choppy, so I bailed. Instead I wandered around the slough using the camera getting used to it. I bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200 for it’s 25mm-600mm zoom  (35 mm equivalent),  its Fixed f/2.8 Leica lens, it shoots in RAW, and has  Manual controls.  Here are some of the first images I made with the camera. (Click on the image to see it larger)

Willet Adult: Winter

Willet with Crab -Winter

The Empty Slip

Moss Landing Marina

The Outpost

The Out Post

Clark’s Grebe

Clark's Grebe

The Lookout

The Lookout

It’s different, but with a little more time I’ll get the hang of it.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ200| Lexar Professional 600x Speed Digital Film| Hand-held

More to come…

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11 Comments

  1. wonderful shots Deborah1 It just goes to show you that it’s the person behind the camera that has the eye!!!

  2. Your pics look pretty impressive with your new camera; looking forward to see your results with it and also to hear about your Kayaking adventures. I’ve been wanting to try out kayaking with a camera for few years now, but since I don’t really have any experience kayaking, have been a little leery about putting out that much money just to try. I have noticed that birds and other animals don’t seem to be bothered too much when others are near with a kayak. Is your new camera water resistant (submerged)?

    • Thank you Harold! I too noticed that the shorebirds, seals, and otters weren’t bothered by the sailboats, and kayaks in the slough so, I took a couple of kayaking lessons. I took only my old P&S the Canon SD750 then.

      Kayaks are a lot more stable today than they were… so they tell me, and I didn’t roll mine, or even come close to doing so, but I still lack the confidence to take out my D300s/300mm f4 combo which is why I upgraded my P&S to the Bridge camera. It’s not quite the same as having a DSLR IQ wise, but it’s better than my old P&S, and doesn’t cost nearly as much as the DSLR/telephoto lens should it fall in the water, or I roll the kayak.

      I have a dry bag for the camera to keep it under the skirt while paddling, and a rain-sleeve for added protection. To answer your question…this new camera is not weather sealed or water proof/resistant.

      Just make sure you have the camera insured before taking it out on the water. 🙂

  3. These are impressive images. Hmmmm…. Do cameras wear out??? That is a silly question, I’m sure. I have a Coolpix from Nikon. It does alright for me but does not compare with my old 35mm Minolta. Would this new camera of yours be a good upgrade for me do you think?

    • Thank you Melissa! Unfortunately, cameras do wear out, but usually what happens is we outgrow them. Which sounds like what’s happened to you and your Coolpix, and me too. This camera is replacing my old Canon SD750. I took that with me the last time I went Kayaking. It has a really short zoom range, and has really old technology. Anything over ISO 400 is horribly noisy.

      This FZ200 won’t be able to match the resolution, and detailed images of my Nikon DSLR’s, but I should be able to make decent enough images to print up to 16″ X 20″ prints.

      The menu’s and controls are really different from the Nikon menus, but because of my experience with the Nikon, and Canon menus it’s only a matter of reading the manual, watch a few video tutorials, and practice, practice, practice and hopefully soon I’ll be able to use this camera without too much thinking and menu diving. I HOPE!

      Any upgrade for you should be the same. What model Coolpix do you have?

      You can email me off this thread if you want to talk it about at length. Email me at: zajac.deborah@gmail.com.

      • Deborah,
        Thank you so much for all the information you shared! I chuckled at “menu-diving”… 🙂
        I believe my camera is a Coolpix L100. Honestly, I feel bashful even asking you about this because your photos are so great!

        • No need to be bashful! You’re too kind! I’ll be studying and learning photography and gear for the rest of my life.

          After a quick perusal of the Coolpix specs I can say, yes the Panasonic DMC FZ 200 would be an upgrade.

          The L100 is a point &shoot with no Manual controls, and has a variable aperture lens, it only shoots JPEGs, and has 10MP.
          Compared to the FZ 200 which is classified as a “Bridge” camera.
          (It’s functionality is between a P&S and a higher functioning DSLR.).
          There are several semi manual modes in addition to the scene modes on the FZ200. The semi-final modes, P,A,S,and M give you the photographer more control to make exposurer choices rather than letting the camera make those decisions. It has a bit more mega pixels, more magnifying power at 24X, a wider field of view at 25mms, and and a longer zoom 600mms (35mms equivalent), and a fixed f/2.8 aperture Leica lens.

          The first place to start is to ask yourself what you like about your current camera, and what you don’t like? What can’t it do that you would want or need it to do? Do you want to stay with a camera,with a fixed lens like a point and shoot but one like the Bridge camera which gives you so.e more control? Or move to a inter-changeable lens camera?

          • It sounds to me like a bridge camera is exactly what I want. My plan is to mostly use it for reference shots for paintings, and I’ve been wanting to get better shots of birds. Thank you, thank you. Now I’ll know what to ask for at my camera store.

            • Knowing what you need in a camera will help you narrow down your choices. There are several “ultra zoom” Bridge cameras out now.
              As I mentioned in my post the most important features to me were having a camera that shoots in RAW not just JPEG, had Manual/ Aperture, and Shutter Speed controls, had a fast fixed f/2.8 lens, and had a zoom range of at least 600mm.
              Having a fast lens fixed 2.8 lens means that zoomed out to 600mm I could still shoot at f2.8 to let in as much light as possible, so I wouldn’t need to crank up the ISO too high. Higher ISO values add noise=grainy images.

              Hopefully knowing what features I needed will help you figure out your needs.

              Here’s a link to a page with “top Ultra Zoom” cameras in 2014 that helped me narrow my choices down
              http://cameras.bestcovery.com/best-ultra-zoom-digital-camera/compare

              After doing a little homework to narrow down your choices going to the store to actually handle and test some cameras should be less overwhelming. 🙂


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